A little over a year now, I was standing on a precipice, the breeze from the door that was closing behind me threatening to tip me over the edge into whatever lay over that cliff. I had just graduated law school and had three months full of Bar exam preparation stretching out before me in a terrifying declaration of the end of my days as a student and the beginning of the career that I’d been working toward for three years. Or perhaps seven counting the undergrad experience leading up to it, and another eighteen considering that it was only due to my lifelong drive that I had managed to make it this far. So with the path laid out clearly enough ahead of me, I laid down the books in which I found solace, my novels and essays and blog posts from fellow literary lovers, and I picked up a few dozen tomes of legalese that, hopefully, would help me to clear this next and greatest hurdle.
I passed the Bar. And I lost my dedication to reading in the process, and somewhere along the way, a bit of myself as well.
I’d actually put my reading habits to rest a few months before I ever sat down to give myself a stern lecture on the perseverance I’d have to adopt to make it through three grueling months of Bar study. Job hunting, capstone thesis papers, final exams, and the daunting prospect of being an actual, credentialed graduate ate up my will to read, and I told myself the break would only be for a few weeks, until things calmed down a bit. Then weeks turned to months, dust collected on my bookshelves, and before I knew it, the latest post on my blog seemed frighteningly irrelevant. I realized I was out of touch with the literary circles I had taken such pleasure in keeping up with. I still read a bit here and there for fun, but it was mostly a habit of rereading old stories to visit home again and take comfort in their familiar pages. My blog remained my default browser, and I quickly moved to a different webpage every time I opened a new window so I wouldn’t have to face the shameful evidence that I’d allowed something I had created to languish.
I’m not sure what starving depth of my subconscious prompted me to open up a blank word document last week and just start typing, but soon I found myself finishing up seventeen pages of my first new story in years. And I felt rejuvenated. I may not be back to my old reading habits, but I’ll get there. I’ve never fallen out of love with the joy of the written word, no matter the medium. I just had to remind myself that, sometimes, it’s not enough merely to absorb words born from others’ inspiration. To really understand words’ power, to allow them to become a part of your life that is meaningful and tragic and raw and real, you’ve got to give them expression.
To promise a return to my prior form would be a disservice to you, my lovely readers, and to myself as well. It’s been nearly two years since I contributed regularly to this blog, and that former form of me must remain in the past. My life is different and better and more overwhelming than my former self could have dreamed. My interests have shifted, my tendencies changed, and I don’t expect anything more from myself other than this: my need to create remains. I need to throw thoughts out through my fingertips. I don’t know in what form it will be, but I hope it can find a place here, among those who have stuck with me for whatever reason, and those who may find this page in the future.
I am back, I think. I missed you, and now I see just how much I missed myself. It’s good to be home.