As the time draws near when I will be released from soon-to-be-no-longer commitments, and therefore able to dive headfirst into the new ones, I'm getting really antsy. Having leave to burn, I'm totally playing hooky from work today and this flagrant disregard for my final days at school has allowed me the time to actually just sit. Quietly. Alone. With less noise I'm rediscovering the flow of thoughts that bubble up from the back corners of my mind, and wow have I missed this.
I started to think about the things that I hold most important as foci (it's a real word - I looked it up) not just in my writing, but also in my life. Want to know what they are? Fine... gratitude, love, connections, lending strength, learning from pain so it was worth it, growing, home, open heart, open mind, and balance. Maybe I'll paint these words across a canvas and hang it in my new office, like those inspiration posters in corporate offices.
I've decided to play around a little with how I go about blogging, to be a bit more structured as I build a new writing routine. It seems the most popular blogs have a focus, a theme, something that they're actually about, instead of just the randomness that is mine. In the beginning I didn't want to restrict what this blog would be mostly because I didn't know what exactly I wanted it to be beyond an outlet, but I'm starting to see the benefits of order here. I want to continue to blog about our trips with the goal of letting my thoughts wander among the travel photos, but I also want to share things worth thinking about, worth sharing with people who may not know or be related to me.
The inspiration for my writing earlier in my life was always pain. The childhood of my Depression coincided with my actual childhood; we grew up together. My earliest stories weren't nearly as dark as they would inevitably become, but they lingered on the edge of a vengeful breed of redemption, telling tales of the girl who finally found her power, her strength. Because I didn't believe I had any, and she was always me. Stories of being rescued from certain doom morphed into melodramatic poetry during my teenage years, typical but nonetheless honest expressions of the feelings I didn't know what to do with. My anger manifested itself through violence on the page; my pain always taking the form of a girl who gained the upper hand. In adulthood when my battle with Depression took a turn and for the first time the truth outside of my head finally broke through the clouds, I panicked that I would never be able to write again because I was...happy. Where would I get that anxious itch to write if I wasn't growling inside? Somehow, I figured out that I was capable of writing outside of my Depression and thank all that is good for that. I found something that worked for me and my entire world shifted.
Fast forward to this past year, and I'd pretty much forgotten what it felt like to be me, the me before I woke up from the inward tug of sadness I'd lived with until I was twenty-four. For reasons I'll surely get into later, I instigated a shift in the management of her, my Depression, and began slipping back to a darker place. I recognized it instantly; I used to live there, after all. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't fun. But in recognizing this obvious shift, I was able to see just how far I'd come. I was reminded of who I used to be, how I used to function, and how grateful I am to know what it feels like to climb out of that place. You know how sometimes you can't see something for what it is until you get some distance from it? Or how you never notice how dark that spot on the wall really is until someone holds something white up next to it? I wrote about it while in the throes of emotional surges and the things I realized had a profound impact. That's when I decided that I needed to write about my journey, my relationship with Depression. I toyed with the idea of starting another blog, writing anonymously to allow for total freedom when it came to the details that might make those I love uncomfortable (or the parents of the children I worked with, for that matter), but I think it's best to remain honest and open about things like this, things that we are still afraid of discussing openly because of the stigma attached.
There is an amazing woman by the name of Jenny Lawson (otherwise known as The Bloggess - http://thebloggess.com), and during this resurrection of my old self, she shared something on her blog about her own relationship with Depression. I connected immediately with her story, her struggle, her words, and I was moved to share my own story. Because it made me feel so much better, so much more normal to read her words on the subject, couldn't mine do the same for someone else? Breaking the silence begins with one, but carries on with many, and I think I'm ready to step into this. So one series, if you will, I'd like to begin here will focus on this bitch of an animal called Depression, and I will attempt to navigate my way through past experiences, things I learned about myself, and how I live with it now in the hopes that my words will touch someone else going through something similar. And maybe they'll feel a little less alone, and maybe they'll make a different choice for themselves. I've played with titles a lot (when I was planning to make a separate blog for it) but that's still in the works. How will I treat Depression? My evil twin? The broken part of myself in need of love, or the angry little monster in need of conquering? Not sure yet, but stay tuned for that series.
Another series I'm considering developing here is one that focuses on the biggest heartbreak of my life - and I'd rather not say 'so far'. One like this was enough. I don't think there is enough attention given to relationships outside the romantic realm that have just enough power to maim and scar us, if not more. The idea for this came about when I heard the song "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye on the radio for the first time a few months ago. The lyrics reached straight into my chest and clenched around my heart painfully, and it was then that I realized I wasn't done dealing with my heartbreak of losing my best friend. I've started stories in years past about this particular experience, of her, but always walked away from them, unsure of their direction. I began making notes about what I lost at the end of that relationship and what I wanted to keep. I let my pen wander with my thoughts across the paper and explored feelings of resentment and sadness still lingering after several years, and decided it was time to exorcise this ghost and let it go. How to go about this? One idea is to recount stories of meaningful times, the moments I hold dear in my past, and consciously steer myself away from discussing the hurt that ended our friendship. Perhaps focusing on the good and not allowing the sour end to ruin what is worth holding onto will result in some sort of closure, for I surely got none from her. Perhaps this exploration of a relationship I no longer have will allow me to let it go. Separating the person from the experience, something I think many people can relate to regardless of the nature of the relationship. It may have taken years, but if I was finally able to let go of my first heartbreak and realize that who he was to me has nothing to do with who he really is, then maybe I can do the same with her.
The point of these two yet unnamed series will be to help myself deal and learn and grow, and to share my experiences so that maybe someone else who sees their own self in my words will find something of use there. Entertainment or perhaps a different perspective.
Another new feature I hope to weave into this blog is publicity when publication happens for me. (You must think and speak positively to encourage it to happen!) Not that there are thousands of people reading, but hey, you're important to me and if it happens, I want you to know!
Now that some worthwhile thoughts and ideas have bubbled into an outright spring, I feel better. Recharged. Ready to go.
One more week.