Hello friends! It’s hard to believe that 12 months have come and gone since I last wrote to you, but I was in desperate need of a blogger's sabbatical.
I had reached a point where my self-imposed deadlines were stressing me out and the writer's block was psyching me out. I felt tapped out for fresh content and disappointed in my inability to consistently deliver. I had lost my voice and along with it, I had lost all the joy that I once derived from writing here. I took all of those negative feelings as a sign to take a step back and just focus on living my life for a while without documenting every step of the way. Within minutes of deleting my scatter-brained content calendar I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest. And I sighed with great relief.
"There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither." - Alan Cohen
But now I'm back, AND I MISSED YOU! Distance really does make the heart grow fonder.
One thing I've noticed as I'm writing this post is that taking a sabbatical did not mean coming back and instantly overflowing with all the right words. I've drafted, scrapped, and redrafted this post at least a hundred times over the past few weeks and I'm still not sure if I'm 100% happy with it. But in the past few years of writing I've realized that sometimes you have to just go ahead and publish what you've got because you can't wait for perfection when you're completely out of practice. You can't just run a marathon and expect your best time when you've been a couch potato for 12 months. That's not how life works. Reaching the finish line without pooping your pants is a solid victory worthy of celebration. You go, Glen Coco. You go celebrate in your poopless pants. And then get right back to practicing because, hunty, we got werq to do.
A second thing I've noticed is that taking a sabbatical from my blog did not by any means reduce the amount of stress I was feeling in my life. Au contraire, mon ami. I've spent the last year exponentially increasing my stress levels by moving back to Jersey, starting a new business with my dad, shifting gears with my freelance business, figuring out ways to balance a 9-to-6 job while seeing friends that no longer live 6 blocks away, establishing new personal boundaries, learning how to be a boss lady, trying (and failing) to make time for dating, striving to lead a healthier lifestyle, saving my pennies for seeing the world, and so much more.
Honestly... I'm now wondering if taking a blogger's sabbatical was a choice I made or if life just made it for me... #mysteriesoftheuniverse.
While taking a year off from writing here didn't reduce my stress levels nor did it by any means solve all of my problems, I am feeling so much less pressure to have it all together all the time. Real talk: it's hard to preach the good word about mental health when you feel like there are 10 crazy people living inside your brain. I had so many feels about so many things that I didn't know where to start or how to articulate any of it or what to do about it or what the hidden lesson was.
In an effort to start working through all of that inner chaos, I decided to practice what I have always preached and just let it all go for a little. I threw myself hard into all the things that make me feel like my best me: traveling, cooking, laughing, dancing, working, decorating, crafting, baking, and loving. I reminded myself to honor my limits, be kind to myself, and be more grateful for all the good in life. Because there's SO MUCH good in life. Taking a step back from constantly analyzing everything in the public sphere was a great reminder of who I am, what makes me awesome, and just how much there is to be grateful for. Taking the time to focus on those things really helped me calm down from what felt like a neurotic place.
"Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges.
So relax." - Bryant McGill
The last thing I realized from taking this sabbatical is that this place, my blog, has always been a sanctuary for me. I might have needed to temporarily hermit and deal with life, but I took great solace in knowing that this place and you guys would always be here for me. For the past however many years, this blog has always been a wonderful reminder that we are never alone. All we have to do is find the words to express ourselves and there will always be people with open arms ready to hold and support us. And if we need to take a pause to calm the mind and find those words, there's absofreakinglutely nothing wrong with that.
I love you all. Thank you so much for your patience, kindness, and undying love.
With endless gratitude,