While I’ve Been Away (October 18, 2011)

I haven’t written or posted a word on this blog in nearly two months. Gratifyingly (however recently), there has been a mini-groundswell amongst my friends and small readership for a return. I find myself with a few spare moments today so I thought I would share, not what I’ve been up to, but why I have been silent so long.

Anyone familiar with the story of my 2011, whether personally or casually, knows it has been an uneven year. I greeted January as an unemployed insomniac, separated from my cherished husband Eddie in March (because you can still love and cherish somebody with your full soul while knowing at the same time that you’re on the wrong path – one of 2011’s cruelest lessons), moved out on my own for the first time in April, underwent surgery for cervical cancer in June, and that’s basically when I left the scene.

A lot has changed since that time, not all of it for the worse. I have my health again. I am scheduled for a six-month checkup in early December, but all signs point to a near-term ability to put that ordeal behind me.

My career, diametrically opposed to my personal life, is thriving. In July I was recruited away from my position as a web writer and project manager at a boutique publishing firm in the North Chicago suburbs – better title, more money and benefits I haven’t enjoyed since leaving the non-profit world in 2009. Yet for all that, happy to be where I was, I initially said “no thank you.” To my great surprise (and eventual gratitude), neither the company nor the hiring manager took my rejection for a finality. So here I am, six weeks on the job as the Senior Manager, Social Media Marketing/Head Writer for a successful home products company. Better yet, my former employer asked me to stay on part-time, so for an additional income, I get to continue doing the real estate and personal finance writing and blogging that I grew to love.

I am expanding my involvement and leadership in the professional organization for which I sit on the board. I have connected with numerous new friends and mentors and am grateful for all I have learned, especially from the positive female presences I have allowed in. In a variety of ways I am forcing myself to branch out and conquer the fear of public speaking that threatens to hold me back.

All of this is good. I am blessed. It wasn’t long ago that I was one of the panicked unemployed, the cuckolded trophy wife who saw her best years slipping away helplessly.

And yet right as my professional fortunes began to turn, as I reclaimed my physical health and learned to live independently of the whims and needs of others, my personal creativity all but dried up. Simply put, I hadn’t the energy or the will to follow politics anymore, chart my personal growth or explore the pop cultural evolution of society. I was busy – certainly a great excuse to punt.

I enjoyed summer, did some traveling, dabbled in dating and actually met someone who taught me a great deal about how I want and deserve to be treated. The relationship didn’t last, as rebounds are typically wont to do, but I am forever grateful to this man. I sort of entered this period where I no longer wanted to think about my actions. I just wanted to act, to live in the moments I had over-planned for too long.

But now it’s mid-fall. I have settled into my new routine and as the end of the year approaches, a pensive mood steals over me again. I am mere weeks from watching the ink dry on my divorce papers, and wonder where I go from there.

Have I made the right decisions?

All along I have followed my socio-political touchstones (the New York Times’ Columnist page, CNN, the work of my fellow writers) and see that the world is continuing to go mad (or perhaps is simply in a cycle of self-correction). What do the holidays bode? What does 2012 portend for our nation, the Western Hemisphere and the world at large?

I can no longer afford to indulge an intellectual sabbatical. So I’m back.

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