A Year To Think

It is exactly one year since my last post on this blog – and what a strange year it’s been.

Obviously, the global pandemic was something no-one was able to predict: in the UK at the beginning of the ill-fated 2020, there were only murmurs of a virus in east Asia, but none of us thought it would travel across the world and have the impact that it did. By the time March rolled around, we were forced into lockdown, living in a very different way than we were used to.

That wasn’t entirely the reason I stopped blogging though.

In February last year I found myself slowing down a little, like I’d reached a hill that I didn’t have the strength nor will to walk up.

I chalked this down to a couple of things: time, and self-doubt.

Time

I’d reached a point where writing and editing blog posts took away from my personal time, which meant less time to spend on other things I wanted to do, like learning more scales on the guitar, tucking into my ever-growing mound of books, working on my very lacking Italian vocabulary. Due to spending a lot of thought power on my blog, a lot of those things became rushed; wanting to reclaim a bit of that time, stepping back from blogging for a bit felt like the natural solution.

Self-doubt

It was also at this point that I was also beginning to doubt a lot of what I was posting: while there was nothing personal, incriminating, or controversial being shared here, I wasn’t really as enthused with what I was posting, and whether I really sounded like myself on here or if I was unknowingly broadcasting one of those inauthentic “influencer” type personalities that seem to be pretty prevalent nowadays. I found myself worrying how an acquaintance, like a work colleague or a family friend, who came across my blog would think of me: would they silently judge me for the things I shared, or the way I wrote, even the interests I liked to pursue. Cue the mounting self-doubt. Eventually every time I opened up my blog, I’d write and doubt every single word that went in, and scrutinised every post.

Originally, I only intended on taking a month or so off, to take time to recharge and focus on the areas in my life that weren’t writing or blogging, but when the global pandemic hit the UK and lockdown measures were put in place, I very much was not in the mood to write anything for a while. I got stuck into other things, like painting, playing more guitar, playing online games, and (responsible) drinking with friends over video calls!

And now, here I am… 🙂

I’ve logged in after almost a year out of this account, and read back over some of my old posts with a small sense of nostalgia. Reading these old posts now with a fresh pair of eyes, no longer trying to judge myself, I can see that what I was writing, I was writing for myself. The pretence I thought was there, wasn’t there at all, which highlighted to me how damaging your mindset can be for you; self-doubt and a lack of confidence can really do a number on you.

So to start my blog off again on a more positive note, let it be noted that although nothing much has changed in my life this past year, I fortunately am still in a good place. I’m still in the same job, one that challenges me and pushes me more than any role I’ve had before, I still have my amazing friends and family who continue to support me, am still in a great relationship with a wonderful person. Gush gush gush.

… I also discovered World of Warcraft during the first lockdown. And I love it.

Sure, there were plans to do a lot more than I did, such as travel (remember when we could do that?) and see more of the sights of my lovely city – but such is life! Hopefully this year the stars will align a little better and we will be able to catch up on what we missed out on in 2020.

A very belated happy new year – here’s to a fruitful 2021!

Photos in post by Ella Jardim on Unsplash, feature image photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash

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