#reentrysucks

I was only away for 48 hours but I swear it feels like I was gone for a week. I don’t know if it was because each day was a 14 hour marathon of constant engagement or if something else more complicated is at play, but Sunday was rough in ways I didn’t expect. I was tired and overwhelmed and uneasy all day. Mi.Vida must have thought I was nuts and I really appreciate all the understanding and support he provided.

(I was clearly not alone in feeling this way; the hashtag #reentry sucks was all over the BlogHer FB group page today, which actually made me feel way less crazy.)

I want to write A LOT about BlogHer–most of it will probably happen on my other blog–but now is not the time. I need to process more before I can get it all out there. I will say that it was amazing to spend 2.5 days with Elizabeth and if you want a real post about the BlogHer experience hers is absolutely worth a read (I wouldn’t be surprised if when I finally write about it I just link to her post again, it’s that good). Overall I would say the experience was overwhelming but positive and I’m definitely glad I went. I walked away having made two rather big decisions, and while they both kind of terrify me, I know it’s what I need to do.

I spent the first day at writing workshops and by the end of the second day it was clear to me that I need to start investing in myself as a writer, otherwise I’ll never know what I might be capable of. I feel like I’ve really grown as a writer over the past five years but it’s clear that I personally need something more focused and specific than just more reading and writing to take my craft to the next level. I do really hope to be able to do something with my writing someday, but I also recognize that right now I don’t have the skills to do what I want to do. I also recognize that it’s not the right time in my life to take those financial and professional risks. If I take the time now to really improve my skills as a writer I may just be where I need to be when the time is right. For me that means intentionally working to better myself on the page, and my first step in that direction will happen through an online Berkeley Extension Course that is being offered this fall. It’s expensive and I’m sure you’d all counsel me to save that money until I’ve paid off my credit card, but we just found out our family trip to San Diego can’t happen and I’ve decided that I’m worth this investment here and now, so that I can get the ball rolling and hopefully make real strides in the coming years.

I’m not ready to share the other big decision I made at BlogHer but I promise that as soon as I am, you all will be the first to know.

Finally I wanted to thank everyone who wrote such supportive comments on my last two posts. They were appreciated in ways I can’t quite articulate. I don’t intend to play the victim here because that post was far from innocent and I understand that people were upset. I think I was honestly most surprised by who was upset and their ultimate point of view. I guess I wouldn’t have thought that women who were so enthusiastic about creating PAIL (and the community that I thought was intended through its creation), felt that way about the relationship between a blogger and her readers (and I won’t try to articulate those feelings because I’d hate to misinterpret them–they are available on in the comment section of that post). This year seems to be all about one lesson, DON’T ASSUME and I won’t be doing that when I can help it. Assumptions only seem to get me in trouble, which I suppose shouldn’t surprise me. I’m clearly shit at assuming, so I need to stop that now.

So that is where I am. Reeling from BlogHer, making some big decisions and taking some definitive action. I’m also getting ready to go back to work. I have to pack up my room and then unpack my new room, baby proof my house (Monito is not crawling yet but it will happen before I’m back at work, to be sure) and plan for the first trimester, all in the next three weeks. It stresses me out just to think about it, but I know I’ll get it all done, somehow.

In the meantime I need to get some sleep, and that means I need to stop writing. Now. So TTFN.

How was your weekend? Anything to share?

4 responses

  1. I’m glad you had a good time at BlogHer – I’m so jealous you got to meet Elizabeth! She seems like such a sweet person. BlogHer sounds like a pretty amazing time. Do you think you’ll ever go back to help continue to advance your writing?

    Re: the PAIL stuff, as one of the people who helped run PAIL for a couple of years, I’d like to point out that i DO wholeheartedly look at blogging as a conversation. I truly enjoy the comments I receive and the understand the value of the ones I leave. I still don’t believe that we owe it to readers to give updates and explanations if/when we leave. YES, it drives me nuts when people don’t, especially when I’ve invested a lot in their stories, but at it’s core, it’s still not required (IMO) because…well, life happens, and I feel like we get enough guilt from everything else in life – for me, I don’t want blogging to be something I feel bad about / required to do/update about. I get that not everyone feels that way. Beyond that, I’d say that individual’s opinions on blogging relationships shouldn’t reflect on PAIL as an entity, especially when the bloggers I assume you’re referring to have nothing to do with PAIL at all anymore. Since Harvey was born I have totally dropped the ball on actually writing anything over at PAIL, but I do hope to find the motivation to get back at it over there someday, and I’d just hate to have people think poorly of it / differently about it based on opinions of people not actually associated with it.

    To answer your question about the weekend, it was nice – full of drinks with friends in the sun and playing with my kids, just the way I like it. 🙂

    • I think PAIL is awesome and I’m glad it was created and I loved when it was putting up regular posts and I’ve even thought about contacting the current editors to see if I could try to help bring back content in some way, but I have such a storied past with that site that I always hang back and don’t take steps to see if I can contribute there.

      I didn’t mean to imply that PAIL is a reflection of any one person’s feelings, but that I was surprised that people who felt a certain way would have been champions of the site in the first place. Your comment helps me better understand, though, that a blogger can cherish the dialogue and still not feel that a blogger ultimately owes anything to the people who once participated in that dialogue. And I can see that distinction and respect it, even if I don’t necessarily agree.

  2. OHMYGOD reentry- this totally suuuucccks. My body feels like lead today, my children didn’t nap yesterday afternoon or sleep last night, and that is ALL I want to do today. But…moving on. It was such a wonderful, magical weekend and I hope we get to repeat it next year. Thanks for linking to my post. You’re the best.

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