Once upon a time, I had a blog titled “Facets of My Rich Life.” And it was good, fun, and cathartic for me.
From there I ventured into a second blog about my better health quest, “Making Progress Getting Fitter.” And it too was good, mostly fun, and educationally cathartic for me.
At the end of 2017, I decided to retire both blogs. They had become more work that catharsis for me, and I wanted a different direction for my life and my writing. I thought I might try something more entrepreneurial in nature, and “The Cookie Dough Chronicles” was born.
And it was not that good, not not at all fun, and mostly a source of ongoing stress, resentment, and responsibility for me without even a small measure catharsis to offset those feelings. All those emotions were enough to make me stop blogging and cease writing completely.
It has now been been a few months since I embarked on that grand new misadventure. The mistake was almost immediately apparent to me, yet I put forth genuine effort to comport myself to the new style of writing and blogging. I tried hard to adapt to not abandon my responsibility to the commitments I had accepted.
Needless to say, it was a personal disaster, one element in a perfectly timed storm to wreck my pleasure in writing and blogging. Because in addition to the constraints and loss of my sense of self and of who I am in that blog, the first four months of 2018 were a painful combination of awkward missteps and bitter, unexpected, rage-inducing events and betrayals that essentially crippled and took away any relief I found in writing. There were things I could not, would not discuss in a blog, and I had a lot of anxiety associated with writing in general. The Cookie Dough Chronicles became a casualty in that overall unpleasant learning experience and it too has been abandoned.
The bad tidings of 2018 have resulted in me not writing or publishing anything in the last 3 months.
While I will spare you the morbid details of my good, valid, even logical reasons for this state of affairs, the bulk of the setbacks I have suffered were business and work-related that required an enormous amount of time and energy to resolve and extricate myself from toxic relationships. Thankfully, that unpleasant series of events have been resolved and put behind me. Despite those setbacks, my small business has continued without interruption and I continue to enjoy successes despite the stress and toxicity of the transitory setbacks.
In addition to the business matters that set me back, on a smaller scale of energy I have been investing in emotionally supporting family and tribe members through serious mental and emotional health conditions and crises. My hope and belief is that we are all on the other side of those as well.
So essentially, I have been living a life with ups and downs. Just like everyone else.
With the unpleasantness now in my rearview, I have found myself reconsidering the primary reasons and benefits of writing and maintaining a blog as well as how I strayed so far from my balanced life path. In the final analysis, I lost sight of the priority for me, the really good reasons of why I blog, the personal benefits I get from the process. Mostly, I lost sight of why it is important to write for my audience of one: me. At the end of my navel-gazing self-analysis, I have come to the conclusion that I am unwilling and/or not ready to give up blogging completely. Writing about what matters most to me, my willingness to prioritize what I value – these are the reasons blogging and writing are valuable tools for my own forward progress and maintaining my balance in the positive objectives I am pursuing. I have tried support groups and actually still belong to a couple, but they are no replacement for a personal space where I be my completely authentic self and make it all about me.
I miss have missed talking about my better health quest: my small successes, my ongoing challenges, my ups and downs and adventures with those pursuits. I have also missed the more personal and safe outlet to write about my life and times. I still have my husband to talk about all things with, of course. I have my wonderful adult children, friends, confidants, even the aforementioned support groups and other forums where I participate in discussions about various aspects of life.
It has not been quite enough for me. It has been unsatisfactory to me on some other, indefinable level. I, prominent among the less creative and imaginative segments of the world’s population, actually created a small space just for me. I miss it. I allowed myself to be less protective of it. And somehow I lost control and let it all fall away in times of great stress and uncertainty.
As the title of this post infers, I chose to start fresh yet again rather than resurrecting and returning to my roots. My heart and soul truly reside in writing, and I have tried a few other things, and I have enjoyed some modest success. But, when the stress and demands of the rest of life truly hit, it was far easier to let go of those other endeavors without a second glance.
This blog, the community I will create here and participate with, I will return to my most authentic, true-voice self. I have missed my authenticity. My typos. My grammatical errors. My Janelle-speak that family and tribe alike tend to understand. Other recent endeavors have not felt so much like me. They felt more liked a cleaned up, made up, dressed up version of my usual casual and real person self.
So my not-so-triumphant return starts now.
And honestly, it feels better than good to be back writing, just for me. This already feels like my (new) home.