It’s been not quite two months since I “quit” this blog.
As Jack Twist said in “Brokeback Mountain,”
“I wish I knew how to quit you.”
I just don’t!
Blogging is scary and boring and exciting and exasperating. A lot like love.
Because writing is about baring yourself, and commitment. Committing to the words you print. To your readers.
But here I am. And here we go!
I went running for the first time in over a month today. Truthfully, I never kept it up this summer– I loathe the heat. Now that it’s cooling down I feel more comfortable, and I just had other things I needed to straighten out first. But I missed it.
And I didn’t run long– probably 20 minutes. I walked to the rest, and am unsure of the distance. But I walked until my knees hurt, for roughly 45 minutes. I was on a path near my apartment, and it was gorgeous this morning.
I passed a man who had put his bike on its kickstand and was gathering crab apples in a bag in someone’s yard. Did he venture out just for the crab apples? Who knows. He was working diligently, on a mission.
Soon I passed another man, walking a bulldog. I slowed down and asked if I could pet him, and the man tried– but his bulldog, Buddy, was shy. I learned that they walk four miles every day together, and he walks him in the morning because bulldogs don’t do well with heat. I stood and admired him for a few minutes, and then thanked him and went on my way.
I feel grateful and refreshed.
Yesterday, I painted my nails a trendy baby blue color. I had worn it last week and gotten a lot of compliments, but it needed a fresh coat. I still need to finish my right hand, but I did my feet and my left hand and they look great! Usually I would only wear a variation of red or pink– finally I’m branching out a bit from my comfort zone.
I enjoyed my sabbatical from this blog– but I realized that I don’t want to give up writing after all. I just needed a break.
One of the motivating factors in my return is actually you– my readers. Out of my 88 subscribers, not one dropped me after I announced my “final” post. Maybe you had been around long enough to realize I’ve dropped out for awhile before and weren’t sure I was done. Maybe you just liked the archives that weren’t deleted. Or maybe you are just fantastically loyal readers.
But that fact– that all 88 of you have stayed– it was incredible.
Truthfully, writing became something stressful for me because I was battling depression and anxiety. I didn’t feel I had anything of value to say, and was full of self-doubt. I didn’t like the vulnerability, and the permanence. At this time, I don’t want to say much about that journey. Maybe in the future, but for now, I’m keeping it close to the vest. Suffice to say, the last six months I’ve been working hard to break patterns of negative thinking and become more grounded and pro-active.
And the results are tangible.
I’m getting compliments lately, from people who hadn’t seen me since then and notice right away that I look “different.” Calmer. Happier.
“You can see it in your face,” they say.
I’m doing better at work, after taking some necessary time off.
One co-worker told me, “You’ve altered. You’ve figured some things out in life.”
I worried about who was reading this blog from my past, and needed some distance. Now it doesn’t bother me as much– it’s still something I’ll need to adjust to, piece meal. But I’m feeling more confident now.
I actually tried to delete the archives, and successfully did erase many of my posts. But I couldn’t finish– it was actually painful. I wish I hadn’t deleted those posts now, because even if they’re sporadic and not organized by a particular theme, they are reflections of me. I judged myself because I thought these posts weren’t intellectual or creative enough, too simple and not more artistic or even journalistic.
But sometimes writing the plain truth is all that you need.
I know that I’m better, because I believe in myself again.
Taking charge of my emotional and mental health is the best thing I’ve done for myself. I had no choice– I broke down. I didn’t enjoy anything anymore, I was barely eating. I had read about the physical symptoms of depression, but for the first time, they were all happening to me. I even hated getting out of bed. I was anxious at work.
But on facebook I looked happy– because that’s what I’ve always done, covered it up. Put on a smile.
So I stopped pretending I was fine. I detached a bit and focused on myself. I went to counseling. I got the meds I needed. And it’s working.
And I’m glad to be open about it– because when you need the attention, your body will let you know one way or another. You can only avoid a problem for so long. It’s all connected– we can’t function by ignoring our emotional lives and expect to be healthy and successful in other areas.
I’m still ambivalent about my writing– that’s a lifetime journey. I’m not sure where it’ll lead me. But it’s the constant in my life, published or not. I’ve been journaling in the interim, and know now that it’s something I’ll do all my life.
Read. Journal. Write. And sometimes, blog.