Time to Hit the Ol’ Dusty Trail

I write this post with anticipation that it will be my last on this blog.  You never know- maybe I will just go on hiatus for awhile.  But I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, and it seems the time has come.

I could just stop writing.  But I’ve been writing this blog for a few years now.  I’m sure it is self indulgent (isn’t that the nature of blogging), but I can’t just leave it unfinished.  I am compelled to close it out.

If you’ve read my posts over the last few months, I am in search of something more.  There is a quote about insanity being the act of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  If I want more meaningful interaction in my life, I have to do things that facilitate that change.

When I started writing this blog, I did so with the intent of connecting to people.  I’ve been asked why I don’t journal instead of blog.  The answer is that I was hoping to start conversations with people.  There is some component of my personality that finds isolation natural.  Natural does not necessarily mean enjoyable.  I can get very lonely.  I did not talk to one person yesterday outside of my husband and kids and a few responses from texts I initiated.

I thought if I wrote about my experiences, people might read and find common ground with me.  Starting actual spoken conversations has never been my strong suit.  The blog was a way to get a conversation going that might carry over into “real” life.  This has happened.  I will see friends in my daily interactions, they will comment on something I wrote and a conversation is born.  That aspect of blogging has been very fulfilling.

But those types of encounters are happening less and less.  Perhaps what I am writing is just not that interesting anymore.  Maybe I am closing myself off to a greater degree.  I have had a significant rough patch in my life.  I oscillate between happiness, anger, comedy, and despair at a dizzying pace.  During my times of sadness, I am noticing less interaction with people around me.  I don’t know the reasons behind this.

Maybe they feel they have already pulled me up more than their share of times, and don’t have the energy to do it any more.  Maybe they think I am not trying hard enough.  Maybe I’ve pushed away too hard and they are heeding my signals.  Maybe they are frightened by the duration of my emotions and see me slipping further down.  Maybe they simply don’t know what to do to help me.  I don’t know the exact reasons, I only know conversations are happening less.  So if the point of the blog is to talk to people, it seems the blog has run its’ course.

The blog has become a bit painful for me to look at.  Whenever I log on to write, I see stats for how my blog is doing.  Written in gold with a trophy next to it is the title “Best Views Ever” with the number 1260 underneath it.  The title of this blog is “For Chris.”  It was written on the day he died.  No other post has ever come close to getting the same number of views.  Every time I see that 1260, I am reminded not only of his death, which happens to be the most painful thing I have ever been through.  I am also reminded that for most people who read my blog, the most interesting thing about me is that I was the sibling of someone interesting.

I am on a quest for more authentic connection with people.  That doesn’t mean we can’t “like” each other’s status on social media.  It means that shouldn’t be our only form of interaction.  It doesn’t mean you should never take a call or answer a text when we are hanging out.  It means we shouldn’t be checking our phones every five minutes when we are in each other’s company.  This is not a criticism.  I have been that person.  I AM that person.  What I hope you take away from reading this is that I want to change that.  I want to know you.

It is not easy.  Yesterday, when I received not a single email that was not spam, not a single message asking how I was doing, my initial instinct was to pout.  Boo hoo for me.  But I have isolated myself.  People don’t call me because they know I largely keep my phone on silent.  I’ve deleted my facebook and email apps off of my phone, so that I only check them on my computer once or twice a day.  I haven’t done my best to keep up with relationships.  I am honest to the point of it being a fault.  I am a challenge to be around.

I’ve made feeble attempts lately- sending a song to someone that I thought he would enjoy, an email to see how a friend is doing.  The response to these efforts has been mostly awkward- as if to say “I barely know you anymore.  Why are you talking to me?”

I’m trying.  It’s going to take some time to figure this out.  I’m trying to find the balance between meaningful interaction online and a hollow facade.  I have had so many beautiful insightful connections with people via emails and texts.  I love seeing random “this is my day” posts- pictures of people’s kids, vacation photos, funny one-liners.  Yesterday, my girlfriend posted a pic of her new tap shoes and it made me smile.  I love that stuff.  I just don’t want that to be all that there is.  I feel like we get bogged down in that stuff and forget how to communicate. Sometimes it feels like I am the only one that feels that way.

I realize what is most likely going to happen is that by stopping blogging and limiting my online interactions, I am mostly just going to have less and less interactions with people.  But I’m hoping that by not occupying my time with virtual interactions, I leave myself open for actual experiences.

I also think people rarely ask for what they want or need.  They simply expect it to come to them, and are disappointed with the results.  I’m asking.  If I cross your mind, send me an email or a text or a letter (remember the feeling of getting a letter?) to say hello, to ask how I am.  I will do the same in return.

Perhaps what will happen is that I will simply learn to be comfortable being alone.  I’m sure that is a lesson worth learning.

Thank you for reading my blog over these past couple of years.  This experience has meant a great deal to me.  I have grown from it.  I was challenged by it.  I have good memories and a permanent record of the person I was during this time.  I can’t ask for much more than that.  Thank you for your time.  I hope to share more with you in the future.


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3 Responses to Time to Hit the Ol’ Dusty Trail

  1. Yael says:

    You in real life, and your writing, is amazing and unique and you don’t have to be easy. Being a mom and staying at home is inevitably isolating and lonely. It takes so much work to reach beyond the walls and it requires bravery we don’t always have. Please know that the stupid number game- how many likes shares or reads- works on your brain and is destructive to your self value. Why do you think the kardashians over share and show more and more? Do you think they’ll manager when no one cares to look anymore? Your value is in the hugs from the kids, each day that you put one foot in front of the other until lights out, and the people that you never know- ones who don’t read the blog- who learn or appreciate things through you or your presence. Just be present and just know that’s what we all have to do.

  2. Aleta smith says:

    Sorry to hear this. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and getting to know you through your thoughts and words. Keep in touch – would love a visit in person next time you’re in Colorado.

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Kathy Cook says:

    I’ll miss reading your blog. I read it every time it shows up on my feed and wouldn’t even think of scrolling past. I only know you because my cousin knew your brother Chris and liked what you wrote here. Best of luck to you!

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