It’s been a long time since I last posted about our new life here in Bloomfield. It’s not that nothing interesting or post-worthy has happened, if anything it’s the opposite. Life here on our new little farmstead is anything but dull! But in the midst of all the excitement of uprooting our entire lives and attempting to figure out our new lives here, I was sent reeling by the loss of my sister, Carolyn. My only sibling, my littlest big sister.
I have written a lot about it over the last few months but have not shared much online. I haven’t talked about how incredibly difficult it was to leave San Diego knowing I might never see her again, to acknowledge and accept that, despite a life spent trying to ease her struggles, I would not be able to save her. I am eternally grateful to those who understood and supported my decision to leave, who gave me permission to save myself.
I haven’t talked about my anxiety since her passing as I awaited the arrival of important dates in our lives, lives we spent together for the better part of 46 years. I’ve kept myself busy as these dates approached and felt relief and sadness as they passed. I’ve put on a brave smile and tried not to burden new friends with my grief, not to allow our new life to be built under the shadow of loss. I’ve celebrated my birthday without her, seen her birthday come and go, passed the year mark of the last time we spoke, just a week or so before I moved away, when she told me she didn’t feel up to seeing me and I chose to respect that. That’s not to say we didn’t communicate, we texted and emailed up until the end, quick notes about films we’d watched or books we’d read. Lots of heart emojis. I’ve never been so grateful for emojis! We assured each other that our souls are connected, in this realm and beyond, and that the tragedy of her passing would not be the end of “us.”
I’ve needed to express my feelings of being untethered, my grief, and regret and sorrow. And so I’ve written, and written, and written. But somehow when it comes time to press the Post button my finger slips and hits Save Draft instead. Perhaps sharing it makes it all too real, or maybe I’m just not that great at being vulnerable. Whatever it is, it has prevented me from keeping up with my blog, my journal of our time here in Bloomfield. Every time I try to sit down and post something I think, “how do I just keep writing light-hearted stories about our silly adventures when something so real, and so very not light-hearted, has passed without recognition?”
So I’m going to make a concerted effort to hit Post this time, to share this once and for all and move past it because, despite the empty hole in my heart, I’d really like to get back to telling my light-hearted stories. And I’ve been told my posts cheer people up, make them laugh, even open their eyes and minds to new things. Who knew there were actually people out there looking forward to my silly posts about butterflies and chickens? I’ll tell you what, as a person whose greatest joy in life comes from offering encouragement, enthusiasm and comic relief to those in need that’s a hard thing to ignore!
In an effort to kick my writing back into high gear I signed up for the NaNoWriMo Challenge to write 50,000 words during the month of November. It’s supposed to be a fictional novel but since it’s a self-challenge the rules are pretty flexible. There’s even a special group for people like me who aren’t writing fiction. We’re called Rebels, which suits me just fine.
So my challenge to myself is to write 50K words worth of blog posts. NaNoWriMo recommends that you write your heart out with little or no editing as you go, and for me that will be the hardest part. I’m not sure how much I’ll feel comfortable posting without my usual critical editing, or how much anyone out there wants to read my unfiltered ramblings. Anyway, I’m basically flying by the seat of my pants and trying to write as much as I can about all the crazy and cool and fun and beautiful things we’ve experienced since moving to Sonoma County. So far I have a handful of half-finished posts and a mess of photos to sort through. We’ll see what happens. I’m honestly not that attached to the outcome as long as the process gets me over this hurdle.
So this is post #1. I don’t know what comes after this but if all goes well there will be a flush of random posts which arrive in no particular order and with no particular connection. Aside from me, of course. My voice is the continuous thread that connects everything I write, and now that I have it back I intend to use it with abandon.
Thank you for reading this and for following my blog and laughing along with me, for your comments, your patience, your encouragement and support. It’s nice to be back. Now let’s do this thing.
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