I dreamed up my discussion feature months ago and figured I would use it to talk about bookish things: trends, genres, themes, whatever. Big publishing news like the Random/Penguin merger or current events like the Life in Publishing tumblr or even that thing that happened in October that I have decided I will never talk about on the blog (I don't want to give free publicity to people who don't respect me or other bloggers). But for various reasons, I never launched my new feature. Well, I want to do that now because I feel like I need to explain why I'm not around so much anymore, even though I desperately love reading and blogging and the entire ya/na book community.
In fall 2013, I decided to post at least once a day (although Sundays I usually skipped). But then in March, I went through a huge reading and blogging slump. By the time I was "back to normal," I was promoted to a position that required me to work 40+ hours a week. When combined with 10+ hours worth of commute a week, my schedule became out of control. I was exhausted and couldn't really dredge up the energy to write posts regularly. In August, I thought things would again go back to "normal," which for me included those daily posts. It didn't happen. Over the past two months, my posts have decreased to the point that some weeks, I even miss my weekly wrap-up or Waiting on Wednesday, which have both been regular posts even when other features or reviews slowed down.
So what's the deal?
Here's the thing: The Mary you know here on the blog and on Twitter is a real person. Yes, that's my name, and yes, the way I talk on here is pretty much how I talk in real life. I haven't created a different person online (although I totally respect anyone who has created an online persona for safety/privacy issues!), and yet...the person you know is not entirely how I am in real life. The public Mary, the one on the blog and on Twitter, is a bit of a jokester. She's silly and (I think) funny. She tries her hardest to be positive and kind and friendly and open. IRL Mary is too–but usually only with people she knows well and is comfortable with, like her family and really close friends.
IRL Mary, the person behind the screen, is actually a huge introvert (I know you're all shocked there because it seems like a lot of bloggers are so nbd). IRL Mary also has anxiety. Like a lot. IRL Mary constantly second-guesses herself and right now is trying to figure out if it wouldn't just be better to delete this post because OH MY GOSH HOW ARE PEOPLE GOING TO RESPOND TO IT. IRL Mary hates to be late for the fear of missing out, but IRL Mary also sometimes just can't show up to things like parties or events or even church for the fear of being judged, of not knowing what to wear, of not knowing if someone will be there that I can talk to. IRL Mary stresses about every. damn. thing. I found an article in the HuffPo a couple months ago about people who are highly sensitive, and yeah, this just about says it all.
IRL Mary also suffers from depression, which I've talked about a bit on Twitter this week because everything just got to be Too Much. I'm having trouble at work with my new supervisor, and there is NO solution. I have tried and tried to talk to my boss and have a real conversation about why we aren't able to agree on anything, but...we can't agree on anything! As a part-time employee, I feel like I'm always stressing about money issues. This isn't helped by my extreme addiction to books. I'm a stress eater so I've gained weight in the past couple years, and I HATE IT, but I can't seem to cultivate healthier habits. I'm 26 and single so there's this constant fear of being alone forever. Yeah, I'm a single (mostly) independent woman; hear me roar blah blah blah. That does not prevent me from feeling less like an unwanted loser. Plus, my anxiety keeps me from going places and doing things that would help me meet people (ie guys). Add in the stress of some at-home things (no specifics here because they involve other people), and I'm basically a hot mess all around. There's that phrase in books "bone-weary," and honestly, that's how I feel. Some days I can't drag myself out of bed; others, I can barely get myself to the couch for a marathon of crappy daytime tv. And that's it. That might be all I do that day because it's all I CAN do.
I've always been very careful about how I've said things in regard to my blogging. I don't like to say I'm taking an official break because if the mood hits, I don't want to be like, "JK now I want to blog!" But clearly, blogging is falling by the wayside because it feels like One More Thing I have to worry about while I feel like the weight of my world is resting on my shoulders. I don't want that. I love blogging. I think part of me is avoiding blogging while I feel so down because I don't want to associate books and blogging with the negative feelings I'm having. Because happy-go-lucky Online Mary? I really like her. I like ME. I like being that positive, open, friendly person because it's who I am. When I'm on Twitter or here on the blog, I feel like the rest of the bullshit just slides off. I can forget the rest and just be happy about some awesome books.
What was the point of this post? I don't know. I just wanted to share that I'm still here. I still love books. I still want to share them with you. It's just hard right now. I just want to say thank you to those of you who have stuck with me, thank you to those of you who will read this entire post. I'm not quitting. But...it might be a while before I'm back where I was, and that's okay. I need to take care of myself first, and I really, REALLY appreciate everyone's kind words and support. You guys are the best! <3
Afterthought:By the way, some of you who have met me at events might be wondering wtf am I even talking about. Well, I basically gear up before events. I get my happy Mary game face on so that you don't wonder why the Mary you just met is totally different from who you know online. I really do want to be the same person on and off the internet. And honestly sometimes, when I'm not feeling it, I won't go. That's happened twice this year. But most of the time, I'm really excited because I'm at a book event with other book people. Yeah, I'm usually around friends and people I've gotten to know well (both on and off the web), but there's something about books that just brings us together and makes it not so hard to pretend I'm happy.