I've missed you!
(Really. I have.)
But before we dive into any tearful reuiniting or uncomfortably long hugs, bear with me for a brief moment. It will all make sense in the end. I promise.
It's your birthday. You've just eaten a fabulous dinner with the most important family and friends you can think of. The ones you care the most about and the ones that care the most about you. They are all there. You sit at the head of the table and they are stretched down the sides where you can see each and every one of them. You can look into their eyes.
Dinner has just finished. It was amazing. You are full of joy, laughter, and food. So much food. You are stuffed and overflowing. You are unbotton-your-top-button and unzip-the-zipper full. You are wish-I-was-wearing-pregnancy-pants full.
Suddenly voices hush. Lights start to dim. And coming from the other end of the room, you see the flickering of candles approaching you. As the candles get closer, you see that they are delicately perched atop a deliciously beautiful cake. Your absolute favorite kind of cake (yellow cake with vanilla icing for me, but I'm weird like that). As the cake makes it's way toward your end of the table, you see the scrumptiously thick and voluptuous sugary flowers artfully crafted in icing (or you notice the wonderful lack of icing, if that's more your thing...).
The cake is placed in front of you and the world's most enthusiastically tuneless and tone-deaf chorus of "Happy Birthday" is sung. Internally, you push aside your overly stuffed tummy to make room for the air that must fill your lungs in order make those flickering candles lose their flame. When your lungs have emptied, the are candles finally out, and your belly has returned to it's large and rotund position, you look up to see them all staring at you.
The handle of a serving knife is shoved in your palm and small stack of plates are placed on the table. Forks are passed around. It strikes in an instant that, full bellies be damned, they expect to eat this cake. They expect you to eat some of this cake. And you want to. You really want to eat some of this cake. Because it looks delicious. It looks perfect. It looks like a lot of effort was put into this cake. Your friends and family are invested in this cake.
So you want to eat it. But not now. Tomorrow. When your balloon of a stomach has deflated to its normal size. Tomorrow this cake will be unbelievable. But not now.
Slowly, you slice the cake under their watchful eyes. You pass each piece around the table until everyone has a slice. They watch you as you cut your own piece ("Not that small!" "Cut yourself a real piece!" "It's your birthday!").
Then there you are. No one eats a bite. They wait for you to take the first bite. They watch you. They expect you to eat this cake.
So you do. Somehow, somewhere deep inside, you find a place to shove this cake (was that a pop? Did your stomach just explode?). You force the entire piece down. They smile and they are happy. You are happy because they are happy.
But this cake...this cake that could have been so amazing, is begging to crawl back up out of your stomach. It could have been the best cake you had ever eaten, but you had to force it down. And all joy and pleasure was lost. No matter how happy your friends and family are, you regret eating that cake. You wish you hadn't done it.
Now back to reality.
I realize that this little scenario may be a remarkably over-exaggerated way of describing why I haven't been around here in the past few months, but I'm a writer and that's what we do.
In the past 6 months, as my blog posts started to dwindle and disappear into nothing, it had a lot to do with that piece of cake. For over two years of writing this Doggedly Running thing, everything was great. Then something in my gut told me I was feeling done for a while. But for 6 months after that, I forced it. All of a sudden it felt like everything I wrote was crappy and I was embarrassed to hit the "publish" button.
But I also kind of felt like I had to write something. So I kept on trying.
Until one day, as I was trying to recap the Seattle Rock N Roll half marathon back in June, I realized it felt like crap and I never finished it or hit the "publish" button (the half-finished post still sits in my list of posts when I log in with a big huge DRAFT in front of it). And then when I ran the Eugene Marathon at the end of July, I didn't even try to write about it. That familiar old urge to write just wasn't there.
But now, for some reason, I'm feeling the writerly urge return.
So today, I'm just writing to say hi and I miss you.
Maybe I'll be back again soon.
|The girls say hi. They miss you too.|