What Not Writing For Over A Month Taught Me

What Not Writing For Over A Month Taught Me

It’s been over a month since I have sat down to write something. Beyond your basic email or paragraph, I have not written anything down.

That time and space I’ve taken from writing have allowed me to understand my relationship with writing in a way I had never considered it before. For one thing, I had never truly appreciated writing until I took this impromptu break from it. Writing has not only become a way for me to express myself, but also a way for me to process information, think through new ideas and connect old ones.

You might be thinking that I sound a tad bit dramatic at this point, after all, plenty of people stop writing altogether after high school, aside from the basics. But when writing becomes such an intricate part of how you cope with life, not doing that activity can have a lot of negative impacts on you. Not having writing in my life dramatically impacted my mental health in ways I still don’t quite understand.

My time spent away from writing taught me to not only appreciate writing but use it as a resource and a tool to guide me through life. Without writing, I felt like I was floating and never truly grounded at the moment. A moment would pass, and it was as if it floated away too quickly, I would never get the chance to hold onto it. Writing allows me to process those moments, cherish them and above all, remember them.

There is something so relieving about putting pen to paper or typing your thoughts away on a keyboard that unless you cope with life this way, you may not understand.

This mini-break also made me realize how harsh and critical I was of my writing. I liked my voice and the tone that I used, but if someone didn’t then for some reason their perception of me became my reality. I learned that I put a lot of pressure on myself when I did write and that if I was simply writing a blog post it had to contain all the wisdom of the ages in it – spoiler alert, it doesn’t need to. The posts that I wrote from the heart, that detailed my experiences or even small snippets of lessons I had learned along the way were always the ones that resonated more with people.

I wish I had kept writing since the last time I posted here, but I haven’t. But it still taught me that writing is a part of me. That is not to say I am branding myself as a writer, but I am someone who writes. I am someone who writes to learn, to process, to understand, to think and to connect. Writing is so instrumental in my every day-to-day life, that it baffles my mind how little I used to appreciate it.

So to anyone who has stepped away from something they love for a while, here is your reminder to get back to it. It will make a world of a difference, I promise.

The Changing Meaning of Life

The initial idea behind The Life We Dream Of was to encourage people to accomplish their life goals and live the life they have always dreamed of living. It sounded simple, easy and was a bit niche in my opinion. But it never took off, mostly because I didn’t want it to. I would stop myself from posting or creating any new content because I wanted it to be perfect, and I wanted to have all the answers for those who would come to visit my blog seeking those very same answers. But over time, what I have come to learn is that the reason I wasn’t willing to return to posting on my blog is that too much had changed. More specifically, I had experienced a shift in mindset so drastic that the life we dream of lost its very essence for a while.

The other day I was watching Soul on Disney Plus and it was a truly phenomenal movie. It somehow brought me back to a time a year and a half ago where I was in a dark place and my mental health was not great. During that time, I was working at a job I found mundane, unfulfilling, and altogether made me feel useless. But why was I feeling this way? I was finally working an ‘adult job’, I was getting paid a decent salary and I loved my colleagues. Somehow, that wasn’t enough. A year and a half ago, I thought that the dream life that I wanted was one where I would climb the career ladder, live in a beautiful condo or apartment and be able to buy anything I want without hesitation. Although that is a rather simplistic view of life, I had envisioned for myself it is truly what I wanted. There is nothing wrong with that – if anything it’s a very normal life that many people want. But once I was one step closer to that life, I felt more and more unfulfilled and sad.

It wasn’t until I was unemployed during the pandemic and able to take a step back from being overly busy that I realized why I was so unhappy and unfulfilled. Yes, I was working in the job I worked so hard to get, and I was making money, but I had turned this unhappy and unfulfilling job into the center of my life. I poured all my attention into it, and the unhappiness surrounding it all consumed my life.

Why did I do that? Because that is all I ever knew how to do. All society had taught me up until that point is that I need to get a job, but not just any job, a job that I was passionate about and would want to dedicate my entire life to. I genuinely thought that I was going to live my dream life by taking this job. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted and did not in any way make me happy.

 Life is so much more than how productive I am compared to those around me. Life is about the small moments of joy, happiness, and peace. It is not all supposed to be about finding the dream career and climbing the ladder. Is it an important part of our lives? Absolutely – but how productive I am in society is not the be all end all of who I am.

Watching this movie reminded me that if I had just taken a few moments each day to find those small moments of joy or happiness, maybe I would have been a lot happier. Maybe I would enjoy what I was doing more if I had put less focus on it and stopped it from consuming my entire life. The life we dream of should be one where we seek joy and happiness, where we create it within ourselves and with others. The life we dream of is simple and not very demanding at its root core.  All I want from life is to be healthy, happy, financially comfortable and be surrounded by friends and family. At the end of the day that is all I want, and if a career can help me achieve some of those things then that is fantastic, but it will not be the only thing I focus on.