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Where Have I Been??? + Blog, Life, & Mental Health Updates!

(Cue Adele voice)

♫Helloooooo.... it's meee....♫

Yep, it's me. I'm back. After a three month break or hiatus or whatever you want to call it.

So where have I been? And why did I go away, leaving my poor blog all alone and lonely with lack of updates?

Those are good questions. Let me try to answer them.

The last blog post I put up was my review of Anna Kendrick's excellent book, Scrappy Little Nobody (read the review here) back in early December. And then....NOTHING.

I went on a trip with my folks to northern California to visit my uncle (and we also stopped by for a tour at the Winchester Mystery House which was incredible, by the way. Historical and also maybe potentially haunted? If that doesn't scream EMILY than I don't know what else does!) and when I got back I fully intended on writing up a blog post about my trip to the Winchester House. But I didn't. And the longer I put it off, the more my drive went down. And the longer I put off blogging, the more I started thinking is blogging really worth it? (But more on that later!)

So where have I been?

Basically, just trying to figure out my life- I'm sort of at a crossroads here. After years of living with my powerful yet dormant mental health cocktail of depression, anxiety and OCD (all of which I've alluded to, but not necessarily owned up to while I've been going through them), they've all currently reared their ugly heads ("we're baaaaack!") and I'm having a pretty tough time right now. I want to find a new career and go back to school, but right now I'm really, really terrified of those ideas and those big potential changes. Admitting that you're suffering from the black hole that is depression and the life crippling illness that is anxiety, is embarrassing, which is why it's taken me this long to even explain why I haven't been blogging. I know I shouldn't be ashamed and should be open about mental illness, but it seems like most people don't want to hear about you currently struggling with it. Mental illness is unfortunately not only a downer for you, the one that's going through it, but also for the people around you who experience it secondhand, or even just by hearing about it. People would rather hear your success story after the fact, you know, when you've successfully dragged yourself out of bed, threw away all of your prescriptions, started meditating, eating an exclusively organic plant based diet, exercising and running 10k's for charities and you've conquered all your inner demons aka that pesky chemical imbalance in your brain so good for you, you should go take a victory picture and post about it on Instagram, you survivor you!

But unfortunately, it doesn't work like that for me. Right now every day is a struggle, and as much as I'd like to be blogging more often, I sort of have to force myself to push through this overwhelming exhaustion to do it. Which is very unfortunate considering I love blogging. I've been so down lately I haven't even been able to read much! (Which is quite a shock to me! I miss reading! Do you think my books will ever forgive me??) But each day I'm hoping I get slightly better. I know that this dark spot in my life can't last forever, so I'm trying my hardest to just get through it and get to that light at the end of the tunnel (which I can't see, but can imagine and it looks wonderful and has kittens at the end of it).

So in all honesty, that's where I am right now. That was really tough to write and admit, but in a way I'm really glad I shared it. I'm so influenced by other writers and bloggers (like the QUEEN, Jenny Lawson, aka the Bloggess) that are helping break the stigma on mental illness and even adding some humorous anecdotes to their experiences. I'm hoping I can get there someday and be able to share my experiences without too much embarrassment or judgement (which is honestly coming mostly from myself at this point. But I'm trying to change my way of thinking! Man, I'm a major work in progress)

Is it worth it to blog if no one reads it?

As in, if a tree falls in the forest, did anyone really hear it? (Same goes for unfavorited tweets, by the way)

In all honestly did I kind of/sort of/want to/maybe/possibly make blogging a career? Yes, in the perfect world, but I don't fit the typical blogger type. Am I a book blogger? Sort of. Life style? Maybe...? Lord knows I'm not a fashion or make up blogger (if you've seen my lack of skill with an eyeliner pencil you'd believe me). I dabble in travel, adventures, and geeky blogging (I mean, but who in this day and age doesn't?) But do I really offer anything original to make me stand out? Do I have the drive to advertise my blog all over the web/with other bloggers, to spend money I know I probably shouldn't spend to promote my blog on other blogs, to update my header (you know, instead of the gorgeous, ill-fitting one I made myself? I know I know, I bet you thought it was totally professionally made! Fooled ya!) and to take better photos for my blog? (Amazingly enough I used a lot of stock photos. Did you really think that was my bedroom? Ha! It's missing a layer of cat fur covering every surface, that's how you know it's not mine!)

I love blogging. I really do. Despite my super small following on bloglovin' (where I've actually GAINED more followers while I've been inactive than all the time I've been actively blogging, weirdly enough. And a lot more views on my Facebook page. What's up with that?), I'm proud of this little blog of mine. It's changed from a bucket list blog, to a travel blog, and now finally to this weird, mishmash of a blog that literally just represents me. I've had it for three (!!!) years and with less than 10,000 page views throughout it's entire run. So some people read it, but honestly I don't have much of a following. So is it really worth it to keep writing a blog that maybe only a handful of random people on the internet will read?

Yes. And no.

I may not have the best blog ever, the most popular blog ever, but I love, love, love writing it. I like sharing things I'm interested in, things I'm going through, and in a way it's made me a lot more open about my struggles, something that's been very hard for me, but something I've always wanted to do. So for that I'm grateful to my weird little blog. And no, it may not ever be a career for me (not to brag though, but after three years I've earned 27 cents on AdSense. Don't be jealous!) but it can be a hobby and a passion. So that's why I've decided to keep it going, because despite not having a lot of readers, I have a lot of ideas and a lot of things I want to talk about. And hopefully as I come out of this dark place and start getting on with my life (fingers crossed!), I can start posting more often, but for now, I'm just going to post once a week. In a way I'm hoping that starting to blog again can be sort of therapeutic and helpful to me right now, and even, dare I say, fun? *gasp*

So that's where I'm at right now! Let me know in the comments if you'd want me to be more open about my struggles with mental illness or if other bloggers like the Bloggess are doing a better job! 😉 (Just kidding, please be nice) But seriously, let me know what you'd like me to talk about on here! (I'm hoping for more international candy taste tests!!)

See you soon! (I promise this time! No three month waits for you guys anymore!)

Stay Weird,