Andrea Badgley holds a B.S. in Ecology, but left that field to raise children and write. Her work appears in Southern Women’s Review, on Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog, and has been honored with the Freshly Pressed blogging award by the editors at WordPress.com. She grew up on the coast of Georgia and now lives with her husband and two children in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. She writes creative nonfiction on her blog at andreabadgley.com, including updates from her literary tour of the United States, Andrea Reads America, for which she is reading 3 books from each state in the US. Follow her on Twitter @andreabadgley or on Facebook.
I’m dripping sweat into my keyboard, frantically trying to capture all the words that were racing through my head on my run this morning. I had written what I thought was a brilliant, literary, and clever bio, and I sent it to my best friend and writing buddy to get her feedback on it. Specifically, I asked, “Does it sound like me? Does my voice come through?” I was sure she would write back and say it was awesome. The best bio she had ever read. So when I saw her email come through, I smiled smugly and settled down to bask in her praise.
“It sounds like you over-thought it. I don’t think your voice came through at all; it didn’t sound like you. Also, it was a little hard to understand.”
On my run I was having an identity crisis because of this stupid bio page. Thinking, “Good God! Who am I? I don’t know who I am! What makes me think I can write a blog if I can’t even write my own freaking bio?”
So I’ll just give you the basics. My name is Andrea Badgley. I was born and raised on the coast of Georgia, swimming in tidal creeks, beaching it in my robin’s-egg-blue convertible VW beetle, wanting to save the world. I studied ecology in college (even though my favorite courses were always literature courses) and I met my husband on a marine biology field course in Key Largo, FL. We’ve moved around the country our entire relationship, and after 15 years of relocating (from Georgia, to Maryland, to Florida, to Minnesota) we are packing up the kids and heading back to the Motherland on what we hope will be our final move. My husband has reached the goal we’ve been working towards all these years, and has landed a job as a microbiology professor at Virginia Tech (a professor! I can’t help but grin every time I say that). We are settling down in Blacksburg, Virginia. I can’t wait to be able to get grits in a restaurant again.
I have no credentials for writing a blog, other than writing my former blog for Sacred Suds, a handmade soap business I launched and grew to give me something to do when I was desperate for stimulus, and adult interaction, and something that was mine as a stay at home mom. My own mom went crazy for a couple of posts I wrote for that blog, and she told me “Don’t ever stop writing, Andrea!” I know she’s my mom and all, but hey, it still feels good to hear it. My only other credential is that my bestie (the one who told me my original bio was crap) said she feels like she’s hanging out with me when she reads my blog. Good enough for me.
I haven’t saved the world, and I have to admit that that’s not even a goal of mine anymore. I think I need to start a little smaller. Like with myself. Like accepting that I flit. I just want to be authentic, and be my best self, and teach our kids to do the same.