Thursday, September 26, 2013

return from hiatus

Prepare yourself. You may be about to be disappointed. If you are one of those folks who came back here expecting to hear about my chickens, DIY hacks to bring a bit of sustainability into your life, or my adventures in tilling the soil to provide my family with good wholesome food, you might in for a big let down. Sure, that sort of stuff lurks here and you can find it if you want to explore the archives of my thoughts. But I've got bad news. As I continue to search the world around me for meaning (which is often an arduous task), I am changing and so are my interests. Consequently, so is my writing.

Sustainability and the availability of healthy organic food are still things I strongly believe in, so they may find a little air time here, but there are so many other varied and random things that also need to be said. Some you will discover as shouts from the rooftops as I embody my more self righteous moments (though I try to keep those to a minimum). Others might appear as whispers, life lessons tucked inside photographs or YouTube videos of songs. I'm not really sure. You see, I am still exploring and growing, and I am taking my blog with me.

I've avoiding reemerging with my words here for quite some time, hoping in some way I could make it perfect, that I'd have a profound realization to share or a format to follow. In the process of waiting and procrastinating though, I feel like I was also losing something. A bit of my soul began to wither away as I neglected writing, which to me encompasses so many things. It is about release and reflection, connection and community, my hopes and fears and tears on paper. Writing is how I create, how I express myself and how I bring a bit of art into these veins that often become clogged and cluttered with the necessities and stresses of everyday life. I have no grand excuse for my absence, nor any apologies, and I will no longer make either of those, nor any promises, here. All you'll get instead is this short narrative about my self-imposed exile.

If you find disappointment in these lines and posts, know you are not alone. I am right there with you. For a while I had this dream (or delusion) that I could perhaps make a living doing something I loved and by trying to turn that into a reality I destroyed a bit of what I loved about it and the creative space I had built here. I sold out to an extent, and art became infused with marketing as I struggled to understand how I could make what I loved to do even remotely profitable. (This seems to be a theme for me, I'm discovering.) I had a good (albeit short) run, but soon the act of knitting together phrases itself became drudgery. My creativity began to fade and, along with it, my inspiration and zest for life. I became bogged down and overwhelmed with writing, with living, with nearly everything, and began to give up.

On the way down from my mild material successes, I discovered how good giving up can feel. Once you get past the guilt you might pile on yourself at the prospect of failure, it really is an incredible release. So I kept giving up. It started, of course, with writing. I became terrified of sharing how I really perceived anything so I just stopped sharing at all. I gave up being fake at my bank job and embraced my inner socialist a bit too much. I gave up on over-scheduling myself and deadlines. I gave up on feeling for awhile with some pharmaceutical assistance I actually paid for on purpose (the kind sanctioned by my health insurance~don't worry). I gave up on dreams and goals, gave up caring what I looked like, gave up taking care of myself and, for a little while, gave up hope of ever finding employment I could do without getting sick to my stomach over some moral discord involved and wanting to give up going. There comes a point, amongst all this quitting, where there is a bit of release and relief. After a while though, it even becomes work to stop caring about things. I already had this awesome momentum going though, so I started quitting other stuff in hopes it would bring meaning back to my life.

I quit eating meat. I quit drinking coffee. For a brief period of time, I even tried to quit sweet things. I quit making excuses to myself. I quit caring so much what everyone else thinks and using my perceptions of what they think to define myself. I quit sitting on my ass without exercise. I quit being so negative. I quit trying to be something I am not. I quit being a victim. I quit chasing the traditional American definition of "success".I quit chasing a number on the scale. I quit my psychiatric drugs. I quit feeling ashamed of how I feel. I quit being so hard on myself. All this letting go. But I have tried to add back a few things that make me feel alive. I'm adding back caffeine (in moderation) and exercise. I'm adding in time to read everyday and saying "no" every once in a while. I'm adding in compassion for myself and others, walks in the park just to see beautiful things, and time playing with my pets. I'm adding back yoga and, now, I am adding in writing.

I've begun to see life as a practice. There really is no such thing as "enough" and there never will be. All I can do is the best I can do in each moment, and sometimes that means poor decisions and failure. It also means there is no one "right" way and that things will naturally flow and change on their own. It is time to allow my writing, my art, the same grace and flexibility. It is time to just practice~ in life, in yoga, in creating words on a page. I am finding that the more I let go and the more vulnerable I let myself become, the more what I want in life grows on its own without my trying so hard. When I quit pushing everything out, there is more room in my heart for things like beauty and inspiration to flow in. I can be moved to tears by a sunrise and I can live more fully and I can have a sense of belonging to something bigger than myself, rather than this illusion of separateness and loneliness.

Therefore my art is a practice. There will be no scheduled daily postings and no more content formats or limits on subject matter. If you are expecting to use this blog to keep up with what my family is "doing", try Facebook instead. On these pages, I will simply share what moves me in the hope that, perhaps, it might move you too. The content, while always open for discussion, is not subject to debate. It's just how I feel. Feedback, as always, is encouraged, but understand that all you'll get here was created for creation's sake. You are so welcome to be a part of my community and read as you like, but it will not all be flowery or perfect or predictable. Please let go of your expectations and judgments if you'd like to join me on my journey. It might not always be pretty, but it will, in its own way, be magical. No disappointment allowed.