I started this blog at 26. I was a just-barely newly wed, several years before the kid (now 2), and before other massive changes in my family and professional life all converged at seemingly one huge moment. My last post was over a year ago–before that, I dropped off for a couple of years. I know this is a familiar thing to a lot of bloggers. Especially those of us becoming new versions of ourselves (and who isn’t doing that, constantly?).
Let’s just ignore the whole “babies and then toddlers make it hard to find time to eat properly, much less write a blog” thing, because–although hugely salient and a very real predicament–I thank God that my child and my obligations to her have never truly kept me from working towards my own goals and happiness. Nope, that’s pretty much been me. So. Moving on.
Things got stressful. It was terrible and wonderful, all at the same and different times. I wanted to write about things going on, things that struck my fancy or made me angry or inspired or curious. I mean, I really wanted to, because of course all those things were still there and I still felt all those things. I sat down in front of this screen so many times. Not just for this blog, but to write poems or letters… anything that used to come so easily. And then I didn’t anymore.
I just didn’t know what I had to say… didn’t feel like any of my used-to-be-usual musings were important enough to break the silence of weeks and eventually months. On a practical, aesthetic level, I felt like my perspective was so different than it used to be and it just might not fit to keep writing on this blog with all the old entries from my former self, and frankly, starting a new one just sounded like a lot of work. Losing your voice, or simply not recognizing it or knowing who will… paralyzing in it’s way.
Anyhow, life happened. And I’m not just thirty now, but in my thirties. It seems like a long way from 26! And I think I’m ready to be back. And that makes me just a little bit insanely happy… just a little, mind you.
I had a thought this evening, and that thought pushed me to a comfy seat and pulled the laptop out and here I am, ready to go ahead and call this The Night I RE-Started a Blog. Ready for the thought?
Here it is (prepare yourself now for metaphor overload):
I started this blog at 26. “One foot on shore” is a line in a song from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, but the reference to the inconstancies of romance was never my reasoning for the title.
At 26, I felt appropriately adrift. I felt like I was rolling in the tides, enjoying the ride and the float, but headed towards shore and a firm footing.
Things were going well. I was drifting, but becoming a stronger swimmer. I could see a landing place, or at least a good enough stretch of beach to take a little rejuvenating rest, before deciding the next adventure. I was stretching that one wobbly foot onto shore and sturdy ground.
I stopped writing when I lost my footing, I guess, both at sea and on what I thought was reliable terrain. When the ocean was too strong and all my attempts to get back on my formerly promising trajectory just kept depositing me in some new current, far down the coastline, and not where I expected to be.
I am restarting this blog at 31. And as I reach out my churning arms and legs to keep treading, I realize I climbed back on the beach months ago. Things are good. They are not perfect, and they are not–in many cases–certain at all (my once established career path now feeds on the perpetual anxiety of contract renewal, for example), but I have new and slightly altered ideas of where I’m going. I’m not stretching for land, because I have a foot back on shore. It’s the other foot, the stronger one, I am discovering, the one that is now holding me steady for a while while I willingly reach back out to sea.
And–if you’ll forgive me one last jump in this truly hideous amalgamation of figures of speech–I don’t seem to be struggling for words or their familiarity or seeming importance anymore either. I certainly don’t guarantee that they are any good, as I’m sorely out of practice. But I am writing again, and in a lot of different places… I miss this one.
And, so, I think I’m back. I do have a changed perspective– this one will include a helluva lot more about being a mom, more about a different kind of career where I’m no longer entry level or worse, unemployed, and more about intentionally working to reach for things I want and need, rather than my previous self’s knack and reliance on falling into things. But I still have my faith, my love of art and words, and yes, the ocean to inspire me, and –as always– more projects than I realistically have time for involving poetry, film, theatre, music, and all manner of things I realize I’ve just volunteered for.
I’m still essentially me. Even if I am looking out to sea rather than to the shore, I still feel this basic premise so clearly: We’re all just learning to navigate the tides. And that’s why I’ve finally decided this blog is not finished. It just needs a restart.
I have a lot to catch up on.