Breathing my own air
It's a lovely post. And it made me realize something: I'm jealous. I have a job I love, but I've been there for seven years now. Almost exactly seven years this month, in fact. And while I still get a kick out of starting new programs and doing interesting stuff, I've been breathing my own air there for quite a while.
The first few years were hard; I didn't quite know what I was doing and was always scrambling to keep up, plus I felt I had to prove myself so I was always starting new projects that turned out to be tons more work than I'd bargained for.
By the time I was starting to get a handle on the job, I had a baby at home, then a toddler. That was all the novelty I could handle for a while, and it was beyond interesting. But now I no longer have a baby at home. Or a toddler. Or even a preschooler.
Having an older kid has affected this blog, too. A month or so ago, MG was telling me something totally fascinating that she likes to pretend, and I went for the computer and asked, interview-style, "what is that you do again?" And she got a panicked look and ordered, "Don't blog about that!" It hit me that she's not as bloggable-about as she was a year ago: not only is she more and more like a regular third person in the house (albeit an exceptionally adorable person) and less like a cute unpredictable little creature, but she's more self-conscious, more private. I feel more constrained in writing about her now that she's older.
So: work isn't interesting enough to write about, at least the un-dooce-able parts, and MG is more and more off-limits. And the truth is, work and MG are the biggest chunk of my life right now. So what on earth can I write about?
I've been writing this blog and reading others' blogs for long enough to know that things go in cycles: people take a break, officially or just de facto, and then come back when they've got new things to tell about. Sometimes things go on about the same for a while, and it gets kind of boring. Just like real life.
It strikes me that this is just a long-winded way of saying "I got nothin'," and that might be. I'm not quitting, and not even planning to scale back, or at least I wasn't before I opened up this screen. I just started writing with the idea of putting down what I'm thinking, right here, right now.
I've also been thinking about why I do this, write this blog. I started doing it just to have a forum for writing--I missed writing so much--and a way to connect with other people. And I've been doing both of those things. So...now what? I've seen other bloggers use their sites as a jump-off point for activism, new careers, community, paying writing gigs. Me, I'm still plugging along. I've made a few good friends through blogging, but ultimately it's frustrating to not get to ever see them in person or beyond the blogging forum; it's like knowing people only through the cafeteria and never seeing them anywhere else. And I think about gathering up some of what I've written here and putting it into something more cohesive, something I can send out. But I don't seem to have the structure or self-discipline to do that. Blogging feels like the start of community, but not sufficient in itself.
It's fall. It's dark when I drive home, dark when I get up. We don't see our neighbors much these days. We stay home and light fires in the fireplace. People are hunkering down, and I seem to be, also. Maybe I can just accept that.