I took a pretty long hiatus from writing this year, which unfortunately happened really soon after having a reasonable amount of success with starting this website. I found some momentum, and then immediately lost it, and now I feel like I’m starting from the start again.
There were a number of reasons for stalling laurareflected…
I was having a really rough time at work, and I felt like I couldn’t vocalise it due to how public I’d made my online presence and how close I’d become to so many of my co-workers. I’d also made the decision to uproot my life and move from Brisbane to London, but was still keeping it quiet from a lot of people – it’s a very weird and depressing thing to be excited and terrified about something but not really being able to talk about it.
Along with deliberately censoring myself at a time when I was trying to be the most honest I’ve ever been in my life, I also really lost sight of what this website was meant to be about – I was obsessively watching the click-through rate from socials, and from my subscribers and getting increasingly disappointed and upset when one post didn’t do as well as another. Writing for yourself is very different to writing for a corporate website in that regard, and I’m working on developing a thicker skin. The point is to be honest, and if I’m tailoring my posts and writing style to coincide with what gets the best response, then I’m not really being honest anymore, am I?
In addition to all of the above, something happened to me that is probably not the thing anyone expected me to do, as a woman who is very passionately angry at men, as a writer whose articles largely circle around that anger, and as an innocent girl who just wanted to quietly run away to the other side of the world in peace: I met a boy.
He knew I had a website; he’d obviously read all my articles – while that had been an issue for other boys I was talking to at the time it didn’t seem to phase him. He’s never asked me to stop writing – in fact he enthusiastically encourages it, as he has consistently done for every decision I’ve wavered over this year, from quitting my job, to selling my car, and then accepting a job in London. The loss of enthusiasm for this website was purely my own – and looking back at what I’ve published here and also what is sitting in my drafts I can see why; and it’s also clarifying a lot of confusion I still have and probably always will have when it comes to my feelings towards men.
It’s incredibly disorientating to be so sure you don’t want something, only to find it anyway and be happy that you did. It’s such a confusing thing to be angry at men and the society they perpetuate in such a general way, while also falling in love with one of them. It’s impossible to coincide a deep-seated belief that #notallmen is not a real thing, and they should all just accept they’re all a part of the problem, while also quietly wanting to believe that maybe someone does fall into that category.
It’s so frustrating wanting to rebel against a society that expects women my age to want to settle down, only to suddenly see that’s an option for me. Don’t get me wrong – I still passionately stand by everything I wrote in my first article – I still don’t want children, I’m not keen on marriage and I am definitely still not a fan of people who smile knowingly and tell me I’ll change my mind. But even though I still moved to the other side of the world, and it never once crossed my mind that maybe I shouldn’t go, maybe I should stay in Brisbane until he’s ready to move too, I’ve still changed my expectations of what the next couple of years of my life are going to look like because of him.
Luckily for me, so much of his future vision coincides with my own. Luckily for me, he’s not a casual sexist and while I still firmly believe that yes it is, it is all men whether you mean to or not, I can calmly accept the hypocrisy of my own emotions. Luckily for me, he accepts me for who I am, generalised anger, hypocrisy and all.
Luckily for me, he’s way more into adopting a shit load of dogs and traveling the world, than ever attempting to grow a bloody baby in my stomach.
Photo by Gabriel Garcia
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