I’ve been a bit missing-in-action this year! A sad five posts so far, but the hiatus happened for a variety of reasons.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression in January.
For the first few years of keeping a blog, I freely wrote and spoke about my life, whether that was about my family and friends, my struggles, my feelings, everything. And then something happened three years ago. I started craving privacy. I learned that I needed more boundaries between my internal and external life. I learned that I don’t need to explain or justify what I think, feel, or believe. At the same time, I went from simply grieving the loss of my nephew to a more complicated grief, to clinical depression. The cost of depression was a loss of a lot of relationships and most of my creativity. I had little interest in creating, writing, photographing, anything really. There were days when I literally could only focus on getting up and getting my client work done. After nine months of pharmaceuticals, yoga, walking, and changing my lifestyle, I feel a lot better. I went from standing on a cliff edge, to being a step or two back, to seeing it in the distance, to wondering how I ever stood on that edge.
My client work picked up.
I do a variety of things for clients, including marketing research, SEO, social media management, and other marketing magic. (I use this blog as a skill-sharpener and resume for potential clients.) During the past year, my client work doubled and then doubled again. So that’s taken up most of the time I had to devote to personal blogging. While I would love to spend my time creating DIY projects and gardening, that (unfortunately) doesn’t pay our bills!
Our visas expired and we moved back to the States from Ireland in July.
We’re American residents again! We knew that we wouldn’t get a visa renewal for the fourth year, but we were hoping for a miracle or loophole that would allow us to stay in Ireland. But…after a long wait, our visa renewal was declined and we had 30 days to move back home. So in mid-July, we sold off our Irish life and came back home. We’ve been camping out with our parents in Alabama and Florida while we looked for a house.
It’s the most time I’ve spent with my parents as an adult, and I’ve really enjoyed it. Less than two weeks after we moved home, my uncle passed away. My heart grieves for my aunt and cousins. And at the same time, knowing how quickly you can lose someone you love, I’m grateful to be able to wake up each day and say hello and I love you to my parents.
Which brings me to the final reason…
We bought a house!
I’m so excited. We are closing next week on a little 3 bed, 2 bath ranch-style home in Tampa! Saving the down payment has taken most of our extra money for little creative projects, but saving our pennies has worked. We’re excited to be first-time home-owners!
I can’t promise to be back regularly, but who knows, the year is looking good for creative DIY projects in the new home! Here’s hoping to more posts in the near future.