I haven't blogged in long awhile. In large part because I didn't feel like I had anything interesting to say.
Well, maybe not in large part, but that's definitely part of it.
The other part of it is...
Kiersten White (who is a fabulous YA author & all around neat person, if you're not familiar) once said she keeps the best parts and the worst parts of her life private - the in between things is what she shares with friends and readers in the public forum.
And that made total sense to me. Everybody needs to decide for themselves how much they want to share with other people, be it in real life or online, whether ten people follow your blog or a million. And I've been trying to find that balance for myself.
But blogging has gotten in harder for me because I don't really know how much of myself I want to share, how much of my life I want to talk about. As of late, I've mostly tried to keep it my books or general pop culture. Stuff that I think people interests people the most.
But then some things happened this summer. In July, my life became busier with good things (one of which was my new puppy Isley, who I totally intended postings pics and a blog about because she was/is so cute, it's not even fair). Then August, life took a different turn, one that ended up being much darker, and really I didn't want to blog about any of it.
But then to blog about other things felt disingenuous. It still does feel that way to me. Being anything other than myself - whether that's happy or sad or excited or insane - feels fake to me. But sometimes, I think I'd rather not be seen. I'd rather keep myself to myself, and in the interim, I don't want to post happy blogs reminding you that my books are out and you totally buy them (even though they are out, and you totally should buy them).
It's been hard for me to be me lately, I guess. That sounds so pretentious and existential, but I don't know how else to define it.
Being me - much like being literally any person on the entire planet - has always had its ups and downs. But now it feels like I'm not entitled to downs. So many things in my life have worked out so well and I've been afforded more opportunities than most people that it feels unfair and unjust for me to complain or ever feel any unhappiness about anything ever again.
This past year has been very a difficult year for me personally. I've struggled with my own mortality and reevaluated my life, my career, and everything about myself, trying to figure who I am and who I want to be and what I want to accomplish before I die. It forced me to face some very hard truths and make some very big changes, which even when they're good are still terrifying. I have had some truly amazing joys this year, but also some incredible heartbreaks that I'm still dealing with. And then I've had bouts of anxiety and depression that happen without any just cause, as well as bouts of anxiety and depression that do have some just cause.
I've always tried to be candid. I may be many awful horrible things, but at least I'm honest. And I think I have been avoiding the blog because I couldn't be candid. There are things that I don't want to talk about it. Things that I can't talk about it.
I know I could blog about other things -like Isley - or how many times I watched Jaws this summer (27). And I did start writing blogs like that. Many times.
But then I just went, "Why am I writing this? Who gives a shit?" and I stopped.
I also had some struggles writing this summer - I think in large part to where my head and heart have been - and I thought about talking about that, but somehow it seemed unfair. It seemed like a complaint I shouldn't levy.
Because I feel like because people know how many books I've sold and how much money I've made that I'm just always supposed to be smiling and laughing, or people will think I'm ungrateful. And I'm not ungrateful. I'm so incredibly overwhelmed by it, it's suffocating. I can never do enough or give back enough or do anything enough, because I don't deserve anything that's happened to me, and other people deserve it more than me.
I think I have survivor's guilt, because so many people worked harder and wanted it just as much as I did, but I'm the one here with my life, and there's no reason why I should be here and other people aren't, but here I am. And I'm sorry that you're not here too.
I'm sorry that everyone isn't happy and healthy, and I'm sorry that I can't make everyone happy and healthy. And that probably sounds like I'm being glib, but I'm genuinely distressed by the fact that people and things are hurting and I can't fix it. It's some kind of weird God complex, where I feel like I should be able to fix the world, when that is totally insane, and yet I end up feeling that way all the time. Like it's my fault that bad things happen. Like everything in the whole world is my fault. That's an extreme form of narcissism, and I know it. But I can't change it.
Anyway. I'm just blogging to let you know that I haven't stopped blogging because I forgot about you or because I thought I was too good for you. I just didn't want to bore you or annoy you, and I didn't know how to say the things I wanted to say.
Writing is going better, now, and I would very much like to talk about that when things are more concrete. And also probably when I'm feeling a bit better.
The reality is that I'm at a place know where I've realized that I can't will things to just go away or to feel better, and I can't just pretend that problems or feelings don't exist, and it's now to the point where I don't think I can't deal with them on my own, because in reality I haven't been dealing with a lot.
I haven't actually being dealing with anything in a very long time. I just cocooned myself inside a world of familiarity and pop culture, and now I've left the cocoon because I decided that I'd rather live my life than hide from it, and it's equal parts awesome, amazing, terrifying, and painful.
So things are good. And they're going to be good. And I'll try to blog more. But I'll still only blog when I feel like I have something to say that might interest you. That's the best I can do.