So I have been assuming that the reason I haven’t been blogging here is because I haven’t had time. Incidentally, I have had time to watch the first two seasons of Gilmore Girls on Netflix and crochet a sweater. But it was definitely time that has stopped me writing here.
And then a few things happened this week.
Firstly, I asked one of my colleagues to write a post for My Life My Choice blog about his trip to Spain with some of the members. I was expecting a description of where they had been, what they had done, and a bit about what they had learnt about themselves and about the wider learning disability rights movement. What I got was several paragraphs about lobsters.
Which took me aback somewhat but turned out to be a really useful metaphor.
I must have still been thinking about lobsters the following morning, since half way through my morning run I suddenly thought “My blog is the old shell!” and then “No, wait, it’s the rock!”
Let me explain.
Chris wrote this:
I recently watched Dr Abraham Twerski’s YouTube clip on responding to stress. He talks about stress in relation to how lobsters grow. Lobsters are soft and squidgy and live inside a shell. When a lobster needs to grow it goes under a rock, casts off its shell, and produces a better fitting one. The lobster will repeat this process throughout its life.
The stimulus that the lobster needs to grow is that it feels uncomfortable. If lobsters went to the doctors to complain about their discomfort the doctor would find a remedy to pacify the discomfort, thus negating the need to grow…
It is dangerous for the lobster to shed a shell before growing a new one. When it is vulnerable after shedding a shell, the lobster seeks refuge, care and comfort to protect it. In this case from an external source, ‘under a rock’.
Human beings can be like lobsters. We too need to shed our shells so we can grow and reach our potential.
Secondly, it turns out that getting up while it is still dark to go for a run before work leads to a high level of both smugness and endorphins, because while I was running I was thinking about how happy I am these days. Which got me thinking about how tough the last few years have been, and how much I have changed and grown. Writing this blog has been a huge part of that change and that growth. I have written about my abusive relationship and my rape. I have worked through my mental health problems, and wrestled with their implications on my life.
This blog has been like therapy. Writing about things that I’ve been ashamed of has been like shedding my shell. Having a place to write about my feelings, and miraculously (it is the internet, after all) have nothing but support from readers, has been my rock. But I’m now in a place where I don’t need to do this anymore. In fact, I feel like continuing to dwell on my past and my insecurities is preventing me from moving forward.
I am so proud of this blog. So proud, in fact, that I’m gathering together my favourite essays with some previously unpublished stuff, and writing a book about my twenties. (Anybody know any agents?) But I won’t be posting anything new, and will be eventually retiring the site.
I am making plans for a new blogging project in the new year, which I’m excited about. I’m also really enjoying Instagram right now, so plan to continue sharing bits of my life on there. Making content for the internet will always be a big part of my life, and I have a lot of passions that I have yet to share online.