It's been a minute, y'all.
My last original post on this blog was back on July 24th, after my fave came through and snatched edges in the 416/905/647 area. The post before that? An ode to my oldest friend in the world. And the one before that? My Canadian response to George Zimmerman's acquittal in the case of Trayvon Martin's murder. I really think that last post was the mark of a downhill slump for me.
It seemed like everywhere I turned, there was something heavy to discuss. Trayvon, Toronto's Sammy Yatim, racism, feminism, activism - everything felt so dire, dark, and enraging. Well-meaning friends attempting to make sense of the world leaned on me to write the words they couldn't say, sending more than a few "Are you going to write about __________?" messages to my email inboxes and texts. People started reaching out, hoping to use my cosign and the '83 To Infinity platform to big up their various projects and events. I started to get confused about what I should and shouldn't be writing about - what was and wasn't important - what would and wouldn't be worth my time.
Around the same time, I revamped my resume and faced one of my biggest fears - showcasing both my healthcare experience and my blogging/freelance writing/everything else experience at the same damn time. Scary. I had originally forced a wedge between the identities of Bridget (the gubmint) and Bee (the long-standing nickname) - something that simultaneously felt wholly unnatural yet safe. Gradually, they've blended back into just me - the way I think it should have always been - and I've stopped fighting it. I am who I am, I do what I do, and whether it's a new 9-5 or a new opportunity birthed from this blog, I give all of me - unapologetically. I was featured by Black Enterprise and nominated for an award from Black Canadians, and was still riding the high of speaking at Blogging While Brown and being on Our Take on Arise TV. It felt like so much was going on.
I was dealing with media burnout, compassion fatigue, living up to expectations, running with opportunities I was told I was lucky to have, navigating new partnerships, refocusing my voice and my identity, and trying to prove that I was worthy of the recognition coming my way. I was comparing myself - holding my writing up against that of others, critiquing my phrases, sentence structure, and word choices until everything I wrote looked unbearably ugly. Life outside of all of this was also super stressful, and the weight of everything slowed my step until I just stopped.
The motivation and inspiration to write was gone because nothing seemed good enough. Looking at the computer, Twitter, or Facebook turned my stomach. I didn't want to read any emails or answer any calls. I cut down a little, a lot, and completely in some instances, and I'm so glad I did (and continue to do so). Taking that time granted me the room to learn and re-learn some things, and those lessons are the only reason why I was even able to write this post you're reading now.
I learned to set social media and news consumption limits.
I learned to ask questions, assess value, and say no when I need to.
I learned to stop worrying about expectations and accolades, and write from my heart like I've always aimed to.
I learned to embrace all of the things that make me, me.
I'm learning to cut out the self-defeatist comparison talk, and learning to enjoy the journey of becoming a better writer as I go.
I've learned that a break is OK.
So. Am I back? B*tch, I might be. All I know for sure is that I'm living life, getting inspired, making plans, learning lots, taking time to breathe...and slowly but surely, '83 To Infinity is starting to feel like home again.