There's a lot I could go into with that statement--most of which I should probably tell a shrink. Essentially it comes to circumstances and believing that if they were different than they are now, or at least if they could be what they once were, then I'll be okay again. It's a false hope, and staying on that road will only lead to a lifetime of never ending unhappiness. I know this, and yet, it still hard to fight thoughts the contrary.
While talking to my wife about it she finally asked the question I've found difficult to ask myself--What would make you happy?
"I don't know," I replied.
She helped me hobble through a list of possibilities that sounded reasonable, but that also felt impossible at the same time, like the book I've been working on ...that's stalled beyond its deadline. Again, I blamed circumstances--something about no time to write on the weekends anymore because of all the kids' social activities and whatnot.
It's funny, though. Of all the things my wife and I talked about that once did make me happy, being a regular dad blogger is one item I never would have guessed would be on my list. It used to be such a big part of my life, bigger than I realized at the time.
If that was the case, then why did I walk away from it? There were a few reasons. One, I was hired to work full time at my current job which meant giving up all of the writing gigs I was a part of. Two, I started feeling like my writing had turned stale compared to the fresh new dads who were coming onto the scene. Worse still, I felt my writing was contrived; it was becoming too easy to make myself look like some great dad when in reality I was becoming more distant from my children because of work.
Finally, and probably the biggest reason I quit, was that I didn't think I had anything more to say. My story had always been about being a stay-at-home to my stepdaughters while trying to find a way to reunite with my sons who lived hundreds of miles away. That story ended last May when the stars aligned, allowing us to leave Texas and be altogether as a family. The end.
But it's not the end. I just thought it was which is why I figured I wouldn't miss being a dad blogger anymore--one who posted on a regular basis, offered viable input to the community, and did what he could to support other bloggers. I thought that given my new set of circumstances I would be too busy to care. I'm starting to believe I was wrong.
As I stood in the shower this morning, it dawned on me that my story isn't over, it has only changed. There are new challenges to face--teaching my boys to be good men, helping my stepdaughters deal with being away from their father, and dealing with my own demons which have been raging more than usual.
Blogging once made me sit up and pay attention to what was happening in my life. Without it, I feel like life is drifting by unnoticed. I don't mean to sound dramatic, but I see now how essential blogging is for me. And when I talk about blogging, I mean the real stuff--stories, reflection, good writing, authenticity--not all the accolades attention, events, and so forth. (Those things have their place, but it's not what it's about.)
Blogging means more to me than I've been willing to admit. I miss it, and I miss the community. As I've thought about this more throughout the morning, it's become evident that, despite present circumstances, I need to keep up with blogging if for nothing else than just myself.