07 August 2012

Quitting and Proud

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 conversLinkations 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?

~Amy.

15 comments:

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I love the title of your post because for a moment I panicked. I thought, she's quitting because she's giving up ... but that is clearly not what you are doing. I say good for you for figuring out what YOU need and what will work best for your life. While I'm sad that you are walking away from writing, I'm happy that you will be happier because of it. I just hope we don't drift apart. Love you, my friend. *HUGS* Would love to talk to you more on chat if you can!

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

And I'm leaving this comment because your form wouldn't let me click to receive follow-up comments, but now it is letting me. Weird.

Krispy said...

Aww Amy, I had the same reaction Michelle did to the title of your post, but I was relieved when I read the rest of your post. Your words and the tone of this post make it clear that this is the best decision for you and that it's not giving up. It's just understanding what's best for you and finding the things that make you truly happy. Maybe writing will be again someday, but you shouldn't do it if that's not what it's doing for you now.

I'm glad we were able to meet across oceans thanks to writing and the internet. You're one of my oldest "online" friends. Hope to keep in touch and I can't wait to see the many other things you'll do! :)

Spartezda said...

I'm glad you're making the choice that's right for you, Inky! Are you still going to hang out on Slackers, or sticking more to tweets/new blog? Lemme know where you will be so I can continue silently stalking you. Aaaugh I must be better about commenting on things. I always talk back to people in my head! But somehow no one else hears my telepathic broadcasts. Must use keyboard and publish-comment button in future.

(Also I keep wanting to make the anzac biscuits but it keeps being three thousand degrees outside and people would axe-murder me if I turned on the oven. Curse you, summer. Curse you. *tiny impotent fist of rage*)

Amy said...

Glam - I'll definitely still be around. I'm still betaing/critting/editing etc, and still teaching creative writing and loving it, so you know. I have my toes in the water still ;) I think it's just the public aspect of writing that I need to back away from right now. As Sparky said via twitter, I've "lost joy in writing amid the stress of expectations". So, time to back right off on the expectations. I'm relearning that it's OKAY if writing is just a hobby again for now. *hugs* Also, I'll poke you more when I'm on chat, then. I don't tend to for fear I'm bothering you O:) :)

Amy said...

Krispy - wow, thank you. *hugs* I really appreciate what you've said, and definitely hope we'll keep in touch via twitter and whatever medium I end up in next.

Which, actually, I'm trying to figure out, and would love advice from anyone who cares to give some. I want to keep blogging, but not about writing. More like the 'Tipping the Balance' post from the other week, and about how I'm decluttering my life, and things like that, and I'm really torn where to go. Do I start another blog? I already have like 14 (a lot of which are static sites, but still).

And then, if I ever want to come back to public writing, what? Just link to the blog or something? I think I should leave Inkfever as pretty much writing-oriented, but I guess I'm just not sure where to go from there, whether to make a clean break and start a new blog, or whether to expand the amylaurens.com site to encompass more than just writing and blog there :S Any thoughts??

Amy said...

Sparky - you always make me smile. Thank you :D I'll still be on slackers, though as of late rather sporadic in my appearances. Twitter definitely, though as I can around work. As for the rest, I want to continue blogging, but see previous comment for my current dilemma >.< I'll definitely let you know, though.

And I totally know what you mean about replying to people in your head. I do that ALL. THE TIME. *sighs at the lack of extant brainwave-to-text technology*

Mirja said...

Leaving something, anything, because it's bringing you down is hard but probably for the best in the end *repeats to self*

Good luck!

Amy said...

Thank you, Mirja. I will never, ever forget the courage it took for you to come up to me that day in the library. You made my life. Thank you. *hugs* :D

Anne Holly said...

This post almost made me applaud! Good for you for doing what's right for you. Best of everything!

Amy said...

lol! Thank you, Anne. *hugs*

People generally - if you are interested, the non-writing adventures continue at http://decluttermanifesto.wordpress.com ;)

Mirja said...

I'll never forget your reaction either: "One of your parents works with my dad, right?" Uh, no...

Amy said...

lol! I was because Dad had just warned me like the night before that someone might come up and chat to me about writing, because he'd been talking to their parent at work :D So I was all primed... and then it wasn't you!! Ha! :D

Andrea Clunes Velásquez said...

Wow, this surprised me a lot, but it makes a lot of sense, and, somehow, I can absolutely relate to your decision... And, of course, I wish you all the best. I hope I can still follow you where you're going, even if you're talking about other things besides books and writing. ^^

Best of wishes and lots of blessings! :D And, hopefully, I'll get to read you in this new stage as well. ^_~

Hugs!

Amy said...

I note you've found the new blog, so yes, never fear: I shall be findable :D Thank you.

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