owning the journey, owning the darkness

I have been absent here for too long. It’s funny, though, because I have been writing and creating a lot in the past year; I have just had it in my head that I need a vision, a direction for where I am taking this blog. My life has changed a lot in the past year. I got engaged in June and married in September. Those are the big ones! The huge life changes that have filled my heart and time this year. Then we went on our honeymoon in October– we spent ten days on Maui, and it only made me want to travel more. I have been absolutely loving the direction my life is taking me, but it has definitely seemed more busy and less simple this year, and, on the surface, this is a blog about simplicity, so I have taken a step back. At a deeper level, though, this blog is about process and imperfection. So I am here this morning, checking in. I am not working from a draft or with some higher purpose in mind. I just want to send some small shard of my voice back into the world. I also want to create some accountability for myself, to state to the world that, even when life is not so simple, I will show up. I will share bits and pieces and bumps along the journey even if I am too preoccupied to do anything grander.

There is another reason I have been absent, though, and it’s more of a question of ethics. I have been noticing lately that most of the blogs I used to read fall flat for me today. They are either too routine, pumping out how to series or weekly budget updates, or their message has worn thin. It seems to me that most people struggle in the long run when writing a blog that focuses on a specific topic; they have some really interesting posts in the beginning because all of their ideas are new, but eventually they start to repeat themselves. And eventually I get bored.

Boredom isn’t the real problem, though, it’s image crafting. As a yoga teacher, I seem to encounter a lot of people who want to change the world with their words. They want to make the world a better place, and I admire that. It seems unethical to me, though, to paint a picture of oneself as an authority on how to lead a rich life and to offer advice to others when, really, we are all on a journey and can’t possibly have it all figured out. This image building trend is pretty common these days, especially with social media, and man, is it easy to spot on Facebook. The friend who posts regular, ecstatic status updates about their wonderful life. The friend whose children are always well groomed and smiling. The many, many friends we have who seem to be living life to the fullest. Social media makes it so easy for us to control exactly what the world sees of us. No more bad hair days. No more darkness. The same thing happens in the blogging world when people get too wrapped up in offering self-help style advice. These writers are people, with dark and light inside them just like us. People with their own experiences and their own path, just like us. Yet, the only time they share the darkness is when they are telling a story about how they overcame it and how you can, too. I see all of these bright, shiny, blog posts, and I start to feel exhausted. Sunburned. I need to see the darkness in the world! It exists to balance out and allow us to appreciate the light!

I read other people’s blogs and I see what I don’t want to be, so I have just stayed away. I know that I don’t want to write a public diary, but I don’t want to fall into the overly didactic “I will change your life” camp, either. Nor am I looking to make a living from what I offer here. But I do have a voice and I am on a journey, and maybe there are parts of that journey that resonate with you. When I have an aha! moment, I will probably share it. Just know that I don’t have it all figured out; if you are looking for someone to offer a solution, that isn’t me. I care most about the journey; the scenery we pass along the way, the obstacles we face, and the creative ways we make our way through. The dark as well as the light. The way they interplay, and the shadowy spaces in between. I write about what I bump up against on my journey and how I navigate the bumps. I offer up what I am able to put into words in hopes that it resonates with someone, somewhere. Even if it doesn’t, I keep writing because I need a record of my journey. I need to remember the darkness when things seem to bright, and I need to remember the differing shades of my past and the maneuvers I came up with when the sea got rough.

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