What is Slash/Living?

When people ask questions about our identity – what we do for a living, what hobbies occupy our time – we rarely answer with just one title or activity. We may actually even say the word “slash” – as in, “I am a day trader slash stand-up comic” or “I work slash run slash coach.” Simply put, “Slash/Living” is a blog devoted to documenting and encouraging the journey of living our slashes. I focus mostly on my slashes (it is my blog, after all), but I highlight other people’s slashes, too. If you want a bit more information, read on…

Why this blog?

Prior to this blog iteration, I have had two others – the first was a blog on grief that I started after the sudden death of my father in 2009. I started it to process my thoughts and share those with the people closest to me who, frankly, were a bit worried about my well-being. I kept it going for over a year.

The second was a blog about my dissertation process. If you have been in a Ph.D. program and have had the unique experience of doing a dissertation, you know how terrible it is (my condolences if you find yourself in this situation now). I started that blog because I needed to get into the practice of writing regularly (I was procrastinating something awful), I wanted a space to process the process, and, again, the people closest to me were worried about my well-being and if I would ever finish the damn thing (I did!). I kept it going for about a year, abandoning it when actually writing the dissertation took all my free time and then some.

Fast forward a few years.

I have wanted to start engaging in social media chatter about education for a while, as this topic occupies much of my head space. After a conference in October of 2015, I recommitted to twitter. But posting only about education was restrictive. I am interested in too many other topics. The idea of creating separate twitter handles for separate topics was too daunting, and ultimately, I wanted to use more than twitter’s allotted 140 characters to communicate. So I returned to the idea of a blog.

Around the same time, I read a few books in succession over the course of a couple weeks: Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy, Susan Cain’s Quiet, and then Marci Alboher’s One Person/Multiple Careers. I read them on purpose, but the order in which I read them was accidental, and the continuous conversation throughout them all was serendipitous. The take-away of the collection is this: embrace the imperfect, multi-faceted person you are and seek to live a life that nurtures and stretches you.

As with any “aha” moment, this message was one I have known and tried to live for a while, but having this idea pointed out to me in the pages of these books was a wake-up call. I cannot separate aspects of who I am any more than I can separate my organs from my body because each part influences another (well, except maybe my appendix – isn’t that useless?). My roles of school administrator, teacher, and mother all directly influence each other, for instance. My beliefs about education are formed by my classroom experiences as a teacher, and those are revised and reformed by my children’s school experiences and my experiences parenting them through those.

So here is how this blog works. I will post regularly and will categorize the post according to whatever slash(es) fit best. You will find those old posts on grief categorized as “Griever” and those posts on the dissertation as “Dissertation Writer” as well as “Teacher” as well as “Researcher.” You will find my Five-Minute Friday guided freewrites (my participation in another blog’s challenge) under “5-Minute Friday Writer.” More slashes will be added as needed, but expect to see some on health, creativity, and reading, for starters.

I promise each post will be under 800 words for easy reading. I hope you will comment and share as you see fit. I promise to reply.

Happy slash/living, everyone!

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