I’ve peaced out of this site for awhile. My last post was the first since October. Nothing especially exceptional about that, I suppose. I come and go from time to time. I’ve started many a post with some variation of “sorry for my absence of late” and there’s a solid chance I will again. The longer I am away, however, the harder it becomes to return. The more time away, the more I feel pressure to return with something new. A new insight, style, a fresh outlook. Pressure that comes directly from me and no one else, of course.
The thing is, last year I noticed there were many posts that left me with a vague sense of deja vu. Did I already essentially write this same thing? Am I even growing? Am I learning and changing? I really wasn’t sure. It sure didn’t help that I was fucking exhausted all the time. Time was bending and blending. Did I write that or just think it? Those doubts easily led to many more and scared my very sensitive artist back into hiding.
At the end of the year–as many of us do–I took a closer look at myself, my mental health, and where I most needed to grow. What I ended up with was a long, seemingly insurmountable list of perceived failures and lost chances. And it just…well, it was kind of infuriating. I just felt so done with yearning for a shift, but feeling lost for where to start. I wanted to find a new flow and really dig down to get to know myself, damn it. I didn’t want to dwell on the past anymore, I wanted to step forward. The thought of another year ending with me the same old, status quo was just not fucking possible. By the end of this year I want to say without a doubt, I challenged myself and I lived fully, within the ever-expanding boundaries of my life.
Of course, it’s important to note that I have young children and that takes an enormous amount of energy. I’m trying not to downplay this truth. As they get a little older, though, I’m seeing opportunities to carve out the space for this exploration that didn’t feel available before. And I have the itch.
Which led to that same question I’d been asking myself over and over and has often stopped me in my tracks. Where do I even begin? The simple answer for me was to begin gently. Find an achievable, self-care goal and meet it. That, for me, was to retreat a bit. I love a good retreat. So I took a time-out from drinking and social media. Not so tough in the New Year when everyone is a little quieter anyway. Although I don’t want to downplay the fact that the choice to sign out of insta and twitter felt hard. Once I’d made the choice, though, wow what a relief! More on that in a later post.
Suffice it to say, those two choices coincided with a few things that had been in the works. I got a therapist, cut down on the kid’s tv time, I took a writing workshop, I finally had a physical after five years, I prioritized my workouts. Next, a gifted insightful friend helped me see my empathic qualities, which really has been helping me understand aspects of my nature and see strength where I once perceived weakness. I finally decided to seriously tackle my sleep shit too, which led me to seek out some much-needed medical help. Annnnd I started the Artist’s Way for the second time.
It sounds like a lot and, frankly, it is. I’m sure I’ve even skipped over some stuff. The point is, I started with something simple and manageable and it led me naturally down these different paths. It didn’t happen all at once, but once I welcomed change it has been happening quickly. And the boundaries of my life have been expanding to make room for it too.
One insight I’m slowly coming to accept is that I was, in fact, growing all along. The problem was that I didn’t trust it. That shitty little inner critic had way too big of a platform in my psyche. So I’m slowly learning to trust myself more and accept myself too. I’m not becoming a different person, but uncovering, unveiling, and revealing all those gifts I’ve buried.
All of this is helping quiet that little doubter that scared me away in the first place. It’s not silent by any means, but it’s easier for me to acknowledge all the critiques without giving them too much power. I’m making room for my creativity, my needs, my dreams and that is what led me back here to you, sweet blogisphere. Thanks for bending your ears and being part of my journey.
See you soon.