I've tendered my resignation at Hopeful Parents, and will no longer be appearing there on the eleventh of every month. I want to be clear, though: it's not them; it's me. It was an honor to be affiliated with that talented collaborative of writers - people writing honestly about the challenges and heartache inherent in raising a child with special needs, while continuing to stay focused on the opportunities, the possibilities, and the hopefulness it holds.
Philosophically, my affiliation with Hopeful Parents was a natural fit, but structurally, it just didn't work for me. I've always viewed blogging - used blogging - as an outlet - a way to process through complicated issues and emotions in the moment. I've had long stretches of time when I didn't write at all. I've had times when I seemed to be writing constantly. I have come to trust the flow - to know when I need to be here - to know when I need to stay away.
So, the monthly deadline at HP was a jarring reality to me. Even when the deadline was weeks away, it hovered on my radar, accelerating my heart rate and making me feel unequal to the task. When I was inspired to write about a particular topic, I would look at the calendar and think "I'd better not post this on my blog right now. What if I don't have another idea before the 11th?" Then, instead of writing and posting and engaging with this online community on whose insight I have come to depend, I would hold the thought, stop the internal composition, and wait. Inevitably, by the time the HP deadline arrived, that original thought was gone - or was stale - or was representative of a moment that had passed. So I would develop something else to post at Hopeful Parents, and leave this page largely untouched - frozen and static.
As you might imagine, after a few months of that, I lost my blogging center. I fell out of the groove. It stopped being fun.
So, I'm walking away from the have-to and I'm hoping that the want-to will find me again. I think it will. I'm excited about the summer ahead. For the first time in a couple of years, I'm taking a break from teaching in the fall, so I will not spend the summer building courses. Instead, I plan to dust off some writing projects that have been sitting on the shelf, calling to me - their voices, lately, louder and more insistent. And maybe - maybe - with them as a catalyst, I will find myself here more often, too. Not because I have to be, but because I want to be.
I'm not sure if it will happen. But, maybe - hopefully - it will.