I have ascertained that when I am not actively engaging in reflection, I get angsty.

The angst grows in proportion to the time I do not afford myself to reflect. A real creeper. It appears in the depth of tension in my back muscles.

Notably, I’ve found the same to be true when it has been months since I’ve gone on a good run.

(It has been months since I’ve gone on a good run.)

There was a time when it was natural for me to make blogging the main artery of my reflection muscle. (Too many mixed anatomy metaphors?) That moment in time lasted for about 5 years, of which the archives are a’plenty on this site. It was very helpful for me to find my writerly voice. It was also helpful for me to process reverse-culture shock after returning from years living abroad.

I’ve realized that I am constantly wanting to return to that reflective engine: when it was truly a reflex to be reflective. Maybe it was easier to live in such a way when I knew there were a few readers following along? Maybe it was the accountability of the public conversation? Today the blogosphere is not quite the same.

Honestly, it should not matter.

I’ve also learned that major accomplishments should not bring a new sunshade of shame for the times of starting over. Any recreational runner will know what I mean by this. When you’ve run 26.2 miles somewhere in your past, but then struggle to run 1 mile, a layer of quiet shame forms like mildew. I have experienced the build up.

The same has happened for me on this blog. After so many years of faithfully writing, I stopped. Trying to start again has felt a bit silly, perhaps because something that was once so easy and habitual is now difficult.

Starting again should mean the vibrancy of this instant, not a past memory. I am learning.

During major life transitions, our reflective reflex will help bring stability to multi-layered thoughts and commiserating. I believe I am in one of those MLTs (major life transitions) at the moment. You may find me posting my thoughts aloud quite often in the coming days.

Thank you for following along, at whatever pace is best.

[Holga by Steph]

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