After I ended a 2 ½ year relationship last November, I went through a very long grieving period. In fact, these past eight months have been kind of a blur of extreme highs and more extreme lows, and up until literally a couple days ago, I had been riding a new low.
Although I launched 101 Colored Doors back in February with a lot of excitement and hopes of sharing my experiences in this adventure called life, and as a result, motivating and encouraging others to break free of their own comfort zones, I found that I couldn’t find my own inspiration to tap into, let alone give it to others. So after only three posts, I stopped writing, almost completely.
However, thanks to the love and care of some very good friends, and the use of tools and resources that I’ll share another time, I’ve started to feel more alive and like myself again. Hence, after a five-month hiatus, I am finally back to writing, and through this process of “sort of” starting a blog and then stepping away from it, I realized a few things that I’d like to share.
What I Realized While NOT Writing These Past Five Months
- In the journey of life, you must accept that you simply are where you are.
Even though it was three months after my break-up when I launched 101 Colored Doors, it wasn’t until about that point that the full weight of my grief came down on me. Before that, I had plenty of distractions, with the excitement of traveling back to the U.S. for the holidays and being with family and friends, and then returning to Taiwan for only three weeks before heading out again on a 16-day adventure in Thailand for Chinese New Year.
Then, while in Thailand, just two days before writing my first post, all my emotions went live, and I had a total breakdown in one of the most beautiful and peaceful mountain villages in Thailand. The way I was feeling didn’t fit the setting at all, and I tried to fight my sadness and hold back the barrage of emotion, but the fact was, that’s just where I was. So I gave in and just let it flow for the day and a half I was there.
Two days later, when I launched the blog, I was feeling better, but I was still pretty emotionally raw. I was afraid that my unstable emotions would come through in my writing, but I decided to just keep it simple and wrote the first post anyway. It felt good, but after that, I continued to worry that I was just too raw to write. In the end, I let my fears consume me, and I stopped writing. However, looking back, I realize that that’s just where I was in my journey, and that I shouldn’t have let it stop me from moving forward with something I’m passionate about, like writing.
- Don’t wait until you’re “ready” or everything is perfect (or even good) in order to do something.
In truth, I almost didn’t launch the blog at all back in February, because I didn’t feel like I was ready. I felt like I wasn’t in a position that I could really write anything inspiring, especially on a blog that is supposed to be positive, motivational and uplifting.
I felt like I had nothing to give, and I kept doubting myself with questions like, “How can I offer anything useful to others when my own life feels like such a mess?” and “How can I inspire and encourage others when I’m the one who desperately needs encouragement?”
However, what I have realized over the past few months is that although “real” is scary sometimes, being real about our own positive and negative experiences might be exactly what someone else needs too. The articles and blogs that have always impacted and helped me the most have been the ones where the authors have been willing to really open up and candidly share their experiences.
It reminded me that instead of waiting until everything is good or perfect, or you feel like everything is aligned in a way that signals you are “ready,” just dive in. When people are transparent and willing to be real about their struggles, it’s easier for others to connect with them, and your own honesty might be exactly what resonates with and helps others.
- I need my blog as much as it needs me.
For many of us, writing is the primary way we express ourselves. I love to write, and I feel like, with the right combination of letters, I can paint each stroke and line on a canvas to form a picture of words just as beautiful and brilliantly colorful as any masterpiece done with a brush.
Words are powerful; they can elicit laughter or incite anger, and they can cause the tears to flow in happiness and in sadness. They’re the strings of the violin that plays her sonnet of love lost and love returned, and of the piano, whose chords reverberate with the melody long after the fingers have stopped playing.
For me, writing is an outlet, and when I am down and feeling like I can’t freely express myself, whether self-imposed or somehow perceived, I suffer even more. Like my home, that I painted and decorated, and my beautiful flower garden that I planted to enjoy from my patio, my blog is like my cyber sanctuary. It’s fun, it’s colorful, and it was designed to be a happy place to grow, re-energize, and be creative. So this time away from the blog has been like locking myself out of my own house and then staying on the porch while periodically looking in to see if it’s safe to go inside again.
In the End
These past five months haven’t been all bad, but they certainly could have been better if I hadn’t succumbed to the fears and insecurities I had around writing on my blog in the emotional state I was in. Looking back, I wonder if I actually prolonged my pain by actively avoiding outlets that might have provided some relief from the grief and sadness I was experiencing.
I can’t even honestly say that I am all better now. However, after realizing that I need to just accept that I am where I am, that I shouldn’t wait until everything is perfect or when I’m “ready” to start writing again, and that I, myself, will benefit from writing on my blog, I have decided that I can’t stay in this barren place any longer. So after my five-month hiatus, I’m back to writing, and whether this becomes a “getting over a break-up” blog for a while, or however it shakes out, I’ll just take each moment and each day as they come… and I’ll let you know how it goes.