I've been befuddled about what to write.
First, I don't know what you, my dear readers, want.
My Father's Day post, which was sort of a more general advice post geared to friends-of-widows, generated a lot of interest (it was also the first I tweeted about).
So I created a cute little poll to ask you, my readers, what I should write about next. Here's what you said:
In first place, with fully half of voters picking one or the other (or maybe both - I allowed you to vote multiple times): "The Best Advice (for Friends)" and "Renewal, Reinvention, etc." Second, you wanted more dating stories. In third place was another tie, and with only half as many votes as the dating stories: "Start a Fight, Supa!" and "Book or Movie Reviews." A stunning fourth place with just one vote each: "All My Memories of Cancer" and "Dreadful Children's Books."
Second, I'm not sure how I, the dear writer, wish to spend my time.
When I created the poll, I had about a dozen posts half-written. Now I have about 75 topics any of which could just flow out like the verbal diarrhea I'm known for. My impression when I got the energy up to actually start writing was that my current life is boring and I'd been through a series of adventures, good and bad, over the past five years. It was obvious that I should chronicle how I survived, adjusted, flourished, and what I observed and felt about the world. By doing so, I hoped to provide a little insight and light to others.
But most bloggers talk a bit more about their daily lives, processing things a bit more quickly. They're willing to share what's now and next, and not just what they've been through. I went to BlogHer, in part, to try to figure out what to do. Was it in me to share my present? Would this blog help lead me into a new career? Do I have a book in me -- heck, everyone else seems to think they do -- and are books even relevant?
One tidbit I heard is that it's typical to come up with a crisis of content and direction at this stage in the life of a blog. Gee, thanks.
And it seems like there are about five times as many young widowed bloggers now as when I started. Each is unique, yes, but still lots to read and targeting a very small population.
But my life hasn't stood still. As I shared stories, as the distance from my life with Gavin opened up, this opportunity (recovery from loss, having a forum, Mr. Fresh's support as I find a new professional and creative occupation) has turned into a chance to cope with and heal from larger issues in my life.
Third: Where that leaves us, writer and readers
As far as the topics you requested, advice and stories of renewal are still hot topics in my life and I'll continue to keep addressing them. As for dating, within a month of closing the poll I shared the last few dates. There are some delicious details still to come, but gravy, not meat.
There were four items in the low-ranking third and fourth places in the poll. I get that you don't want to hear about them. I'm working on something about kids' books as a guest post for another blog (it's pretty off-topic here). I started a fight on Twitter, and doubtless will have some relevant books or movies to talk about, and it won't be hard to keep those topical. Clearly they won't be a primary topic.
The cancer is, literally, a whole 'nother story. I've been writing (offline) about it a lot, but am not sure if it will pester you all, my current readers, if I start publishing it here. I'm reluctant to release a lot of this bile, yet it's an important part of the picture and it feels dishonest to leave it out (avoiding seemed okay to me, but I did that as long as I could).
And new topics come up. I can't help myself from making observations on the vagaries of being widowed and playing in social media all day. Plus, it dovetails with one of my career possibilities. I guess that's why I started writing "Fragments." Sounds fancy, huh? (Sappho left only fragments.)
But you're not my therapists (I already pay someone good money to do that job) and I wish to treat you well as readers, friends, and community.
I think I'm just going to have to work through this one post at a time. I'll still try to make you laugh, but I might start making you cry or think about gross, scary mortality a bit more. Forgive me if I seem even more scattered. If I have stuff that's completely unrelated to loss and recovery, maybe I'll post it as "OT" or use other channels.
A big part of my problem for the past forty years has been that I had too many opportunities. I suppose I'm perpetuating that. Perhaps that's reasonable: blogging is as much about living as it is about writing (if not more). I picked the perfect medium to prevaricate. Then again, I have learned a few things, and I'm a way lot clearer about my strengths and my place in the world than I was ten years ago or even three.
Thanks for reading so far, today and for the past year-plus!
And if you're just joining the journey of the Fresh Widow, you've been warned!
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