I went to NYC for BlogHer '15 and all I got was an extreme re-entry hangover.
To be blunt, this trip was The Thing I Had To Look Forward To, when in my darker moments over the last couple of months, people with concern weighing their voices heavy would ask what I had to keep me going, to get me out of bed each morning and through my days without harm. If I could just get to mid-July, if I could just get to my roommates and the other people who love me, if I could just get back to the city and to learning and to expanding and to a moment to breathe away from everything that weighs me down here at home, then maybe ...
Maybe I could fit all the pieces back together again.
And I had that, for certain.
But unlike last year, no weight was lifted. I still cried in Central Park, after guiding my children around Columbus Circle (because Murray on Sesame Street stands there sometimes) via Facebook Messenger video chat with their father, because I missed them and the wonder in their voices made me suddenly realize I have no idea how I'm going to expand their horizons and show them new places, as an under-employed single mother. I cried again, at a party, talking to women I admire and respect and love, as they listened patiently to my laments and anxieties. I found myself walking around corners at the Hilton and being slapped upside the head by vivid déjà vus of my very first BlogHer, which was essentially one giant panic attack. I choked up more times than I wanted to admit, when heartfelt hugs were given, often at a rapid rate of forward propulsion, because I have always struggled with unwavering and supportive kindness.
And that's not even counting the emotional pull of the sessions and keynotes I attended.
I simultaneously never wanted to leave, because maybe in this space, with these women and friends and mentors, maybe I could actually start to heal ... and desperately wanted to be home, because the intensity of my solitude in the large crowds, the overwhelmingly emotional interchanges smacked up against meals and sessions and after-hours frivolity were a wee bit too jarring, the slightest bit of sensory overload.
My wires are all crossed. I either need to live in that space for a very long time, with those people and experiences and that love and support in person, or I need to take a giant step back from the emoting, the constant baring of my wounds and scars, the vulnerability that keeps betraying me.
Coming home and being home has been surprisingly difficult. Here, in reality, are more divorce issues to be tackled and handled; here is job searching and school preparation and a five-year-old birthday party desperately asked for that I cannot afford and more issues with money than I have fingers and toes and organs and brain synapses to count. Here are all the reminders of everything I've lost, everything that is missing, every broken promise and shattered dream and all the places I invested my hope and my trust, obliterated.
This re-entry has felt like it sucked the soul right back out of me, right as I was learning to breathe deep, again.
It is the first time I have not come back re-energized to write and share. It is the first time I haven't felt inspired to better this space, to keep up with the way this virtual landscape is constantly changing and reinventing itself.
It is, however, the first time I've come back and thought, maybe I've worn out my welcome; that as a white, cis-gendered woman my voice is unneeded and tedious in the greater blogosphere and social media landscape. Maybe, in fact, it's time to withdraw from this space and lead a more quiet, private life. Maybe I was never really cut out for this life, after all, especially when the stats and the third-party website comments show I have more hate-readers than I do friendly ones.
Maybe I'm finally just broken in a way I can't build myself back up from, this last time. Maybe the thing I need to let go is not so much the life and the memories I harbor, but the push to form it into words to display for public purview.
I hear a voice in my head, repeating that I've pretty much lost everything else I love, so I might as well lose this too.
I haven't decided how much I want to listen to it, just yet.