Stepping Back

Over the last few years I stepped away from this space. I stepped away from writing. I had lots of excuses but the truth is I was a bit lost.

Things had changed. I had outed myself. Kinda. When I moved to Ottawa I met a lot of people who knew me only online and then met me in person. I got a local job through my social media connections. The people I worked with knew I wrote. Every now and then someone would comment that they had read something or other and it was... disconcerting. I felt exposed.

My real name got out there more. I had been hiding behind a pseudonym online for years. Suddenly I was Googleable. It was a little bit scary.

[Aside: My apologies to the other woman out there with my name whose Google juice I am eating. It probably sucks for you.]

My stories weren't just my stories anymore. Not all of them. There was this other person whom I'd attached myself to and some things were mine and some were ours. I need to be clear about something -- Lee has never asked me to not post something. He has never asked me not to write. I had blogged for three years before I met him. A certain amount of exposure came with the territory and he's been nothing but supportive. I needed to figure out the new line was for myself. I wasn't sure where my boundaries were anymore.

I stopped writing. I stopped sharing. I floundered. Added to that is the fact that well, I'm pretty boring. I thought about doing one of those memes where you document your day for an hour but let's be honest, hours 7:30-6:30 generally find me at my computer. It makes for dull pictures. I'm a homebody who works from home. I don't really go anywhere and I rarely leave the house during the week unless it's go to for a walk on the trail or check the mail.

[Lee hates it when I say this. He thinks it makes it sound like he locks me in the basement or has a Bluebeard-esque chamber somewhere in the house.]

It wasn't that I had lost my voice -- it was that suddenly didn't know what I wanted to say. I stepped away from this space until I had figured it out.

I haven't. Not really. But I've been writing more lately and I realized I've missed it. I've missed the simple act of putting words on paper or on the screen. I've shut down the voices that have been yelling in my head about how people have themes and niches and reminded myself of the main label and the tagline for this blog -- "Sometimes I ramble." And you know what? That's ok.

When we step back we usually mean that we are stepping away from something. If we've already stepped away, stepping back sometimes means we're moving toward something. Sometimes stepping back means going in the right direction.

I'm stepping back.