Let's talk for a moment about seals.
A seal on land is a graceless thing. Adorable, but not agile, trying to flipper and squirm its way back into the water. Once there, it becomes an acrobat. Graceful, speedy, amazing.
I often feel as though the best thing about the internet is that it helps some of us who are like seals. In person, I feel bumbling and awkward. When I can write, however, I feel less goofy and stupid and more like the person I am all the time inside my head. She just doesn't get to come out and play in public.
One of my best friends and I were talking recently about children who are a little socially awkward, and how that translates into adulthood. She had seen a piece on Steven Spielberg where he discussed being bullied and being unpopular when he was a child. "I know you felt out of place," she said, "but when we were kids you always had us." It's true -- I had her and some other friends then and I have them now; they're wonderful.
I know it's not their fault I spend most of my time feeling like an alien. It's mine. It's brain chemistry and environment and about a million other things, all of which combined make me feel like an idiot nearly all of the time.
But not when I write.
For me, this space -- and emails, and letters, and any time I string letters together into a series of words and sentences and paragraphs -- is my most natural habitat. It's where I stop feeling like an idiot and start making sense of the world. It's where I don't fumble about to try to say what I mean, because I know what I mean and I know how I want to say it. Even when what I want to say is difficult, or when it's something I wouldn't talk about over coffee, I can write about it.
So I do.
When I first began blogging, back in about 2005 (on another platform entirely), I was with someone who thought that it was an incredibly stupid thing to do. Of course, that person didn't really enjoy it when I expressed myself at any moment, ever -- most of what I said or did or thought was stupid at that point -- and after a while, I let it go because it was easier to stop writing then it was to fight about it.
I don't think it's really a coincidence that I became greatly depressed shortly after.
I also don't think it's a coincidence that when I got ready to change my life again -- to uproot myself and relocate again -- that I started writing again. It was time for me to stop being quiet. It was time to rejoin the rest of the world. So there we were. And if I heard a voice in my head, a mean and cranky one, saying to me, "Why would you waste your time on this?" I was able to reply, quite firmly: "Shut up."
So here we are, 487 posts later. I've had people I don't know very well (and some I don't know at all) approach me and tell me they like what I'm doing here (which is both mildy terrifying and incredibly amazing). I've received emails and comments of support. I've been published.
Seriously, you guys. It's been awesome.
So, yesterday's post.
I was approached by a network that expressed interest in what I'm doing here. Which is fabulous, but if you've been reading, you know that I haven't done particularly well with the blogging networks. (Translation: I'm never going to make any money off this, which is fine.) They asked for some information, I provided it, blah blah blah. And ...
... well, you know the rest.
When I said that I didn't know what I was going to do next? I'd been tossing around the idea for about a week (after the "this is not happening" revelation) -- to maybe slow down and refocus on other things. Like, oh hey, the novel, which has been sitting ignored. Or putting together some short stories. Or ... you know, something else.
I have realized, however, that I don't want to do those other things. (Well, the novel(s) do need some love, that's true.) What I most like doing is this. Engaging with people, even in a small way, on a daily basis.
Because this is where I feel the most comfortable. This is where I get to play. So if it's all the same to everyone? I'm staying right here.
Thanks for hanging around.