A year ago, I started this blog. I can't actually believe that I've been writing, somewhat regularly, for twelve months now. When I started this blog, it was about the writing. Now that I've been writing it for a year, I feel like the writing truly has been the most important part. Some days, the words flow like water. Some days, I sit and stare at a blank white box, then finally sigh and write something that bores even me. But still, for a year, I write.
Kathy was telling me recently about a study that she read about. There has been some chirping in recent years about adolescent brain development. It seems that the decision-making part of the brain is not fully formed in adolescence, and as a result, adolescents are more likely to take unreasonable risks, and more likely to fail to appreciate the long-term effects of their actions. Ask any parent of a teenager, and this is called making crappy choices. The study that Kathy read about, though, suggests that this is (no surprise here) an important evolutionary tool. When being a teenager meant leaving home and the safety of your parents, striking out into the world, perhaps it would not be such a bad thing if you were incapable of fully appreciating all the long term consequences of your actions.
I guess it's too bad, then, that as adults, we can't at least selectively tap into this kicked-out-of-the-nest stage of brain development. Change is inevitable, so wouldn't it be nice if we could face it with, if not always courage, at least a certain amount of irreverence, and just make the change. Sometimes, the specific change you make is less important than just making a change, any change.
I complained, a year ago, of feeling stuck in just about every area of my life. This blog was my change. Making this change allowed me room to vent about my job, and realize just how ill-suited for it I was. It showed me, by way of thoughtful comments and emails, that I was not actually alone in this. And, like the first stone was pried loose, the changes have been coming in an avalanche. Not just the job, although there is that, but other changes too (more on that in posts to come!).
So thanks, to those who read, for giving me the room to write, process, and think through things, slightly less alone. Readers aren't necessary in order to write, but they are nice.