I sit here. It is still dark outside. And in here; the barista has not yet turned on the overheads.
I sit here. And my mind does its little dance, its morning jig. I am one sip into my venti and more confused than ever. This confusion, this sense of floating, of not knowing, is an immense privilege. I know this and I am thankful.
I sit here and I wade through my confusion. I feel around. There are floors, walls, temporary and load-bearing; there is a keen structure to this place.
I sit here. And I have so many things to ask, and to say, but today I will talk about instinct. Because instinct is important, wildly important.
Yesterday. Yesterday morning, Little Girl was extra clingy and extra fussy. There were long stretches of time when she was perfectly fine and happy, but there were moments when she pinned me with her big blue eyes and I looked into them and I knew something was off. It took me a little while, but it came to me: She has an ear infection.
Hours later, we were there. At the doctor's office on a holiday weekend. I sat there on the white paper sheet of the examination table as the nurse examined my squirming girl. Her right ear, per the nurse, looked beautiful. Her left? A complete infected mess.
I knew it. I did.
Instinct comes in other forms, too. Less obvious forms. Some of the time, it arrives in subtle waves, in a persistent but kind nagging. Some of the time, it is a tap on the shoulder.
I sit here. In Starbucks. And I am not alone. I am sitting with my instinct. And this morning, my instinct is saying something to me, in her telltale cryptic whisper, something to me about change, something to me about this blog.
Stop or change it, Instinct says.
I have been blogging here for almost three years. That is a big chunk of time as far as I am concerned. And in these three years, my life has changed profoundly, and I have changed with it. And I see this as only a good thing, this fact that I have evolved as a person, but it makes things complicated, and it makes me confused.
Cut to the chase: I'm contemplating quitting blogging. I say contemplating because really that's all; I'm just thinking about it. And I'm trying to figure out why I'm thinking about it. I'm trying to cull reasons.
Here are some possibilities: I am feeling more protective of my privacy and of my girls these days. I am feeling more drawn to my fiction, to my desire to write books that take time. I am feeling more curious about the breathing world, the friends who pepper the preschool hallway, and sit across from me while I indulge in my existential riffs. I am feeling a slippery sense of time passing with my girls and want to be with them, really with them, as much as possible. I am feeling anxious about finding a focus here, a meaningful impetus to decide - Am I a Mommy Blogger? A Life Blogger? What the bleep do these things mean and do they matter? I am feeling ripples of change in my world and in my body and in my mind; a desire to turn inward and plumb the depths of the memories and stories that are piling up within me. Interestingly, I am feeling a swelling sense of confidence and power when it comes to my writing but not to myself.
Goodness, I am feeling many things. It feels good to feel.
Instinct. It is here with me. Hovering. Holding my hand. Telling me that as long as I listen, or try to, I will be fine. Great.
And so. And so I will. I will listen. And for now, that means this blog might evolve in ways even I cannot totally foresee. My posts might shrink down into small, distilled bits. I might turn off the comments some days. I might post just pictures or just quotes or just questions some days. I might publish rough parts of my next novel. I might go days without publishing a word. I might post three times a day. I don't know.
What I do know is that I don't want to abandon this space, that has been immensely important to me, and continues to be even if I'm confused about the role it should play in my life these days. What I do know is that this corner keeps me thinking and thinking is everything. And it keeps me writing, this blog. Not about my characters, my creations. But about me.
This corner keeps me writing about Me. Arguably my most important character, my most important creation, of all.
So. Bear with me. Bear with me as I sit here in my Starbucks, in my confusion, in my life as I think and ask and write clumsily about change.
6:14am. The streets are still dark. My coffee is now warm. I will head home and walk through a door and hug little girls, stumbling with gratitude into the chaotic promise of another fine day.
Do you have any ideas - big or small - on how I might maintain this blog within the confines of my personal and professional instincts and evolution? Have you struggled to keep your blog afloat at times? Are you a different person now than you were three years ago? Do you believe in the profound importance of instinct when it comes to living life?