Friday, November 7, 2014

Looking for myself. Again...

I've come to a humbling realization recently. One that I think will be a difficult thing to write about (and a bit long, sorry!). At the same time, I feel I must.

The truth is, I feel like I haven't been an honest blogger.

It's a terrible thing for me to admit, because from the first day I wrote my first blog post back in 2010, I based the idea on basically two foundational pillars:

The first was honesty. The second was being interesting.

It was a good system. When it came to my writing blog, it meant that I had to keep writing in order to find interesting things to blog about.

Later, I started this blog, which was about me going after my dreams and sharing some of the lessons I learned from experience along the way.

Honestly, I think that for the first two years, this was a great blog.

It was honest.

It was interesting.

And truly, it was something positive. Living breathing proof that things do go well for people who go after their dreams.

Then came 2014.

I can safely say that I completely and utterly lost my mojo this year. Which really, isn't a bad thing, per se. Except that I lied by omission.

When stuff went wrong with my publishing deal, I wrote about how determined I was to bounce back. I did not write about how soul crushing it was to have this happening while my business, my only source of income, was failing.

It wasn't the failure of the business, really. Businesses fail. It happens. And honestly, by the time the critical break came, neither me, nor my mother (with whom I owned the business) were happy in it.

The real crush was that we put what we had left into the farm. Which for a while was a source of hope. Except, it took all of our savings and produced not a cent in return.

To give you an idea of sheer hell: All this was February. If you click the link, you'll see me mentioning that I was a "bit blue." It was me practically crying myself to sleep because my first publishing experience had all but turned into my worst nightmare. And it was only the start.

My family put all of our time, energy and money into making the farm work. Which meant that activities I'd always loved like singing, dancing, fencing, even painting got put aside to "when things are better."

I focused on my writing, more determined than ever to make that gig work. But with every passing day, the strain of having to put a happy/determined/brave face on it all when really, stuff sucked... It just wore me down to the point where I no longer felt like writing. And really. I didn't feel like blogging here either.

Because the truth is that I didn't want to admit that things were bad. This was the HAPPY!!! blog. The one where I encourage others and myself to go after dreams! To dare more! To dream more! To remember exactly how much we have to be thankful for.

And yes. I realize that I have a LOT to be thankful for. Through everything, I still had my amazing family right there with me. And I still do. We are all still healthy and together. (Except for me getting a bout of what I suspect to be Strep, and my brother getting tick bite fever last weekend.)

But there remains one point:

Being positive when everything you've accomplished in recent days goes to hell around you is actually a lot more soul-destroying than your life all but imploding in the first place. 

But keep a determinedly brave face on it all I did. But that's the thing I didn't realize at the time. I thought: It's just for a bit. Things will turn around. No one will ever notice. 

But when I started filtering my experiences for public consumption... I sanitized my life right out of a blog... about my life. 

Which meant I wrote less and less and less. And when I did write, it came through this fake, bland filter, which made everything I wrote seem like the worst ever case of sitting with strangers and discussing the weather because there's nothing else to discuss. And this blog all but died. 

And really, it deserved to. I lied. I. Lied. After taking it on myself to show people of how awesome things could be when things go as planned, I didn't give this shitty year the same treatment. 

Which I feel terribly enough. Although I think that subjecting you to the downward spiral that was my life this year wouldn't have been good, I do believe that if I had stuck with being honest, I could at least have made things interesting. 

I might have made things easier on myself too. Maybe, if I'd admitted that yes, my life sucked ass for the past eleven months, I wouldn't have gotten dragged so deep under towards the last few months. 

Full disclosure: No... I don't think I sank into depression yet. But the shoe business really started at the exact right moment.

Even with it, though, I'm fighting to get back to the place I was in December 2013. Full of optimism and full of belief that the year had unlimited potential. 

We're building back up, and today, we got a string of great news that's giving me hope that things are turning back around at last. 

But with this turnaround, there came a sense that I needed to take stock. That I needed to learn my lessons before I can move on. 

But it's good, I guess, because I can share my lessons and, who knows? Maybe help someone else. I guess that means that I'll have quite a bit to write about as I take stock. 

For now, I'm taking the blog feed off twitter and Facebook. Because really, I think I don't need the added pressure of trying to attract readers while I'm trying to find me, my life and my voice again. So if you're here for the upswing in the ride that's my life, I thank you. 

And if you are, and you pray, please do pray that the upswing keeps going. My family and I can really use the break. 

How are you doing, really? 


Angeline Trevena said...

What a brave post, and don't beat yourself up: we all do what we need to survive. I really do hope things get better. I know we don't know each other well, but I do know that you are kind, generous, and always ready to champion the successes of others. You truly do deserve some yourself.

Misha Gericke said...

Thanks, Angeline.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm so sorry you've had such a rough year. I'm guilty of doing the same, actually, putting a brave face on bad things. I hope 2015 is a much better year for you.

Misha Gericke said...

Thanks Annalisa!

I think it's a natural thing in western culture (not sure about what eastern culture is like to compare.) that we put a brave face on everything.

It's not healthy when it screws up my writing, though.

Rob-bear said...

I am so sorry to hear all this, Misha. When dreams fall apart, it is exceedingly difficult to keep going. Been there; done that; have the scars. Trying to put a brave face upon a bad experience takes away so much energy that one doesn't have much energy left over to do anything.

I do hope that 2015 will be much better, and that you will find your writing muse again.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Susan Scott said...

Misha here's to your world becoming brighter and better in every way. I'm sorry to hear of troubles of this past year

Murees Dupé said...

It's good that you are honest now. It takes a lot of guts to tell people things aren't always great. I also based my blog on sharing my honest experiences as a writer and I sometimes keep back the really bad stuff too, because i don't always have so many great things happening to me and I don't want to depress my readers.

I hope things stay on the upswing for you and your family because you have been through so much. I really hope that you find what you are looking for and that 2015 will be a much better year for you and your family.

Mike Keyton said...

Honesty is powerful stuff, Misha. This post is powerful, and I hope to God that 2015 sees great things for you and your family

Misha Gericke said...

Thanks so much for the blessings and good wishes. :-)

Misha Gericke said...

Hear hear. :-D

Misha Gericke said...

Thanks Murees. I guess it's natural to keep the worst back, because sometimes there are things that people reading a blog just wouldn't want to know. (We think.)

On the other hand, it can be damaging to a blog if we keep more and more from it.

Misha Gericke said...

Thanks so much, Mike. :-)

Trisha F said...

I'm going "not too bad", thanks for asking :) Could be better, but has been worse at times. I'm disappointed with this year, though it hasn't exactly 'sucked' for me the way it has for you. But I do have hope for a better year coming up. :)

I'm sending positive thoughts your way for a continued upswing! Surely you've paid your dues this year, and next year things will be continually improving.