It’s mid-December, and I’m up and ready to get to some housework at 7 am. I rose when my partner did, and made him breakfast and for myself also. I saw him off at the door. Thank goodness for his steady employment. In the backs of our minds, we know that it might not last, and that he may have to go out West, but for now, he’s got work here.
Now I’m nursing my morning cup of green tea, and looking out the window at the moody sky. There is a long low line of pink on the horizon, and above that, watercolour grey clouds, fading from lights to darks. Seagulls and crows occasionally fly across the span of my window, on a mission known just to them. The trees are silhouettes still, but will turn over the next hour into their three-dimensional selves. I like the quiet hour between when Adam leaves and when the day is officially here, when I have the house to myself. (Mind you, I’ll have it to myself all day, but there is something special about this hour.)
School is done for the term. I’ve passed in all my assignments and am welcoming the break from travelling to class and studying. This being the Christmas season, though, it seems there is still much to do, much to fill the day’s hours with. Presents to be bought and wrapped, decorations to put up around the house and yard, friends to see that I didn’t have time to see while I was in school.
I’m thinking back over the past year of this blog and attempting to put together my thoughts on it.
I guess the big one is that I feel I haven’t fulfilled my own expectations of it. I had hoped, when I launched it last January, that I would be able to drive all around the island, following stories, jotting notes, interviewing lots of people. That this blog would somehow express the feeling of excitement I get by nearly everything and everyone I experience here.
(Many of my hopes are frequently unchecked by reality. Gas is expensive.)
I revised this dream to doing mostly email interviews, but still, I worried that the enormity of the island, and the people who live here, and the stories tied to this place, was not expressed. In other words, it’s a big friggin’ island! I’m just one woman!
I guess I also felt inferior – like, who am I, little old me, to stand up and say, “I speak for Cape Breton!”? Isn’t someone going to say, “Hey, who does that girl think she is?” And, how much should I balance “regular personal blogging”, i.e. my own photos, thoughts and experiences, with interviews and features on other people and events? Sometimes when I’m busy, the regular, personal blogging is all I’ve got.
And then there are times when I’m just damn tired of the Internet. Of comments, and writing, and posting, and “keeping up” with what everyone is up to. And I just want to shut it all down, throw the “smart” phone away, and go walk for hours and hours along a beach. Thank goodness I live on Cape Breton and beaches aren’t hard to find.
But those are just my worries. I suppose every writer has them. And everyone who’s ever gone on a hunch, and figured out a project as they went, has them too.
Then there is the reality of what this blog has meant over the past year, to me and to other people. There are the emails I’ve gotten from dozens of people saying they keep up with it, that they love to read about the island. There are the offers to give talks about youth and positivity and Cape Breton, and the ability to promote events, and connect people to each other, through the Facebook group. These all point to: “don’t give up, Leah.”
I guess what it boils down to is that I’m impatient. It’s one of my (many) character flaws, I guess. I start something and when it doesn’t create change right away, I get annoyed. “What, you mean I started a blog about Cape Breton’s issues, and they didn’t all go away immediately!? Well, Jesus!”
The lesson here is that the problems run far deeper than I thought. But then, so does the strength of the people.
And I’m still writing, still filling my notebook with ideas. I’ve got interviews socked away that just need a little editing and they’re ready to go. I’m thinking that in the New Year I’ll aim to post once a week, and more often if I feel up to it, and see how that goes. With school, it’s just not realistic to think I’ll post every day. However, I don’t just want to give it up completely, because I think that most of the time, I overthink things, and it’s best just to do it. (As good old Nike used to say.)
Bottom line? Thank you, thank you, thank you. For reading. For sharing your thoughts, your experiences. I’m ever-so-grateful.