For years, if you were to call me and reach my voicemail, you would hear a recording that began, "Hello Everybody, you've reached Mara!" and ended, several sentences later, with "Thanks, and have a great day!" For those of you who never had the pleasure of hearing that message, imagine my most upbeat and enthusiastic tone - the consummate hostess, pleased to welcome you to our communications. It struck me as a perfectly obvious greeting. I had no doubt I would receive a high volume of callers, each of whom would share my excitement to ultimately connect and communicate, who understood and upheld my expectations for an enjoyable conversation with meaning and value.
Alas, professional contacts, efficiency and a touch of my own self-consciousness resulted in the message's current simpler and shorter form: "You've reached Mara. Leave a message and I'll call you back." Of course, time has changed more than my voicemail greeting. Having introduced a healthy bit of uncertainty about others, myself and my role in the world, I am less insufferably optimistic, more comfortable with silence, more self-reflective.
The point, you may ask? I am at a loss for how to welcome you to my new blog. I have no presumption about who will read it, with what emotion or even the value of what I will write. The simple certainty of my former voicemail won't serve me here; I can no longer write, "Welcome, Everybody, to my fabulous adventures and the insightful, witty and fascinating things I will be saying about them!" I am glad to have become more humble, reflective and even uncertain, and given you this long introductory rant instead. But a true welcome is still elusive. I suppose, in its stead, I will say this:
This week, I began the process of quitting my job with nothing on the horizon but adventure. I am in a place of huge transitions - I am not certain what I'm seeking or where it will lead me, but I intend to chronicle it here and I am honored to have you read, respond and join me as you see fit.
On the title of my blog: a completely silly song happened into my life today as I was beginning the process of starting this blog. The song is called "You Can't Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd" by Roger Miller. Loathe though I am to end a sentence with a preposition, ("This is the sort of English up with which I will not put") I find myself very drawn to the song's main refrain: "You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd but you can be happy if you've a mind to." Perhaps I'm drawn to the independence behind the idea that you make yourself happy. Perhaps I'm drawn to it because balancing the future-driven leader I've always been with this new quest for comfort and growth in uncertainty feels a little like trying to roller skate in a buffalo herd. Perhaps I'm just silly. Or perhaps I'm really just toasting to this new journey that has caused me to accept challenges I would once have answered with "I can't."