Throughout high school I worked a retail job at my local mall and November 1st always signalled the beginning of the retail Christmas season; no sooner had the clock struck midnight did the Halloween signage come down and the Christmas decorations go up. It’s been at least a decade since I’ve worked in the retail environment and yet I still haven’t shaken that association, that is until now. This year, November 1st has a different meaning for me: it’s the start of something new, kind of.
October was a busy month and while this was good for me socially, my blogging suffered. Last week, in a fit of inspiration or perhaps madness, I decided to sign up for another blogging course – only I didn’t sign up for just one, I signed up for two. And so, the next four weeks will be lots of work and heavy in terms of posting frequency but what I hope to gain is more structure and routine, inspiration, and of course, a strengthened community (how many times do I have to say that before I drive you totally crazy?). As part of my first assignment for both courses, I’m supposed to describe what it is that I do and why it is that I write. This activity couldn’t be more timely seeing that I’m nearing the six month mark of writing this blog, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to re-evaluate what I’ve done so far and where I want to go.
When I started this blog my mind, and by extension my writing, was cloaked in grief, although I didn’t know to what extent. Over the last six months I’ve been able to discover and unpack my feelings, working through both the good and the bad. So, why do I write? Well, I write for the same reason that I colour and make art, for the same reason that I garden, and for the same reason I hike: it’s therapeutic and it makes me feel alive. Writing, like all the activities I listed, provides me a place to organize my thoughts and sort out my feelings. Writing is something that I enjoy. Writing helps me channel my energy.
Throughout my academic career I was told that I was a good writer, and admittedly I benefited from this ability to cobble words together, but what I did for school feels distinctly different from what I’m doing now. When I write now, it feels more meaningful, at least on a personal level because it makes me feel like I’m making a difference. As I’ve mentioned before, through my blogging I hope to share information that can make life better, for me and for you, in little ways: recipe suggestions, exercise ideas, activities, and yes, community building. If I can offer information that makes your day better or makes someone feel less alone then I’ve met my goal. Speaking in hyperbole and platitudes is not my style but in short, whether it’s myself or someone else, I write to make a difference and hopefully bring change.
But where do I go from here?
For most of the last six months I’ve spent a lot of time looking inward, something that I had tried to resist initially, and though there will always be a huge personal component to my writing, moving forward I intend to migrate away from that. There are a number of reasons for this decision but what it comes down to is that I don’t want my writing to become repetitive and more importantly, I don’t want this repetition of sadness to define this space. There certainly will be personal posts that chronicle my bereavement process, however I’ll be more selective in what I share – it’s part of growing up. Other than that, we’ll have a smattering of exercise, food, and DIY posts but how it all comes together is still left to be seen. I think, and I might be wrong, but this type of uncertainty and not knowing can also be fun – so I hope you come along for the ride.