WHEN I’M HELPING STUDENTS WITH THEIR ESSAYS, and they ask if something is a good idea, I respond, does it help support your thesis? When I’m in a meeting, and folks are wondering what steps are next, I often ask, well, what is our mission? When I’m working on a project of my own, I ask those same questions of myself. The answers to those questions let me know whether I am on the right track or not. So I have been asking myself these questions about a number of things lately, including this blog.
I started this writing project on my birthday-gift website from my kids, a little over a year ago. I had a few reasons. Foremost in my mind was the desire to practice a slightly different writing voice, one that was a bit more popular-culture in tone, a step away from my (still very accessible) academic writing, and in yet a slightly different direction than my creative writing voice. I fancied doing some journalistic-type writing and wanted to settle in on a style that seemed more conducive to the venues where I would try to publish my work. I think I succeeded in that mission.
This blog also provided an opportunity for me to share my thoughts. Why would I think anyone would want to share in my thoughts? Well, because a lot of people — believe it or not! — seek out my opinion. And, yet other people quite often echo the things I have been thinking. So it seemed there would be a bunch of folks who would enjoy the discourse I was having in my head, and also be interested in the conversations I had with others. According to comments, that mission was accomplished, too.
It was pointed out to me by my wise daughter that it seemed to her that the blog was aiding me in connecting with others. She is correct; and that supports my thesis as stated in the last paragraph! And who wasn’t/isn’t trying to find some connections during this pandemic!? Well, a few people are not, but most of my even hyper-independent peeps were seeking evidence that they still existed outside of their heads and abodes. I know I was. And then, well, I went and moved across the country, away from friends I saw regularly, so of course I wanted to stay connected to them by sharing my thoughts and experiences. (In long form, as opposed to simply a tweet or happy-face photo). It also has been a means of some of my new community getting to know me. So that’s been a nice added footnote.
My insightful son then observed that my blog at times frames others’ ideas as ones I have never had. In fact he even mentioned that a number of the observations — and even revelations that I seemed to be experiencing for the first time — according to my writing — were the very things he had been taught by me as he was growing up. That gave me pause. (Yes, I am super fortunate to have wise, insightful children who trust me enough to share their thoughts with me. And those of you who have such children know, it ain’t always easy to hear what they have to say)! So I had to ask myself, was I attributing wisdom solely to others that I also carried? And did I already own certain beliefs that seemed brand new when coming from somewhere else? Well, yes, somewhat. And, that can all be very valuable at times, to hear your ideas presented differently — and to acknowledge others’ astuteness. But I also didn’t want to participate in any kind of self-deprecation at this point in time. Like, I spent way too many decades dimming my light for others. Self-deprecation, my friends, is not humility, it is a dismissal or disparagement of oneself. Ladies, take note. Women, be on alert! We still get sold the bill of goods that being self-deprecating is a polite, feminine thing to do. No it’s not.
Anyway, as I have been thinking about why I do this blog and what would be a good idea to add to it, I have been asking myself the thesis question. As in, what am I trying to say. And while I have been able to answer that question for the past year, it seems I may have run out of answers for the moment. Apparently this blog is no longer supporting my thesis; I have moved on to a new mission statement. My desire to connect is being satisfied in other ways right now. And I’m not focused on pitching articles because I am actually working on a grown-up deadline for a book draft. And I also just sort of feel like keeping my thoughts to myself, and my journal, and my inner circle for a little while. I am mildly wrestling with a couple of things, and I would like to do that wrestling in private, before putting my stuff out there again.
So, heartbroken as my legion of fans (!) may be, I’m going to step away from my weekly blogging and use my Sunday afternoons for some new missions. (Now you have time to catch up on a year’s worth of Katie blogs)! I really want to thank those who gave me feedback and encouragement. As some of you know, it’s not that easy putting your ideas out into the ether and seeing what sticks — and who might throw things at you because of them. I am really happy that I did such a thing; it felt brave. But I don’t want it to feel redundant. Many blogs ago I wrote about schedules and routines and how I was a fan of the former but eschewed the latter. This blog has become a routine, routine, and so I know it is no longer serving me. And that means I’m serving no purpose, and thusly and heretofore I am out. I’ll be taking an alternate route for the time being.
Let’s keep the love going that we have amongst ourselves. Let’s stay connected with each other through varying channels. And let’s keep changing this world — through words, through action, through faith. Peace.