Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Breaking The Silence

I'm back; or to be more accurate, the blog is back. With the exception of a few pictures, this site has been pretty quiet for the past couple of months. It wasn't because I didn't want to blog---I did and had so many thoughts and ideas to share---but I just couldn't seem to put words to paper---or fingers to the keyboard. Writers know this as "writer's block". Call it what you will but my inability to put my thoughts down in a coherent manner has been driving me crazy. But this dry spell, I am daring to say, is behind me.

But my silence has been more than writer's block as I've been thinking a lot about this blog and what it means to me. I started blogging in 2011 to document our adventures as we moved from the East Coast of the United States to Tirana, Albania. My intent at the time was to keep family and friends back home up to date with our lives. But over time this blog evolved into so much more. As I continued to write about our adventures I began to write more in more detail about the places we went and the people we met. Perhaps the blog was becoming a travel blog. But I also documented the struggles, joys and head scratching moments I encountered in parenting an inquisitive and ever changing toddler who quickly grew into a pre-schooler who was precocious and wise beyond his years. Was I a mommy blogger? I've documented our dilemmas around being a military family whose future has never truly been entirely in our own control but I as our active duty times reaches its sunset, we've been distancing ourselves from the armed forces community and focusing on what lies ahead. So no, I don't consider myself to be a military spouse blogger. I've never been one to want to create controversy but occasionally I've written about my take on a current event or political issue. Or what I perceive as an injustice taking place around me. And sometimes I've gotten a bit too personal or ruffled a few thin-skinned feathers in the process. That has never been my intent as I neither want to hurt people nor turn this site in a place of controversy. So what is this space and what do I want to put here as I move forward?

This is what I've been thinking about over the past couple of months. I had been wondering whether this blog had served its usefulness and whether it was time to shut it down. But I couldn't quite get myself to pull that trigger. Taking the blog down just seemed too....sad......final.....almost like cutting off a limb. I've met wonderful people through my blogging community and the thought of turning the blog off felt as though I would be severing myself from this group of peers. I contemplated whether the blog simply needed a singular focus rather than being all over the place. After all, a year after starting this blog I started another blog dedicated solely to my adventures in cooking. (And that blog is still alive and well). I toyed with the idea of focusing solely on our travel adventures, or parenting dilemmas, or perhaps the struggle of where we go next and what retirement will look like for  us. But none of these ideas felt quite right on their own. At the end of the day my scattered approach to writing about anything and everything works for me. Because this blog is me, is about me and try as I might, I am really not a singularly focused person.

Over the past week spring has finally begun to emerge here in Belgium. The sun has been making a more regular appearance and despite Daylight Savings Time not springing into effect here in Europe for another couple of weeks, the days are definitely getting longer. There is more light, more sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures. It feels as though a rebirth is underway throughout Belgium so what more appropriate time for my blog to come out of her winter hibernation. Her reemergence is likely to be slow going but I'm sure the pace of my postings will pick up speed as spring fully arrives. After all I have months worth of travel adventures, stories of first loves and painful goodbyes and things that make you go "hmmmmm" to share.

So look out blogging world, I'm back.

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