The Art of Mirriam Neal

//in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger,

I leaned my head back and stared at the globe hanging overhead. It swayed back and forth in the breeze from the fan in small, hypnotic circles, casting a shadow twice as big against the ceiling. Earlier that afternoon Arielle and I had been trying to dissect the reasons I’ve been so stressed lately. One of the things I told her was that I didn’t feel like I had the energy to keep up my online presence much right now. Not many people have seemed to notice my lackluster internet appearance lately, which I’m grateful for – in fact, I’ve had several people recently urge me to get Twitter, or Instagram, or a Youtube channel. I don’t even have the wherewithal to toy with the ideas. In fact, I don’t have many ideas at all lately.

After a while Arielle asked if maybe I needed to take something of a hiatus from my social media platforms. I bucked at the thought at first – wasn’t I already doing that?  – when I realized I hadn’t officially said anything about it. I’ve kept thinking tomorrow, I’ll be better. I’ll feel better. I’ll have energy and inspiration again. And each day that passed without those things added another few pounds to the guilt I was feeling over not being My Usual Self.

I was amazed. In fact, I was amazed at every detail as we pulled my current state apart. Since I had the flu several weeks back, I’ve had next to no appetite. I’ve lost ten pounds. I don’t sleep well. I’ve been working on the same chapter for three weeks, and every time I attempt to sketch or begin a commission, I’m unhappy with it. Frankly, I’m a mess. I just didn’t realize how much of a mess until yesterday.

It’s the kind of mess that can be fixed, of course, but I’ve come unraveled and I need to comb out the tangles before I can put myself back together again. I’m going to do something I don’t usually do – I’m going to take a break. I’m going to focus on my inward circle of life – my family, my closest friends, my college daughters, and myself. I’m going to spend more time with God. I’m going to focus on my art and writing as I have the energy and ability. I’m going to watch kdramas that aren’t pertinent to what I’m writing and I’m not going to feel guilty about it. Essentially, I’m going to re-charge.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

I’m not dropping off the face of the earth, but I won’t be as present as usual. I may write a blog post if I feel like it, but they won’t be as regular. I won’t be sending out novel chapters – honestly, I need to get my mojo back. I’ll continue working on art commissions until I’m happy with them. I won’t be as present on Facebook, either. I’ve also let go of my position as a staff writer of The Fangirl Initiative temporarily, and the team is graciously letting me return when I can.

BASICALLY…

I will still be around, but I’ll be much quieter. I’ll be working on breaking this habit – the habit of being a Personality instead of a Person. Sometimes to reconnect with yourself you have to take a step back, which is what I’m doing. However, I’ll repeat: it is only a step. I’m not quitting the internet to go live in a cave. I’m not going radio silent, I’m just turning the volume down. I’m taking a semi-hiatus. Hopefully I won’t need long to recuperate – just a few weeks is my guess, but I can’t be positive. However, one thing I can tell you—

I love you + I’m grateful for you, and I’ll see you around.

I’LL BE BACK.

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