A few months ago, maybe longer, I watched an interview with Seth Godin, and one of the many things that came up was how he blogs daily, and how he thinks everyone should blog daily. And that one thing stuck with me, and kept nagging at me, until finally, finally, I started a blog.
I’ve had blogs in the past. Some of them for personal amusement, some of them I tried to get people to read. After my last one – a travel blog that I tried to do ‘properly’ and got myself all tangled up in because I forgot how much I don’t really like coding and other such web things – I was pretty much exhausted with the idea of blogging. Which is probably why I didn’t follow Seth Godin’s advice, even though it clearly resonated with me enough to keep quietly hounding me.
To be honest, though, by the time I watched that interview, I was pretty exhausted by the idea of everything. A few years prior, I was five years into a very toxic relationship and I was very, very unhappy. I was terrified to extricate myself from it, but eventually it became too much. And when it ended, I watched as my entire life and everything I thought I wanted was dismantled around me. And after living in that chaotic, lonely, confusing space for just less than a year, after tying up all the messy loose ends, and after starting to build a new life on my own, I realised the process wasn’t done. And then I watched as my entire self was dismantled around me too. By the end of 2014 I was completely obliterated, isolated and ill.
Languishing in an unbearable life, I tried to be bold. I bought a plane ticket to Florida with money I didn’t necessarily have, I left my ailing life behind, and I began an adventure. For three months I travelled, I met strangers, I meandered out of my comfort zone and enjoyed whatever life placed in front of me with a kind of open passivity that left me feeling both exhilarated and guilty. I faced demons and I met angels. I stared into the barren emptiness of my future.
I had very little to offer the wonderful people I came upon on my journey, but I was incredibly grateful to them for what they offered me. My trip, and those people, changed me, taught me, and soothed me in many ways. But when I arrived back in the UK, while I may have been different, I was still completely obliterated, isolated and ill.
It takes a long time to build a person. I spent a long time trying to figure out how, and then shakily laying brick upon brick. It finally felt like my soul made sense, but the problem was there was no person around it, to allow it to live. Sometimes I tried to be a person anyway, but it never really worked out.
Now here we are, two years after I embarked on my grand trip, with ‘memories’ of America popping up daily on my Facebook feed. I’ve become a more confident builder, though the project is nowhere near complete. Life is less exhausting now. And this is a shiny new brick.