Ahhhhh, where do I start? I have a lot to say, and not sure where to begin.
Ok, let me start by saying that I haven’t written in four weeks. I’ve had periods like this before, but never so long. There are many reasons for this absence from the blog. But, how did it start? I think it all started with my disillusionment with politics. I don’t feel like I have anything to contribute on this subject anymore. Considering that this blog was first and foremost a political blog, this is, of course, a problem.
Time is also a factor. The last post I wrote in this “Life” section was over three months ago, on March 9th, where I explained why I think we’re living in an ADD world. I can’t read an article from start to finish. How can I write the kind of posts that I want to write when I don’t have the time to delve deeply into a subject, when I can’t even read a short article without skipping whole sections to get to the end fast?
But, perhaps, the biggest reason for my absence is that I’ve changed. I am not the same person today that I was two years ago when I started this blog. Part of this change is due to the normal process of living. We live, we learn. However, the change that I’m currently experiencing is profound. In my eternal quest for self-improvement (btw, I borrowed this phrase from Bill Clinton), I’ve read many spiritual and self-help books. I discovered Conversations With God Book I (and all the ones after it), many years ago. Since then, I try to re-read it once a year.
I’ve been reading the book again these past weeks and it reminded me of the importance of being the highest version of me that I can be. I know, it sounds corny. But, it’s the truth. Well, the highest version of me is not someone who sets out to destroy other human beings (even if it’s only with words) and even when they are people like Michele Bachmann, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and most of today’s GOP who thoroughly deserve the scorn of millions, mine included.
However, I don’t want to give these people space on my blog, and much less in my mind. They have chosen a path of destruction, and they will end up destroying themselves. It is impossible to send out such hatred into the world without it turning inward.
But, even more important in my evolution is the realization that I need people. I was an only child until I was 11 years old and my best friends were my books. My love of reading led me to my love of writing. But as much as I love to write, I cannot deny that it is an isolating pursuit. Since I created Opinionista, two and a half years ago, I’ve had more interaction with my laptop than with my family and friends. Yes, I have loved writing for the blog. Yes, it’s great to create something, to string words together and explain things, to connect with people. But, still, the best connections are those that one makes face-to-face, which is why I am also less on Twitter. I admit that I want to be popular on media. There is no doubt. But, I want to be social in real life.
I had not shared all these thoughts with my husband who has been traveling for business. But on Tuesday, he sent me a text message that began “From Pope Francis today”:
“…the dynamics of the media and the digital world, which, when they become ubiquitous, hinder the development of our ability to live with wisdom, to think deeply, to love generously.
The great thinkers of the past, in today’s context, would run the risk of seeing their wisdom muted in the chaotic noise of information. It will require an effort to ensure that such tools translate into a new cultural development of mankind and not into a deterioration of its deeper wealth. True wisdom, as a result of reflection, dialogue and generous encounter between people, is not acquired by a mere accumulation of data that eventually saturate and mystify, in a kind of mental pollution. At the same time, real relationships with others, with all the challenges that they imply, tend to be replaced by a type of communication mediated by the Internet.
This allows us to select or delete relationships according to our will, and this often creates a new type of artificial emotion, which have to do more with devices and screens than with people and nature.
The present tools permit us to communicate with one another, and to share knowledge and affection. However, sometimes they also prevent us from making direct contact with suffering, shivering, and the joy of others and the complexity of their personal experience.
Then it should come as no surprise that, with the overwhelming offer of these products grows a deep and melancholic dissatisfaction in relationships, or else a damaging isolation.”
Neale Donald Walsch, the author of Conversations with God, would say that God sent me a message through the Pope, even though I gave up on the Catholic Church (and its Popes) a long time ago. God, through Walsch, explains that there are no coincidences in life. I’ll just say that the timing of my husband’s text, who had no idea of my mental state, makes me suspect some kind of divine intervention, even though my logical brain is quick to reject the notion.
So, what does this all mean? I’ve been feeling adrift. Is it time for me to move on or to just make some adjustments? If I want to have more time, should I just publish once a week (instead of 3 times), and/or write shorter posts? I recently discovered an article about the popularity of Buzzfeed. It explained how it started out and how it has become hugely successful, by creating a new post form called “listicle” which is basically a short article mostly composed of a list. So, I’ve been churning out 1000-word articles for whom? Do I want to join the listicle bandwagon? Balls! Not only am I verbose, I really don’t want to create posts whose category sounds like testicles. Anyway, this is about more than just time and the lack of it.
Speaking of verbose, I’ve written one of my longest posts to say that I need to take a step back (or perhaps I should say forward) to rethink some things. I can’t tell whether I’m burned out or moving on. All I know is that I need a break. I will stop writing for a while. How long is that while? Maybe just for the summer. Maybe longer. Although I have a nagging suspicion that once the 2016 Presidential election is on full-force, I will be pulled back in, especially because of the possibility of electing our country’s first female President.
During my hiatus, Opinionista will remain online. There are over two-years worth of articles to get through if you’re interested. Although I’m sure that you will read them a lot faster than the time it took me to write them.
Just a few more words before I go: live, love, laugh. I will be doing the same.