Which brings me to what could possibly be your question: What exactly happened here? What’s with the abrupt hiatus?
First of all, academic workload aside, my extracurricular activities have kept me pretty busy as well. I am a member of two student organizations (a department-based academic organization, and a service organization); however, this semester, I tried applying for other organizations that interested me. In addition to these extracurricular, non-academic activities, I have been pushing myself to experiment with numerous, different things as a way for me to discover more about myself.
Second of all, I have significantly altered my study habits. I make it a point to study for at least one class per night. Additionally, I have also made it a regular practice to completely rewrite all my notes from lecture classes and to create comprehensive reviewers for tests and exams at least three to five days before the actual examination date. Given my perfectionist tendencies, rewriting notes takes up hours to accomplish because I am obsessed with keeping everything neat, comprehensible and organized. Sometimes I stay up until two in the morning just for rewriting and reviewing. Anyway, I will (hopefully) publish a post regarding my new study habits soon!
Thirdly, not only have I recently developed a greater interest in poetry books, but I have also begun to shift more of my focus towards writing my own poems instead of composing book reviews and drafting up blog posts. For the longest time, I’ve always been an “essay over prose” kind of girl. I used to prefer writing essays partly because they provided a bigger space and a greater leeway for me to elaborate on my thoughts and partly because an essay’s structure is essentially set in stone whereas poetry is very liberal in terms of form and measure.
As a perfectionist, the freedom that poetry offers structure-wise used to bother me because I could never really objectively gauge if I was on the right track or if what I was writing was any good. Composing stanzas made me feel awfully uncomfortable because it was like I was writing blindly – there was nothing to guide me towards a certain direction, and there was nothing to ground me.
On the contrary, I’d like to believe that I’ve gradually gotten better at writing prose. Throughout these past few months, I’ve come to realize that there is something unbelievably, inexplicably cathartic about writing poetry. Having such a limitless canvas is both intimidating and calming. I can’t really put it into words; all I can say for sure is that I have definitely come to cultivate a deeper appreciation for poetry both as a form of art and as a creative outlet. I hope to continue exploring different styles and forms and exposing myself to the works of other people. But I digress.
After my exceedingly catastrophic semester that ended last May, I have decided to commit this entire semester to myself: reconnecting with my unattended interests (especially writing), searching for new things I can be passionate about, conquering small fears, overcoming my own paranoia and insecurities, rekindling my genuine love for learning, unearthing new goals and new dreams for myself, and learning to treat myself better. With that said, concentrating on myself and my personal growth has consumed (and continues to consume) a significant portion of my time. While this is, I think, a perfectly normal and perhaps even noble pursuit, making sacrifices is an inevitable, unavoidable factor in this process. Unfortunately, my time for blogging has consequently been compromised, leading to the discontinuous and sporadic influx I mentioned earlier. This has also effectively lessened my time for reading books, writing book reviews and interacting with the blogging community in general.
And it does not end there. As positive and as great as everything I mentioned is, the reality is, the journey towards personal growth is not as easy as it seems on paper (or in this case, on a blog post). It is not always smooth-sailing. By trying to learn more about myself, I am simultaneously forced to deal with the darker parts of me – the shortcomings I’ve tried to hide, the insecurities I’m not prepared to face, the flaws I’ve refused to acknowledge, and the parts of myself that absolutely terrify me. In order for me to truly grow as an individual, I cannot selectively unlock doors; I have to open them all. I have to allow myself to be vulnerable. I have to learn to accept myself wholly and without exception. Which is extremely difficult, to say the least.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is that personal growth and self-discovery are accompanied by a recurring emotional turmoil. The happiness I feel on most days is evenly matched with the degree of sadness and frustration I feel on most evenings. Despite everything, sometimes I still hate myself and sometimes I still resent who I am as a person. On some days, I still feel as empty and as lost as I did last semester. On some days, the insecurities I’ve tried so desperately to bottle up overflow and threaten to consume me, drowning my mind with negative thoughts. On some days, I still cannot fully accept myself. On some days, I can’t find a reason to get out of bed. On some days, I still struggle.
Truth be told, one other major reason behind my blogging inactivity is my lack of motivation. Yep, the more blogging deadlines I miss, the more discouraged I get to keep going anyway. The more I notice how inactive I’ve become, the more I lose sight of the reasons why I started blogging in the first place. Moreover, to be completely honest, witnessing my blog activity and my stats plummet dramatically has been pretty disheartening as well. During the first few weeks after my blog’s relaunch, my blog had a steady, average influx of 200 views a day. Recently, the number of visits my blog receives barely scrapes 10 a day. While I know in my heart that these numbers don’t matter and that my blog is first and foremost for myself, I still can’t completely erase the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I am losing something. And it sucks.
This does not mean that I am disregarding all the positive and supportive comments I’ve received because I am still thankful and I do appreciate all the love and warmth. I guess I’m just disappointed with myself for not doing better and for not taking care of my blog the way it deserves to be taken care of. And okay, this is getting pretty depressing so let me stop here.
What’s my point?
Well, I am not promising anything. I don’t think I am in the position to promise anything. However, I will say that I am tired of feeling sorry for myself. And I do not want to give up on blogging just yet. I don’t know what exactly is going to happen next, but I’d be damned if I would throw in the towel now. At this point, all I can do is keep trying and cross my fingers, hoping that I will eventually start to feel better again.