Three times this week I sat down and stared at a blank box on the screen, my blinking cursor ticking away the seconds as I struggled to spit out a sentence. Dozens of words and witty comments flashed behind my eyes, but putting them down on "paper"? I may as well have been asked to translate a foreign language.
It's not like I don't want to. I have an endless list of all of the things I want to say, I just don't know how I want to say them. It's so cliche, but I don't know how to get the things inside my head out, in some sort of order, with some sort of clarity. I don't know how to wrap a topic up neatly with some sort of resolution and an appropriate title. And mostly, I simply don't know where to start.
In some ways I wonder if I have simply forgotten how to write, or worse, if I have forgotten how to speak. I don't mean talking- I do plenty of that. I spend my days talking to other people, strangers really; asking them questions, giving them answers, explaining facts and ideas, and wishing them well on their way, but it has been weeks, maybe longer, since I had a real, deep conversation that forced me to dig past the surface. And poor Dan, who gets the somewhat deflated, thoroughly exhausted version of his wife each evening who says she doesn't want to talk anymore because she is tired of hearing her own voice. The one who requests that they at least not talk about work then realizes she doesn't have much else to contribute. The one who shuffles her feet at suggestions that they have people over because it just seems like a whole lot of extra effort.
This is so not like me, and it's disappointing to say the least, and anyone who has ever known me; for five minutes or fifteen years, wouldn't believe a word of this. But I wonder if over the past few months in this new town, and new life, away from the familiarity and friendships and our community in Colorado, I have slowly slipped into an introverted version of myself. I wonder if I am just lonely, not having my close friends nearby anymore. I wonder if I am just tired and don't have the energy to invest in making new ones. I wonder if there's an element of fear and hesitation clouding my thoughts, pulling me back from putting myself out there, on here, and in real life. But why? To be honest, at the moment, I don't know. But this is different and strange and unsettling. But is it really so bad?
Perhaps this is a season in life where I am being forced to do more listening, observing, asking, and waiting. Maybe I am learning to adjust and grow and experience this moment without the safety net of an active social life. Maybe I'm making a bigger deal of all this than it is and plenty of people our age walk in the door at night, put on their pajamas, pour a glass of wine, and watch old episodes of Portlandia before going to bed early.