Laughing or crying
This is my 30th consecutive day of posting. And I'd like to thank you. I'd like to thank everyone who commented. I love the comments so very much. And I'd like to thank those of you who know me in real life who reached out to me to say how much you enjoy reading my blog.
The thing that I found very interesting, and very heartwarming, about all the comments I personally received over the past month, is that you all said pretty much the same thing. And that thing was this:
"It seems like whenever I read your blog, I am either laughing or crying."
I want to thank you for that. Because this blog is very real to me and very raw. When I set out to write a post, I usually have an idea about the topic I want to write about maybe a couple hours or occasionally a day or two in advance. And then I just sit down and it pours out of me. I go back and attempt to proofread, maybe fiddle with a little wording here and there, and then I post. I don't let this stuff percolate for a long time. Unless there are some extenuating circumstances, I just birth a post and throw it out there in one blast. And when I do that, I am giving you something intensely personal. Which feels like a pretty risky proposition. It is my choice to take that risk, but risky it remains.
Sometimes you see the shiny, sparkly stone glinting in the sun, and sometimes I flip it over and you see the dirt and worms underneath. They're both me. They're both real. And just like you, every day I'm either laughing or crying.
Since we moved away from The Woods, my life has changed a great deal. Not in terms of my relationships within my family, but definitely in terms of my own individual self. Quite frankly, I was something of a big fish in a little pond in The Woods. I was affirmed daily for all I gave to my community. Now I am anonymous, just another face, with zero investment or recognition in my community. It has been a very significant, and painful, identity shift.
When we first got here, I was overjoyed. Then I hit the skids. And now I feel like I'm leveling out. Which is good. I needed to level out. I am getting used to the anonymity, the differences in the way I am in touch with my loved ones back in The Woods, and the redefinition of who I am. This is a quieter, calmer me. If such a version of me can exist. My obligations are 100% family. I am no longer juggling family with work and volunteer endeavors and 8000 ancillary (and ultimately unimportant) personal obligations. Big K has now dropped a handful of jobs and a boatload of community-related obligations himself. This makes for a much quieter version of our family life. Really, it's what we ultimately moved to achieve. Focus. On our family.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not maligning or disparaging community involvement or working. I will of course return to those things in due time. But right now, I am turned inward. Completely. And now that I am moving through the grieving process as I say goodbye to those external things I was so invested in in The Woods--and the ways in which those things affirmed me personally--I am feeling a happiness and calm I haven't had in a very long time.
I believe that this month of blogging has helped bring me to that place. It has reminded me that I have value even when I don't leave the house. Because I can make you laugh. I can make you cry. And those elemental things are enough. I don't need to slice and dice myself and hand pieces out to all takers in order to justify my existence. I really can just stay home, take care of my family, make plans with my nearest and dearest friends and family, moonlight as someone whose voice is appreciated, and that is enough. It won't be enough forever, but right now it is enough. And it feels right right now.
So again I would like to thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for your emails and in-person feedback. Thank you for reminding me. Thank you.