It's time. It's been coming for at least the last 9 months, but the time is finally here: I'm done. I'm quitting writing. Please understand, this is not said with the slightest trace of bitterness, regret, despair, or anger. A few days ago it might have been, but not now. Now it's said with a sense of freedom, liberation - and excitement.
I'm growing up, you see. Learning that I'm the one in charge of my own life, and if I don't take charge now, I'll wake up forty-five with schoolkids, stuck in a rut I didn't create for myself. I refuse to be a part of that future, and claiming my future means claiming my now. And my now of the last year or so involves far too much angst, over everything - evidenced by the fact that I saw the ear/now/throat surgeon yesterday, and while there are definitely operable structural issues (HOORAH, I WILL BE ABLE TO BREATHE), a large part of the problem is that I grind my teeth - and I grind my teeth because of stress.
It's been a slow and gradual process, a culmination of many, many conversations and blog posts and things read and seen and observed. It's knowing I spend far too much of my evenings on the computer; it's knowing that I'm spending the majority of my time dealing with urgent and not important; it's knowing that I can't physically, mentally or emotionally cope with everything I've set up as 'have to do'.
It's being inspired by declutter blogs, finding the blogs of wonderful women who speak to the issues of my heart, who care about the things I care about, who struggle with the things I struggle with. It's recognising the I want to spend more time being happy and less time being worried; it's erasing 'should' and 'have to' from my vocabulary.
It's learning to be kind to myself, to love myself, to recite love letters to my body every night as I towel off from my shower, to make time to relax, time to sit, time to breathe, time to be. It's finding silence, finding the moment, finding me.
It's finally, finally, finally, being set free from everyone else expectations, real, imagined, whatever. It's learning to see how I measure up to my own expectations, my real, personal, own ones, not the ones that life has forced onto me. It's laughing more, smiling more, running more, even though I get sweaty and bright red and the ungainly bits of me bounce. After all, sweat is the skin's best cleanser, right?
Most of all, it's learning about what makes me me. I'm quitting writing because I need silence, this kind of silence, and at the moment my world is full of words from first-breath to last-breath, and I can't hear who I am through the noise.
It's not a break, because that implies a specific intent to return. But it's not necessarily forever-quitting. I love stories, I live stories, I breathe stories. I may be back. But if I am, it will be because I've remembered how to love writing - and not because I need yet another way to measure my worth in terms of thing done, quantity acheive, how quickly I can master something.
I was scared to quit for so long, because my house is littered with 'Amy projects', things started and incomplete after the first fervour of passion has died away. But it has finally occurred to me that all things in life are not equal. I've never quit things to do with my work, my family, my God. So if I start hobbies and drop them much like college boys change their underwear, SO REALLY WHAT? All it means is that I'm creative, doncha know? O:) :D
So. I'm still going to be blogging, but it won't be here, because I won't be blogging about writing and there's bound to be a whole truckload of TMI. If you're interested in following me to my new home, there's contact tab just up there ^ on the blog. Shoot me something - email, tweet, FB, whatevs - and let me know, and I'll give you the address.
Otherwise, thank you. Thank you for sticking it out with me this long, for watching me mature and grow in my writing - and my life. Thank you, because even though I don't know most of you, it's amazing to know that there are people out there reading what I'm writing, that I'm not talking to a void. So thank you.
I have a few books that I collected to give away on here, so I'll do that before the end of the week. There is also one or two more posts already scheduled, so I'll let those post too. But other than that, this is it: the end of an era. I'm going to wave goodbye, close the door, and leave you all to party. Last one out switch off the lights, m'kay?