A few years later, I return to my humble online sanctuary. A little older, not much wiser, still holding my breath, afraid to disturb the spiders sitting in their corners.
This blog had been confined to the vast and dizzying graveyard of my many discarded projects. The pattern is clear and inevitable: First, there is the initial surge of hubris and excitement – a new idea! This could be the one; the idea I will stick with for years, the one that might lead somewhere noteworthy! The first thing I do is, always: get the URL! My poor husband patiently puts up with my antics and now has a list of at least ten inactive websites drifting in the foggy marshlands of the web. I post a thing or two, my mind starts drifting, and I begin questioning my right to occupy this space, to clog up this site with more meaningless nonsense, doubt turns to fear turns to paralysed panic. Finding Fleur was okay for a while, but that’s the thing with me – I’m ever-changing, ever-drifting, and things only seem relevant to me for a short time. When their relevance is gone, so am I. I’m not one to keep fighting. I unplug the life-support and move on.
Nevertheless, here I am. I rebooted the machine and it turns out this particular baby is still wheezing for breath, and I feel that familiar urge to have a blog even though I turn up my nose at moronic, meaningless drivel that are like the internet’s stubborn and pervasive fat cells. Because writing, because outlet, because words, because connection. Because why not? Because I am still looking for Fleur.
I’ve taken a break from my new novel to work on a short story competition, 500 words with the theme ‘Good Night New York’. It makes me tingle and wriggle with excitement because that theme is just made for me! Then, of course, pressure immediately began to build up, and soon I was frozen with expectations far too high and unrealistic. So, back to it, reminding myself that I’m not writing to win, just to participate if anything, but mainly because I just want to play with midnight Manhattan poetry.
It is still so hard to just have fun with it.
In the shower this morning, I remembered the horrors of my childhood mornings – alarms going off at 5:30, chaos noise stress, kids everywhere (seven siblings! I know, sigh), and the darkness that just never seemed to go away. It was cold and miserable and just staying alive in that pack of humans was hard enough, never mind actually growing and achieving stuff. Thus, I was overcome by a sincere wave of gratitude and relief that I am no longer there; my life is no longer that; and when I wake up in the morning there is no freezing pre-dawn darkness I must rush out into, no pressing obligations or awkward places I must go, no people I must face. I am free.
Now, if I can only release myself from my own shackles, my life will be complete.