It’s been a while since my last post — eek! — and I’ve missed you all! Life has been pretty chaotic so far this spring. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know some of what I’ve been up to. Although the rinky-DINK life is, of course, my blog and I feel quite comfortable — perhaps too comfortable =P — talking about everything from IUDs to antinatalism, I do keep some layers of my private life, well, private. But, at the same time, so many of you have bared your souls to me so I think it’s time I return the favor. That said, this post is going to be a bit different than those that came before it. Hope you don’t mind!
A New Career Path
When I started this blog nearly two years ago, I was working fulltime as an early childhood/preschool teacher. In fact, I’ve worked with children for most of my adult life and even as a teenager. While I really enjoyed working with kids, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to continue in the field of early childhood education when the branch of my work closed. I pursued some leads in teaching but my heart was no longer in it — or, at least, not in the same way as it was before. Having made the giant leap from thinking I was going to one day have kids to being adamantly childfree all while working with children, it made sense for my career ambitions to realign with my new goals as well.
I feel very fortunate that I didn’t have to continue on in the same field. Obviously, not everyone has the luxury of changing careers when they no longer have the drive. So, needless to say, I’m pretty thankful. I’m now coming up on my one year anniversary of being a freelance writer — I started when I was still working as a teacher — and I really couldn’t be happier with this aspect of my life. Writing has always been my “thing” but I would’ve never imagined I’d have been able to turn it into a full-time source of income. While I still have frustrations like every other working-class American, most days I almost have to pinch myself to make sure this is truly my new reality.
Oh Hello, Anxiety
It’s funny how, when life is going so well, your brain can also trick you into thinking everything is not so great. I’ve discussed my anxiety on RDL in the past but, the truth is, it’s gotten a lot worse in recent months. I don’t fully understand why (I suppose that’s just how it goes sometimes). Though, I have realized a few contributing factors.
For one thing, the transition from working a full-time job, with the addition of a part-time side business, to being mostly unemployed was way harder on my psyche than I could’ve ever imagined it would be. I had this vision of free time and bliss, but that’s not exactly how it went. I was way more worried about bills, grappling with never being able to see my students again, and falling into a pseudo-depression where I mainly slept in late, ate too much, and couldn’t really motivate myself to do much of anything.
Eventually, as I started working more and more, I got out of the funk. I’ve learned I’m someone who always needs a schedule so I’m trying to stay consistent in that aspect. Although I’m feeling more myself these days, my anxiety has lingered. I’m working on managing it, but I’ve come to realize it’s just something that ebbs and flows — at least for me personally.
Moving, Not Moving, and Maybe Moving Again?
Last summer, my husband and I decided to put our house on the market. We were ready for a big change and had dreams of moving across the country. At the time, I was home a lot more so it seemed like a good time to get the house ready for showings. After a couple months on the market, we had a buyer for our house — twice — but each time, it fell through. We took our house off the market in the winter and my husband ended up getting a new — and much better — job. He is a lot happier in his current position than he was prior and, while the desire to leave New Jersey was (and is) still there, it no longer seems like the best time.
Being childfree has enabled us to really think about all different kinds of living situations — condos, townhomes, single-family homes, expansive properties, even an RV — but, of course, we’re also bound by our wallets. I guess we got the moving itch and so we recently decided to officially put our house back on the market. We’re currently under contract — ahhh! — so we should be moving in less than a month. We’re Jersey-bound (at least for now), but we’re looking for something different than our turn-of-the-century bungalow. It was a fun and, I’ll be honest, an often frustrating project to fix up an old house. My husband and I are not really into doing that again! I’m excited for what the future holds.
About the Blog
Now for the hard part. I’ve been struggling — as you’ve no doubt noticed — to put out content on a regular basis. Writing for a living hasn’t put me off from writing on a personal level — not at all — but it has become more challenging. I have ideas jotted down on sticky notes in my office, scribbled in my planner, and some are even sitting half-written on WordPress. With one of my freelancing gigs, I work on projects with 24 hour turnaround times so I’m kept quite busy. Of course, I love it, but it also means I’ve struggled to fit in time for RDL. And with that comes a whole lot of guilt.
It feels weird to put all of this into words. I’m well aware this is, like, the very definition of a first-world problem, but alas, here we are. Every week that goes by, I’ve been feeling stressed that I haven’t added a new post or spent the amount of time you readers really deserve. It’s also hard not to get caught up in the behind-the-scenes of a website or a blog. Like most bloggers, I want people to actually visit my site and find it useful. I want to engage with readers and help people, even if I can only do so in some tiny way. Analytics aren’t everything, but they are a good indicator of how many people you’re reaching. The fewer posts I create, though, the fewer opportunities I have to reach people. I don’t monetize my blog (other than with the occasional affiliate link) so I’m not coming at this from a financial standpoint. I’m just pretty bummed that I’ve left my site to stagnate!
The future of RDL
So, in the end, I’ve decided to take a break from blogging. I feel sad just writing that! Hence the gif — comic relief and all that. Anyway, this is not goodbye! I just know I need to take some time off. I still have ideas for new content, but I won’t be putting out weekly posts, at least for the time being.
You can stay in touch with me through Instagram @brittanybrolley or on Twitter @brittanybrolley in the meantime. If you want to keep up with my work, you can find that at brittanybrolley.com. As always, feel free to email me or comment on my posts. I’m still around and I hope to be back in not too long!