Hey! Blogging feels so weird now, as if there wasn’t an entire 12+ year period where it felt as natural as breathing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to push past the weirdness and just jump back in, only to have overthought it to the point of somewhere between panic and abject boredom before deciding just forget it. In an effort to regain both something that I love–writing–and also to try to add some normalcy back to life that has become anything but normal, I’ve kept at it…only to have a bunch of partially-written drafts that will never see the light and that’s about it. I figured maybe my blogging days were just done and I’d said all I had to say.
Then, I believe I mentioned before, I spent approximately one billion hours last fall (ask my husband if I’m exaggerating) creating a totally new and different blog, Chic n’ Geek, in case the problem wasn’t that I was done with blogging but was just done with blogging here. I’d never wanted to be a lifestyle blogger and if you’ve read this blog you’re probably laughing at the thought of the most negative, non-domestic person ever suddenly embracing sponsored posts and sharing professional-is photos and inspirational quotes. (Ok, if you’ve seen my Instagram, you know there’s no chance in hell my photos are anything but crappy so…yeah.) But it was winter and lockdown and I just had a vision of this fancy new blog and was determined to bring it to life.
Which I did…after so many months and so much drama that you just don’t ever want to ask my husband how he enjoyed the Chic n’ Geek saga, it finally was just as I’d originally pictured it, more or less. Well, minus the actual blog posts, that is. It turns out that I loved building the site, customizing no fewer than seriously at least five themes, creating custom branding and graphics (no, I didn’t know how to do either of those things before) and then randomly branching out into designing a bunch of paper products, jewelry and other stuff I never had any interest in or idea how to do before. So while Chic n’ Geek is up and running at long last, I somehow can’t be pressed to actually start writing there. Yet.
But I miss writing and connecting with people–especially writing about whatever and not saddled with the weight of the weird perfectionism I developed during my Chic n’ Geek winter (and spring, and summer). So here I am, still with nothing in particular to say but determined to just write something, even if just to prove to myself that I still can. with both a ton of things to write about here but also, simultaneously, no real idea where to even pick back up again…or if I should bother picking up where I left off to begin with. Will this be the start of a new stint of blogging or it yet another one-off “Hey, I’m back and promise I’ll be writing more now” post, then back to radio silence for six months, or longer? Your guess is as good as mine–if anyone’s even reading this to begin with. And the good news is, it doesn’t even matter–I’m just happy to be writing this now so that’s good enough for me.
So, in non navel-gazing news, I just passed the three year mark of being self-employed. While it’s mostly awesome being your own boss and I can’t imagine leaving my dogs to go work somewhere 5 days a week from 9-5, it’s also kind of lonely as hell and stressful. Not to mention paid holidays and vacations seem like luxuries beyond my wildest imagination. I so wish I had some kind of community of people like me who have been self-employed but are finding it so isolating and just overwhelming that they’re wondering about going back to working for someone else. I would totally BUILD such a community if anyone’s interested–in fact, I have so many “test” communities I’ve built out just to test all the new platforms that have sprung up over the past few years that I have several places all built and ready for business if anyone happens to be interested in participating in yet ANOTHER community. So please, if you’re interested, please let me know and I’ll get one ready for company!
Now back to the question I posed in the title about how people are doing, as in ACTUALLY doing. Not “fine” if fine is the furthest thing from the truth but you figure nobody really wants to know the truth or cares to take the time to listen past that one-word answer. I’m sure it comes as a shock to pretty much nobody who reads this blog or knows me that the past year (or two…or three) I’ve not been doing that well much of the time (to put it mildly). And where I still feel strongly about stigma fighting by being open about my mental health struggles, at some point I started contradicting myself because I didn’t want people to see me only as “the one with depression” or the melodramatic one or, worse yet, a self-centered bore. So while I’ve shared a bit–like in my last post–I’ve pretty much gone into seclusion and become the person I always insisted it was important NOT to be: another of the millions of people who suffer with mental health issues in silence because they’re worried what people will think, or that if they’re open about their experiences it will hurt their job prospects, etc. And it’s sucked on a bunch of levels–the least of which is that so many people have been suffering and struggling in silence over the past 18 months, and I KNOW that each of us are suffering alone when it could help so much just to know we’re not the only ones and that talking about it really helps.
We all know about me and my history so there’s not really much new with me–except that of course there is but for once I’ll spare everyone the TMI and instead ask–how are YOU doing? Have you found sources of comfort and community where you’re able to open up and feel less alone? Are you just bottling it up, praying you’ll be “back to normal” soon but also wondering how much more you can take until your facade of “fine” cracks–and worrying about what would happen if it did? Please feel free to share, either in the comments or privately if you’d like. Have you found relief doing certain things that you’d recommend to others? Or feel like you’re holding on by a thread and need advice or just someone to listen. Or anything in between. I know I’d love to hear from you, as would others who most likely won’t comment or share because they’re self-conscious (totally understandable–that’s me equally often as I’m TMI-ing). If nothing else I know it would help me feel less isolated to hear from basically anyone and I’m sure would help others as well.
And if you’re suffering but it’s too hard to share, I truly hope things start easing up for you soon–being in that place is horrible and I wish nobody ever had to experience it.
I wish I had something uplifting or funny to close with but it would probably just be something stupid like a Stepbrothers quote that’s only funny to me, so I’ll just do us all the kindness of not typing anymore 🙂