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Back at it? Maybe so. Where to? I honestly don't know.

Two years. It's really been two years since I've used this space to write, dream, and share, and that feels hard to wrap my mind around especially after using this corner of the internet for almost ten years prior. The blog-o-sphere watched and recorded my transition to college (sic'em, Bears!), galavanting across Europe studying abroad, choosing the adventure of moving to Seattle, switching things up again by going to graduate school (go Pokes!), then finally becoming a teacher. I wrote, reviewed, planned, pinned, and more. 

Then after December 27, 2018, I somehow stopped logging in. Well, I understand the somehow a little more than that might lead you to believe, but I'm sure we'll get to that later...

Now, here we are.
December 29, 2020.
In the blink of an eye two years have passed.
In a matter of months the entire world has changed.

One of my favorite parts of my new apartment (since we've seen the insides of our homes more often than not this year):
a sign and a reminder that in the midst of it all I'm living in the middle of several answered prayers.

I've debated signing back on and putting fingers to keys on and off over the past two years, but in that time the blogging world has shifted (my world has, too). Instagram captions are the length (and attention span) of most readers. We scroll and we scroll, "link in profile"/lengthy post reading days in the rearview mirror. I'm lucky if I make it through one of the newsletter e-mails I'm still signed up for. 

We just don't do well with long-form writing any more. Or at least that's how it seems.

But you know what I've realized recently?

I do well with long-form writing.

I don't mean that I do necessarily well with posting consistently or creating out-of-this-world prose, but I -Bailey Jean as a person, creative, doer, and dreamer- do well (if not better!) when I'm writing consistently. 

My goals are more likely to happen when I'm writing out my thought process behind them and keeping myself accountable by checking in each month.

I get lost in my own mind less when pen is put to paper and I journal consistently or fingers set to keys and the swirl of thoughts find a home on a page or screen.

I do well with long-form writing. Or maybe just writing in general. I can't be entirely sure, but I think I'm willing to take a gamble here and I think we're about to find out.

I've also caught myself stuck in the thought that I have to live in extremes when it comes to my online life: all in or all out. Writing, promoting, sharing, content-creating on a mission or social media detoxing with strict limits and offline deadlines. 

When I've started to listen to that nudge and tug in my heart towards writing here again, I get overwhelmed thinking that means I have to get "back on a schedule" or try to promote my way through again, and it feels exhausting. The exact opposite of what I want.

And when I think about getting offline completely (goodnessit is tempting), going 100% radio silent doesn't feel like the right move either. I do know I need better boundaries (goodbye, 2020 doom-scrolling) and I also know that I don't have to produce anything in particular. It gets to be whatever I want it to be. 

I want my time online to serve my heart and my life well, and I also want to use the little bit of a platform and my tiny corner of the internet to serve and encourage anyone who happens to stumble upon it. But I don't want to manufacture pressure to perform because "everyone else" is doing it.

Welcome to the late night, innermost thoughts of Christmas-break Bailey.
*insert the squinting/grimacing/sort-of-smiling emoji here*

So here we are. Or here I am. Two years almost to the day since this place last saw something go live.
Will anyone read it? Maybe not. And that is 100% okay.
Will writing again help my heart and mind in 2021? I sure hope so.
But I also give myself permission here and now to let it go if it doesn't.
Here we are, and here we go.

And if you're here... thanks for sticking around. :) 

Love, Bailey Jean

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