Friday, November 6, 2015

A year's worth of posts

If this were my old newspaper column, a whole year would have already gone by – 52 weeks’ worth. Instead, it’s only been 2½ months. That’s some crazy pace. So I’m going to consider this a milestone and think about what the blog does for me.

When I started this blog, I was pretty depressed. This Third Third – and my expectations for it – was eluding me. I was floundering with no end in sight. I was beating myself up for lacking discipline, wasting time, being valueless. And I was bombarding everyone my age with “and what are you doing in your Third Third?” I was a demon at my college reunion and a one-question fanatic in my social life.

Somewhere in my vast stretch of time-wasting, I read Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. I read the book, which developed from her blog, which is mostly pictures but also text. It’s truly wonderful, and it gave me Ideas (so it wasn’t a waste of time after all).
I don’t like reading blocks of text on the computer so I thought I’d add my doodles, too. And then, because it helped me to clarify my thoughts when I put them down – those ten things on the list in Identity Crisis #314 – I felt better.

And when I did it the next day, I felt better again. I was being creative! By the next day, I felt disciplined. And when people told me they liked it, I felt valued. When I tried drawing something difficult, capturing something just so, I felt like I was stretching myself. And when I craft a story, I have to think very hard about how to develop it, how to construct a beginning, middle, and end. I like thinking hard.

Wow, just one thing – this blog – and it could solve a whole lot of my dilemmas. And the ones it didn’t? Those were the ones friends and readers weighed in on and helped the discussion along. Relocation anyone?

Last week, probably because of the latest round of mother-care issues, I was horribly anxious. So anxious I couldn’t quiet the frantic ramblings in my head. At one point, I felt like running screaming into the street. My whole self vibrated, and I couldn’t write. So then I decided I must be “empty.” I’d used all my good ideas up. How embarrassing to announce in my blog that I’d run dry, good-bye. Third Third fizzled.

Mostly, I think I’m a glass-half-empty sort of person. When it’s not empty, it’s so-full-and-isn’t-it-so-interesting-how-that-is-and-why-is-that-the-case-because-there-are-so-many-glasses-in-the-world-and-so-many-different-things-to-fill-them-with. You get the picture. In my often black-and-white world, a glass half-empty – glasses not overflowing – might as well be completely empty. And curiosity is both the cure for a bad mood and the symptom of a good one.
Wise people would say this is a case for moderation. I’m guessing other people may have learned this by their Third Thirds. I’m slow.

But this I know: When I finally sat down and wrote this week, I felt better. Cured even. Some people do it with exercise, some people play the piano. I’m going to sit right here and tell a story about it.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Hyperbole and a Half! Cracked me up, loved the illustrations and her writing about depression seemed spot on.
    Carry on.


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