Hiatus. Pause. Break. Interlude. Respite.
Those are the dressed up “on paper” reasons I haven’t been here for so long.
Fear. Reluctance. Self-consciousness. Laziness. Perfectionism.
These are the more honest reasons why it has been over two years since I have sat in front of this computer and allowed the confined thoughts packed tightly inside my head an opportunity to stretch their legs and meet the page.
After a couple of years of writing, I questioned what, if anything, I had left unsaid. I became concerned that I was being narcissistic in thinking that anyone really cared about my thoughts and insights. Add to that, I actually saw – in person! – the people who read my blog. I’m not much of a Facebook participant for this reason and now, real people I knew and saw regularly had a glimpse into some of my innermost thoughts and musings. I grew fearful.
I also got lazy. It takes time to write these posts, bad photography and all. Sure, I could be more concise, but in addition to not always being able to hold my tongue, being lousy at yoga and not being able to stay up past 10:00, brevity is not my strong suit.
And then there’s the promotion aspect. What is a blog if no one reads it? What is a blog if no one reads it? There lay the niggling question that has led me to be typing right now on this rainy morning.
For whom do we write?
When I set out to do this blog a few years ago, I wasn’t completely truthful in the why of its impetus. Sure, I have a lot of thoughts to share, sure I love (ok looove) my dog and all things related, and I really really love living on this little island in Puget Sound. But in truth, I started writing this for my daughter and for me.
In 2012 when I started Little Blue Journal, my daughter was four years old. Any parent who has already been through the early childhood years knows that while you may be the center of a four-year old’s universe, they will scarcely remember what they did that day in preschool let alone the wise and well chosen words you whispered into their little ears as you tucked them into bed the previous night, hoping those same words would be retrievable at some key moment in their adulthood.
I was afraid of being forgotten. What if something happened to me? What if I never had the chance to share with my little girl all of my big and little thoughts on life? What if all she got was what the world told her – that life is all about achievement and striving and being more than and better than? What if no one ever told her of the importance in finding balance with the opposite of those traits – reflection, slowing down, noticing, and being good enough as she is?
That is the other reason I started this blog. I write for my daughter, so that she will know who she is, but also and perhaps slightly more importantly, I write for myself, to remind me that I have things to say.
Earlier this week I went to Seattle to see the writer, Elizabeth Gilbert, do a talk on creativity. There were many gems in her talk, but one of my favorites was when she was talking about all of the enemies of one’s creative expressions and listed my own personal nemesis: perfectionism. She urged all 1500+ of us to at some point in our creative endeavors: let go of that notorious murderer of all things good enough and “be a highly disciplined half-ass.” The key was to regularly commit to the creative act, but to at some point put down the pen (or paintbrush, or oven mitts, or guitar) and say: this is good enough, and walk away. Take that, perfectionism.
So again begins my journey in all its importance and irrelevance, my attempts to make sense of things, to sometimes get at the heart of things, to sometimes say them well, and sometimes not – but to say them.
Here’s to all of my fellow half-asses out there, showing up, putting it out there, trying hard and then walking away. 13th century poet Rumi once said: out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.
This is going to be fun.
That’s her, Elizabeth Gilbert. This isn’t just my bad photography skills – she looked overexposed and undefined to me all night from where I was sitting. Then again, I think it was Elizabeth Gilbert…
Because I promised there would be gratuitous dog photos.