Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Archive for the category “Writing”

Why I Blog

There’s some chatter around the internet about how blogs have had their day and the internet has moved onto other things. While I definitely see a decline in some of the blogs I read, I don’t entirely care about what the internet trends are ( obviously, since I was, in typical Kristen fashion, late to the blog game anyway).

I blog because I enjoy having a tiny space of the world that I call my own, where I’m free to express myself, and connect with others who may feel the same way. I blog because I’m a procrastinating, lazy writer who has a zillion ideas but needs the push to get them out there and blogging is a baby step in that direction.

I write here because I enjoy it– even if the only people who read or comment are friends/family. I’d probably still be writing here even if only my mother read it ( Hi Mom!) It has become an important outlet for the endless chatter in my brain and a way to make sense of it all.

I started blogging over at Stratejoy during what was then, the most difficult time of my life. As I tried to figure out how to be on my own again and who I was after my divorce, I was so thankful, humble, and inspired by the various people of the internet who took a moment to reach out, comment, and connect with me. The community I’ve come into has been an absolutely amazing resource and blessing. Even though I’ve never met these folks, I consider them important people in my life.

Writing has always been something that has come naturally to me and been an important outlet for my creativity and feelings, but it’s amazing how the mundane, little activities of life get in the way of doing the things that are most important and most vital to our livelihood. Writing again through this blog and other spots around the internet has reminded me of the need to keep with it and the reminder to push for time for it as one of the sustaining things of life, like coffee in the morning or my weekly yoga.

When Dad died, writing in this space and in my personal journal were often the only things to bring me some peace of mind as I tried to make sense of what seemed like a senseless tragedy. I can’t say that writing through the feelings made that event or other tough moments in life any easier, but it certainly helped, even if in small ways.

I try to honor all that with this space and write about what I want. When I was little, one of my dreams was to be published, and while this is no New York Times bestseller, it does feel good to occupy a place that is my own. It’s not a giant leap towards full-time writing, but it’s a small one and helps me in believing that someday my many small notebooks of ideas, story outlines, and character sketches will manifest into something that many people will want to read.


Where To Go From Here

I started this blog a year and a half ago as I was beginning a new single life as a seperated, on my way to being divorced, end of 20s lady. Today I’m divorced, in an amazing relationship, and 30.

And I’m wondering where to go from here.

This blog was part of my building a new life thing- getting into the right frame of mind about who I was/wanted to be, trying to carve a place in the community of blogging to call my own, and mostly to share/document the journey I was on. Somewhere along the line, the posts about my life and what was going on in it started to feel a bit self-indulgent. I’m not sure that anyone other than my aunt and mother read this thing and since I talk to both of them on a regular basis, I wasn’t writing as much. In some ways writing about my life felt a lot like looking at my own belly button- and really who cared that much about what was going on in my head!!?

The other part I’ve struggled a huge deal with is how much of my life to put out into the interwebs. I don’t share a whole lot on facebook ( more about privacy and wanting human connection, not just internet fake connection) and only really post mundane/silly stuff on Twitter. I don’t write about my job, my love life, or that many in-real-life things because people I know, care about, and work with have told me they read this at times, so I’m limited a bit there too. Even if family/friends/coworkers didn’t read it, I’m not sure I would put all my business out there anyway since I’ve never really been so much of that person to begin with.

When I started blogging, it was with Stratejoy and I did it as a catharsis for myself and to try to connect with people who were similarly struggling through something. When I was going through my divorce I reached out to as many people as possible who could provide some insights or advice about going through the long, drawn out process- I wanted to blog here about that and provide that same resource for people who may not have been as lucky to have people in their support system as I was.

Writing has always been something that I have enjoyed for myself and writing about life is definitely something I’ve come to enjoy more in the past two years as I’ve worked my way through a struggle. I feel I’m in a time of transition again in life- this time thinking about building something new and starting fresh which is definitely ripe with emotions and deep thinking, but this time around, I’m feeling very hesitant about documenting that experience for the entire world to see. I feel protective of my love, my family, my coworkers, and so on, but I want to continue to ‘write myself into life’ as I have done before. I’m still trying to figure out what that looks like– maybe it’s not in such a public place, maybe it’s a protected blog or just something I put out there to a small group of people, or maybe I just scrap it all and put a bow on the blogging experience all together.

Stay tuned….

Blogging Pains

When I initially started blogging, I was working my way through a divorce, struggling to build a life of my own, and trying to figure out which end was up with a lot of aspects of life. I found having my own little space of the world to document that experience and my ideas about life was an incredibly important part of my healing/growing process.

And now here I find myself over a year later in a new phase of life and enjoying so much of my time out in the real world doing and seeing and trying. It’s hard for me to write about these experiences not just because they are so incredible I lack the words to adequately describe them, but also because I’m still struggling to find the public/private balance of what I want to share and what I want to keep to myself and the people in my life.

I’m not abandoning this space in anyway, but I am thinking about how I want to use it better and to give it the time and justice it deserves. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what’s next for me–whether it’s selling my house, going after a crazy dream, or just enjoying the here & now for awhile. It’s easy to do the latter thing because life is wonderful at the present moment and maybe that should be enough, but there is a bit of pull for me to want to push towards something new and different. I have no idea what or how to get there other than to live the questions everyday and see what opportunities or possibilities pop up.

Journal Keeping

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the future, in particular where I want to live, what I want to do in the next decade, etc. This major dose of introspection is some of the reason for being a bit quiet on here- I’ve been doing a lot of journal writing that I’m keeping to myself, if for no other reason than a lot of my what ifs? and who cares? are generating a lot of incoherent, random thoughts that I don’t quite think I could organize just yet.

There’s a lot of big picture stuff, a lot of small things like ‘why am I keeping books from grad school?,’ and a fair share of random but important stuff ” why do I get so mad at the teenage boys who skateboard in the parking lot next to the house? Why did I buy a house next to a parking lot?” My mind is a happening place these days you could say.

All of this big and small thinking is not unusual for me- I’ve always been a big journal keeper and that was one of the tell-tale signs of my decline into a bad place with my marriage was when I stopped writing in my journal. Part of me is tempted to go up into my attic to re-read journals of years past; the ones from junior high school are mostly accounts of my social life, high school more of the same with some big things like “I’m worried I won’t make any friends in college.” The ones from college are deep thoughts, big ideas, and the goals/dreams of a 21 year old who couldn’t be stopped. I’m hesitant to read some of them from grad school and the years where I first met my now ex-husband- reading them now I’m sure it will be so clear where the decline began and when I stopped thinking of myself and trusting my gut.

It’s funny to me to think that in years to come those journals will serve as the remnant of my life ( provided I keep them). Some of them contain things I now find a bit embarrassing or ridiculous ( like names of boys I kissed or the perfect outfit from some random day), but others show me life as it’s been- a life in stages and cycles, but a life filled with so much hope, excitement, disappointment, and everything in between. It’s tough for me to go back to some of those places– even though they make up who I am today, I’m not sure I have enough distance from them to be able to read the entries with any perspective. Reading the entries from the time of my separation and divorce are definitely wounds far too fresh to reflect on– part of me has wondered if I should get rid of them, while the other part thinks keeping them is smart as a reminder to always be true to myself, trust my inner voice, and do what feels right.

I know there isn’t a right answer here, but on second thought, maybe I should revisit those wide-eyed dreamer journals from college.

Working Through It- Or A Look at My Incoherent Brain

It’s been over a year since I carved out my little spot on the interwebs- I actually let my blogoversary pass by without much fanfare in November, not for any reason other than there was a lot going on and I sort of missed it myself.

Since writing was something I always enjoyed and was fairly decent at ( though a few teachers along the way tried to dissuade me), I thought the blog space would be an incredibly easy thing for me to do. When I was a guest blogger over at Stratejoy, it was an amazing experience not just because of the community it plunged me into, but also because it came along at a time in my life when I needed an outlet for all the feelings. Blogging and being more engaged in social media helped me write myself back into life and helped me work through my divorce.

But now I’m on the other side of that particular event and I find that at times, I have no idea how to express myself on here or even in my personal, handwritten journals. I make lists of great topic ideas for blogging and things I want to say, but I don’t follow through. I have this space to express myself, but don’t give it the time or committment it deserves. I have been thinking for a long time about self-hosting the blog, even went as far as buying the domain, and then no action on my part. I try to avoid the comparison game with some of the blogs I love- those folks have been at it for years, while I’m still the new kid at the party.

I think a lot about things I want to say and often I don’t say it because of the audience. Most of my family and close friends read this, which I am happy about, but at the same time, I struggle to find ways to work out the noise and ideas inside my head that 1- makes sense and 2- doesn’t get too personal, hurt feelings, or will cause arguments. I know this is something every blogger works through and maybe I’m just in the growing pains of that too.  I am resistant to conflict and controversy in the way that I don’t want to cause it, but really I think what it comes down to is a laziness with myself about facing the zillion things that pass through my brain everyday. When I was in the worst days of my marriage, I didn’t talk to friends or journal about it because writing things down made them true- so avoiding the emotional process of writing allows me to live in denial about what I might be thinking about.

I feel like this writing is even all over the place, which is probably another clear indication of the fact that I need to chill out and work it all out in one massive brain download. Then I think of my 2013 theme to “be about it” and this whole thing seems like a whiny post about how I have some blockage in my creativity and head, when really I need to do IS DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Both of those things are probably true, and that’s alright too.

All of this is to say, I’m working through it.

Post Navigation