For those who just discovered my blog and have actually been returning on a regular basis to read it, this title may be a bit abrupt. But since I suck at clickbait (and anything beyond just posting or commenting on social media), I won’t beat around the bush.
Eight years ago…
Ha! I kid, I kid.
There are many things that I’ve wanted for this blog. I wanted it to be a place where people who struggled to express themselves through the spoken word (aka chatting) could realize that they were not alone. I wanted readers with a weird combination of hobbies and habits to see how awesome they were, and that they didn’t have to fit any kind of mold to be happy with themselves. I wanted extreme introverts to know that they didn’t have to feel forced to talk if they didn’t want to. Theirs was a silence that was truly golden.
There were many things I wanted to give this blog. But there is one thing that I absolutely must give, and it’s the one thing I can’t anymore.
In my last several blog posts, I’ve complained about how busy I am; however, I’ve never fully dispelled what I actually do that keeps me so busy.
Sooo, here’s a summary:
- Working a full-time job
- Working a part-time job
- Working a voiceover gig
- Finishing a certification in technical writing
Now, when I look at list on my computer screen, it doesn’t seem like that much. I’m not doing all of this every second–which is why I’m trying to gauge what I should be doing during those seconds.
- Write a new novel (dumped the old one after six years of failed editing)
- Take acting classes
- Volunteer more
- Take care of my house
- See my loved ones more
- Take care of myself
In my mind, adding the second list to the first list seems doable–logical even. After all, look at people who have a full-time job, raise kids, clean their house, was and fold laundry, and then still make time for their favorite hobbies.
Who am I, a single, healthy woman in her 30s, to complain?
But, that’s not fair, is it?
Over the years, I’ve watched the people I’ve admired the most do everything. I watched my mom single-handedly raise my siblings and me to adulthood while tending a house and working a full-time job. I’ve watched one of my closest friends battle with her own inner demons while looking after not only her husband, but multiple other people while preparing for a baby and having a very rewarding fly-fishing hobby.
I’ve watched them and grown prouder of them than I could of anyone.
Then, I’ve watched people turn and say the same thing about me. “You are such an inspiration!” they exclaim. “The fact that you’re balancing so much is so cool!”
“No, it isn’t,” I protest immediately. “It’s a lie. You don’t know how many days I wake up and want to sleep in until eight or nine, and then feel bad I wasted those hours in bed. You don’t know how often I sit, exhausted, even though I should be working on one of my jobs! I have a schedule laid out every weekend to work, blog, write, and clean! But, I’m not keeping to it! I haven’t made a legacy. I’m not cool!“
Seeing this in plain text is hard to digest, because it’s something that I didn’t want to admit to myself, let alone to anyone else. I always worry that I’m not doing enough “good” in the world, that I haven’t done anything to earn my “keep.”
Human beings want to know that they matter, that they exist, that their very selves are validated. We take pictures, leave quotes, post our daily moments on social media to have our family, our friends, our fans thumbs-up our very spirits. It’s in our very nature to be wanted, to prove that we are a part of something wonderful.
For years, I denied that I needed this validation from anyone. I ignored my raison d’être and added more and more work onto myself to block the yearning. My inner self didn’t know what it wanted–and even if it did, it was probably wrong. If I worked hard enough, everything would make sense. I would gain confidence and pride, and the marks of jobs well done would show me how important I was.
I need to stop.
I’ve talked several times about how glorious last year was. If I could, I would relive every single moment of 2018 over and over again. From the moment I learned of the offer to audition for The Blood Crow Stories to my squatting before the resting place of one of my favorite singers, I would live it all again.
But since then, I haven’t taken the time to process all that I experienced. Instead, I just kept going.
Think about that in metaphorical terms, if you will.
A car that you keep running and ignore the Change Oil light. A computer that runs slower and slower when you don’t put restart it for weeks.
That’s kind of what happens when you keep going…and going…and going. It’s called burnout.
You suffer from insomnia. When you do sleep, severe anxiety snaps you out of a dead sleep every night at 3 am. Daily irritation and emotional bursts. Trouble concentrating. Lethargy.
And then begin the migraines. Week-long sore throats. Nausea. Blurry vision. Nose bleeds. Sickness after sickness after sickness.
You think, maybe it’s something I ate. Maybe because it’s so cold.
You go to the doctor. You have the option to lie about how busy you are and just give him the physical symptoms. But let’s face it–you know, deep down, why you’ve been feeling this way.
You know, because I know why I’ve been feeling this way. And I was tired of lying.
The doctor’s jaw dropped after I hesitantly gave him my current workload. “Honestly? I don’t know how you’re still standing. Your levels are fine now, but keep at this pace, and I will have you on medication for high blood pressure, among other things.”
Leaning forward, he gave me a solemn look. “Why should I need to give you medication just so you can survive the day?”
I have no idea how these next few months will go. But, I no longer have any doubt of what I need to do.
I feel guilty pausing the blog, especially after such a grand reveal on New Year’s Day with a new logo, a new layout, and a new attitude. I love writing, and writing in this blog has been highly therapeutic.
Unfortunately, with my elevated schedule, I’ve also noticed a visible decline in quality of my posts. The words, lessons, and activities that I want to share are not what I’m providing. And that’s not fair to anyone.
I would rather come back with a blog that has better, well-written, more focused blog posts than a random meandering of negativity and complaints.
You as readers deserve better. I, as a writer, can give you better.
But until I reach that point, I am stepping away from the M.o.B and giving that time back to myself. I’m not sure when I will return, and I don’t want to commit to any dates until I am absolutely sure. Instead, thank you for reading and enjoying and following me on this journey. Enjoy your time to the fullest.