If anyone still reads this blog, and I doubt anyone does, you might have been wondering where I’ve been. Well, no, probably not. If you still read this blog, you’re probably related to me or something, and you know exactly where I’ve been. One of the places I’ve been lately is Twitter. “Why?” you might ask. Or probably more like, “In God’s name, why?” I don’t know, really. I don’t have a good excuse. I might have a couple of feeble explanations.

I opened a Twitter account ages ago, but I never used it very much because a) I’m really bad at restricting myself to 140 characters, and b) since it is basically an information firehose, I found it a little overwhelming (and frankly, annoying). I started using it regularly during the 2016 presidential campaign because a) I had a lot of political feels that were finding their way onto my Facebook (honestly, officer, I don’t know how those got there!), which I think is generally a bad idea, but b) I still had a lot of political feels that needed to go someplace, and I figured Twitter would at least restrict me to brief (if entirely too frequent) expressions of said feels.

Why did I not just go back to blogging? Well, I did write some political posts during the campaign (if you were here, you would have seen them), but I found myself getting so apoplectic that I couldn’t write very much that was coherent or lucid or worth reading. (So why did I still think I needed to say anything? Good question, gentle readers. I’ll have to ponder on that some more before I attempt to answer.) So I stuck with retweeting crap on Twitter and the occasional pithy “SIGH” or “WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL?” As you can imagine, it had its reward.

But you can see how 140 characters just isn’t enough for me, right? Not even one of the new, beta 280-character accounts would be sufficient to hold all of my profound and totally smart musings.

So this is the context in which I have returned to this space for the gritty reboot of “I Am the Giraffe,” and by “gritty reboot” I mean that it’s probably going to suck–but, as another middle-aged woman with an unfortunate career trajectory once said, what difference, at this point, does it make?

What really inspired me to dust off the old WordPress login page is this Twitter hashtag #WhyIWrite. I stopped taking myself seriously as a writer a couple years ago. I know. It’s funny because I stopped being a serious writer long before that, but you know the old saying, the unserious writer is always the last to know. But this hashtag gave me some more unpleasant feels, of the non-political variety, because I do miss writing. And the real question for me is not “Why do I write?” but “Why don’t I write?”

I started blogging when my kids were still very young. I think Princess Zurg was six. Mister Bubby was three. Elvis was one. Girlfriend had not yet been thought of, except in the abstract sense of me thinking I might eventually have four children total (but certainly not more than four). I should have been too busy to write, but I found time to write blog posts, almost every day, for a very long time. I don’t remember spending tons of time writing individual blog posts. Which is not to say I wrote short blog posts, but that I basically just typed whatever I was thinking. There was not a lot of editing. Quelle surprise, I know. I don’t remember neglecting the children to accomplish this, and yet I find it so much more difficult to sit down and write a blog post anymore. I think there are a couple of reasons for this. Or maybe three. I dunno, let’s see what happens.

  1. I didn’t have time to do anything more than type whatever I was thinking. I didn’t have time to work on any of the writing projects I meant to work on when I had more time. When I started having more time to spend on writing projects I’d been neglecting, I felt guilty for spending time on blogging instead of the writing I’d claimed I really wanted to do, which brings me to my next point.
  2. Writer’s block is a real thing. It’s not a tragedy or something, but it’s a real psychological problem. My psychological problem is that I don’t know what’s going to happen next, and I’m afraid that whatever I put on the page (virtual or otherwise) is going to suck, and I just can’t face that. Which means that a) I’m a coward, and b) I’m the worst sort of coward because I’m deathly afraid of something that isn’t a life or death situation, which I suspect is because c) I’m actually incredibly lazy. It’s one thing to think you’ve come to terms with your character flaws because you have no trouble saying, “Yeah, haha, I’m a terrible human being,” because you know intellectually you’re a terrible human being, but until you’ve actually emotionally faced the reality of your deepest character flaw, you haven’t come to terms with anything. So long story short, I didn’t want to write blog posts because I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) write what I really wanted to write, but I was not ready to admit that figurative ship had sailed and would not be returning to port, so I wrote nothing. Because humans are dumb and make bad decisions, and so am/do I.
  3. This is secondary to my last point (can point #3 be secondary? well, it is), but I had a lot of inspiration when my kids were little. They did say the darnedest things, after all. Now they’re 19, 17, 14, and (very close to) 12, and while they still say (and do) the darnedest things, I’m more circumspect about writing about them because I feel they deserve their privacy. I mean, I don’t have a problem telling you about the funny thing my kid said the other day. (They do still say funny things.) But there’s a lot of other stuff that takes up space in the parenting neighborhood of my brain that just isn’t the general public’s business. It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it. Oh, man, you have no idea how much I’d like to talk about it. But I shouldn’t because it would be wrong. I’ve gone through a rather long period of parenting that has been emotionally exhausting, and writing about it might help–i.e., it might help me, but I don’t think it would help me more than it would hurt my child. So yeah, if this were Facebook, that would be some next-level Vaguebooking. This is blogging, so I guess it’s vagueblogging, but whatever. The point is it’s hard to muster energy to write about the funny thing my kid said the other day when I’m kind of obsessed with the stuff I can’t write about. (See above, laziness.)

But you know what? I’m tired of not writing. I’m tired of Twitter. Will I still go on Twitter? Of course I will. Like a dog to its vomit. I’m only human. But I’m not doing anything else. Well, laundry. I’m doing laundry. I’m doing the dishes too. Occasionally I even sweep the floor. (And I do mean occasionally. I thought about doing it today, but I’m here instead. Maybe tomorrow.) I run errands. I practice my clogging. I feel like I shouldn’t eat unless I’ve exercised that day. Does not exercising keep me from eating? Absolutely not. But I feel guilty the whole time I’m doing it, and that takes at least 30 percent of the pleasure out of it. But I digress. Where was I? (You haven’t missed this about me, have you?) Oh, yes. I’m not doing anything else. And I’m not apt to do anything better with my time. It would be rad of me to start volunteering and giving back to the community and crap, but I’m not yet that person. (I haven’t given up on the idea that I might be that person someday, but I’m at peace with the fact that I’m not yet that person. Which means I’ll probably never be that person, but I’m not admitting that yet. One deep character flaw confrontation at a time, kids!)

The best thing about blogging, back in the old days, was just putting stuff out there, knowing that anyone on earth could see it and also knowing that probably no one would. I don’t know what was so great about it, except that I kind of miss it. As my readership grew, blogging became more rewarding in many ways, but also more stressful. It’s always more stressful when people expect things of you.