Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Under Pressure

Do you ever feel pressured into doing something? A lot of times that pressure can come from family or friends and can involve something you don't necessarily want to do. More often, at least in my personal experience, that pressure comes from myself.

There are times when I make excuses for myself and falsely claim that the pressure I'm feeling has come from an external force. But the truth is, I'm pressuring myself more often than not. That's how I was when I was a kid. I was kind of a perfectionist. Some of that still lingers, though not as strongly. During my elementary school years I pushed myself to do well and get good grades. My parents never pressured me to come home with straight A's on my report card.

I haven't written anything substantial here in a long while. In fact, I've spent most of the summer on something of a hiatus. Sure, I've posted a question of the week here and there, but that's about it. I really don't have an excuse for why I'm not writing these days, I just haven't been.

I spent some time with my friend Jessica yesterday and in our conversation I began to speculate as to why I've neglected this blog for so long. Of course, there are the typical excuses... I've been busy. I've moved into a new place. I've moved into a new town. I've been keeping myself occupied with other things.

Then there was a not-so-typical excuse that occurred to me. Maybe I've been a little depressed.

The thought came as something of a surprise to me. I haven't felt depressed. At least, I don't think I have. I haven't been overly emotional, sad or angry in recent weeks. I've experienced depression before and, in the past, the symptoms that have accompanied my change in demeanor have ranged from loss of appetite to an extreme desire to be alone.

I know, I like to be alone a lot of the time anyway. But that's just regular introvert stuff. I haven't found myself longing to be away from people because I just don't want to deal with things lately. I've actually sought opportunities to do things with people and I feel like I've done this more often than usual. And as for a loss of appetite, well, that just hasn't happened at all this summer.

Depression, as an excuse not to write, kind of makes sense now that I think on it. There have been some issues and situations that I've been dealing with this summer that have been difficult. They've been nothing that I can't handle, but I guess they've taken more of a toll than I've let on. People would probably look at me and assume I'm okay. I've even looked in the mirror and assumed I'm okay. And maybe I am. I'm okay. But maybe, just being okay isn't good enough. At least, it's not good enough to keep me motivated to post something new to this blog on a daily basis.

I've felt pressure from other areas of my life this summer. So I've taken the pressure off of myself to come up with new and exciting material for Carp Dime for a while. But today I decided to put the pressure back on myself.

What makes today so special? Well, I read another blog. My pastor, Jeff Noble keeps a blog called Notes from the Trail. Today, his post was titled, "Some blogs to follow." Mine was one of the blogs he listed. No pressure, right?

I remember being excited a few months back when he tweeted a link to something I'd written and called my blog one of his "new favorites." If I'd been a cartoon character, I'm pretty sure my head would have grown to three times its normal size in representation of my over inflated ego. I don't get a lot of attention for things that I write, so I allowed myself to bask for a moment few weeks.

And I know I've picked up other new readers from among my new friends whom I've met through my new church. I just hope I haven't disappointed anyone by neglecting this space for so long. And there I go, pressuring myself all over again.

There should be no pressure in this. The only reason I started this blog way back in December of 2004 was because I like to write. That hasn't changed. I love to write. I love to make little observations about life in general. I love to convey my thoughts in a mildly sarcastic way that may or may not always be recognizable through the written word.

So if you've surfed over from Jeff's blog today, thanks for visiting. I hope you aren't too disappointed by my lack of fresh content. I can't promise a daily thing right off the bat. I feel like I may need to work my way back to that kind of pace. But, for now, stay tuned. I've been on this thing for nearly 9 years and I'm just getting warmed up.

Oh, and if the title of this post has gotten an old Queen song stuck in your head, you're welcome.

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