Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Are You There, Blog? It's Me, Lisa

I don't know how to start this, my 200th post on this blog and my big comeback, other than to say that I have no clue how to start it. I haven't written anything on here or at all since that Sarah Palin post on October 13th, and that was nothing more than snarky fluff. So, it's been well over four months since I've written anything substantial with any regularity. And for the majority of that time, I barely saw any movies. I never wanted to take a break from writing or film (especially not film), but it just turned out that way. The universe had me in a choke hold. So much happened during my time away that I don't even recognize myself or my life anymore, and I'm still trying to work out if that's a good thing or not.

I don't want to get all melodramatic; this isn't a pity plea. But I do feel a sense of loyalty to this blog and to my readers, and you deserve to know what's been going on to keep me from being here. So, I'm just going to rip off the band-aid and give you a list. Here goes, in no particular order: moving out of the home that I'd lived in for over twenty years for the first time and dealing with the accompanying trauma and the constant missing, moving a second time after only one month in the new place, leaving behind family, leaving behind my beautiful dog Molly (one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make), finding new homes for my sun conure Buster and my darling rats, getting new pets, life with a puppy, relationships ending and beginning, isolation from friends, futile job hunting (the hours I spent...), getting and losing two potentially awesome, though not related to my career, jobs (SO complicated), health issues, not being able to find a job ever, being jerked around in the job search, severe psychological distress, financial woes (like, being broke all the time), losing faith in myself, losing faith in my ability as a writer, feeling like I'll never make it or fulfill my dreams, reevaluating my dreams, chronic Writer's Block, feeling like a stranger in my own body, and deciding that things needed to change. See? Painless.

In a way, I feel like I've been buried alive (but barely alive), and I'm only now trying to claw my way out of the grave. But it's still a long way up. I got proactive about a month ago by hurling myself full throttle back into cinema. I saw 10 films in the first two weeks of this catch-up project, and then I saw some of those again, bringing the total of individual showings in two weeks to 15. After that, I saw some more, but it dwindled considerably. I was exhausted. I still have a list of about 10 in theaters now that I have to see, and Santa is bringing us like a dozen more films on Christmas Day, most of which look really good. And then there are all the reviews I still need to write, from mid-summer on. It's overwhelming. And I haven't been able to write worth a damn. I didn't know if I would ever be able to write again, and I wasn't sure that I should even try. It's been terrifying.

Then, I wanted to come back to the blog so badly and write anything, just to get the gears moving again, but I felt the need to write an "explanation post" first, and thus I agonized over that process. The self-imposed pressure was suffocating. I wanted it to be perfect, but nothing ever is. As I'm writing now, it feels awkward. I'm rusty, I know it. But I had to do an explanation post of some significance, so here it is. And here it will stay. I don't want to read this ever again. I want to leave all of the negativity behind and start fresh from this very moment. I just needed to get it out - not all of it, but enough to be able to move forward and be meaningful and do meaningful things again. I know emotions and catharses aren't particularly professional, but if I can't do it on the internet, where millions of people could, in theory, read my private thoughts, than where else can I do it, right?

Before I end this, let me say that I'm really, really sorry that you had to see that horrid Sarah Palin picture every time you came here for the past two months. Please forgive me.

Oh, and hey, President Barack Obama - how about them apples? :) It's nice to be proud to be an American for once. And I'm extra proud to live in Illinois! Well, except for that whole "most corrupt state in the nation" thing and the illegal shenanigans of our buffoon's ass of a governor...that's not so good. Not surprising either. But I'm still going hold my head up high as an Illinoisan. It's the Land of Lincoln, and now it's the Land of Obama. Hell to the yeah.

Anyway...I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm eager to start the journey again. Giddy up, boys and girls.


Bill Treadway said...

"leave yesterday behind,
And take a giant step"- from the Monkees song Take a Giant Step

It's great to have you back. I know this is only a start, but it's a damn good start. :)

It IS awkward writing again after a long hiatus- a feeling I know all too well- but it does get better as you go along. And I know you'll do fine because I believe in you, my friend.

P.S. Illinois is FAR from the most corrupt state in the nation. According to ABC World News, Rhode Island is. :)

Alexa said...

Welcome back Lisa!!! Sorry to hear about your life woes; life happens and sometimes there's nothing we can do about it. But NEVER lose your confidence as a writer! You have me hooked, and I'm so happy you are back.

Anonymous said...

Your new blog is further proof that writing is not only in your blood, but in your soul. You continue to build a personal relationship with your readers, which is something only the great film writers have achieved (from Pauline Kael to Roger Ebert).

You honesty and passion, coupled with your immense knowledge and insight, makes your film reviews and essays among the best I've ever had the pleasure to read. We live in very uncertain and challenging times, and it's only natural that you would feel unsure about where you're headed. But your work on this blog has certainly proven your mastery of film analysis, and I am so damned happy to see you back in action! Hell to the yeah, indeed :)

chemistchicago said...

Glad to see you take the first step to get back into writing. I look forward to eagerly soaking up your cinematic insight!