Posted by: scintillatingspeck | December 31, 2008

Why I haven’t been posting in months.

Someone recently left a comment on my blog asking, “Why haven’t you posted anything since July?” This comment was from someone I didn’t know. He said that he liked my writing and invited me to check out his website.

I was incredibly moved by this comment, and it has caused me to break through certain barriers to post again. It was simple and short, but carried a powerful message: some people actually believe I have something worthwhile to say. Some people are actually wondering why my blog has been growing dusty with lack of use. And someone, a stranger to me, went right ahead and asked, why?

I want to answer why. I want to answer because even one pair of eyes will make this blog redeemable.

I have been going through a difficult time. It can be hard for me to identify the past few months as “difficult” because there have been periods of my life that were much more dramatically difficult, obviously difficult. But truly, 2008 and especially the latter half of it have been occasions for serious tooth-gnashing.

For starters there is the larger context of our crazy world… I am trying to see the silver lining, in that I hope the insane and destructive elements of industrial culture are in their death throes, but I do hope it won’t take everything I consider beautiful and worthy along with it. Do I really need to explain this? You do all see what’s happening now, right?! I guess it’s still disheartening to me that in the midst of economic/energy/ecological troubles, clear and obvious troubles, there are still people who refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation.

Then on a more personal level, there is my husband’s employment situation. He does not want me to write about it, so I won’t, but let’s just say it isn’t good and is a source of enormous stress to us both.

Then there’s the small matter of parenting a toddler and wanting desperately to do a good job at it, and often not being certain what that means, and feeling quite certain that sometimes it takes acts of resistance, large and small, that other people do not understand. My experience has been that being a parent today is opening one’s self up to criticism no matter what one chooses. I wish I could say that I have felt consistently supported as a parent, buoyed by family and friends and community, but the truth is I have often felt incredibly alone.

And there is the most crucial decision that we made a few months ago: we will not continue to live at Rocky Hill Cohousing. We do not know yet where we will go. We are trying to figure it out and there are no blueprints to follow. All we have determined is that probably we need to share a home with people, rather than live with just our nuclear family in one house; we need to feel like we have a core group of people who we see daily or near-daily; and we want to pursue a life based on sustainable agriculture/permaculture.

I believe most of my Rocky Hill neighbors have heard this news through the grapevine already, but if you are a Rocky Hill neighbor learning this for the first time, and want to know more, I invite you to knock on our door and talk to us. I have decided that I will not discuss the decision to leave Rocky Hill via email or other ways that can be so easily misconstrued, and I will also not discuss it in a large group meeting. So if you are a neighbor wanting more information, you will need to talk to us face to face. All I will say is that, ultimately, this is not about any individual(s) or particular interpersonal conflicts at Rocky Hill.

But all of the preceding reasons are merely an accounting of external events. They do not address the deeper reasons why I haven’t been posting to this blog, the fears that have kept me from writing.

What am I afraid of? I am afraid of being deeply misunderstood. I am afraid of harsh judgment and feeling exposed. I am afraid of opening my heart to a faceless readership who might attack what I have to say, or that no one will care enough to read what I have to say. I am afraid of my own vulnerability.

Recently I noticed that a blogging friend had taken me off of her list of blogs that she finds interesting. I think, possibly, that she had done it originally out of a sense of obligation, since I find her blog interesting. Or it could be that my blog was not in keeping with the theme of the other blogs she listed. In any case, when I saw that I had been deleted, I felt bad. I thought, “Of course she deleted me. My blog is stupid. I never post to it anymore. The blog has died.” It made me want to become a bitter ex-blogger, burning with words that had to remain unexpressed.

Then I received the comment asking “Why haven’t you been posting?” This made me think, maybe my blog is worthy of resuscitation. Or maybe I can at least offer some words of explanation.

Either way, I am troubled by how much my self-esteem rises and falls on the responses of others. It’s always easy for others to say, “Oh, you just shouldn’t care what other people think.” I don’t know how to explain how important it is to me what other people think. I am still trying to be true to myself and live in alignment and integrity with my highest truth, AND I care very much what other people think. It is also easy for people to say, “Don’t be so sensitive,” or “You need to develop a thicker skin,” or similar things. I have long ago resigned myself to the fact that if I were to somehow become less sensitive or more thick-skinned, I probably wouldn’t be me anymore.

My sensitivity and thin-skinnedness seems to be compounded by isolation and communicating with others largely through electronic devices. This makes me seriously question whether blogging is a good idea for me. I want to spend time with people face to face, in the flesh. I want to be outside much more. I want to touch plants and trees. I want to make things with my hands. One of the reasons I am so madly in love with my child is because she is so utterly corporeal, delighted with her own body. She is all soft hair and baby skin and sweet dimples and loveliness. I want to be as grounded in my body as she is in hers. I want to be with other embodied people– much as I love the internet, and email, and the wide vistas of opportunities to meet other people and ideas that they open, they still offer only disembodiment unless people are willing to take the next step.

There is more to say, but the hour is getting late, and I want to post this before I change my mind.

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Responses

  1. Jen, your blog is wonderful. It’s honest, complex, compelling, and beautifully written. I think you should consider writing a book at some point on your quest for a life lived in alignment with your values.

    On the topic of people telling you that you’re too sensitive, I’m reminded of something Jacquie G. from our old covenant group used to say: “I’m too sensitive by whose standards?” Having had plenty of that comment directed my way in my life time, I found Jacquie’s comment a helpful way to reframe those situations and give my feelings legitimacy.

  2. Lovely! Thank you for your courage- it is inspiring!

    p.s. I just began a journey in yoga teacher training in Embodyoga – – if you want to trade services i would be happy to help you with embodiment:-)
    pregnancy and childbirth can make us yearn for it.

    R:-) call anytime

  3. The blog is back! It’s back…
    My new year’s resolution is not to be so shy… so instead of assuming your blog was dead, I also should have told you how very much I’ve loved your writing and how much I’d urge you to continue. You are such a deep thinker, it is humbling to read your words. I don’t mean this in a self-depricating way, but it makes me feel like a relatively shallow human being sometimes, when I realize how many things there are that I could be thinking about (and you are).
    I’m glad you’re back, and I’m sorry for the assumption (and subsequent quite recent deletion!)
    xox
    Love
    Carol

  4. Nancy, how do you always find the right words to say to me? Were we meant to be friends? Did some benevolent spirit arrange for us to meet, thinking, those two will be able to offer the right words to one another?

    Rachel, thanks for offering help with embodiment… I think I would like to take you up on that.

    And Carol, seeing your comment filled me with joy. I still must vehemently disagree that you are relatively shallow by comparison. That is just not true. You have amazing insights and reflections all the time! I know this because you write at least some of them down in your blog. I am impressed with your New Year’s resolution and would like to resolve the same. In fact, I may have a whole new blog post brewing about the topic of shyness, desire to connect, desire to minimize emotional pain, and vicious cycles. Carol, thank you for your open heart.

  5. Jen, I had no idea you had a blog, but you can thank the wonder that is FB. Having started a blog last year I very much identify with many of your concerns regarding pooring your heart out. And, I commend you for having the drive to continue to do so…

    I also completely understand your desire to have more of a daily connection — extended family style for your living situation. I have been wishing for such an experience since I was a child. I used to want 8 kids to make my own extended family, but for numerous reasons now realize that is not wise.

    In fact so many things that you say ring true and although it has been 10 years since I lived near by — it makes me think that some how someday we’ll live nearby once again. Perhaps I am silly, but I have yet to meet anyone else quite like you and Tom!

    Thanks for blogging and know that you are added to my RSS feed!


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