Yes, despite all evidence to the contrary, I am still alive. No promises, but for the moment I’m back, if tentatively. If I stick around this time, I’m also hoping to give the design a makeover–at the very least change the colors–but there’s no point in waiting for that before starting to write again.
In an email to another blogger, I explored a little the potential reasons I’d stopped–though, admittedly, I don’t know that any of them are really responsible, or that there even was any specific cause or causes. Self-doubt, laziness, inertia, life events, weariness and despair at the current shambles the current administration has made of our freedom and civil liberties, other interests and old patterns of behavior (near obsession with a hobby followed by complete disinterest) certainly contributed, but mostly the journal seemed to lose its purpose and personal relevance; I had started writing here not for an audience (though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like having one, however small), but almost more as a means of relatively cheap personal therapy, in which I was able to indulge in an honest and relatively unfettered disclosure of my thoughts and feelings.
Over the months, though, as family and co-workers stumbled across the site and some began to let me know that they looked for it daily, I began to feel more and more constrained from disclosing what I might really think or feel, and in one case even going back and deleting posts in which I’d made unfavorable comments about my job or my co-workers (at the same time realizing that my opinions and impressions often had dramatically changed since the original posts). As I began to spend as much time second-guessing, editing, or altogether eliminating content as I was writing it in the first place, this journal began to feel less safe, less wholly mine, less and less personally useful or redeeming, and more of a frustrating, meaningless repetitive chore.
To be fair, the impact wasn’t all negative. While knowing that my partner reads my blog may mean that I’m less willing to speak completely openly about our relationship, if not for this blog I’d never have met, dated and fallen in love with Jeff in the first place. And my life is immeasurably richer for his presence and involvement in it. My blog also reconnected me with former friends and out-of-touch family members, and introduced me to a whole world of wonderful new friends and acquaintances.
I think, at least, that I’ve finally grieved and accepted the death of my blog’s original intent and incarnation, and perhaps now can move on to envisioning its rebirth. I don’t know yet, though, what form such a revival might take, if any at all. It might be that this was the full natural lifespan of this particular creative endeavor, having reached its inevitable conclusion.