Where did I go? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself lately. How did I manage to disappear from my life? Somewhere around late 2020, I stopped documenting my life, being in pictures and outside of the weekly Suger News emails sharing. Where did I go? I don’t know. All I know is I was done with a grinding screech of an old metal brake. Gone.
And it wasn’t just the sharing of my life online that seemed more likely to be finished. Though, I did consider if I’d spent my time online and was ready to let it go. I’m not sure lip-syncing or dancing in short-form videos will ever be my thing. As a blogger, writer and photographer, perhaps my time had come and gone. And if it was time, I’ve had a good run. No regrets.
But in many ways, I’d also stopped living my life offline.
Working from home, it became easier to turn down invitations than to say yes. Soon my only interactions came via email, after-school care for my nieces and nephews and Desiree popping into the office once a week to assist. I’d shut down and closed myself off. Everything from food to shampoo, cleaning products to toilet paper was purchased online and delivered here. There became no need to leave the house, or so I thought, no good reason to go anywhere.
And as I got busier, taking on more and more new work and clients, it got easier to do. It’s not that people stopped asking, but I noticed they prefaced asking me anything with ‘I know you’re busy’ or ‘It’s okay if you don’t want to”. An extraverted introvert, I had thought this was what I wanted—boundaries and consideration for my homebody life. But soon, I felt it. I missing being around the people who light me up. The hole where my relationships had been. I missed being part of my life in a way I had so easily done just a few years earlier.
I wondered if it was the changes I saw in my body over the last few years, the loss of ability and the almost unrecognisable place I find myself. And I’m sure it was a factor in this society; how could it not? But I think it was my mind protecting itself. I was managing what I could manage and letting the rest go. I had set up a safe space filled with things to do and ways to survive – I’d kept moving forward. But now it feels like that safety net I so carefully built is holding me captive.
I’m missing, held hostage from my life.
Honestly, I’ve been trying to step back into my life for a while now, but I’m struggling to do so. Seeking a perfect, fast solution to a situation took me years to create; funny how we do that. So, I try to say yes and share a little more. There are more trips to the shops, collecting items I need in person instead of ordering them to be delivered. More day trips and small adventures, finding my feet with being around people again and learning the new limits of my body and mind.
And so, I take snaps with my phone even if I don’t appear in them yet. I let others draw me into their photos and try not to cringe when the result isn’t what I pictured it would be. I write my in a journal, finding the words to describe where I’m at and where I’m going. Using the pages to capture the weird and wonderful ideas that whirl through my head every day. I write there for me but practising that gave me the words to write here too. That’s enough for me at the moment. It’s enough to be at the start of finding my back (again).
Hi! I’m Melissa Walker Horn. Around here, they call me Suger. I’m the Chief Blogger and doer of all the things here at Suger Coat It. Blogging since 1901; I love a casual ootd, taking photos, and writing about things that irk or inspire me. I love wine and cheese, long days at the beach and spending time with my family. I make stuff for the internet over at Chalkboard Digital. You know, living the sweet life.
You need to do you. Love how you are so honest about things,
Thank you, Pat. I appreciate you always reading and taking the time to say hello.
I totally get what you’re saying. It’s hard doing what you know will be good for you and still doing what seems the right thing for yourself on any given day
Oh my goodness, yes! I wish there was a switch I could flick and have it all come flooding back. Instead, I guess I’ll have to do the work, put in the time and have some patience. And we all know that I suck at having patience. Haha.
I don’t think you’re alone in having been missing in your own life, I feel it too. Like the pandemic and all of the lockdowns we had here in Melbourne – all of that was necessary – the shopping online and not going anywhere. But now, it’s really difficult to reclaim what was – or even know if that’s what we want anymore…
It seems I’m not, which I’m thankful for, but it sucks for more of us. It is about finding the way forward, what interests us and motivates us now in the ‘after’. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like I didn’t choose this; I don’t want to do it; I just want my old life back. But it is what it is, and in sooooo many ways, I’m luckier than most. I’m reminding myself of that as I move forward and discover what is next for me.
Big hugs Suger.
Thanks for the honesty and vulnerability of this post.
You’re so welcome. x