in which you're not getting rid of me that quickly

Some of the responses I received from my post about a content shift have made me want to explain myself a bit more. Be more forthcoming about the thinking that led to my decision--which, to be honest, I can already feel myself backing away from. I never claimed to know my own mind very well. 

There is a part of me that wants to be more private, partly because it feels a little ridiculous to be blogging at my age, and partly because there are so many people from my past that I would just love to shut the door on, forever. There is a not-small list of persons no longer in my life that I would rather not know what I'm doing at all anymore. I'd rather they wonder. I'd rather their last image of me be pretty much exactly what's on my Instagram now: snowbound and content in her new life. If that is the last they see my face (literally), that is how I will forever look to them: serene as fuck. And if I evanesce now, at this high point in my life, that is how I will remain in perpetuity.

There's more. 

It is exhausting to be painfully aware that the more I share about what I'm doing, the easier it is to piece together a very clear picture of my life. And the Ellie that entertained so many people for so long with her LA misadventures? I'm not sure she made it into my suitcase. I'm not sure how entertaining this next phase of my life is going to be.

It could be boring as fuck (to you). 

So many people have reached out with suggestions on what I need to see and experience here. So many people have been avidly watching my stories to see where I've gotten to so far. Four different IG friends (one of whom I met in LA) have reached out to connect. I was invited to someone's home for Christmas, FFS -- someone I have never even met. I have been invited to clubs and bars and out on photo walks.

I have done almost nothing. I have gone almost nowhere. I have turned every single invitation down.

Why? At first my excuse was "Give me a chance to get settled!" But I think the truth is, I'm detoxing. I'm detoxing from a really unhealthy version of myself that I have barely just shed the skin on. I'm getting used to an Ellie that really doesn't give a fuck if she doesn't talk to anyone all day, because she isn't insecure and craving validation and afraid that everyone hates her. She knows no one hates her. She feels connected to her loved ones always. I'm getting used to an Ellie that doesn't get FOMO on the weekends. That is finally over going out, no matter how tempting the music lineup. That is wildly in love with reading again. That is content to just study and learn interesting words. That really isn't interested in going anywhere near another guy until she is sure she's 100% ready. 

I'm really scared I might disappoint everyone with this calmer, homebody Ellie. So if I get the jump on you and decide myself not to share, I'm rejecting you before you can reject me. (That's a trick I learned from my favorite self-hating boyfriend.)

I'm tired, you guys. I am so tired from years of bad decisions, of toxic relationships, of a lack of boundaries, of overworking. I'm craving the kind of peace and quiet that comes when you go up into the woods and lock yourself into a cabin off the grid for a week. No one knowing where I am, waiting for me, wondering what I'm doing. Nothing to prove.

And of course, this is all me creating this pressure for myself. Absolutely no one has made me feel bad or less than for not yet becoming the Queen of Chicago---and I know no one will. This is all a story I have written for myself, because that is what I do.

I don't really know where exactly I'm going to land on this. One post at a time I guess. But this is what I do know:

1. It's utterly ridiculous to structure my life around what I want other people to think of me. Changing my blog because I don't want to fail in front of anyone ever again is a cop out. Of course I will fail. Failure is a part of life. But I will recover. Either way, I need to learn not to care who sees, regardless of the outcome.

2. I love taking some event from my day and building it up into a dramatic story. To preclude the possibility of that source of material in the name of privacy feels wrongheaded. I can find ways to maintain boundaries about my day-to-day life but still share. I can figure that out.

3. As usual, the answer might not be ALL IN or ALL OUT, but just somewhere in the grey. Maybe I need a bit of a break. Maybe I need some boundaries for my blog. Maybe I need to think through my fears more clearly before being reactionary. 

4. I definitely need some space from social media. I deleted IG and Twitter yesterday, and then re-watched The Social Dilemma last night to fortify my decision. I'm still driving through on the desktop once or twice a day to collect my mail and packages, but I need to keep them both off my fucking phone. 

It isn't even that bad of a habit; five minutes or so, a few times a day. The damage is in what it does to my attention span. Every single thing I want to accomplish intellectually or creatively requires a full, healthy attention span. I have to take control of that part of my mind back. I just have to. I refuse to hand over another decade or more of my precious time to a fucking screen. I refuse to be a lab rat in a dopamine drip experiment. 

I will add it back just to post when I have something great to share. Then it gets deleted again. Tired of the manipulating algorithms. And honestly, it's the final five minutes of The Social Dilemma that really gets me. The goddamn former heads of these companies don't even let their children have social media accounts, at ALL, because they know what is happening to their kids' brains. That tells me everything I need to know. 

Okay okay. I think my head is clear for now. Apologies for the whiplash. Fun ride though innit?