I haven’t written anything consistently in a long time and I while it’s super easy to blame work, I realize now that what really stopped me was fear. I was afraid that blogging had become passe unless you were a self-care (fka wellness) guru, an aspiring Food Network host (That said, Molly Yeh’s Girl Meets Farm is the shit,) or not a regular mom, but a cool momfluencer (fka mommy blogger.) Otherwise, why bother blogging when you can be an Instagram influencer or YouTube star?
Seeing as I don’t have kids (can’t work the mommy angle,) I don’t believe people need a novella of how I came to love baking gluten free cookies from scratch before reading the recipe/I’m not telegenic at all (so I will probably never be a baker on or judge of or host of the Food Network’s Great Gluten Free Baking Championship,) and my attempt at being a wellness blogger bombed as I probably had the worst concept imaginable (Getting Fine at 29! I cringe just typing that…) I really felt lost. Add to the fact that things have changed in digital media since my days of writing for start ups. Women owned media sites are either disappearing or being bought by huge companies. So where did that leave me? Only writing when grief got the best of me?
Strangely, it was a social media “challenge” that inspired me to get back in the groove. I look at that picture of me from 10 years ago when I had no portfolio. My laptop got destroyed by a leaky air conditioner and it was pre-Cloud so I was fucked. I pushed ahead anyway. I did free work. I did editorial internships. I fought a shady editor over $20 from my first paid assignment. I started a blog from scratch called Celebrity Lit Club where I reviewed celebrity memoirs. This all led to networking which got me to the point where I was writing for various sites. My self confidence was through the roof, and I felt like things were coming together.
Then the worst thing that could ever happen happened and completely blew my world apart. I tried for about a year to rush getting back to normal. It blew up in my face and I realized that I had to stop. I had to process. It was not a quick process, because life did not stop with the “tests.” More family death, family illness, moving, new jobs, feeling further and further away from everything as I have friends and relatives that are parents, spouses and homeowners while I’m trying not to have a complete nervous breakdown. There would be some calmness, where I felt like I was finally beginning to take my life back, but then a new, all consuming thing would show up and I’d have to take care of it. It had been about ten years of this, and I was defeated.
About two months ago, I found out my position at work was being eliminated. Of course I was shocked and annoyed that yet another big thing was about to take over my life. Then, I realized that not all big events are not necessarily bad. I had to shift my perspective. This was not a punishment or a test. I was being given a gift– the opportunity to take my life back, the one thing I have wanted for years. To be a more adult version of the girl from ten years ago that started from scratch. So, as of right now, I have no real theme outside of “unemployed at almost 35 and trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy.” All I know is right at this very second, I need to go to bed. I can’t bounce back from super late nights as easily as I did 10 years ago.