Sunday, December 16, 2007

World's Apart

I've been writing this blog post in my head for days now ... not really sure how to start, not really sure if I want to even write it at all. Not sure if I'm just in a funk -- well, I am -- or if I am truly not sure if I want to continue.

Blogging, I mean.

It's not that I do not have plenty to write because I do. It's that much of what I want to write about now either isn't relative to this blog's title or it's for fear of hurting people.

Plus, a few personal blows to my ego late last week mixed with the reality that this house is going to be ours for a while longer because it is off the market and we do not have the money for a down payment on a new one.

The truth is I'm in a weird place -- and have been for a long time -- of not feeling connected to anything or anyone. I mistakenly began thinking that blogging filled that gap in my life, but it doesn't.

I have friends. I have relatives. But, these people float in and out my life much like the rain, the sun, the clouds and the snow do these days. Never certain of their intensity, never positive they will remain, or for how long. And with my hands full and my mind busy, I haven't really tended to these feelings. All of these people in my life are busy leading other lives and I always feel like I am on the perimeter, walking circles around them and never able to actually get close.

I have no connection with any of my in-laws, who are the only family within 90 minutes of my home.

And, my personal beliefs make it difficult to just befriend anyone. The location of my home, the church we attend, the liberal beliefs we hold all come into play each day with each person. This place -- Pennsylvania Dutch Country -- is uber conservative, and it is the same with its connections to new people. The few friends I do have -- who I see once a month tops -- are not natives either. Transplants, we're called.

Which leads me back to my post ...

Blogging, lately, has left me feeling a bit like living a Sims life. I've started thinking about other bloggers as the best friends I have in my life. The truth is my real life is lacking true, meaningful relationships. It has since I left home, and left my high school friends.

Now, even those friends who I left behind are less like friends and more like people on my Christmas card list. And many of the friends I made after that have since moved on or moved on from me when I left journalism -- because they were all journalists -- or they moved away from me when I left the workplace in general. As it turns out, career friends were my only friendships.

I do not miss working (in an office); nor do I feel like I made a mistake. But, a large part of my voice and social sphere was wrapped around my career. I'd like to say nothing changed, but the truth is everything changed.

From the time I was a young woman, my identity involved a bit of notoriety. My name meant something.

Now, it doesn't.

The phone hardly rings. Less and less cards arrive in the mail for Christmas, birthdays, etc.

This brings me back to now. This post. And my reflection on these people I thought were friends, but were not. People who when I was in the trenches of the hardest parts of my life -- as a new mother -- gave me space instead of support. People who assumed I was handling everything well, when I wasn't.

So ...

I'm going to take a break from blogging. I'm not quitting. Because I know once I hit publish for this post I will instantly regret that I said anything at all.

I will return, I just do not know when. Maybe in a day. Maybe in a week. Maybe next year. And, when I do, I might be different. The blog might be different. Or, not.

Who knows? Maybe I'll write that novel now. Or, maybe I won't write at all. Maybe I'll leave the computer and try and meet someone new in person instead of a new blog.

One thing is for sure: We will have the most Merry Christmas of all around here (unless it's like Thanksgiving) and all of my time and energy will be on that for the next week. I have bath toys to wrap. Boxes filled with favorites like fuzzy balls and clothespins need to be wrapped, too, just for fun. And, I'll be filled with joy as I place their butterfly wings on their shoulders and wrap pink and purple boas around their necks.

I will try to visit your blogs. I will. But, I'm also going to be tending my own garden -- raking leaves that have long fallen off their Cherry Blossom branches and blown away, revealing the nakedness of my soul.

I wish you all a safe and peaceful holiday and New Year!


Stacie said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope your blogging break leaves you feeling refreshed and gives you time enjoy your garden!

PJ Hoover said...

We'll miss you while you're gone! But writing that novel does sound like a great idea :)

LauraC said...

I will miss your beautiful words and insightful posts, but I hope you find what you need.

village mama said...

Wishing you a most Merry Christmas. May the New Year bring you all you dream of - all that which feeds YOUR soul.

May you and yours be healthy!!

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I've been struggling with some of the same things too. I have more to say than I want to put in a comment. But I will say that I'm glad you're doing what you need to for you -- I'll miss your writing and I'll always be happy to have found you here.

lesleysmeshly said...

I too will miss you, miss your wonderful posts, miss reading about your adorable girls. I hope you find what you're missing!!

Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Good luck on your novel and garden!

bella said...

It is the season for hibernation, for letting things rest and the ground to fallow, for quieting. Whether you return here or not, write again or not, I sense a new life gestating in you. I honor your wisdom in knowing it is time to pull away from this and give yourself to other things and in other ways.
I am and will always be grateful for having experienced your words here and glimpsed into your life.
May you feel yourself at home wherever this new stage takes you.
Love to you.

InTheFastLane said...

I hope you find what you need during your break. Sometimes we have to take a few risks to get what we need. I will miss reading your posts.

Shelli said...

I can relate to what you are saying very much. It's difficult to make friends at my age. I'm living in Georgia - can't get much more conservative than that. And I have my own family around me, but I feel alien sometimes. Some good friends moved away too. I enjoy reading other voices like yours just to know that I'm not alone. But, no, blogging is not the same as having real friendships. Real connections. I have to keep that perspective. I also have to make sure that blogging doesn't interfere with more important obligations that I have. But it's still fun. Just plain fun. I truly hope that your break will give you what you need. It's a different era of your life. Perhaps you are having 'transitioning blues.' I have been there! But I do hope you'll come back. I enjoy your words very much. I wish you peace. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I want you to find your home, and I will wait.

Anonymous said...

I could have written your words ten times over ;) A sabbatical is always good...enjoy....I look forward to your sharing what you have 'learned' while away ;)

Michelle (the beartwinsmom) said...

I know how you feel about the Sims environment that blogging tends to lead us into. I hope you will return to blogging just because I love reading what you write. But, if you don't, I hope to pick up your novel at the nearest bookstore. (wink)

Seriously, I understand how hard it's been with trying to find a house and all the other stressors. It's time to take a much-needed break. You and your family will be in my prayers.

Hugs for you, and have a blessed holiday season and a fantastic 2008!

Candace & Anna said...

Awww sweety I am sorry you are struggling right now. However, it is a perfect time for a break. You can watch the wonder of your girls and recharge your spirit.

I think as we get older it is harder to make true friends. We are all so busy living our lives that it is hard to make that extra effort to truly bond. I have "friends" but most are more like acquantances. My childhood friends are a thing of the past because I live 2.5 hours away from them in a totally different lifestyle. Some days I think man I wish I had someone that I could really talk to about whatever. I worry that my "friends" will judge or give advice that I don't want to hear. Sometimes you just want a sounding board ya know. I am saying all of this so that you know that you are not alone.

Kasie @ ~The Art of Life~ said...

(((Hugs!))) Sometimes I don't comment because I just don't know how to put my thoughts into words without sounding silly. But I understand you. You have a way of writing that connects with the feelings of all Moms.
I hope you have a wonderful and calming Christmas with your family. I hope it refreshes and fills you with joy and peace. We'll miss you here, but we understand. :)

Bastet said...

I will miss reading your blog...but hope that some soul searching can help you find what void needs filled. Many best...and
Merry Christmas!

marta said...

Having only recently discovered your blog, it will be missed. But write that novel. Write a journal. Write something. You don't need us to comment, just do it. That disconnected feeling comes to us all and we all have to figure what to do while we're floating out here.

RocketMom said...

Connection. It's why we're here, is it not? And yet ... if I invite you over to my house on the spur of the moment for some tea and a change of scenery, chances are the logistics are overwhelming. Maybe it's easier to meet people online, where we can hide behind the keyboard, but ultimately we need to connect person-to-person. (If you get to the LA area anytime before we move, though, please look me up.)

Enjoy your break, and your family, and your garden, and those flesh-and-blood connections that we all need. I wish you all the best for the new year.

Shawn said...

Thank you everyone for your wonderful notes of wisdom and connection. It's nice to know that you get it. I will be back. Don't you worry. You can't rid of me that easily!

Candace & Anna said...

Just thought I would bounce back over here and wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Hope your break is helping you feel better!

Dana a/k/a Sunshine said...

Your post hit home...I am sorry you've been feeling like this...but I completely understand. I am ambivelent about my own blog. I love it, I really do...but I wonder sometimes if it is worth continuing. I also feel like so many of my blogger friends are my "real" freinds and I don't know, I just think it is hard to balance it all.

I do wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. I hope you don't give up blogging, but if you do - I completely understand.

I'll check back and good luck in whatever you decide! :)

storyteller said...

Although I'm new to blogging and will miss your insightful posts, the writing prompts that have introduced me to other bloggers, and the photos of those darling girls ... I do understand. Listening to the "still small voice within" always brings us to healthy decisions. I hope you'll leave your blog in place while you're on hiatus, for your breathing room offers me time to "catch up" on what you've offered before I arrived in this "virtual world" ... and I suspect others like me will be doing just that.

May 2008 bring peace, wonder, joy, balance, and the connections with others you so desire.
Hugs and blessings,