The (Un)Importance of Leap Day

The hourglass is a fitting timepiece because time slips from our grasp like fine sand.

Today was February 29, the disproportionately talked about “leap day.” Some people like to make a big deal about it, but really it’s just a day. You hear all kinds of things about leap day that don’t make sense. A whole extra day! I’m going to [get more work done, go on a trip, clean the house, spend time with friends, finish my novel]. It’s leap day, nothing that happens really counts (yes, this is a 30 Rock reference).

Aside from being a date that only occurs every four years, there is no difference from any other day of the year. You wake up, go through your routine, and try to survive life. It passes before you know it and you wonder what happened to that extra day you were so excited for.

An extra day will only give you more time if you make a plan to use it. Realistically, a day is not a lot of time. Sometimes they drag on, but afterward every single day that you have experienced is no more than the blink of an eye. It’s almost as though none of it ever happened at all.

Blogging Back to Life

What do you do when you stop blogging for a significant length of time and no one seemed to notice, when you’ve had a blog for years but have no more than a few hundred followers (literally what would be called a “drop in the bucket” on the internet, even if it seems like a lot to me personally) and no more than a handful of likes per post, and you know this blog will never have a niche, which seems so important in the blogging world?

It’s tempting to let this gasping site die and start up another one, but I renewed the domain name in August or September, so I have a few months left to go in order not to totally waste my money.

I bought this domain name specifically because I wanted this to be my personal author website. It’s definitely not what most people would call an author website, not least because I haven’t actually been published. One could argue that this is mostly my fault. I never really put myself out there, except for a few timid attempts here and there. It’s no wonder I never get anywhere…

The reason I want to let this blog go and start a whole new one is because I would be able to form and shape it with intention from the beginning. But I don’t want this one to disappear. A lot of work has gone into it in the past, even if not recently. A lot me is captured here. Call me clingy, hopeless, or whatever you like, there are ideas and thoughts expressed here that I believe were worth sharing. Instead of cutting this path short and starting an entirely new one, I’m just going to keep building on this one.

Yes, I’m going to start blogging again! And I know that of most of the people who see this post, only a small number will care. That’s not important right now. The important thing is relearning how to express my thoughts. At the beginning of the year, as I try to get myself used to writing again, I will probably do a lot of personal journaling that will be seen by me alone. In other words, don’t get too excited, because I don’t have all that much to say here yet (that’s sort of a lie. I have a lot to say, always, but I need some time to figure out how to say it), and there won’t be any new fiction for some time unless serious inspiration hits, but soon enough this will be a platform for my weird brand of creativity to come out once again.

 

Don’t touch that dial. We’ll be right back.

The words do not want to come.

Another month. Another Monday.

More questions.

Less certainty.

For some time now it’s felt as if everything is about to fall apart. I’ve been standing on the edge for so long, somehow managing to balance. There are all these saying about how things falling apart might be the best thing that’s ever happened to you, but I am extremely doubtful. I think I’d be too tired to build anything out of the rubble.

I know I cling too hard to things sometimes. It’s a side effect of loss.

If I look like I’m not affected by things, it’s because I’m so overwhelmed that I can’t begin to express it.

If this little piece of writing is a little lacking, it’s because I have so many thoughts running around in my head that catching one long enough to get it to stand still is nearly impossible.

I would like to tell you all my secrets, but then I’d have to let them go. And it’s hard to do that when I’m not sure I understand most of them myself.

Friday, Be My Friend

I have a different relationship with Friday than most people do. For almost everyone I know and everyone on the internet (judging by the memes), Friday is a day of relief. The break from work is just around the corner. The end is in sight. Whether the day is full of productivity and a push to get lots of things done or mainly goofing off on the internet, in a few hours they all have until Monday morning to live life, doing whatever non-work-related things they want to/can do.

My thoughts on Friday are a little different. Instead of being glad the weekend is here, I think, “It’s Friday already? How did another week pass and I’ve still gotten nothing done? Before long it’ll be the end of the month. Time just keeps passing and nothing ever changes. Why can’t I just have a little time to breathe?” It doesn’t help that there is always some bill looming.

If I had been able to stick to a regular schedule in my work, it might be different. But usually, the weekend comes around and it’s just the same as any other day to me–I have to get as much work done as I can manage. I’m not such a fan of a “regular schedule,” but it would certain help in changing my Fridays. Of course, I also don’t get that sense of dread or just general grumpiness other people experience on Sunday evening, knowing that they have to return to the office the next morning. So it’s a trade-off.

I have to say, though, I don’t really like being the one person wishing everyone else would stop being so happy about Friday nights.

Learning Process

There are certain pieces of advice that you hear over and over. On the internet, from your parents, from teachers, made into motivational poster memes. I know there are many that I have repeatedly come across (and for some reason I can’t think of any now, wouldn’t you know it…) and I knew, but could not fully grasp them until more recently.

I wish certain things about life had not taken me so long to learn. Things like failure being a natural part of life, and if you never fail at anything it probably means you haven’t tried anything–and also that it doesn’t mean you should give up. I never really learned to bounce back after failing, I would just move on to something else. I generally did well in school, rarely failing anything and never trying to master that material after the fact, the few times I got a failing grade.

The past few years, I’ve been failing at a lot of things. Often I feel like I’m not capable of dealing with life and I should not have been allowed to be an adult. In this case, dealing with the stuff that’s causing me stress is the only option, short of giving up and staying in bed for the rest of my life. To be clear, that’s really not something I want to do. And after what feels like a million years of hearing from everyone that you just have to keep trying and keep going, I’m able to face things that have gone wrong and try to improve or fix them.

I wish that someone who struggles the way I have would read this and take it to heart and feel better about what’s wrong in their lives, and understand that it doesn’t mean they themselves are a failure or that they can’t do something to make it better. But that probably won’t happen. Here’s why:

For most people, you simply can’t learn those really important things about life until you’re ready. You might know intellectually that the wise advice you hear is true, but it doesn’t reach your heart because you don’t really believe it. Something has to happen to make it sink in. A certain experience, or a person in your life, or just time in which you can think about life and start to grasp what it actually means, what is important, and what isn’t.

The one I’m working on right now is that it might be okay if I never really make anything of my life. I’ll still be a good, worthy human being. This might be the most difficult one, the one that I can never fully accept…

Strike One

Have you ever noticed that when the flame on a match goes out, you can look at the head of the match and see that underneath the charred outer layer a glow remains for several seconds? Like the coals in a fire, red-hot under a coating of ash. It reminds me of a heart, the hidden thing that holds the key to life.

What are the matches trying to tell me?