How do you re-start after ghosting a blog for 6 months. Like this, I guess. The Universe has sent a couple of kind souls into my path this week to remind me that I need to write (Thanks, Candace, and HQB). I was reminded why I started the blog -- writing is my best tool for thinking, processing, and, occasionally, creating a special and meaningful connection with people in my community. It wasn't just the blog that I ghosted. I literally didn't write a word in my journal for 6 months. Last entry October 18, 2020. It takes me time to get back into a rhythm so I may be a bit scattered.
So, why the 6 month gap? A combination of things, I suppose. The obvious one, first. I've been juggling homeschooling my kids and working. The second reason is a little more perplexing to me. Anonymity. I have experienced a strange desire for greater anonymity and disconnection from social media communities throughout the last several months.
Homeschooling the girls has been the silver lining of Covid. I'm sure I will go into it in more detail in future blogs, but this role as teacher/mom that started last October has been the most rewarding role I've ever had the privilege to serve in. It has required me to rewire my brain around what education is and isn't. What I didn't anticipate is that I would essentially become a student again as well, learning right alongside my kids. Although it has consumed a lot of my time and required a lot of juggling with work, I am realizing now that it has also consumed a lot of my identity and has made it harder for me to create the space and energy needed to do things like write.
I wouldn't trade this experience for the world, but since Eliana and I will be homeschooling again next year, I'd like to make a commitment to myself to find my own creative pursuits and outlets. The joke in my house is that I would homeschool all the way through PhD programs (for me, too🙂) if I could so it seems as though I need to find this personal balance sooner rather than later. Of course my kids will eventually move on from homeschool and something tells me this commitment to creating space for myself is something that I will need long after homeschooling ends.
I'm still trying to sort out what this new anonymity-seeking is all about, but I started feeling a strong compulsion for more anonymity and disconnection from social media. I deactivated my social media accounts at the end of 2020. My blog and Facebook were very much connected, as most of my friends reading the blog were doing so from my Facebook posts. I suppose I probably disconnected from he blog at that point too. There's this strange, dichotomous nature of wanting anonymity, yet fearing loss of relevance and social connection by choosing to disconnect. But that thing I'm disconnecting from is, at least for me, a Beast that reduces my happiness quotient.
I've read recently that anonymity-seeking and disconnection from social media could be a sign of depression in Covid times. Could that be it? Possibly. Is it protection of privacy as our data continues to be a commodity? Possibly, though I never shy away from oversharing in these blogs so I'm not sure that's it either. I've been consuming a lot of content recently about cancel culture and the ushering in of a new digital world and pseudonymous identities. (For a fascinating, albeit 4-hour long deep dive down this rabbit hole, along with a bunch of others I've been diving down recently, I'd highly recommend this Tim Ferris podcast episode with Balajis Srinivasan). Maybe I'm just trying to drown out more of the noise so I can tune in. I'm not sure. Still pondering this one.
Before I spin off in a deep dive, I'll bring this back on track. In the last couple weeks, I've received plenty of signals that it's time for me to write again, whether it's here or anywhere else. The juggling act of homeschooling/work will quiet down for at least a few months. And with regard to anonymity, I think there's certainly a balance between total anonymity and carving out a tiny little quiet space in the digital world to explore and share my thoughts.
My head is sometimes a noisy space. It's quiet moments like this that transcend all the noise.