Earlier this year, I (briefly) shared the struggles I had with reading while going through a career change. Regrettably, I've learned, it does not get easier after the transition. In fact, it hasn't stopped being an uphill battle since the day I walked out of the code school doors to face my new journey.
This summer was really hard for me. After an amazing wedding and honeymoon, I came home to the reality that I didn't have a job -- and by my own doing nonetheless. It's a grand misconception that one will get more reading done when unemployed. Rather, I spent my days fretting over whether I was applying to enough places, whether I was getting enough practice in with programming, whether I would have to settle for yet another soul-sucking job just to gain a paycheck. Every second spent reading was a second that I could have spent doing something more "productive."
(Alas. When you have anxiety and depression, "productivity" in the midst of a multi-month long episode is relative.)
At the end of the summer, I landed at a job and the hill only got steeper. I'm working in a new industry, in a workplace of all men, while trying to fight against the dragging pull of my own brain. It hasn't been a good combination. On the best days, I feel like maybe I could change the way the tech industry views women in programming. On the worst, I'm certain there is no job in the world that I will be good at. There are some days when it feels like the mental fog won't lift, and I'll be stuck floating through life semi-conscious.
Sometimes, I trick myself into thinking that I'm at my most depressed when I'm idle. I add on responsibilities with reckless abandon. Start a coding club at my husband's school? Sure. Start training to become a Crisis Counselor? Why not. If I can't help myself, surely I can help others.
The hill steepens.
It's been hard to find room for reading. It feels forced, or it feels irresponsible. I'm an expert at guilting myself and to do something as leisurely as reading just feels over-indulgent.
It's a natural occurrence that spaces change over time. For a long time, I needed this space to express my love for words and stories and new information. It was a place for that excitement to overflow in ways that I might hold back in Real Life. But it's been a summer. And it's been a fall. As life evolves and takes on new shapes, it only makes sense that the way I use this space will change, too.
At a certain point, the choice becomes a) abandon the blog, or b) shape it to what you need it to be. Main & Maple will always be a space that encompasses my reading life, but right now, I need it to encompass other parts of my life, as well. While climbing this hill (mountain?), I have been a distant presence in many of my relationships, and I'm sorry that this became one of them. If you're still here, thank you for hanging around.