Hi. It’s been awhile.
It’s become pretty clear to many that I’ve let this space of mine slide further and further off of my radar for the past year-and-a-half or so. I didn’t want to admit it– not to myself, not to my followers, not to anyone; but it’s time to face reality. I’ve let this blog slowly collect the occasional comments and traffic without checking in nearly as much as I should. The same can be said for my overall activity in the blogging world– once an aspiring travel / lifestyle blogger myself, I find myself lacking more and more contributions in comments, shares, and engagement with other bloggers.
I didn’t want to become that blogger- the one with such high and good intentions of starting yet another expat blog about a twenty-something gal who moved to France, but then quit about six months in. I started this blog over ten years ago– and while it’s undergone name changes and rebranding and deletions and additions, it’s pretty cool to have something to show for all the time I’ve
wasted worked on the internet all these years (despite it giving a direct channel of my past and current musings to parents and students), as well as super embarrassing to see my ever-evolving nativity on display.
I’ve never written for money (although I do get frequent proposals). I wrote for joy; I wrote to have a purpose– to provide information– to give myself the voice I believed I lacked in my teens and early twenties– I wrote for clarity– for closure. But I’ve had to come to the stark realization that I’m not sure if I want to do it anymore.
I’ve burned out. When I started writing 3-4 times per week in 2013, I was 23/24. France was new and exciting and I had so many things to say. Blogging didn’t feel like a chore but something I loved to do– telling stories and recounting my experiences and even sometimes seeking validation and trying to find other people who could relate to me, too.
But then France became my normal– what I once saw as new and exciting and different had become my everyday (I realize how gross and privileged that sounds). I went through a rough transitional period in the summer of 2016 when I was trying to figure out if France was worth pursuing and if I wanted to stay- and I realized that the internet is a truly unforgivable place for a woman with an unpopular opinion on the internet.
And then, upon getting a full-time job and kick-starting my career in 2016, I realized I didn’t want to use my free time in the same way anymore. Since the end of 2017 especially, I’ve invested a lot of time in self-care and developing my own personal definition of well-being. I started seeing a therapist. I moved out of my house-share and into my own one-bedroom apartment. I started nesting and decorating and lighting candles, creating a space that feels safer and more like me. I became a vegetarian, and made it a goal to eat more seasonally and locally. I’ve begun learning about how to reduce my carbon footprint and waste, getting rid of plastic. I re-integrated exercise into my daily routines and joined a gym; I started learning how to say, “No” and how to be more comfortable with myself. I sleep more. I spend more time alone. I’ve taken a hard, long look at my friendships, what they mean, and which ones are still worth pursuing / keeping around. I’ve reconnected with family and friends back home. I still travel, but I’ve been trying to find a healthier balance, incorporating more ‘staycations’ and therefore opportunities to take longer trips with more money saved. I’ve joined an improv group. My romantic life is the one thing I’ve kept off the blog, but I’m making a that a goal to work on that too.
I also do not have as much to say anymore– that is, perhaps I’ve run out of things to say. While I’m still active on social media, I’ve become a much more private person in regards to what I post (pictures, status updates, and otherwise.) I’m still passionate about politics and social activism, but I’ve tried to incorporate more of that into my teaching, in hopes of reaching young(er) people. My focuses have become my job, my wellbeing, and my loved-ones (ironically, many of the things I’d previously been running away from).
I don’t want to say I’ll be gone forever– I feel like as soon as I write one post, the motivation comes back. At the same time, I also still have the drive to express myself, but loathe making promises I can’t keep. I’m grateful for this community– the friends I’ve made, the people I’ve connected with, and the memories I’ll always cherish.
So, keep an eye out– maybe don’t remove me from your feed quite yet- I’m looking forward to seeing what 2019 has in store. And to those of you who have been reading after all these words, and all this time, thank you.