First, the nerdy truth. I intentionally stopped the daily posts in May so I could focus my attention on putting together a travel itinerary (planning, writing, and graphic layout) that would guide my boyfriend and I during our trip to Italy, which is where we went the following week. Just as we were beginning to recover from that amazing vacation (and start sorting through almost 2,000 photos, a project that is still incomplete), we had to clean the apartment (and I mean take unwanted stuff to Goodwill and put up a new bookshelf) because my mother–who had NEVER before seen the ocean or my home on the East Coast–was coming to town.
Amidst all that, my boyfriend and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary, I turned 31 (with a surprise trip from my boyfriend to a Bed & Breakfast in Portland, ME), one of our best friends in Boston moved away, the corpse flower at Franklin Park Zoo finally bloomed, Pride Fest took over the city and showered us with beads, we visited World’s End during one last hurrah on the commuter rail, and just this last week the Tall Ships came to town for the 4th of July festivities. Needless to say, it’s been a whirlwind month and a half, which made me realize how hard it would be to keep up the pace I was trying to maintain on this blog. Because, despite my best efforts, the posts were becoming extremely forced, and my inspiration only ever seemed to come on the weekend when I had time to roam.
Keep in mind, I still have a full-time job that I love, and it keeps me working long hours sometimes. One of the joys of doing what I do is that I spend the majority of my time reading or writing. It actually gives me joy to spend a couple hours hacking away at a piece of writing, trying to uncover the a bit of treasure underneath. The real gems are few and far between in this kind of writing, but even the driest text on the dullest subject has the ability to surprise me. And I’m fascinated by what I do.
My problem is that, right now, finding the time to give my work a proper editing job is a luxury I can only vaguely remember. While I can always get the 2nd proofread in, the hack and slash that gave me pure pleasure is only a distant memory. These were moments when I would strike out entire sections and rewrite them in a way that gave the text variety and readability. I’ve been unusually stressed over the last couple months, and taking two weeks away from the office hit me in a way I never expected. The little things I used to have time for built up while I struggled to get ahead of my deadlines and the emails that flooded my inbox. Unable to bring my head above water to do even the most simple tasks over the last few weeks has left me feeling overwhelmed and useless at the end of the day.
At the same time, our house still needs to be maintained, the cats fed, chores done, bills paid. I have my own self-directed responsibilities, like organizing and tagging my photos and plowing through the pile of unread books that taunts me every time I look at it (my biggest accomplishment on that front is that I finally finished Paradiso, officially completing The Divine Comedy). And then there are the distractions: the occasional TV show, Facebook, and mindless articles, websites, and computer games that are supposed to occupy me for few minutes but instead steal hours of my free time.
It’s so easy to come up with excuses as to why I haven’t been writing, but in all honesty I missed it every day. I yearned to record my thoughts, reflect on the memories, and share my experiences with anyone who cared to read about them. It took a while, but I finally realized the reason I was so wound up, the reason even the job I loved was making me dread getting up in the morning, is that I was letting parts of my life, both good and bad, prevent me from doing something that truly gives me peace.
There was no stress in Italy, because I was distracted by my camera and the plethora of new things to see and do. I felt no guilt, because I didn’t have access to my computer, and my boyfriend and I were there to celebrate our first decade together while touring some of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. However, after I came home, the weight of all those unwritten days filled me with remorse. I started assigning myself tasks that needed to be completed before I could log back on–namely, captioning and editing all the photos from the last seven days abroad. This was an insurmountable task given the upcoming arrival of family (and the emotion baggage that brings up), which, combined with the overload at work, left me in a catatonic state when my fingers hit the keyboard.
Yet here I am. Once I realized that my stress started because I denied myself time to write for my own sanity, the words started coming out and the pressure began to go away. I have a lot of stories to tell from the last few weeks. I won’t promise to record them every day, because I just can’t do that, but I will put them out soon. And you can be sure, I’ll be creating new ones along the way.