It wasn't COVID.
I mean, yes, I did have COVID and it was gnarly and all, but that wasn't why I fell off the internet for about 18 months.
Ultimately, my reason for disappearing was due to the fact that I accepted a second job at the beginning of 2021 and it turns out that my brain doesn't actually have capacity to work 60-70 hours/week AND continue to engage in my writing, filming, and other creative pursuits.
And that's okay.
Because there are a lot of things that I have learned over the last year-and-a-half and one of them is that I actually don't have to do it all and I don't have to do much of it on anyone else's timetable. I'm sure it is a mix of the world going upside down, traveling new places, learning new things, and being ushered into a season of "what is actually important, here?" But it is also that my worldview has broadened.
Yup. I know that's a phrase that some of you don't like. And that's okay with me, because we don't all see things the same way, hence why the world is bigger than just our own view.......
Seriously, though, what I think happened is that I started having these hard, amazing, exciting conversations with people around the world that work in the same challenging and heartbreaking spaces that I do and, as it does, proximity got me.
Just like when my world shattered when my kids moved in and I realized how traumatizing so many policies and systems are to humans, I couldn't turn away or anesthetize myself into apathy. When I'm looking into the eyes of another person and I hear the sound of their heart breaking woven into the catch in their speech, I just can't - and don't want to - turn off my humanness so that I'm not heart-broken, too.
Maybe there's been a lot of that going around. That anguish that circles around and around inside your head and soul until it either comes out in a cry, screech, yell, or...it turns inward and gets stuck. We aren't made to carry these things by ourselves. We aren't made to suffer alone. We aren't supposed to have to fear telling people how scared/tired/hungry/vulnerable/fatigued we are because they may not understand, or worse, may not care.
I still remember so vividly, sitting on a piano bench next to my (then) best friend in the choir room as we worked on a song. It was post Christmas and I had been having some challenges in with my family of origin relationships as one does during the holidays. My husband and I had been married for a little over 5 years and I hadn't had a lot of healthy "close relationship" modeling, so I had a few friends that I really like to be around, but I hadn't experienced any close relationships where I could express my invisible wounds and fears.
Sitting on that piano bench, singing with my friend, I felt a connection as we sang in harmony together, so I tried. I trusted. I looked at her and quietly said, "I'm depressed. And I'm really sad. I need help." She froze for a moment, then looked back and me and said, "I don't know what to tell you."
I honestly cannot even tell you what happened next, except that somehow I got out of that room and into my apartment and I remember waiting for my husband to come home from work with a dull pain at the back of my throat because I had learned another hard lesson that "no one actually cares." Just as my cries as a young person and then as a young adult were ignored, dismissed, - or worse, threatened away - that interaction strongly reinforced this false narrative that I am only acceptable if I am making other people feel good when I am around.
It's how I lived for several decades. For so long my reality had been that I can't tell the truth about all of the trauma, either primary or secondary, that I have endured. I can't share my reoccurring fear that it is never going to end. I don't dare utter anything that asks people to consider that trying to force a positive mindset in the face of painful loss is not only unhelpful, it is enacting real damage and harm.
But not any more.
Because the biggest thing that really happened during this global "time out" was an unrelated, but not untimely season of healing for me. As I started to reveal and dismantle lies and narratives that have been meant to subdue and subvert my true nature, I found that the capacity for giving and receiving love grew exponentially.
No longer do I have to fear bringing my true, full, authentic self into the spaces in which I find myself. Not only that, it turns out that people are looking for someone who can see their true self as well; someone who can resonate with the injustice of what should have been, but isn't, or what shouldn't have been, that is.
In my quest to be free and unfettered, what I also found was the capacity to help create that freedom for others.
So, that's my comeback post.
No promises of timely communication or a commitment of content delivery, because I want to stand in truth - which means, I don't know what will happen next. What I do know is that everything had to change.
And I'm so VERY excited to share it all with you in the coming season, whatever that looks like.
If you have experienced any changes in the last 18 months, I would love to hear from you in the comments section - we all learn from each other!
what a wonderful reading this is Renae. Thanks for sharing with such a sense of authenticity and honesty.
Thank you, Enock! It’s so nice to hear from you and I appreciate your kind feedback.