For the last few weeks, as I finally launched my brand new career as an Occupational Therapy student, I had a lot to think about. Making new friends among the twenty-five other OT students in my class, figuring out how on earth I was going to stay on top of all of my readings, assignments, quizzes, tests, & meetings, how I was going to eke out some time to work out, & the list goes on & on (and on, further than you could ever imagine).
You always think you’re ready for these life transitions. You daydream. You make “schedule proposals” in your journal. You make plans. You make promises to yourself & others.
And then, you begin the transition. And suddenly, nothing looks at all the way you imagined it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a startling, unnerving, un-tethering thing. Suddenly, your proposed schedules are so far off point that you may as well run them through the shredder, along with your sanity. Suddenly, you are busier than you could have ever imagined. Suddenly, you arrive home at five o’clock, & you have no idea where the whole day has gone. Suddenly, one day passing feels like an entire week. Suddenly, you are on a rollercoaster each day: at the peaks, you (figuratively) scream out,
I CAN DO THIS.
And you believe it. In the valleys, you wonder to yourself,
How will I ever accomplish all of this?
And you are genuinely concerned.
Through all of these feelings of excited chaos, there was one thing that kept running through my mind. One thing that had absolutely nothing to do with OT school. Amidst the quizzes stressed about & taken, the homework assignments tapped out in wavering confidence… It was there, probing, annoying, begging to be answered.
How will I blog through all of this?
To most people, I’m sure those closest to me included, this seems a bit of an inane worry.
Who cares about blogging? You are on the cusp of a new career.
They might be saying. And I know it’s true.
But there is something that blogging does for me, that it has been doing for me for over 12 years. It gives me something that is completely my own. A creative outlet. A way to express myself. A way to save my life for all posterity. A way to scrapbook. A way to reflect. A way to make everything feel special.
That is what blogging – at its simplest core – has always meant to me.
But how am I to continue this practice, with the mountainous to-do lists I now have teetering & tottering on my psyche each day? How will I make the time?
The answer: I will simplify this space.
No more “series” in which I will attempt to tell myself what I am to write about that day. No more scheduled monthly favorites or empties. No more scheduled editions of The Sunday Currently. No more telling myself when a post MUST go up into cyberspace. No more being so serious about it. No more attempts to convince myself that I need to make money off of my blog. No more feeling inadequate if I don’t.
No more schedules and pressures, in short.
This blog, from this point forward (well, as far forward as I can see right now, which is about a day & a half, truth be told), will just be… Me. A collection of photos & memories & thoughts & questions.
This way, when I am struck with that feeling to share (which happens a lot), when I am struck by the beauty – sadness – wonder of something, I know I will have somewhere to put it out into the universe, where like-minded or un-like-minded people may take it in & do with it what they will.
For the longest while, I was struggling with where this blog was going to go. I was having a bit of an existential crisis:
Why do we share things on the Internet?
I wondered to myself (and aloud to my closest people).
Why am I sharing that photo on Instagram? What am I trying to prove? Who am I trying to be? Who am I trying to impress? At my core, I realized I didn’t want to do ANY of those things through social media, not really. When I did do it, I got really caught up in it, wanting my life to appear perfect & beautiful & just-so. But the emptiness that ends up consuming you when you go down that road – it’s unbearable, like an ache that simply will not go away.
And the only way I knew how to take myself out of that virtual race was to really cut back on posting anything on the Internet. My Twitter account went silent. Days passed between Instagram posts. Suddenly, I remembered what it felt like to simply be myself. And it felt wonderful.
Slowly, I started sharing again. Slowly, I figured out what I truly, when I was completely honest with myself, wanted to put out into the virtual world. Slowly, I figured out that I could share, without it changing who I was, what my goals were, & what my ideals & morals & wishes were.
So, that brings me back to this space, where I will share exactly what I feel. Exactly what I love. Exactly what makes me sad, excited, melancholy, & overwhelmed. The only thing I know completely is myself, and that is a growing relationship I’m trying to nurture daily.
I’m not trying to sell anything. I’m not trying to make myself appear perfect, wonderful, relevant, or in-the-know. I just can’t do it anymore. I just don’t want to do it anymore.
What I do want to do: provide comfort to anyone who may derive comfort from my images or words. Inspire those who may feel the same way as I do, to live their best lives & to remember that putting their best foot forward each day is enough. Remind everyone that things & life & love & photos & your house don’t have to be perfect at every living moment. We’re all in this big race called life together. And just being is enough. Just sharing is enough. There doesn’t have to be some ulterior motive behind each post. Just sharing the joy you felt – through a photograph and a few words – is enough.
I feel that if I don’t restrain myself, I could sit at this laptop & type for three hours (at the least) on this subject. But I also feel as though I’ve fully expressed myself in these 1096 words (give or take).
The key to blogging through school (and for years after that, hopefully) is simple: it lies in simplifying. Being true to myself. Writing what I know. Writing what is true within me.
And really, didn’t I always know that?