Is Anybody Out There? Am I Out There?

It’s been a hot minute and a half since this blog has seen any action or love. Every time I swear that I am not going to be one of those people who wanders off and neglects her blog for huge stretches of time … Well, I seem to become just that. A person who wanders off and neglects her blog for huge stretches of time. I’m not sure it much matters, because I have likely lost any of the loyal following/readers I previously had. But, really, this blog was more than that for me. It wasn’t ever about getting people to read what I had to say. I mean, don’t get me wrong. When people read what I post and, then, choose to interact in some form, that is amazingly fantastic. I love it when people read my blog and choose to leave a comment or a like. It makes my day and turns my frown upside down and, well, you know, stuff like that. The point is, I love it. That’s what I’m saying.

But searching out internet lovings and warm-fuzzies wasn’t my primary purpose in starting this blogging adventure. I started my blog so I could have something that’s just for me. I have a terrible tendency to hide my feelings and fears and neurotic mush. I stuff it all down, way down deep somewhere inside myself. I pretend it doesn’t exist. I hum along in my life, never acknowledging my feelings or thoughts or fears. And that’s not healthy. The anonymity of the internet seemed the perfect solution. I will start a blog, I thought. I will start this blog, and it will be magical, and I will say anything and everything that I need to say. I will say all the things that I keep hidden deep down inside myself. I will say the good and the bad. It will be magical and wonderful and there will be unicorns prancing around outside my door whenever I am blogging. Yep. It will be THAT DAMN GOOD.

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Which seems like a great thing, right? I mean — unicorns! Hello! It was a great idea, but I forgot one basic thing. I forgot that I am still me. Hiding my thoughts and feelings is beyond second nature at this point in my life. I had to hide these things away during my growing-up years. Dreams were to be guarded and hoarded and hidden away, because I come from people who don’t really understand them. I could never voice my thoughts because those thoughts were almost always counter to the opinions and beliefs of those around me. Also, I grew up with parents who firmly believe children should be seen and not heard. Don’t get me wrong. I do not come from bad people. I come from good people who always did the best they could. I come from people whose own upbringing didn’t equip them very well for parenting. This is not a blame game thing. This is just me, explaining why I always hide my thoughts and feelings. This is me, wandering around in my brain and trying to figure out why it’s so hard for me to do something as simple as have an opinion on things or pick a restaurant where I want to eat or decide what I should order once I get there. I live in perpetual fear of offending someone or hurting someone’s feelings or having someone I love mock the things that are important to me.

All of this means I live half a life. I am the person people see from the outside. I seem simple, and people think they know me. But there are parts of me that will never show to anyone. There are things that even my sweet husband, after 25 years together, doesn’t know about me. And I guess he never will. Because I have hidden them away that well. From everyone. Maybe even from myself. Perhaps we are all like this, to a certain extent. Perhaps this is the only way civilization can exist and flourish: if we hide away most of ourselves and present only a small bit to the world around us. I don’t know. I can’t speak for all of civilization. I can only speak for myself.

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So what does this have to do with my long-dormant blog, you ask? Or, perhaps, you didn’t. But I’m going to tell you, anyhow. Sometimes, life gets to be too much. This happens to me a lot, actually, but I can usually work my way through it enough that I can still interact and blog and do all those normal things. This time, I have not been able to do that.

One of my aunts passed away last December. My other aunt died suddenly in October. My mom lost both of her sisters, and her grief is overwhelming. I am the repository for all of my mom’s feelings, good and bad. I am the only person she talks to about any of this, and I have to carry those feelings around with me. They are a heavy burden. My grief is overwhelming. I lost my aunts. I lost two of the most amazing, beautiful, important women in my life. But I can’t really grieve for them because I have to consider how much worse those around me must feel. My husband had a heart attack in January. And open heart surgery. And I thought he was going to die. And some asshole at his work stole business from him while he was recovering. And he’s miserable at his job. And we are broke. Like, literally freaking broke because of all the taxes we have to pay every year. And my daughter is thirteen. And at least three of her friends threatened to commit suicide at different points during the year. And I can’t write. It’s not even a case of “I wanna do it but I don’t have the time”. No. My brain has completely and utterly shut down into gibbering idiot mode, and I can’t write. There are no words happening in my brain. My husband resents the hell out of me. He thinks I am a failure and a fraud because of the no-writing thing. Hell, I think I am a failure and a fraud because of the no-writing thing. Maybe I really am a failure and a fraud. Whatever.

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My life has basically shut down since January. I stopped posting on FaceBook. I stopped blogging. I stopped writing. I stopped pretty much everything that meant anything to me at all. The only thing that has survived is my nail polish obsession and nail blog. And it’s only puttering along because pretty colors are a distraction from the shit storm that is happening in my brain and emotions right now. It’s easy to talk about nail polish. I don’t have to put feelings into that. I don’t have to sit and think about all the crap that is down in the depths. The point is that I have had things to blog about. Oh so many things. But, every time I would sit down to write about them, I just couldn’t. I would stare at the blank screen, start to cry, and wander away — usually to do my nails.

Is this survival mode? Is it depression? Is it both of those things? I don’t know. Maybe it’s not even important to know or name what this feeling is. Maybe the important thing is to acknowledge it and try to get past it, which I am doing in such a clumsy way with this rambling blog post. I have things to say. I need to say them. Even if it’s hard. Even if it hurts. For so many months now, I have felt empty and alone and scared. I felt that, even though I had things to say, I couldn’t say them. Now, though, maybe I’m ready to talk and send my words out into the empty void once again.

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A Blog of Loveliness?

A Japanese Maple branch, dripping with rain.

A little bit of “Cape Cod”. A Japanese Maple tree that grew in the front yard of the house where we stayed. And, of course, even rain was charming there.

I have a dear friend to thank for this blog name. When I told her about my desire to “start fresh” and create a new, uplifting place to share some of my photographs and favorite things, she called it my “blog of loveliness”. I think she was being tongue-in-cheek with the name, but, after trying to come up with a suitable blog title (and failing), it felt like a perfect fit to me. And so, Pish’s Blog of Loveliness was born.

I’ve blogged for many years over on Live Journal; I thought about revamping my site over there, but, somehow, it didn’t feel right to me. I’m at a point in my life where I feel the need to make a fresh start. And, in doing so, I’m trying to re-orient the way I face the world, too. It’s a big endeavor … and a little bit scary, too. So I think it kind of deserves its own, fresh blog space.

WordPress is a bit of a mystery to me at the moment. I think it will take some time for me to learn all the ins and outs around here. Hopefully, over the next few days (or week — depending on how busy life gets), I’ll figure out how to change things around and make myself at home.

My general plan is to have a place to share and post about my photographs. And a place where I can share some original fiction … and, maybe, a few musings about life, in general, too. Overall, though, I hope this blog will remain rather organic. I hope it will continue to grow and change as I do. Even though the idea of a “Blog of Loveliness” sometimes feels a little bit intimidating. But, here I go. Take a deep breath … and jump in, feet-first. I think this is going to be fun.