The world still turns, even when it’s in lockdown, and there’s been much to say.
If only writing came as easily as it used to. The bulk of my entries have been a compulsion, a way to sort out thoughts and feelings when I had no one to talk to.
Then I started dating Heather — my first time cohabitating with a romantic partner — and suddenly had an outlet that was both accessible and validating1. It became easier to turn to her than find the words for a screen that never spoke back.
My time in therapy has also given me better emotional moderation; a skill to deal with the distress that comes from depression and trauma. Instead of spiraling into panic or rage, I’ve learned to embrace difficult feelings and let them pass through me. Scary thoughts and painful memories don’t control me the way they used to. A healthy trade for the loss of inspiration.
In that sense, I hold an evolving style and subject matter to be positive developments. After all, I began this blog almost 20 years ago. If I was filling the space with the same things as I was back then it would be an embarrassing sign I hadn’t grown at all. I imagine I’ll always have more things to say as long as I continue learning, even if the impetus is lacking.
It makes me wonder why others stopped blogging (or why they started in the first place). Checking my RSS feed is still a habit, but nowadays I’m left invariably disappointed and feeling more disconnected than ever. Social media has become too shallow for my tastes. Medium too impersonal. YouTube too obnoxious and ostentatious and increasingly commercial, with Twitch being even worse on all those counts.
And yet there’s relief to be found in the fact that no one knows I’m writing anymore2. This space is no longer sacred when I feel obliged to or inhibited by an audience. Self-imposed exile became an important step towards reclaiming the sense of control I’d lost. My story isn’t finished, and perhaps enough time away has given me the distance I need to be comfortable sharing myself again.