If you follow my blog or social media, you may have noticed that the past few months have been relatively quiet. Where have I been?
The answer is…I’m not sure.
I know that after 7 years of blogging, 8 years since the first publication of Spit That Out, and more than a year of living under the Trump administration, my advocacy and activism were struck with an intense case of “outrage fatigue.”
I’d become mentally exhausted and dealing with chronic physical illness. I’m still sorting out the best treatment for my CVID, a selection of not-great options that leave me feeling worse for stretches of time. The book deal on social activism I was working on fell through – which was just as well, because I no longer had the passion to keep writing it (what I’ve done will likely appear here eventually as a series of blog posts). I lost a business partnership. Potential client contracts fell through.
If I’m being honest, I stopped giving a damn about whether I should rinse out a peanut butter jar to recycle it. I ordered Diet Coke at dinner more than once. I got a gel pedicure.
When people asked me my opinion on the horrific news of the day, I just shook my head.
I started listening to more music. I blew the dust off my guitar and started recording again for an audience of no one. I took a deep dive into what personal fulfillment meant to me and found some difficult answers. I started going out more. I drank more than I should. I watched a lot of Netflix. I spent hours laying in a hammock staring at the sky.
Was I losing myself or finding myself? I still don’t know the answer to that.
I know that when they started putting children in cages I could no longer be silent.
But, truly, I don’t know what I’m going to do next.
I’m almost 40. Call it a mid-life crisis.
If I have another book in me, the subject matter will likely be drastically different. I still want to work in activism and advocacy – I just don’t know what form that will take.
I’d been feeling a lot of guilt about this aimless wandering. But a trusted, highly successful career coach friend made me feel miles better when she told me it was OK to take a “sabbatical.” I had been working so hard for so long – on my career, my family, my home, my outreach, my passions. Don’t get me wrong – I still work, I still have clients (thank goodness!). It’s just a lot less.
My children are both in elementary school now. I’m going to keep working to create a better world for them. I’m going to try to take care of myself so that I can be the parent they need. I want to be a good friend, a good partner, a good businesswoman, a good person. But right now I have to figure out what I need to sustain me.
I honestly have no idea how to find it and don’t think any zen retreats or meditation is the answer. I can think and talk myself in circles. But I have to believe it will find me. And when it does, I’ll let you know.