Personal Growth

What I learned during my month-long blogging break

Hi there!

First off, welcome to my new website! I transferred from Wix to WordPress this past month, and I’d gladly go into detail about that in a future post. While Wix is incredibly simple, WordPress feels SO much more professional. Hopefully, this was the right decision!

As you may, or may not have noticed, I haven’t written a blog post since early September, just over a month ago. If I’m being completely honest, I’m not sure what sparked a need for a break. It just sort of… happened. Prior to an upcoming Sunday, when I would have normally written a post, I was jam-packed with classes and didn’t have time to write anything. I remember beating myself up about it, angry that I didn’t even have an idea of what to write. But, with a few mindful readjustments, I simple carried on, and ended up taking an entire month off, knowing that it was what I needed. 

I didn’t notice anything different at first. Life seemed to have remained the same. As time went on, however, I became aware of a couple of forming habits–excessive Youtube binging, ranting/gossiping, and heaviness, as if I was carrying a weight around wherever I went. I also noticed a stillness within my mind, and in my life. I felt more connected to myself, and yet I also felt as though I was turning into someone I wasn’t. 

That’s when I learned about sublimation in my personality psychology class, and it all began making sense. My blog was my outlet, my professional diary. When I endured a problem, or added something new to my daily routine, I’d write about it here for all to see and learn from for themselves.

But during my break, those thoughts, those problems lingered inside and forced themselves out in different ways. Instead of practicing sublimation and funneling my emotions into something productive, I was repressing them, in turn feeling heavy, or displacing them elsewhere, potentially harming others.

I almost picked up blogging again, just to unleash everything buried within. But that’s when, out of nowhere, I decided to switch to WordPress. While I was involved in the technical side of my blog, transferring over the domain and polishing my new site (wow, creating a WordPress site is a struggle), I still didn’t have a place to put my emotions. They remained inside, tucked away, bubbling and rising with only the slightest of frustration.

So, while away from blogging, I picked up writing. Yes, that’s write. (Haha… no?) Creative writing.

I feel like I’ve said this a lot in the past, (“Hey, I’m writing again!”), but this time, it’s different. The words are flowing out of me like water, like I’ve removed some suppressed barrier that has unleashed the ocean within. Even now, my story calls to me in the same way it did when I wrote Fifty Days. At first, I didn’t know where this desire to write came from, until I remembered: I hadn’t written a blog post in nearly a month.

While nothing about me has changed, I can confidently say that I learned a lot while away from my blog. The first thing being that in order to release our emotions in healthy ways, we need an outlet to put them. Otherwise, they’ll bury themselves down, or unleash when we’re not expecting it (which happened to me, in all honesty). When we’re helping our friends, watching Youtube, going to work or class, and even reading, we’re consuming, not creating, and we can only carry so much weight.

The other day, I was feeling quite hurt by something that had occurred earlier in the week. All day, the not-so-pleasant feelings weighed on me, and so when I got home, instead of ranting about my issue to my roommate, feeling sad for myself, or ignoring it entirely, I wrote about it. It was quite a deep piece of writing, a metaphorical story about emotional scars. When I finished writing, I felt completely normal, like I wasn’t previously weighed down by something outside myself. I felt good, like I had released everything by putting it somewhere else, something physical and real. 

While consumption is important for finding ideas, and most of life is consumption in itself, balancing it out with creativity, at least for me, is necessary to find a place of peace, and feel authentically me.

Something else I learned while on my break is that sometimes, we can create too much, therefore draining ourselves of creative fuel. I was putting most of my time and energy into my blog, crafting blog posts, yanking ideas from my scattered mind. I kept wanting to write creatively, however; I would sit down, open a blank page, and try. But, nothing ever came out. Maybe a sentence or two. But it was all…dry. There was no passion, no depth. Maybe I’m hard on myself, but nothing I wrote ever felt like me.

Without my blog to work on, I twitched with creative energy, unable to contain it all unless I poured it out somewhere. And there, my third novel’s idea blossomed, and exploded out of me as though it was there all along.

This is not to say I won’t be blogging anymore. My goal is to write a post once a week. However, I’ve decided to change one thing: I’ll write creatively to release, or when I’m feeling inspired, and I’ll write blog posts when I have something to say. Once again, my priorities are not just shifting, but balancing out, and I want to hold onto creative writing. I want that to be my priority right now.

Priorities shift. People change. And sometimes, only when we take a break, return to ourselves, and figure out what we really want out of life, we realize that we were supposed to change a long time ago.

The last thing I learned is that most of my social media posts are subconsciously an outward extension of myself to potentially earn some validation. Likes, views, comments… they were all a little boost of confidence that kept me driven, kept me writing. Eventually, however, I lost track of not only my original purpose for everything I was doing, but I lost direction for myself. I didn’t know how to embrace silence, stillness, and give myself the validation I longed for.

I learned how to deal with problems without going to others for advice, learned how to stand my ground and set boundaries, learned how to feel my feelings before releasing them and moving on. I learned how to be me.

It’s funny, because we never know how much we need a break until we take one.

In other news, it’s good to be back! I’m packed-full of ideas and inspiration, so I’ll see you Sunday for another brilliant post. (I know, I’m on a high-hill right now.)

Probably writing,

Brittney

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