What happens when one becomes a virtual voyeur? No longer creating any of their own. No words slowly culminating as a book. No lines of a poem. No yoga sequences. No playlists. Nothing for themselves. Is that how to disappear? Without the expression, the emotions, the details, the vague high-level overview, the anything, it all gets stuck inside. I’d imagine the result to be a tornado in a bottle. The mixture, however, is slow pouring concrete, blended to the color of my hair in the winter, like thick oil paint in the hue of ennui.
I am not without purpose, ever the diligent worker, I find joy in my day-to-day responsibilities. In quiet moments, I see myself through my son’s eyes. A completely inescapable lens. “Just be happy, Mom,” he offers. “I’m working on it, bud,” I say, hoping those words ring true for each of us.
“When death finds you, may it find you alive,” an African proverb that has taken residence behind my eyeballs and refuses to leave. Referring to may death find me living my life in my own full colors. Whatever that means for me. I get goosebumps imagining the possibilities. I am not sure who I think I’m benefitting from living in the shadows. Keeping my joy and love and discoveries hidden has only led to experiencing grief and discomfort and loss alone. Coming to terms with the idea that only I, me, this broad right here, is responsible for my happiness has been liberating and terrifying, and a lesson I think I will continue to learn over and over again.
A story I told myself, and perhaps still do at times, is blogging (or whatever this is), is no longer for me. I was never quite comfortable with “partnering” with anyone for anything. I don’t take nice pictures. I’m not here for the stats. I think about seventh grade me, freezing in an unheated room, typing away with cold fingers, postulating on how shaving my legs is like living life. Sticking my hands between my thighs between thoughts for warmth. Poor grammar. Song lyrics. Naming names with reckless abandon.
Sometime after moving to Nashville, I came up with a veritable list of reasons of why I would stop blogging. The blogger world had changed so much. I bowed out of the one thing I knew I loved to do daily. I took myself out of a self-perceived race like I have so many times before in life. They can’t take something away from you that you’ve already given up. Like my son chucking a tree branch as he runs away before anyone can snatch it from him. Except no one’s chasing me and I’m supposed to have this branch, but I needed to learn that for myself.
Part of this journey is knowing and trusting myself. There will be no declarations or lofty goals. I cannot even commit to a seven-day yoga Instagram challenge. It is like something misfires in my brain when I commit to anything. The accountability of publicly declaring something holds no bearing on me. My rebel spirit won’t allow it. This is for me. When I started writing, there was no question around why or for what. I had not internalized that sort of transactional line of thinking yet. It just was. Two decades later, my heart is still there, just waiting for my thinking mind to take a day off.