If you are a long time reader of this space, you may have noticed that December has been pretty sparse when it comes to postings. In over five years of writing in this space, despite kids, husband and a demanding job, I have always found time to write because writing was the elixir that my soul craved and actually demanded to stay grounded.
This year though it’s been a bit different, I kicked off my 40’s in January with a personal mandate to create meaningful change in my life. To detour from the path that was starting to suffocate me with its routine and frankly suck the life out of me. As I sit and reflect on the past 12 months, I can confidently say that I have stayed the course in creating the change that I needed to be healthy. At this point there is just one last area of my life where change has stalled and even that is a work in progress, granted in that area of my life where the stakes are higher as the change I crave involves others. So for now, I am content to proceed with caution in that one area of my life when all the other areas are charging ahead.
For the past several weeks, I have been slowly dismantling the agency I’ve spent the last five years heading up. While the closing of a social service agency that serves many is never a good thing, I have no sadness. I overstayed my welcome in more ways than one. To be honest, it is a relief to say good bye despite the hardship the agency’s closure brings to a community. The old me eagerly carried the pain of others in my spirit and worked to please others, that me is dead. I still care deeply, but I cannot save the world single-handedly and I am fine with that, hell, I am more than fine with it.
The woman I am slowly becoming is one who recognizes that change is part of life as is impermanence. Nothing stays the same and in many cases things shouldn’t stay the same. I was reminded of that this past holiday week when talking with my soon to be 22 year old son who was home for the holidays. In my mind’s eye he is still my little boy, but he has grown into a fine young man and musician whose musical growth has earned not only financial rewards and accolades but even his own Wikipedia page (though they did get a few details wrong). Change is good and necessary.
In closing the door on an era in my life and entering a new chapter professionally as I start my new position in a little over a week now, I find myself at a digital crossroads. Since my move to Maine, the internet has been a part of my life. In the early days in Maine it allowed me to stay connected to old friends and meet new ones. During my pregnancy with the now eight year old while actively grieving the loss of my beloved mom, I found the support I needed. In more recent years online spaces allowed me to give voice to what I did not then have the courage to speak aloud to others and without a doubt much of the professional growth that I have experienced in the past eighteen months would not have happened without the internet.
I am not a millennial but as a mid-point Gen X-er, I have learned to master the digital landscape and it’s been a blast but lately I find myself feeling stuck in a digital rut. Today’s internet is a different place than it was just a few short years ago and more and more, I am not sure what my relationship to it is or whether we even need to have a relationship. In today’s digital world, turning back the wheels and becoming a Luddite doesn’t make a lot of sense but after watching the internet tear down people for mistakes, I sense a shift in the digital spaces that have been a part of my life for so long. Just as I am mindful of my physical space, more and more I am starting to realize I need to be mindful of my digital ones as well. Part of me is ready to say goodbye to this blog because I am not sure how it will continue to fit into my life. Despite having shared myself for years in this space, most of that sharing was done while flying under the radar. That is no longer the case and in a digital world that now affects our offline lives, I hesitate to share the rambling thoughts that were once a part of this space. While calling out social injustice is very much a part of this space, I wonder if there is place in the digital landscape for middle aged ladies who sometimes blunder. In not knowing the answers to these questions, I find myself less willing to come to this space because for me the act of writing is an intimate one and no longer is this space as safe for the intimacy my writing requires.
Much of what I am saying is not new but the difference this time is that I have slowly started to divest myself from this space emotionally and with the changes ahead, time is a factor. I have no interest in squandering time in a process that no longer fills my needs. This year, for the first time in several years, I didn’t rank as a top “mom” blogger and while that is most certainly no big loss, it was yet another reminder that maybe it’s time to move on.
So I end this post with a thank you for reading and thank you for being a part of this space. I suspect like a lover that you just can’t fully leave, I will return when I need to dump and share thoughts but I suspect those moments will eventually become fewer and fewer until one day this space is no more. For now I am available on twitter and on Facebook where often it is easier for me to share ideas and thoughts though I am contemplating deactivating my twitter account but that too will be a work in progress. Right now my hands are full as I navigate a new professional landscape in a new city.
Happy Holidays, best wishes and until we meet again…
Peace, Love and Light,
Shay aka Black Girl in Maine