First of all, right on the cusp of February: Happy 2020! I hope everybody entered this year with the exact same amount of limbs, pets, and house mates as they had before the fireworks started. And my wish for the coming year is that this will be the one in which The Netherlands gets their shit together when it comes to the laws regarding said fireworks.
I have two pet peeves when it comes to blogging: 1) bloggers that abandon their blogs without any notice, and return months later saying: “Sorry for not blogging”, and 2) the list of excuses/apologies/actual reasons why they haven’t blogged. Because while there are of course exceptions, it’s usually not relevant nor interesting. However, for the first time in my almost 18 years of blogging, I will put my feelings concerning this aside and both apologise and explain:
I’m sorry for abandoning my blog without any announcement or explanation. I am well aware that I haven’t been missed by millions, but I am of the firm opinion that that doesn’t matter: no matter if you have 5 or 500.000 readers, you don’t just ghost on them. Why I ghosted anyway? Because every week I was convinced that “this will be the week in which I catch up”, and every week something new happened which caused me to not finish my blog post. There’s 53 semi-finished blog posts waiting in my drafts folder as we speak. This post will be the first post I managed to finish since April.
Because despite fancying myself ~an artiste~, I completely lack any natural talent. I was literally 35 years old by the time I learned to write sorta kinda decently (let’s not talk about the level of my other artistic skills), and it’s still a difficult process to get there. Contrary to what people seem to think, I’m not somebody to whom writing comes easy. Crafting a text takes up mental space, contemplation, and time to let ideas “marinate” a bit, so to speak. And the little energy I had for that kind of process in 2019, I spent on finally finishing my thesis.
2019 was intense. I constantly felt like I was standing in front of a tennis ball machine set to warp speed, with the added handicaps of not only having extremely mediocre tennis technique, but also having to play with my ancient wooden Dunlop racket. It was just one damn thing after another, and while I do have a lot of experience solving ad hoc problems (it used to be my job at some point), when it comes to solving issues that concern me personally, the mental load in particular is a lot heavier. On top of everything, it was the year that I moved out of the apartment I had lived in for the last 22 years. It was the year that I returned to California for three weeks. And it was also the year in which there finally, finally, FINALLY came an end to the absolute HELL that was my BA degree.
As to be expected, I then fell face forward into post-performance depression, after which I caught the sonic death flu.
It’s January 24 today, in a bit I’ll be putting on my cap and gown and pick up my diploma. For the non-Dutchies: we do not wear cap and gowns at graduation here in The Netherlands. In my case, it’s not even an actual graduation ceremony: I will just be going to student services, where a bored student doing his temp job will shove a piece of paper in my direction that says “BA degree in English, good luck being unemployed!” or whatever it says on there. As this is too depressing of an end to my 8 year struggle, I am going in full regalia, because it’s my party and I’ll be as extra as I can be if I want to. After this, I’m done.
This year, 2020, I don’t have to do “anything”. No studies to finish, no housing coops to convince of the fact that maybe they should fix the roof and not let us live in wet squalor, no moves to plan, no paperwork to organise, no travels to plan, no hospital tours to manage. I don’t have to do anything at all.
While doing “absolutely nothing” is my greatest ambition in life, I know I’m not the type who can keep it up for long: two weeks has been my max. Therefore, I have decided to start with the basics: catch up on my journal writing, catch up on my blog, finish up projects that have been lying around since I don’t know when, weed out 40.000+ pictures, unpacking, sorting and recycling the stuff in the last few boxes that are still in a corner somewhere, finally arrange my new office and move my stuff out of the living room, read the 60 books on my TBR pile.
This is the first time in my life that I am fortunate enough to have the privilege to be able to finish up all my stuff before I (have to) embark on new things. It is also the first time in a long while that I will have the time to figure out what that “new thing” will be. I can’t say much about it at this time. Not because I’m afraid of jinxing anything, but because I literally have no idea. Everything I wanted to do in life, I have either done by now, or are things that are outside of reality. Yes, I have a 3/4 finished blog post about this lying around somewhere, to be posted at some point.
TL;DR: sorry for ghosting y’all, I am back, how you doin’?0