Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I've been wanting to write this post for a long time. Wait, that sounds like I'm about to tell some really juicy story, or admit that I'm really a middle-aged man from Duluth, or that I know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa, or that I got a sweet book deal and am writing this post from my Hamptons cottage while listening to Edith Piaf and banging out the next Catcher in the Rye, only with more Melrose Place references. I'm not, and I don't, and I didn't--although I do think that if Holden Caulfield had been able to watch Billy Campbell's development over seasons one through three he would have learned a few things about becoming a man, and how to release rage through nostril flaring instead of breaking children's records and having violent revenge fantasies about elevator operators.
No, the truth is that I'm just tired. And stressed out.
Actually, the real truth is that I just finished weeping hysterically to the end credits of Working Girl, and that this forced me to confront some things about my life.
Namely, that I can't continue to juggle all of the things I've been juggling.
Spoiler alert: This is NOT an "I'm quitting my blog" post. You can relax.
When I started this blog five and a half years ago, it was a tool for me to hone my writing skills and have an outlet to say what was on my mind to no one in particular. It served both purposes fantastically, for a while. But then people (you!) actually started reading it (the story of how in the hell that happened is here), which was surprising and wonderful and made me feel great.
But, being a perfectionist with an anxiety disorder, it also began causing me stress. Having people read my writing meant I had to keep it up... like, on a regular basis. And, being a perfectionist with an anxiety disorder, I decided that "regular basis" meant "every single day." I lived in fear of you abandoning me if I faltered in my posting schedule.
Obviously, I started to let that slide this year. I stopped posting as regularly (to a perfectionist, this means "only four times a week") in order to focus more energy on the freelance opportunities that were coming my way thanks to the blog. Then I got pregnant. But I didn't slow down. That was a mistake.
Lately I've been feeling like the blog is an obligation as opposed to an outlet, and as a result I feel like I've been half-assing it. Correction: I know I have been. It's not intentional, but after a long, draining day at work and a few hours spent on a piece of writing I'm getting paid for and therefore must prioritize, I don't have anything left. So I piece together scraps or root through my brain for material. And seriously, you guys, after five and half years (practically Blake Lively's entire life!), pickins are slim. Stories start to get recycled without my even knowing it, so that the blog increasingly resembles one big America's Next Top Model highlights show. You click over here expecting a new episode and it's just ten-second clips of bad weaves and people falling down when they walk.
This is all to say that: A) I want to devote more quality time and energy to the blog and write more posts I feel proud of; and B) I need to take better care of myself and prevent a mental breakdown that would harm both me and the precious cargo I've been lugging around on the subway and up on to tractors.
So I'm telling you now that I'm going to be posting less frequently for a while, at least until my maternity leave starts in September. I'd rather write one awesome post in a week than four okay ones. (Which is not to say I'll only be posting once a week, but I'm going to use that as a minimum goal).
Part of me didn't want to tell you at all (see above re: perfectionism) and hope you wouldn't notice. But I know you are all smartypantses who can count to at least 10 without the aid of an abacus (or your toes), so that wouldn't fly. Plus, I feel like I owe it to you to be able to admit that I am fucking tired and that I need help. It's like you're the Zack Morris to my Jessie Spano. I'M SO EXCITED, you guys! I'M SO EXCITED! I'M SO... SCARED.
P.S. I wonder if that phrase is copyrighted by the Saved By The Bell scribes, because if not, that would make the perfect title for the book I'm working on about pregnancy. (And by book, I mean "three paragraphs I saved on my desktop in a file called 'Book.'" I aim high.)
P.P.S. No one asked me to write the current 350-word opus that is "Book." It's just one in a number of side-projects I'm neglecting. Like turning the "nursery" into something less resembling a Salvation Army janitorial closet.