I’ve been talking to my regular online friends about isolation and friendship, about how isolation (for those of us who have been adhering to lockdown/pandemic protocols since last March) makes us do, think and feel weird things.
It’s not an easy time, even for those of us who are lifelong hardcore introverts. Even introverts need communication and connection. I’m really fortunate in that I have a lot of people to “talk” to — on whatsapp, slack, email etc (a lot, as defined by introverts means a handful), and my work during semesters has me communicating with a lot of people. By the weekend, I just want a time-out.
Nevertheless, the pandemic has had effects. Various over-sharing posts which have been removed, primarily because I stopped (mostly) being on twitter. Some other unwise things. Not writing enough fiction. Being behind on nearly everything. Certain lapses of judgment.
Occasionally I think about things I want to blog about, rant about. Certain patterns of human behavior. Certain types of injustices. I stop myself. I know I’d only delete it later. I inhale, I exhale. I shove the thought aside. Or I talk about it to my friends.
The good news is that in 2021, I’m slowly starting to feel like myself again. I’m slowly catching up with my deadlines, feeling more mentally alert, still trying to improve my balance between work-writing life-music life. I feel I’m slowly healing from various things, including the long bereavement from the death of my Dad in 2018 (March 22 was the third anniversary of his death), although that loss will haunt me for the rest of my days, particularly because I didn’t do bereavement well.
Some things you can expect me to post in this blog soon: the next issue of Truancy is launching soon, and I’m organizing two webinars: The Fairy Tale Salon 2 online conference, and a critical theory webinar running under the Zawiah Yahya Webinar Series which I agreed to helm this year.
This blog will therefore have announcements regarding my writing career and my academic career. Some personal-ish posts are okay, I think. But carefully. I was posting stuff I was acquiring which on hindsight felt very insensitive given stuff a lot of people are enduring right now, hence removal. Not everything needs to be shared. This is a flaw of mine, and I frequently have to remind myself about it. Particularly, I need to remind myself about my own comfort levels. What I’m comfortable sharing. What, in hindsight, I’m not comfortable sharing.
These levels change because I’m no longer an anonymous blogger on the internet (but, was I ever?), or an anonymous creator of hypertext fiction on the internet. I haven’t “arrived” yet, and often as an author I feel I’m in a limbo between two states, but the fact remains that as invisible as I feel I am, I am far more visible now than I was before. My name still carries some weight. It’s a considerable weight I feel, and I can’t run away from it. So, I have to be wiser.
As I mentioned, I’m still negotiating and trying to figure out my online presence here. What is wise, what is unwise. I am frequently unwise, but at least I’m not afraid to course correct.