I thought I was done: April and its AZz-kicking gave way to May before I even knew it, and I was cut adrift from my list and the need to update eleventybillion groups and pinned threads and splatter myself across social media (whilst wondering, all the time, whether anyone else would help me out).
Alack, this morning I discovered that having written a mini-reflection of from-the-knees gratitude that A-Z in April was all over and done with, it ain’t done yet. The fat lady hath not sung. No-one has been thrown from a parapet, and so I stand poised upon the crenellations, awaiting the word to spring into mid-air, finally unshackled from chains I hadn’t realised still gripped me.
A-Z in April requires a ‘Reflection’ post.
Did I accomplish my goals? Yes
Did I post every day? Yes
Did I make new friends? Sort of…
Did I enjoy the challenge? Yes
What could I have done better? Had I the time, I would have liked to have visited more challengers blogs. Though I guess I could also have shared better on SM.
Where could the A-Z team have improved? I could find no HTML code for the above button, which was frustrating.
And I’m done with the prescriptive, because honestly, in spite of having treated it loosely, and been able to bend the writing styles through the alphabet to convey (mostly) what I wanted, I’ve struggled – mainly because I feel I’ve lost my voice.
I’m still finding it.
The most open and honest piece I managed to write whilst immersed in this challenge was the ‘How I Write’ post, which I jimmied into an eXpository, last Monday, and pretended would count. Really, though I was desperate to write something from my heart and soul, to you (my reader), because that’s what I think I do best. You’re free to disagree if you want, and goodness knows I feel like I’ve lost a number of my ‘usual’ crowd, because all the time I’ve been taken over with this stuff, I’ve been stilted and jinked into something else.
I’ve heard some people say that they’ve missed me.
I’ve not-heard the silence, as other people have just upped and left – perhaps to return now the challenge is over, and they feel as though I’ll have something worth saying again. I don’t know – I hope they come back.
I’ve also not-heard the quiet relief, as the warmer weather and Real Life activities have stepped up, and some of my Blogosphere friends – ye who I had come to anticipate would show up here and offer feedback, input and conversation; ye who I’ve grown close to, and loved hearing from; ye who matter to me – have become more sporadic in their visits, allowing the relentless surge of posts on writing styles to (perhaps?) give them a free pass to opt out.
I’ve heard the sincerely-meant but rushed “I read this, I was here, I liked it.” comment (and, yes – guilty – I’ve made it, too) from other participants.
I haven’t heard from you much. Except perhaps at weekends, when the Ten Things of Thankful has kicked up and the community pulls together and has borne with the alterations to my usual output and style.
I miss you.
I mean it. I really miss you.
I miss the feeling that we’re in our own space, sat across from each other, just taking turns to chat. I miss hearing your thoughts and the way we go off on tangents. I miss you caring about scoring ‘FRIST’, or ’55th comment’, or how much (in between the TToT) you can jump into each other’s conversations here, or whatever other fun we used to have…I miss just hearing about your world, and what’s been going on.
I hate being peripheral.
Which is (perhaps) ridiculous, as this blog is such a one-woman show of narcissim, self-doubt and extreme arrogance – not to mention the ongoing, and somewhat intentional, lack of anything ‘niche’ to write – that how dare I suggest that things have been different, or that you’ve paid me less attention than usual.
How very dare I?
But it’s not now, nor ever about numbers (and yes, I’ve noticed them drop inexorably, as the month advanced, even with all the rushed participant comments). You know that. You know I don’t care if the entire party of unknown A-Zers comes crashing through here making their presence known – the fact that I’ve arrived at the end of the challenge feeling a loss, not because of the ending, but because losing you within it has been noticed, and it saddens me – I just want things to get back to how they were before.
Do you remember?
Are you there?
* * * * * * * * * *
And before I forget, like I just did – Three Things of Worthwhile:
i – I am a damn good Aunty and superhero-fighter
ii – I have the ability to make strong, meaningful friendships
iii – I can cook well.