One of my pet peeves is coming across a blog that hasn’t been updated in months - or years. I recently discovered an author I liked enough to contact. I scoured the internet to find her email address and when I did, I sent her a message. That was two days ago. I can only wonder what has become of this author. The link to her site is broked up, no Twitter updates in four years, no Facebook updates in just as long. Is she dead?
I may not have scores of visitors, but some day, someone is going to come to this blog and wonder what the hell happened to me. It’s no secret I have Lyme Disease. It’s a sonofabitch. A real, honest to goodness asshole from hell. And it’s been a physical and emotional rollercoaster since December 2016. I had a brief, but glorious, upswing in health between March and May after I’d started the Carnivore Diet. I felt like a million bucks in gift cards to The Apple Store. I literally felt like I’d won the lottery. Now, I have no practical knowledge of what it feels like to win the lottery, but I once won ten bucks on a Scratcher and that felt great! I felt so good I started a new side-hustle: selling books online. At the end of May I started to decline again. I didn’t feel hideous, but it was enough to keep me from doing the things I wanted to. I had to put all my new projects on the back-burner. Again. This magnificent parting of clouds didn’t last, but it reminded what feeling normal feels like.
Nevermind. Who cares. Boring.
Why do I even have a blog? I feel nostalgic for them. I started blogging in 2000. Everyone thought I was crazy. I wasn’t. I loved it. I loved sharing my life and hearing from people who had the misfortune of stumbling onto my personal corner of the interwebs. But I’m not a blogger. I can’t do the daily/weekly/monthly updates with any regularity. I’m not that interesting. OK, you’re right. I’m kind of interesting. You wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t. And I love single author blogs by real people - not staff members of stay-at-home-moms who have made big bucks touting the efficacy of organic products. I read plenty of everyday people blogs. I want to be a part of that. I always sit down to write blog posts and think, what the hell do I offer the world? I further think, how many of my ex-boyfriends are reading this? Does my blog make them regret dumping me? If the answer is no, delete. Let’s not forget, Lyme Disease is boring as shit and I don’t want people feeling sorry for me. So what’s left?
Let me tell you when the sheen wore off of blogging. And I hate this. About a decade ago I was working for a popular subculture fashion company as the staff photographer. I was, for all intents and purposes, the head photographer. I was the only photographer. After several months of blood, sweat and tears, an entitled photographer with a degree swooped in, took my job, and treated me like his minion. I blogged about it. I left out names, but it was obvious who I was talking about. I don’t remember what I said, but it wasn’t bad. I could probably dig it up if anyone cares. Needless to say, I resented this guy. I did all his work and he got all the glory. Sound familiar, ladies? I complained to the CEO and human resources, which lead me down the path to dismissal. I suddenly and continually got reprimanded for minor infractions - like being away from my desk too long or coming in three minutes late. I was miserable and it showed. I didn’t treat my “superior” with the respect he felt he deserved and he complained about my blog. I was being watched and condemned for speaking my mind. I knew I shouldn’t have cared, but I did. It was also at this time I was starting a new relationship with my now husband and he didn’t exactly want to be mentioned in my dorky blog. I couldn’t talk about my new step-kids, my family, or work. What’s left? My cats. I did, in fact, blog about my cats. Ultimately, I felt turned off by blogging. The job was important at the time, but I’d let a snaggle-toed, sandal wearing asshole stop me from doing what I loved. That’s what gets me. That’s the truth serum right there. I. Me. I did it to myself. I didn’t stand up to him. I let him stop me.
I’m going to a writer’s workshop this month. That’s super interesting. It’s in Ohio and thanks to Lyme, I haven’t been on a plane in five years. I’m not feeling 100% so this trip is scaring the shit out of me. I’m literally (actually) going to have to play Eye of the Tiger when I pack. I can do this. I know I can. To say this is a big deal is an understatement. It’s bigger than big. Lyme took everything away and I’m starting to get it back - even though I’m not 100%. I spent most of my time starring at the ceiling dreaming about the day I’d be able to travel again. I’m also making plans to attend writer’s groups. Writing is a solitary business. Couple that with Lyme and it’s a really lonely business. I’m feeling a bit stronger these days and I want to see what I can do.
I’ve also started a university course in Copy-editing. I’ve just started the second class and it’s going well. I feel (mostly) confident. I’m not always up to reading 5 hours a day, but I’m chipping away at it. There is a new understanding that comes with chronic illness: Do what you can, when you can. All steps in the direction you want to go are steps in the right direction. <—-Quote of the Year, Kristen Simental. In less than a year I will be certified copy-editor. I’m open to a new direction in the publishing world. I’m not sure where I’ll end up, but I know I’m going the right way.
So that’s it for now. I’d like to blog about my trip. I’ll be taking my camera. I don’t offer anything other than the tried and true saying, “If I can do it, so can you.” I’m not an inspirational speaker, a guru, and I have nothing to teach. But I have tenacity. Anyway, people have told me I do. It’s important, I think, to show life after Lyme. To show that recovery is possible. I might fall flat on my face and have to come home early, but I’m packing a bag and I’m going.
Jesus, I’m scared.
It’s only through facing our fears do we become better, stronger, happier. I hope.