I took a break for a while.
I took a break from reading blogs, contributing from my own, and unfollowed quite a few people on Twitter.
I stopped looking to these writers’ faces as authority. It’s so exhausting to pledge allegiance to someone who you’ve never seen face to face before and truly know what they are thinking behind the calculated words they post on their sites and label as “vulnerable honesty.”
So I took a break.
I occasionally find my way back to blogs that I once followed religiously but I don’t find myself trying to force their theology into my own or trying to justify my theology through their ideas and anecdotes. I’ve noticed a shift in where I spend my time. For a while I was trying to become friends with these virtual personalities. I spent more time pretending I was friends with these strangers than investing in the people around me. I wanted to engage in discussions with these self-proclaimed intellectuals rather than with those going through the same things and in the same context as myself.
This semester I have been leading a spiritual life group on Rachel Held Evans‘ book A Year of Biblical Womanhood. My conversations have shifted from the virtual to tangible. And they’re not just dialogues around topics. They are conversations that lead to authentic relationships. That’s not to say that people cannot make true friends online, but the community I tried to join didn’t seem interested in adding another person.
And I’m okay with that.
I took a break from the pressure I was putting on myself to fit the mold of the bloggers I admire. I took a break from resenting people on the other side of the screen for not welcoming me with the wide and open arms that many boast in having. I took a break from being a blogger disciple.
Taking breaks has been kind of a theme in my life in the past few years. Going into freshman year of college, I took a hiatus from going to church to deal with some emotional baggage from churches back at home. After leaving Taylor University, I took a semester off to process everything that happened and have time to decide which path my education should take. This blogging-world-break, per se, was taken for the same reasons: prompted by exhaustion with time to reflect on my part in it.
I realize my words towards this community sound biting and rather cynical, but they reflect where I was and why I needed to remove myself in order to see this community and its members anew.
They are people. They can’t read my mind, and they don’t owe me anything. And I need to not have personal expectations out of strangers.
So this is where I was and where I am.
I don’t know where I’m headed next.