I’ve agonised over this for a long time, and by that I mean months. At least 3 or 4 of them. Surely I don’t have to do something quite so extreme? Why not limit my time online and apply better filters to the noise so I’m not overwhelmed?
Yes, well. It has nothing to do with any of that.
It has to do with the fact that I’m cold and empty inside. That I’m weary. So weary. That I’m hurting. That my offline support network has basically crumbled because it was still long-distance and everyone’s got stuff going on, right?
I can’t do this anymore. I can’t substitute the blogosphere for real life anymore. I crave human connection, face-to-face interaction; physical proof that people actually care without me having to keep the friendship going all by myself.
I love giving. I love connecting. I love meeting kindred spirits online & hitting it off right away and chatting like we’ve known each other forever.
But it’s still one step removed, you know?
We can’t sit down to tea or hot chocolate together and chat because we live on different continents.
We can’t hug in times of crises because we live in different countries.
We can’t even Skype spontaneously because we live in different fricking time zones.
I’m starting to forget what it’s like to have friends who genuinely care. People I can call up and say, “Hey, let’s hang out this weekend!” without getting a lame brush-off in response. I had quite enough of that when I spent last summer in my homeland, thank you.
I don’t know what it feels like to have my girlfriends rally around me when my heart gets bruised or broken because we still have to do it over BlackBerry Messenger or Skype. We can’t do it in person because they live in LA and Glasgow and Abuja.
I need more. I’m falling apart without that more.
It’s no secret that I want to be a digital entrepreneur. It’s also no secret that my health’s not exactly at 100%. But hey, that’s OK because you can overcome any challenge if you put your heart to it and believe in yourself, right?
Right. But you need people in your corner backing you all the way. People you can see and smell and hold and meet up with in real time.
Online friendships are fantastic, and I’m a better person today because of them. But they can’t replace having an offline circle to share your highs and lows. The online world ought to complement your life, not form the sum of it.
I started blogging as a way to stay connected to the outside world because I couldn’t do otherwise. I was basically a hair’s breadth from a nervous breakdown and couldn’t handle situations that weren’t wholly under my control. Plus my body did some crazy stuff you’d have to see to believe and understand.
Enter the blogosphere.
I could do as much or as little as I wanted, whenever I liked, and that was okay. It was enough. I had bigger problems going on, anyway.
But as I’ve gotten a little better, and decided to try my hand at starting a business, I realise I’m going about it backwards. I’m trying to be somebody online so I can feel whole inside. Not exactly a recipe for success, is it?
Sometimes I read over my posts and ask myself if I’m really living by them. Yes. Maybe. Not quite. Not right now. Not until you face this final hurdle.
I believe in everything on my site. I believe we are beautiful, magnificent creatures with so much to give and share and offer. I also believe we need a physical posse to cheer us on and show us back to our path when we’ve lost our way.
No matter how successful you are online, you still have deep relationships in the real world, right? Family. Friends. Lovers. Partners. Spouses. Kids. Colleagues. Acquaintances.
Now take away all those things except family. Keep the parents and distribute siblings and cousins over three continents. Sprinkle in some struggle with the language barrier in the foreign country you live in because of the healthcare and the fact that you’re not well enough to live on your own yet.
That’s my life in a nutshell.
But you wouldn’t know it because I come on here and talk about being a Radiant Soul and cheer you on and tell you yes you can! And I believe every word of it.
Only problem is I’m in a situation where only my parents and therapist do that for me in person and it’s not enough. Not nearly enough. Not anymore.
I feel like I’ve been asleep for the past 5 years or so of my life. I haven’t really been intentional about much because I thought my old friends would definitely see me through.
Funny how things don’t always turn out the way you think they will.
I’m at a stage in my life where I need to start all over again, and I’m scared. I’m so scared I won’t meet kindred spirits here in Germany and really click because our mother tongues aren’t the same. I’m so scared I’ll get to the end of the 3 months and still feel as if I’m all alone beyond my computer screen.
But you know what? I’m still going to try. I’m still going to put myself out there and connect with at least one person closer to my age who cares enough about me to make time for me. So we can meet up and chat, dance, laugh, take silly pictures together.
So I can have a chance at actually living my life and not writing it all away to fill other people’s wells while mine remains bone-dry.
I’ll sign up for Zumba lessons even if I can only last the first 5 or 10 minutes at first. It has to get better with time, right? Plus I’ll get to jam with folks who LOVE to dance and I’ll become stronger in the process. Win-win.
I’ll nurse a hot chocolate at my local Starbucks at least once a week while I people-watch and scribble in my notebook. Someone’s bound to ask me why I show up at that particular time and day once it becomes a habit. And even if they don’t, I’m still creating the opportunity to make it happen. Or I can even strike up conversation with another regular! Again, win-win.
And as I’m able to, I’ll seek out groups in my town or neighbouring cities who gather around topics of common interest. Who knows, I may even find folks über fluent in English, or places where my German’s enough to keep things goings. Hey, a girl can dream.
Am I abandoning this blog? No.
Am I abandoning my dream? Heck no!
Am I pausing to take better care of myself and truly make a place for me out in the world?
Because I want to operate from abundance and overflow. Because I want to be able to keep connecting for real and from a pure place without getting desperate for validation and attention. Because I want to separate myself from my work here on the blog and discover who I really am.
I want to get out there and taste life and dance under the stars, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time at first. I want to know that my heart’s brimming with love and my soul’s grounded in a sense of being separate from any external metric. I want to feel connected to society.
Because I’m in danger of remaining a hermit, and then life and all her treasures really will pass me by.
I’ve loved learning from other people’s lives and marvelling at their zany adventures. Now it’s time to make some adventures of my own. Firsthand. So I can really feel the experiences.
Will I be different when I return? I certainly hope so. More grounded. More at peace. Happily linked to the outside world.
Will I continue with Radiant Soul Space when I come back? Wild horses couldn’t stop me, darlings. I’ll keep writing even while I’m on hiatus.
I just need to . . . unplug.
I’m going to miss all of you. I’ll miss the thrill of seeing Facebook and Twitter shares or blog comments. I’ll miss getting to know you better.
I hope you’ll still be around when I return. I hope we’ll still giggle together as we engage and continue building our very own community.
But for now I must leave, so I can have the chance to create a full life. I desire to live raw, fiery, & BOLD. I think that post was the clincher that decided me on this hiatus. I don’t do things half-way, so I’m not surprised I’m heading off into the unknown for 3 months.
I’ll be online until the end of this week. If you’d like to stay in touch, email me your Skype ID through the contact form and we can chat every now and then. I’m keeping my weekly chats with my friend and accountability partner Jessica, so I won’t be totally inaccessible.
If you’re on my mailing list, my love notes will be on hold as well. Please don’t forget about me, okay? 🙂
I’ll be thinking of you and praying you’re showing up as your fullest selves every single day. Even when it’s hard. Even when you feel lost and alone and afraid. I’ll be praying for the support and drive you need, just like I’ll be doing the same for myself.
And should I happen to cross your mind at any time, send me a smile and a little love, won’t you? Good vibes are always welcome.
Please feel free to explore my blog while I’m gone and read my eBook if you haven’t yet.
OK, this is it. My eyes are finally dry and it’s time to say a short goodbye. I’ll be back March 8th, 2013.
Shine on, my friends. Shine on.
Much love always,