7 Mar

I’ve had mixed feelings about starting a new blog.  I have a journal that hasn’t been touched in more than a year now, given up in favor of personal journaling.  There’s also a food blog that seems like a needle in a haystack- also neglected for about six months (though to be fair, it’s hard to get movement for a food blog when one doesn’t have stellar pictures, and I don’t even have a camera.)

The main heel-dragger that keeps holding me back is a feeling of obligation.  If I start writing this thing, I’ll feel obligated to commit to a kind of schedule.  Successful blogs I follow update at least weekly, sometimes more often.  I have ideas a plenty right now, but even they aren’t self-sustaining.  Or are they?

It only takes a trip downstairs where my father is alternating between reinstalling baseboards around the living room and listening to Rush Limbaugh to make the motivation come flying back, begging for Valium.  Mr. Limbaugh isn’t even the problem.  He has plenty of ideas I don’t agree with, and a reputation that makes me hesitate to even attempt to listen to his program.  The problem is my father making comments like, “One day you’ll listen to [him,]” so very amusedly, as if my demographic is on a perfect trajectory to become the next audience.  It probably would not be so amusing to point out that by the time I am his age, Mr. Limbaugh will probably be dead.

So what is this all about?  What are the factors that make me vacillate between commitment and fleeing?

The story begins over a decade ago, but I’m going to start closer to present day.  Recently (less than two weeks ago,) I moved home to live with my parents.  Well, not to live with them.  As anyone (I hope) who has ever made this move will tell you, no one does this for the amusement of it.  It’s a means to an end.  The end for me is a return to college, or even more specifically, as little debt as possible after the duration of this return.

I’m twenty-six years old, and I already have a four-year degree (as well as the student debt I garnered in pursuit of it) from a little-known liberal arts college.  I was born, raised, and currently live in the Southeastern United States, but I spent the past three years living in the Midwest.  It’s the beginning of March and every time I step outside I’m sure that we’re halfway through summer already.  This is not hyperbole.  More provoking than the weather are the conflicting feelings I have with what seems like every scenario I encounter.  At one moment I am comforted by the genuine warmth of new friends and family, more forward than anywhere else I have visited, while the next feeling awkward about racial tension and supremely conservative political leanings.

I have lived abroad and am very familiar with the experiences of integration, culture shock, reintegration, and reverse culture shock, so I know the framework for the cognitive dissonance I’m feeling.  That does not necessarily mean that any of these experiences are going to be easier for the foreknowledge.

The purpose of blogging is three-fold.  One, I process my thoughts and feelings best in written format.  Two, I don’t have a lot of friends here with whom I am close, and I don’t talk on the phone a lot.  Three, I feel like there are others in the world who have either gone through this experience or one day will, and I want to be able to give them resources or understanding about what they have gone, are going, or will go through.

It promises to be an interesting journey.  Interesting.  However, I’m committed to it to the end, and the incredible opportunity for growth that is before me.  If you feel inclined, please join me.


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