Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Coexisting With My Hiatus

I'm a child of the Cold War. I'm terrified of all enemies. But I also know that Mutual Assured Destruction is not the answer. Because look, it's destruction, it's mutual, and it's assured. Assured means it's going to happen. So something's gotta give. Either we figure out a way to destroy the other guy without destroying ourselves or we have to take the next best option, find a way to coexist. I hate coexisting, like anyone, but that's what you have to do if you didn't nip the other guy in the bud when you had the chance.

All that to say that sometimes I've viewed my hiatus -- the time off I've been taking -- as an enemy that might lead to my destruction. Already I have seen "friends" and "followers" desert me in droves. That made a real dent in my pride, and I don't know that I've yet experienced the full, terrible psychic price there is in such an experience. I was riding high there for a while, surrounded by readers, well-wishers, and hangers-on. I was bringing in a hefty income from Google Ads. Until it all went away, like Girl Scout cookies.

Now, just because I wanted to take some time off -- you'd think I killed their dog -- all of it is a fading memory, leaving me full of bittersweet longing and plenty of salty tears. I don't like crying. I've always felt it was unbecoming for a man to shed tears, and I know that most psychologists back me up on that. Some things are best kept in or repressed. But I'm able to admit it's happened to me a few times, and even now I feel choked up, like there's a knot in my throat the size of a ping pong ball, but heavier, like a pinball marble, only bigger.

So if you've been ignorantly saying, Take time off if you want it, or What's the big deal anyway?, now you can see what the big deal is. It hasn't been an easy experience for many reasons.

But still I've insisted on taking this hiatus, and that's where the need for coexistence comes in. If it, my hiatus, wants to exist, it has to meet me halfway; don't be cutting deals with enemies of the blog, such as striving to drive me into the ground, further in the hole. This hiatus, after all, depends on me for its continued existence. One could argue that I have the upper hand in this whole "arms race," because I am a living thing with a will, and the hiatus is only a term for the time off that I, the living thing, am taking. In a very real sense, then, I'm at loggerheads with a concept.

The concept, however, becomes more than conceptual when I, the living thing, set it apart, or, rather, when I divide time -- my own living space -- into hiatus and non-hiatus time/space. That's where it becomes a part of my life essentially, because it is now the environment in which I move and breathe. To terminate it out of pride, let's say, is to change my environment in a rash way and thereby to affect myself and not just the concept. If I'm driven by the money I've lost, simply, or the influence I've lost over my readers, then I'm pursuing vanity, because it takes away my choice of a hiatus, of future concepts. So it's a real struggle. If you lose your concepts there's nothing left.

What I need to do is to realize that I am this conglomerate of concepts -- made up of all my physical parts and mental parts -- my self-image itself is a concept. And realizing that, I need to find a way to coexist with all the parts, including this present hiatus, which has thrust itself to the fore over and above all other parts. (It might be more accurate to say that I have done the thrusting and the concept has remained stationary. It's tough to understand, like math class.)

IN OTHER NEWS -- I visited another guy's blog yesterday and was stunned to see that he was on hiatus too, and had blogged about it! His situation is this, that he is a gamer. I'm thinking a gamer is someone who plays a lot of online games. I can see how something so obviously empty and fraught with vanity would be very unfulfilling.

The way he mentioned his hiatus -- as I'm recalling, having only skimmed it in a few seconds -- was that he needed the time off from such a vain pursuit (my words) and that having taken the hiatus, he might be ready very soon to come back to his friends online to play more games with them.

So, however he did it, I don't know, but somehow he went on hiatus and still managed to keep friends. That's a first.

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