Life's a funny old thing, innit?
Once upon a time not so very long ago I spent a large part of my life on the internet, and my blog was a central part of that. And not just my blog - all the other things wot I rote - novels, articles, stories, whatever - were a large chunk of how I defined myself, how I interacted with the world at large, how I got praise and feedback and general validation.
But things change. I had a baby. I got a bit fed up. I lost my agent, I failed to get my second book published in English, I threw my toys out of the pram, said "fuck this I don't want to be a writer any more" and buggered off to do something else instead.
And now I'm here in this new all-consuming life, getting validation in new ways and mostly forgetting about this corner of the internet which would once have been my home.
I've mentioned it before, so I won't go on about it, but in my new career my previous existence as a novelist is not only unknown, it's my dirty little secret. I live in fear of people finding it out. So within a short space of time it's gone from something I was proud of and showed off about at the slightest opportunity to something to brush under the carpet. That's a bit odd. And a bit sad. But there you go.
This is what I do though. Every few years I pick up the tablecloth upon which my life sits, and I shake it.
I get bored. I want change. I want excitement. I need projects.
Currently I am sitting in my study. I'm supposed to be tidying it. I'm supposed to be using some rare and much-needed Me Time to catch up on admin and jobs. But I'm hungover.
It's nice, this bit. The reason I'm hungover is that yesterday, when I returned from a long car drive...
OH, maybe I'd better explain that journey. It was originally dead simple: Drive my eldest son to my parents' house, a simple 1.5-hour motorway journey, and drop him off there for a week's holiday. But then he convinced us to have his friend for a sleepover, and then his friend had to be returned to his new house in the countryside, only once visited before, and then I had to find my way from there to my parents' house. So I checked on the map and worked out what to do, and set off and did it, and after a while saw a sign which pointed the way I was going and said "this way for a totally other destination in the opposite direction from the one you think you're aiming at," but I kept going anyway and suddenly found myself being shot out on to the roundabout I'd started at 20 minutes previously. This was a bit freaky. Groundhog Day. But I was sure I'd been going in the right direction so I set off to do the whole thing again, this time keeping my eyes peeled for a missed turning. Which I found, with barriers and "Road Closed" signs and all that malarkey, so I kept going and did the whole circle again.
Long story short: It took bloody ages, but eventually I arrived home again, late and sans eldest son. And what did I find? A bath ready run, with scented candles, and the instruction to strip off, relax and drink gin and tonic while my Lovely One put the finishing touches to the special meal he was preparing.
This was in addition to the card and flowers I found on my pillow that morning. The envelope was covered in hearts, doodlings and little loving rhymes which made reference to love and stuff as well as lots of clever jokes about my new career. Inside the card was a series of little puzzles, which when answered gave the message "I LOVE U". And more loving soppy stuff.
And then in the evening I was wined and dined and generally looked after in way that made me happy, drunk and eventually, now, hungover. But still happy. But not functioning very well in a tidying-my-study kind of way and deciding instead to type random musings into the internet.
You just never know what's coming. I'm doing something with my life that fills me up and throws me down and which I'd given up on a long time ago. I'm confounding my own expectations of myself. I thought I would be a writer. I thought I was too selfish to do anything with my life which would be significantly helpful to anyone except myself. I thought I was lazy, I thought I preferred the easy route.
It seems I was wrong.
Hurrah for being wrong.
Tour de France
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