Monday, September 4, 2017

In which I blog about blogging

Everyone's been asked this question at some point - "What did you do for fun as a kid?"  Often the question is asked in an attempt for you to find your one true passion so that you can follow your bliss for your job and "never work a day in your life."  Or it's sometimes just asked to help guide you toward a valuable hobby that will bring you joy.

For me, the top answer that springs to mind is always writing.  Yes, I also had a deep and abiding obsession with movies, and I could spend hours playing with Barbies, but writing has been a consistent love and passion for as long as I've been able to do it.  I loved coming up with my own original stories, creating fanfiction before I even know the word, writing movie reviews (my former dream job, before the Internet made the profession way less common, important, and relevant), and even just straight up transcribing things I loved just for the pleasure of typing it and recreating it.  I've kept a journal my whole life, too, ever since my mom gave me my first one with the promise that it would always be for my eyes only, and one memorable semester in college I took three writing-intensive courses in one semester.  (That was not smart)

So it made a lot of sense to me to start this blog (far from my first, and God help me if my college livejournal is ever discovered) over seven years ago when I was new to the city and fresh out of my 200-hour yoga teacher training.  It would be a place to explore and discover all my new exciting yoga knowledge and inevitable spiritual breakthroughs.

Over the years I've been consistent with it, sometimes more consistent than others.  But over the years it's also become more of a chore, a self-imposed have to rather than a want to.  I'm an upholder, so if I commit to doing something, I'll keep that commitment even sometimes past the point of it being useful, enjoyable, or even practical just because I said I would, dammit.  With this blog, for instance - if I stopped posting, I'm pretty sure no one would notice or much care.  I don't say that to solicit cries of support or fish for a compliment - it's just a fact.  The Internet is not lacking for blogs or things to read, and like everyone else, I am not lacking for a platform to express myself on it.

And this brings me back to that question - What did you do for fun as a kid?  Well, I wrote.  It's so ingrained in me that I formed this weekly commitment to myself to write something worthy of sharing with others...yet it's become a source of stress (this isn't good/deep/interesting/insightful/funny enough!) and "have-to" (it's almost Saturday and I haven't posted for the week and I'll break my streak!).

Writing brings me joy - but only when I approach it that way.  Writing does help me through struggles.  I sometimes feel hampered in blogging because often when a lot is going on that isn't appropriate to share with the world for to respect peoples' privacy, or is more political in nature (aka almost every single thing I've wanted to write about since the current President announced his bid to run by calling Mexicans rapists).  I also feel tied to the self-imposed idea that this is just a yoga blog.  Which is stupid.  I'm literally only doing this for myself - I can make it whatever I want.  Also, you can tie pretty much anything to yoga, albeit sometimes with the thinnest of threads.

What I'm trying to say through all this self-reflective yammering is - if I want to change how I feel about this, I have to change my approach.  I literally do not have to write.  I get to write.  I love to write.  Writing is a deeply spiritual practice for me and it always has been, even as a kid when I would've had no idea what that meant.  It's something in which I can get lost in that ever-elusive, ever magical flow - when you're so immersed in an activity you lose track and sense of time and the usual mental chatter fades effortlessly into the background.  I think sometimes my resistance to writing actually comes from a resistance to allowing myself to escape that mental chatter that we're all so masochistically attached to and get into that state of flow.

So, I'm changing my approach and giving the practice of writing the reverence it deserves.  Even if the quality of my writing doesn't change at all or even diminishes, I can choose how rewarding the time spent is for me.  Don't turn a blessing into a chore - how blessed I am to even be wondering about this epically first world problem.  I have the freedom of speech, the education to write and express myself, and the time in which to do it.  What a tragic waste it would be to do anything other than enjoy it in complete and utter humility and gratitude.

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