Notes on (nevertheless) taking a break

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It is really hard to know exactly where to begin, exactly where to commence once again. Nine years ago, I pressed publish on the very first post on this weblog, and for the previous 3-ish months, I haven’t written a issue. It is been the longest that I’ve stepped away from this space due to the fact I was 21 years old: it is been a continuous by way of entry-level jobs and promotions, breakups and a wedding, moves about the globe and across the nation. I wondered who I would be devoid of this slice of the world wide web to define me, devoid of this location to deposit my pictures and adventures and thoughts.

Christine Merrill in Washington DC

The reality is I haven’t missed it—or probably much more accurately, haven’t had time to miss it. The unexpected modify of early 2019, the issue I couldn’t have predicted when I decided to place blogging on the back burner: my business was acquired by Spotify in early February, a $230 million move that rocked and sent ripples by way of the podcast business. My sales territory expanded, and abruptly there was a entire new corporate structure to navigate. I’ve normally been upfront about my want to retain a day job, to not only have a steady supply of revenue and overall health insurance coverage but also a kind of validation that is not tied up in the words that I create or the experiences that I decide on to share on the world wide web. And even though I nevertheless take pride in my capacity to strike a perform-life balance, the reality is that with elevated duty comes elevated responsibilities.

 And even though I spent a lot of time functioning, when I believe of how I spent this sabbatical: I study so several books, in a sunny backyard hammock and tucked into bed and with a pug on my lap. I filled a sunroom with plants: delighting in the act of turning one particular plant into several, of discovering a sense of meditation in the typical watering. I planted a vegetable garden, worried about how to make our fruit trees thrive. I woke up just before sunrise to hike up mountains, and then watched the sunset more than the ocean. I logged 10K methods a day, went to Pilates classes, spent a month devoid of alcohol or sugar.

I drove up the California coast with a finest pal, admiring the opulent architecture of Hearst Castle and the amazing scenery of Major Sur. We celebrated our second wedding anniversary with fish tacos and margaritas in a sleepy Mexican surf town, and then celebrated my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary in the apartment exactly where my husband grew up on the Upper West Side. I frolicked (responsibly) in fields of poppies and ranunculi, and stood beneath the cherry trees in complete pink-popcorn bloom along the Jefferson Memorial.

I do not know if I’ll ever have the time, power or want to create right here like I did in my early 20s: I was a various particular person with various responsibilities, and the world wide web was a various location. Stepping away reminded me of how a lot I appreciate to do all of the points, just to do them and not for the reason that I want to create about them.

All of the blogging rule books (and my Search engine optimisation professional husband) will inform you how significant consistency and frequency are when it comes to a profitable weblog. But that&#8217s possibly the greatest freedom that all of these other responsibilities have provided me: I&#8217m nevertheless going to be capable to spend the bills (and book the flight, and study the books) devoid of this weblog becoming a results.

I believe I&#8217ll be back often&#8211if I have anything to say or a particular location to share&#8211but likely never ever as a lot as I when was. Right here&#8217s to hoping the future is filled with just as several adventures, but possibly a small significantly less time behind a screen.

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