Choose again

I’ve written two blog posts in the two years that I’ve had this website. I’ve also let my domain mapping lapse for most of this year. For a while, I stopped checking in on Wattpad. My stories, and my book, have continued their residence there. Cherries is nearing half a million reads, although the overall statistics lead me to believe that the book has been read by roughly 7000 individuals. It’s a small number, right? But it’s also incredible. Seven THOUSAND people have read my book start to finish.

I’m so sorry about the typos, everyone. I tried.

Every once in a while, I think of coming back to this. Of dedicating myself. Back in February, I had the opportunity to go on a two week vacation. I woke up to the sound of the ocean, the weather was sunny and warm during the days and cooled pleasantly in the evenings. I had no Wifi or cell service and I read six books. I couldn’t check blogs and websites and the godforsaken Explore tab on Instagram every six minutes. It was refreshing and when I returned to my day-to-day I didn’t want to go back to old habits. They form with so little thought, but require so much effort to break.

I told you once – it isn’t hard to figure out when, go back through my mega blog archive – I told you once that I like quotes, I’m surrounded by postcards and magnets with positive thoughts. Often, they’re necessary. Once, they saved my life, giving me the courage to make it through months of my mind working against itself. In some ways I’m beyond that, but I’m also not. I need the reminders that surround me. To be kind to myself, and to forgive myself, and to start each day anew without guilt and baggage for the perceived failures of the last. And I don’t get this right! And I hold it against myself. And then I look at the words on the (often metaphorical, sometimes literal) wall, and try again.

So I haven’t become the person that part of me thinks I should be, but the person that I am gets to be forgiven for this, and although it’s hard, let’s say I accept myself right now. I spent too long on Instagram today, and yesterday, aaaand… all year. That happened and I can’t change it.  Maybe I can change it for the rest of this afternoon. Maybe for tomorrow, and the next week.

I don’t know if I’ll be back in a week or a month or another year when I get a reminder that my domain mapping will expire. I can tell you (hypothetical, invisible reader, strange Bot from someone’s binary code) that I’d like to edit Cherries and put it out in the world as something a little bit different. A nice little (enormous) ebook. I’d like to write another book. Even blog consistently, if only to tell you about amazing books in the world that I didn’t write but had the privilege of reading.

It feels like I need to give something of myself, although let’s be honest: I have. This is giving. But if you want something else, I have something else.

Hyperion

I’ve just finished reading Dan Simmons’s Hyperion Cantos series. The breadth of knowledge and planning necessary to write a series such as this is astounding. Placed in a far technological future and spread out across the galaxy, the first book, Hyperion, follows six pilgrims and tells the stories of how they came to the same pilgrimage in the style of The Canterbury Tales. It took me a little while to get into the book, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. When I finished it, I rushed to the internet with a burning question: is there more?

There is. A four book series, with the first two and second two books paired. Threads that Simmons introduced in Hyperion weave into the last pages of the fourth book, The Rise of Endymion. The books were not just entertaining sci-fi to me. The overall message, the relationships, the artistic care and knowledge and thought given to the philosophy espoused in its pages made me yearn for the realization of this fictional world on our small, precious one. There’s a lot of insecurity and pain in this world. Fiction such as Simmons’s, all fiction, all art, can help us empathize more with others, to understand, to bring more love, kindness and patience to those around us. And to ourselves.

So yeah, I haven’t blogged in a while. But for today, this is what I have to say. I’ll be your (and my, always my) positive-thought champion, unlikely reader. Don’t add to the pain in this world by inflicting it upon yourself.  Yesterday happened and it’s over. We can’t control tomorrow. Today, you deserve love, understanding, patience, kindness. And you can give that to yourself.

KIND