featured image: The Children Are Our Future
Hello friends and dearly beloveds, and welcome (back)! I’m back in the saddle baby! I’m cleaning off the rust! I’m oiling up the ole blogging fingers!
This blog is not a new blog, but I am starting it afresh after a few years of neglect. Why not start a new blog, you might ask? Well, honestly, I thought about it. And I’ve already done that three or four times. I’m attempting some continuity this time. Mind you, continuity is not my strong suit, so I’ll be grateful if you bear with me.
I’m just trying to create something that will be seen by other people, in a sustained and, hopefully, somewhat fulfilling way. It also feels like the universe is telling me to blog (lol). I read a blog post from one of my running teammates, Ari Scott: “Happy Birthday, Blog (And Why You Should Start One).” She talks about having doubts about blogging but how she started doing it anyway, and how she’s grateful she did. When I read it, it made me feel less alone. I was grateful to her for working past her doubts and for writing and sharing and helping me feel less alone. If there’s a chance that I can do that for another person, then shouldn’t I? And even if no one enjoys it but me, isn’t that reason enough in itself? Isn’t it better than stewing in dread??
I also re-encountered Austin Kleon’s work recently. I read his book Steal Like an Artist a year or so ago, which I loved. His voice is steady and encouraging and inspiring. The other day I came across a two-hour interview he did with youtuber Ali Abdaal, and I watched the whole thing and felt the blood moving through my veins again. They talked about Kleon’s book, Show Your Work, which the interviewer credits with his own success as a youtuber and podcaster; he said it was the kick in the pants he needed to start putting his stuff into the world. He said it was a reminder that when you start out your stuff’s not going to be good anyway, so might as well start so you can start getting better. I gotta buy that book, I thought.
Fear of mediocrity, combined with a belief that I “should” be doing something different/more useful/more productive/more whatever are things that have majorly held me back. I want to work through it.
Plus, even more things have held me back during this pandemic: not being able to go to class or a studio, not being able to teach in the same room as my students, not being able to see and feel and interact with other bodies. Civil unrest. The country crumbling. My growing belief that we never had democracy at all and we never will unless we tear everything down from this nation built on slavery and puritanism. Conservative right-wing dictators winning elections around the world. My deteriorating mental health. My sinking belief that I will never have a semblance of my former life again, never go to a bar in New York City again, never act in front of a live audience that isn’t on zoom again, I will be in my parents’ house waiting for life to begin again forever, until the apocalypse, which will be any minute now.
I cannot go on like this; I will wither and die.
I cannot build the future that I want for our children if I have withered and died.
So this is a small step in my attempt to become alive again. I do not think that I will blog every day, because I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep and get overwhelmed and give up too soon (which I have done). I do want this to be a place where I can put things that I want other people to see. I want to get closer to finding the balance between pushing myself forward and cutting myself slack. I want to get better. I want to get okay with not being good. I want to feel less alone and I want to help you feel less alone, if I can. Can’t know till I try.
So, thanks for reading. Hope to see you soon. Please let me know your thoughts, good bad and ugly. I love you.
Austin Kleon’s website, which contains his blog and info on his books
Beth McColl’s twitter. She wrote a book called How to Come Alive Again, a line that I plagiarized in this post. I would like to read that book. She also talks openly on twitter about her own struggles with mental health, which I think is rad.