I have been neglecting my blog. And by association, I guess, anyone who reads my blog. And that means you. Sorry about that. It isn’t that I don’t want to write anymore. Or that I no longer have anything relevant to say (not that everything has to be relevant).
But it is true that lately I have not felt that pressing, unignorable urge that kept me up past my bedtime so many nights. There I’d be under the covers with the lights out, face illuminated by the 11-inch screen of my Mac Air, tapping away while a seedling thought blossomed into a fragrant and at times unanticipated flower… or turd, as the case may be. I mean you can’t achieve greatness every time, people.
Yes. Lately I’ve spent a great deal of time wondering why I don’t write more often. Because in the beginning I had to write each and every day. I needed to do it; I demanded it of myself. And sitting down to do so was like breaking the dam. My thoughts burst forth and gushed out.
I guess the way I felt about my blog in the beginning is sort of analogous to the way you feel as an adolescent with your first major crush. First, you glimpse your crush (or is it crushee?) and you wonder what it would be like to talk to them, to spend time with them. You really want to approach them but for a number of reasons (you are shy, nervous, you have a big zit in the middle of your forehead, you fear rejection) you just don’t get up the nerve to do it. When you find yourself in close physical proximity to them you begin to sweat a little, to feel simultaneously exhilarated and uncomfortable, like you might burst right out of your own skin.
So then you one day get up the nerve to talk to this person and you both have so much to say and it all pours out over Orange Fantas (I suppose kids nowadays just go to Starbucks) and then you realise that not only was it love at first sight (probably more like infatuation), but also you have found your soul mate (probably not) and you begin to eat, drink and breathe one another.
That feeling lasts for a little while and you find it difficult not to be distracted by it as you go about your day. When you are with the person it is utter bliss and when you are not you are constantly seeing things you want to show them, thinking of things you want to tell them, imagining how they taste, remembering how they smell.
But then one day, you realise that the feeling isn’t quite as intense. Something’s gone off. Maybe you go to lunch and you feel suddenly outside of yourself, looking in on the pair of you. Your crush is talking. You see their mouth moving and you realise they are actually boring, or a narcissist, and that they are getting on your nerves. Or things that you once found endearing now irk the shit out of you. Like that stupid piebald jean jacket they always wear that’s actually really dorky. What was charming and quirky becomes intolerable.
This is the point of no return. You will not get past this feeling. The party’s over. You want to feel the way you did at first but you just won’t. Sure, you can fake it for a short while, but you cannot put off the inevitable for long. You need to move on.
Okay, maybe I’ve taken this analogy just a little too far. I absolutely do not feel as if I have reached a point of no return with my blog. And I do not find writing even remotely irksome or annoying. I don’t want out. But something has changed. The question is what?
You know what I think it is? My focus has shifted. I am moving on. I am moving on with my life after one hell of a year. However, I don’t need to leave my blog behind. My blog is about more than what happened to me, after all. It’s about everything and nothing. It can evolve with me. Why not? And if at this moment in time it no longer seems as urgent or as reckless, perhaps it has already evolved from a childish infatuation into a mature, long term relationship. It’s steady and trustworthy. It has roots. The novelty has worn off but the pleasure has not. And whatever I write about will be through the lens of a changed person, of a person affected by you-know-what.
Incidentally, before I started my blog I faced a number of obstacles, or at least I thought I did. As it turned out, none was particularly difficult to navigate. But that didn’t stop me from hand-wringing over them and delaying the start for weeks. I had to pick a name and buy it. I had to get my own site so it wouldn’t be hosted or controlled by anyone else. I had to learn how to do the blog at all since I was totally clueless (still mostly am unfortunately but at least I can manage blog posts). Also, in the early days I had so many simultaneous ideas whizzing around inside my head like lotto balls in one of those air draw machines. You know the ones — some lady comes on after the 10 o’clock news and turns on the power and air blows those little suckers around until one of them goes up the tube and is thus selected. That’s sort of my creative process in a nutshell, really. I switch it on, them balls fly around and it’s anybody’s guess what will get sucked into that tube and emerge the winner for the day.
I tried to find a short video of such a machine for you in case you don’t know what one is — for all I know if you are not American and of a certain age you are really lost — but the one I saw is so boring that no one, I mean no one, would watch it. Seriously, the first video I came across was some deal from the 1980s from a Canadian lottery (from Ontario I think) with a lady in a silky (but probably synthetic) blouse with shoulder pads and one of those thin bows in the front like the female version of the tie and a frumpy man with unflattering glasses and I almost chewed my own arm off while watching it so… I’ll spare you. Sorry if those are somebody’s parents or you love the Ontario lottery or something. But you’ll get over it. And please don’t pretend to be offended just because you are Canadian, eh?