My Blog is Looking at Me With Reproachful Eyes...

This morning on the train I was composing all sorts of posts in my head explaining why I have been so absent for so long.

Have you ever thought to yourself "I really must call my Mum, it's been ages" but then you don't call her, and the longer it goes, the more you keep putting it off, all the while the guilt begins to build up, and the hugeness of not having called begins to hang heavily and unspoken between you. If you call her now, you'll have to explain, or deal with a big guilt-trip, and just a quick call for a nice chat becomes a task of monumental and weighted consequence.

That's how I am beginning to feel about my blog. Which is completely unfair, as you lot are nothing like my Mum. Nonetheless, I feel like I need to say I'm sorry, that I really miss you, and would you like to come over for dinner on Sunday, as I'm doing a roast?

Why haven't I written?
1. Time (or lack thereof). This is the most obvious answer. I am now commuting up to two hours a day, and seeing my two boys for not much more than that on a week night. Finding space for "me" time seems a tad selfish considering the schedule here, especially in light of the fact that I am an unfit, ambitious, grasping type of woman who has put career before children. When all I had to do was haul my fat ass into my fat-assed minivan on a morning, and pull up into the driving lot a mere 10 minutes later, there seemed to be more time to pratt around with blogs.

2. There's too much to process. There have been many peaks and valleys in this jolly old adventure, and the thought of sitting down and composing something remotely focused exhausts me. I then feel guilty about it, and we're back in the situation where I'm treating you like my mother again. Not good. I know. We need to work on that one, don't we?

There is also a sense in which I am resisting writing so I don't have to process. Some of this has been very hard, and there have been a few days or weekends when I feel plummetted into a depression, and crave above all something familiar and ordinary. I crave home, and this place--lovely though it is--just is not home. Not yet.

3. Lack of emotional reserves (related to the above). Blogging is not just about writing is it? As we have hashed out collectively for quite some time now, blogging is about (mwah!) relationships. Frankly, people, you are not only like my Mother in this regard, but also a bit like the beloved family pet who you see as your own little baby, until actually have your own little baby, and then you could give a rat's ass about said pet, because you have nothing left to give, dammit. Sorry about that. Hey, when did I last refill your water bowl?

4. Skewed sense of audience/ complete identity crisis.
My blogging friends and community is a largely a North American one. Although I have not actually met 99.9% of you, I realize there is still a tangible sense of place connected to my blog. As I am learning how to be British again (and I know this sounds completely nuts) and negotiating how I am in this place--professionally and personally--I find it difficult to simply "walk into the other room where the old American friends are" and just be myself again. I feel completely unrooted and in flux, and it's really affected my sense of self. I'm not talking crisis here, but just a sense of constant adjustment. I am always the new person in the room. I am always having to introduce myself and second-guess myself over what type of impression I am creating. I sound like I am whining about it, and I'm really not. I guess it all comes back to craving the familar, the shared contexts and points of reference that can make you feel at home.
There's also the little matter that I am moving in completely different professional circles, some of them rather big-wiggy and important on a national level, and I've abruptly realized that you can google me under my real name and this little site comes up rather near the top. I am not remotely ashamed of anything here, and I've even used it to expand some of my own research, but I am still unnerved that Mr So and So from this particular International Consortium might enter my name into a search engine and find various posts on weak bladders and nipple thrush. Oy... For that reason, I am going to take off the profile pic.

God. I hate this post. I hate how I sound. I realize I sound quite miserable, and actually I'm not. Normal is arriving in slow and steady bursts, and I am beginning to feel much more like myself again. Or, I should say, I feel much more confident that I can be myself here. And that I can dispense with the mindf*cking bit.

So I'm sorry I've not called or been around lately. I promise to try and make it happen less. Remind me to tell you about the First UK Halloween, and the nearly doomed First Trick or Treating Expedition. It's MUCH more interesting.


THE MOM BOMB said...

I'm a new reader. Your blog may reproach you, but I do not. A trans-continental move and a 2-hour commute? I'm surprised you're still standing. Go easy on yourself. Moving is one of the top five stressors, right up there with marriage, death, divorce, and (hee-hee) STARTING A NEW JOB.

megachick said...

take your time. we'll wait.

but we might be counting the days....

megachick said...

oh, and aren't you sad you'll miss the michigan/state game tomorrow?

go blue!

bubandpie said...

#4 is a fascinating one - and unsurprising too. I'd love to hear more about it.

AliBlahBlah said...

Welcome back! What you're not up for NaBloPoMo this year? I can't imagine what turmoil you're going through, as usual I'm living vicariously through you, wondering what it would be like if we moved back to the UK after 10 years in the States. I say take it easy, take as much time as you need, and we'll all just keep checking in!

Kaleigh said...

Take your time, darling. Just like your mother, we'll be here for you when you're ready. No guilt. Just love.

verybadcat said...

Lazy, lazy, lazy. A little ol' move, a new job, and you don't need or want us anymore. I see.

You're kidding right? This was HUGE CHANGE. I would be in a mental hospital if I had to deal with all of the change you are dealing with. Example: We moved from one American city to another American city. I got a new job, with new peeps. I got sick. I wanted some soup, but had no idea where to get any on my lunch break in New City. So I went out back to cry and one of the office girls found me, and she was so sweet, asking what was wrong, and I snotted all over the place before wailing: I can't find any soup! I don't know anything! I'm stupid and helpless and soupless and sick and hungry and new!

So. We love you anyway. Let's be like those childhood friends that know when things get hectic and we fall out of touch for an eternity or two that it's okay cause we'll be back eventually, and take up like nothing happened. And drink a bottle of wine. And whine.


Redneck Mommy said...

You mean people can find me...my actual person and connect it with my blog????


Oh, right. Already happened when the adoption folks googled me and found out I had been calling them names on the ole interweb.

Good times.


Good luck, love. I'm thinking of you. In a dirty way. Wink, wink.

Mrs. Davis said...

I understand all too well what you're going through. Don't be hard on yourself -- your whole life has changed. We'll be here.

Dani said...

Don't think of us like a mother. Think of us as the people who will tell you when your skirt is tucked into your underwear.
No amount of time will change that.

karrie said...

Blogs keep. That's why we all have readers with 1,000+ unread posts languishing away in them. ;)

#4 Makes complete sense to me. I've been there, and it's weird trying to straddle two cultures. At least if you get drunk in some small British town and start speaking "American" there's a chance in hell someone might understand what you're going on about.

Juju said...

Well, I am one of your UK readers and I am just delighted to know that you are still out there. Take your time, find your feet, enjoy the new challenges and make time for your family who will be finding it hard too (but you know that). Like a previous comment said, we will still be here when you are ready :-)

Karen said...

but I will miss your profile pic...ps water bowl fine here.

BOSSY said...

"Have you ever thought to yourself "I really must call.. it's been ages" but then you don't call, and the longer it goes, the more you keep putting it off"

Absolutely not. Has never happened to Bossy. Ever. Well maybe once. Or a billion times.

mothergoosemouse said...

Good gravy, my friend.

I understand all of it (well, except the part about learning to be British again, having never been British in the first place). I'm here when you're ready, and if you prefer to just dive right into conversation, without giving any sort of synopsis of what has transpired in the meantime, it makes no difference to me. Take your time.

Whymommy said...

Take your time, hon, but know that we'll be here when you get back!

(And don't forget to bring your hat and coat. It's cold outside, dear.)

Marmite Breath said...

No pressure here, Joy. I'm just happy to read whatever you've got to say, and no surprise, but I feel such kinship and love hearing about your new experiences in a new place that's not really new. But is.

Whatever, you know what I mean. Write when you can.

Mom101 said...

I am so in the same place as you are and I don't even have a big translatantic move to show for it. You do what you've gotta do (or not do). I love that we can connect outside the blog any time you'd like.

That's not a hint, that's a request.

Ozma said...

Like they say in the UK: No worries.

Like they say in NY: Fugedaboutit.

I hate to say this, but you're adorable when you are apologetic.

Ann said...

Just for fun I googled you. Now, which GingaJoy is you?
First up, Google lists some rather impressive sounding Books by..
Followed by your blog...
Followed by a college student who could be masquerading poorly as you...
... and two thirds of the way down, a BBC article about How to be Happy at Work.

See? just pick the one you want to be (author? student? blogger? happy at work?) odds are the VIPs in your life might or might not know it's you ;) Or they might pick the one they want to be you based on how they see you.

Miss ya, never had a chance to say 'bye, but so so happy you've made this grand life change :)

moosh in indy. said...

Eh, who cares. Those people who post everyday wear me out. Showoffs.
It's all about quality baby, and that you are, nipple thrush and all.

Antonia said...

You describe perfectly how awful I feel that I haven't emailed or commented since you came back to England. If we lived in Manchester, I'd have you round for toad in the hole on Sunday.

I've been away from the Internet too, for one small two-legged, sleeve-tugging reason who might have to start nursery soon just so I can write more than one email a month.

I am plotting a weekend in Manchester. You are one of the people there I want to see. Probably not before Christmas, but I'll let you know.