Today, I just feel worn out. I haven’t been blogging regularly for about five months, and there are a lot of reasons for that. I hoped that once I began to feel better physically (which I have), I might be ready to blog more. Instead, I found myself working on other writing projects. I focused on turning out some short stories, and I currently have two amazing beta readers working on the first draft of a novel. That left little room for the sort of blogging I used to do.
Another part of the problem was that I felt so burned out from the whole range of people doing any sort of “social justice” blogging. There are too many tender places where arguments left everyone raw and bleeding. Because of the type of person I am, I ended up doing a lot of emotional damage control and wound up caught in some of the crossfire. I only have so much energy, so I had to step away for the sake of my health.
The real issue, though, is that I just don’t feel like I have much to say these days. I’m not being sucked dry by vampire Christianity (you know, the sort that asks you to give every spare moment to some church-related activity, group or project). I’m not constantly fed harmful messages about my personhood or my body–or anyone else’s. I know someone will say that as long as those kinds of churches exist, it’s part of my duty to stand up against it. I agree, but I’m not sure I agree that blogging is the way for me to do it right now.
Mostly, I just feel burned out from life in general. Bone-tired. I’ve been a stay-at-home parent for more than ten years now, and it’s been more than five years since I graduated with my masters. I can say I’m a writer or a violinist or a Christian or whatever, but the fact is, when you’re a stay-at-home parent, your life becomes defined by the people around you. I’ve been WifeMommy for so long I don’t know what it’s like to be Not That. I don’t know where they end and I begin.
The truth is, I have no idea where I want to go or what I want to do. I know I never want to go back to working as a nurse (though I would if I had to), but that doesn’t mean I have any idea what I want. Part of the reason for my confusion is having been without any real goals for so long. I had them once, but they’ve all floated away while I poured myself into taking care of my family.
My words are gone. I can make up stories; that’s not so hard anymore. But the words I used to use are gone, dried up and withered. They are like mist, with no substance behind them as I once had. I don’t have a good explanation for it other than that I simply ran out of things to say and the desire to say them. It’s painful to admit, because at one time, that was how I pushed beyond being WifeMommy–I used my words.
I’m sure there are people out there who will now feel free to point their fingers and remind me that I chose both motherhood and staying home, so it’s my own fault. Or they may say I’m clearly not grateful enough for my children or something; I’ve seen that one before. That’s not it. I love my family. I just don’t love being defined by my relationship to them, and I don’t love being here all the time.
What I want is to have new adventures. Oh, not the climb-a-mountain or travel the world or go skydiving kind of adventures. Not even the road-trip-with-the-bestie kind of adventures. Just something fresh–a different view, a new perspective of the world. Something that belongs to me apart from my other roles.
In the meantime, I need a break. I need to put my ordinary life on pause and simply be away from having to take care of everyone else’s needs for a bit, even if it’s only a day or two. I’m going to find a way to make that happen.
I don’t know what that means for my writing, or at least for this blog. I suppose if I’m struck with inspiration, I’ll post something. I just can’t right now. I can’t force words that won’t come or ideas that have no substance. I’m not giving up, but I’m not willing to keep pushing something that isn’t working.
So that’s where I am. I’m glad I can share my journey with you all, and I hope that you don’t give up on me. I promise that when I find what I’m looking for, I will share it with the world. For now, thank you for being part of this phase of my life and may hope follow you wherever you go.