There hasn't been much of me around these parts lately. I'm not sure if you noticed. It's okay if you didn't. I've been wrestling with a lot of feelings about this whole blogging thing, and to be honest, I'm still not quite sure how I feel about it. (I've been wrestling with a lot of things actually, but let's start with blogging.)
I've had dear friends step away from blogging entirely.
I've had friends pull back from writing monthly to instead write just sporadically.
I have other friends still writing amazing content consistently.
And I'm not quite sure what's best for me.
I've been reading a lot about personalities lately-- the enneagram, specifically.
I already knew I was an INFJ and a highly-sensitive person (understatement of the century), but now I also know I'm a type 1 on the enneagram.
The perfectionist. If I can't do it 100% right, I don't want to do it at all. My expectations are high (impossibly so) and resentment builds easily in me when things don't live up to the standards I've set. I'm a feeler (deeply so) and carry the weight of not only my struggles, but the struggles of everyone I know and care about, and the struggles of the world around me, too. It's heavy. I've realized more and more how it's both a blessing and a curse to care so much about so many people and so many things.
The interesting thing about being a One, is that in times of disintegration and stress (when I'm at my worst, essentially), I become moody and irrational. At my best, I become more spontaneous and joyful... but that feels so far off right now. In reading about my type, I found this sentence that just rings SO TRUE: "By attempting to create their own brand of perfection, they often create their own personal hell. Instead of agreeing with the statement in Genesis that God saw what He had created, 'and it was good,' Ones intensely feel that 'It wasn't-- there obviously have been some mistakes here!'"
The more I read about my personality, the more I learn about myself, and the more self-aware I become. That's a good thing, even when it's a really messy and vulnerable thing too.
I know I feel things deeply. I know I have unreasonably high expectations for myself. I know I harbor deeply-seeded resentment toward myself and others. I know my emotions are intense. I know I'm prone to pushing people away when I don't feel like I have things together, and I know I'm prone to pushing God away too.
Learning that these things are characteristics of personality types that others hold too (like INFJ and type One) has been freeing in a lot of ways. It's like I'm finally realizing I'm not alone in this and other people get it too.
I'm learning more about what's hard for me, what's draining, what's challenging, what's damaging. I'm also learning more about what's good for me, what's life-giving, what's gratifying, what's exciting.
Where I'm at right now in life is a weird place. That's really what I'm struggling with (more than blogging) if I'm being honest. And honest is a thing I always want to be.
There are good things (great things, even) going on and there are really hard things going on, too. There are things I don't know how to talk about, things I don't quite know how to handle well. There are many things written on my calendar, and there is not as much free time as I know my introvert batteries need for recharging. There are many requests being made of me, and there is a lot of pouring out. There are really broken friendships and really hard relationships that are heavy on my heart. There is a lot of activity, and not as much refreshment or rest, and there isn't a lot of clarity about how to really get more of that back.
When there's so much going on in my heart and my head, blogging seems silly.
When I'm fighting through a daily fog of so many feelings and so much busyness, it feels futile to write a blog post for the world.
What's the point?
Why does it matter?
What does it achieve?
Does this matter in the big picture? Does this matter for the Kingdom? Is God glorified in this?
Is this worth the time and energy?
Is it healthy for me?
Is it good for my heart?
I'm not sure. This is an attempt to start thinking through that more. This is me being totally real with you.
For now, I'm writing the things that are easy. The book reviews, the resources on how to be vegan and gluten-free, the #collaboreads link-ups. I'm saving the hard, messy, gritty stuff for my journal (with the exception of this post, obviously). I'm writing in my journal more than ever, and it's been good for me. I'm praying a lot too. And crying. And learning about surrender. And coming to terms with the word "depression" as a thing that I'm feeling.
As a side note: I am not saying I am clinically depressed. I have not seen a doctor or a counselor yet or officially been diagnosed, but what I am doing is giving a name to the darkness and the fog I'm feeling (and have been feeling for some time). I'm attempting to push back against the darkness and not continue giving it power over me it doesn't deserve. Calling it "depression" feels like the best fit right now. It's nuanced and complex and so deep, and that's the name that makes sense as a result.
For now, I'm taking care of myself, and I'm working hard to fight through the very real fog I'm feeling.
It looks a lot like opening Scripture and reading truth even when I'm not sure I believe it. It looks a lot like prayers choked out through hot tears of frustration. It looks a lot like staying quiet and listening, and looking, and writing down lists of the good things so I remember they're still there. It looks like stepping away from friendships that have turned sour, and also turning toward friends who remind me of truth and show me abundant grace. It looks like choosing the veggies over the junk food I'm craving, and filling my body with the good stuff I know will nourish me. It looks like saying no to things that won't be healthy for me right now, and turning down plans in favor of rest and stillness instead. It looks like blogging less, but processing more. It looks like sleeping a lot, but trying not to sleep too much as an escape from reality. It looks like deleting social media apps from my phone and disconnecting more. It looks like hard and honest conversations with the few true friends who know my heart well, and it looks like admitting weakness.
This isn't who I want to be.
This isn't how I want to feel.
But I'm learning to give myself grace that this is who I am and what I'm feeling right now, and also learning to give myself space to grow, too. I do not have to stay in this place, but right now I'm here, and I'm trying to be here in the most honest and open way I can.
It's a hard season, but I'm holding on to hope. That feels like the best and bravest thing I can do right now.
So, I don't think I'll be blogging as much. I don't think this is the best place for me to work through all of these more intense and personal feelings. But I so value the community I've formed here and so deeply appreciate the friends I've made here, and I wanted to speak out and share this. I've so loved when others have openly shared their journeys through their words, and it's my hope that in sharing my own, even more life will be found for us all together.
For my dear friends who have been thick in the woods of darkness, heavy-heartedness, and depression... I would love to talk with you more. I would love to hear how the Lord brought you through (or how you feel Him with you in it where you are), and how you've learned to navigate all the messes and emotions of life better.
So grateful for the people in my corner that remind me I'm never alone.