It’s funny how the more I have to write about, the less writing I do.
I don’t even want to think about how long it has been since I used this blog. A year? Two? Looks like my last post was a book review, exactly two years ago. Life and it’s funny coincidences.
Yes, I’ve been absent in more ways than one. Life went upside-down for a while, a succession of major setbacks and tragedies – some self-imposed, some the inevitable hand of fate. I’ve lost some people, and some purpose, and a sense of self. I’m starting back at zero in my life, which would have been a liberating sensation in my twenties, but now, honestly, leaves me feeling confused and displaced. Without any particular direction or responsibility, without the comfort of a family or the expectations of a career, having unlimited options really becomes a sort of paralysis – especially when you are well into adulthood, and are expected to have your shit together by now. I feel much too old to be a blank slate.
At the same time, I have such a greed for my time on earth, and for my potential, and for all of the possibilities in the world. I want to do everything, and I’m running out of time, which makes it feel impossible to pick a direction and stick to it. So, I end up doing almost nothing, which only compounds my restlessness and sense of failure. It has been hard to unravel this internal tangle, or to even find the motivation to explore it on the page. As a writer, I’ve never really been the “confessional” type (outside of sporadic journaling). For a while now, writing of any kind has seemed impossible, as I try to “figure out” the bigger issues looming in my mind. My productivity for this past year and a half has been almost nil.
But as they say, every day above ground is a good day. I’m getting my groove back, and since writing has always been my happy place, the revival of this blog is a useful step. These days I’m grasping almost blindly at new opportunities, and working on “self-improvement” – which for me mainly means getting enough calories, even if I have to force down two baked potatoes and a tuna sandwich before bed, and it means getting exercise, even if it means a bike ride at midnight through poorly-lit streets. And I’ve noticed how these minor things can boost me up, at least for a little while – and how that energy can be redirected. The sensation of doing something, however small, can be very good for a stagnant spirit.
I think the next item on my life’s immediate agenda, besides writing, is to travel again, domestically and abroad. The years that I spent traveling when I was a younger man were happy for me, and since I now have very little tying me down, perhaps it is the time to recapture that, to rediscover my place in the world. Heading into autumn, south seems the way to go. I think some camping down in the Smokies would be revitalizing. Maybe Central America – I hear Belize is nice. I’m looking at Spain in the spring. Anywhere. When things are getting too settled and muddy, you have to shake em up.