I realized recently that I've been doing a lot of reading and a lot of thinking. I've thought about writing quite a bit, but as I read the other day, thinking about writing is not the same as writing. I enjoy spending time thinking about things, reviewing thoughts backwards and forwards, letting ideas and scenarios play out in my head. I remember when I first started blogging nearly seven years ago, how I marveled that I had finally found a place to express my inner self while still maintaining an outside self for appearance's sake. My blog, and the friends around the world I made as a result, helped me find the confidence in myself to come out. There was a whole world out there, I discovered, who accepted me exactly as I was. It was a powerful feeling, and a powerful motivator to write.
I remember doing many of the things new bloggers do. I made "startling" confessions. I wrote posts wherein I used the word "rambling" without a hint of irony. Before long, every life experience became something I could blog about. I wanted to tell stories about my life, things that I found amusing. This, I thought, was what a personal blog was all about.
When I moved away from home for graduate school, I wrote about my experiences. Writing about a terrible roommate situation helped me make it through that tough experience. I met people in my new city and I grew.
After some time, my focus shifted to school, and I put my love for writing on the back burner. I was busy trying to sustain myself, trying to work 30 hours every week and still maintain a full-time course load, plus clinics and internships. I barely had time to do homework, projects, timesheets, clinic notes, and manage my schedule. Besides, I figured, I had run out of stories to tell.
After graduating, I focused on my fellowship. I cultivated friendships. I set goals to improve my health. I drove all over the place. And the whole time, I didn't stop once to write about my experiences. I lived in every moment, and didn't stop to relive them in my head, forwards and backwards. I didn't stop to think about what things might mean.
I shared snippets instead, posting photos on my tumblr site and every once in a while writing fleeting posts about something going through my head. I've spent a great deal of time thinking about what happened to my love for writing, thinking that it had somehow escaped me. Thinking that the daily grind of life post-graduate school had lulled me into a comfort where I didn't feel compelled to express myself. The evidence was plain to see, I thought, with my neglected personal blog.
But as I looked at what I shared elsewhere, and what I shared here, I realized my love for writing still exists. I had simply taken leave, for a time, from a place that I let box me in. I started blogging because I could write about anything, and what I loved writing most of all was things I was thinking. Somewhere along the way, I got into a rut, thinking that I had to write stories and they had to be engaging, interesting and funny. I realize now that they have to be none of those things. They absolutely can be, but they don't have to be.
I've seen many of my favorite bloggers come and go, and leave behind a hobby that suits them because it becomes too pigeon-holed. I know that feeling, and have been fighting it lately. I like the ease of my life now, and how uncomplicated it is to not go looking for blog material. But I miss this place, and the joy I found in writing every day (even if I didn't click 'publish').
I want to find my roots. I want to let the sound of my computer keyboard be my music. I want my words to sing, and my thoughts to shine before me on the screen. I want to write.