The value of long silences

Silences are for turning inwards, for being present. I needed a long silence. I needed that time to think, time to live, time to heal, and time to laugh, discover, and love. I haven’t really blogged or maintained a website in more than a year and a half now. For a while I was barely able to post the shortest updates on social media.

I felt unable to write. I jotted things down here and there. I had a few good ideas, made a few good things, but I couldn’t dedicate the brain space to writing them well enough to send out, let alone doing the work of submitting. I had supportive writing friends, and I told myself I should be able to write more. Especially since writing helps me process my thoughts, and more than any other time in my life, I had a lot to process. But I would sit down and there would be silence on the page.

Divorce is such a pedestrian thing nowadays. It’s not extraordinary or shocking or taboo, which is good. But in the middle of one, everything seems extraordinarily jumbled. I felt grieved and relieved at the exact same time. I was happier than I’d ever been, but also the most heartbroken. I’d ended a ten-year marriage, which ended a thirteen-year relationship–one that had had its share of good times. There were things to grieve, even though I was moving into a healthier place in life, which was something to celebrate.

I needed to find a way to exist with, and not try to drown out, all that noise in my body.

I needed my “external,” public life to be quieter than it has been in ages. But that’s not to say I wasn’t social. I traveled a lot. I hiked. I cooked and ate delicious food. I made new friends. I went to see Wicked. I fell in love. I married my soulmate. Plenty to post on Instagram. Plenty of material to write about. But I couldn’t do it then.

Living and growing and finding a new normal for me meant embracing the silence on the page and online. Taking a break not from life, but from sharing everything about that life online with people who weren’t there. It’s well-meant to share online with friends who couldn’t share the moment. But it doesn’t have to be done every time/ all the time. That story or novel doesn’t have to be worked on every day or even a few days a week. That’s okay. I had to listen to what I needed. Sometimes the page has to wait while the creative work is done on us rather than through us.

I’m here finally to give my blog and website a fresh start and some new material. I hope this finds you well, whether you’re embracing a long silence or whether you can’t get the tap to turn off.

Love,
Sarah

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