I've been thinking a lot about what has changed for me about blogging. For two years, blogging here was something I did naturally, readily. It took no effort, gave me much pleasure. Here I thought things through, connected to others, made friends, shared stories and reached further into the virtual world than I ever had before. I loved that this was a diary I was keeping faithfully while I had failed at dozens of other diaries I had tried to keep throughout my life. I had always wanted to be a journaler -- like Madeleine L'Engle, like Anais Nin, like Boswell. For a while, here in this blog, I was. It was the most intensely satisfying activity. Then something changed.
For a long while I thought that the intense sadness I felt about leaving Philadelphia was interfering with my blogging mojo -- and all my other mojos for that matter. I tried to give myself space to be unhappy, to not blog if I couldn't manage to face yet another day of writing about the slough of despond I felt myself in. I tried not to mind that the magic was gone. But it was. And I began to feel like a liar, struggling to write what had once come so easily.
Recently I've had another thought. I have, all my life long, cared far far too much about what other people think of me. In fact, especially at times of great stress or unhappiness, there is a voice in my head which is something like the omniscient third-person narrator of a book. That voice is the voice of the "audience," the world out there watching me. It's no good telling me not to be so bloody self-centered. I'm not really, not that way. But I judge the value of what I do and who I am via the reactions of other people. Which is why, I think, blogging has been so successful for me while journaling was not. The audience made it real.
Well, it occurs to me that I am in the fix I am in (in short, that I am not sure where my life is in the midst of the lives around me) because I care more what and who are outside me, rather than what is inside. So I end up moving away from where I really wanted to be, because I had never managed to stand up and say -- not to myself, not to anyone -- this is what I want. Because I don't know what I want. I know far better what other people want from me.
So. As this new year comes and I emerge slowly from the cracking shell of unhappiness I have been in, I think it's time to try and change that. I will find out what I want. I will find out what my own voice says.
And to that end I have started keeping a journal. In a book. With a pen. I carry it around. I write weird things in it that I wouldn't write here. And things that I would. But then I can't check back to hear the love. To see my reflection in the mirror of this community. I have to be all right with there being no mirror. Only with myself. The book is quiet. It doesn't praise me, judge me, agree with me or pat my hand. It doesn't challenge me or push me. It waits for me to do all that for myself. Which considering how old I am, it's about time I did.
So I suppose what I'm saying is that, for now at least, I'm going away. I'd rather say that outright than just drift away. What I am going to regret most are the connections I have here. I will miss you very much. And you should email or, you know, visit! Or you can come over to the knitting blog (Two Sharp Sticks
) which I share with a friend and which I have also been neglecting. I will be contributing over there a few times a week, because (I hope) that's a different type of blogging, one that won't twist its fingers into my hair and pull me away from what I need to be doing right now. I'm also Twittering every so often (link in the side bar: twitter. com
and I'm stuntmother) which means if you're really keen to know where I'm at, you can check in on my 140 character summations of existence.
We'll see. I know other bloggers who have said sayonara and almost immediately come back. And I have this idea that maybe once a week I'll scan the weirdest page from my journal and post it here. Although isn't that frankly just the love-hungry faded star in me, longing for acknowledgment?
And since I don't exactly know how to close, I'm just going to fade to black.She turns away from the camera (and now we can see she's wearing a snazzy new pink hat she just knitted because man, the house is cold). She opens a still new looking black book , thinks for a moment, then takes a pen and starts to write. The light fades.