A month without blogging. It wasn't my intent. I admit, I had been getting tired of keeping up on the blog. Plus, I discovered the magic that is Facebook and that seemed to satisfy one of the main reasons that I kept up blogging, long after I felt as if my original reasons for creating and maintaining From The Ashes had run it's course. I said that I wanted to give people a glimpse in to the life of a middle aged HIV+ person, and I did that. And while I still have things to say and work that I'm doing related not only to my own life as an HIV+ individual, the nuts and bolts, as it were, of my illness have pretty much been worked out. I'm in a maintenance mode that finds me pretty damn healthy, and no reason to think that will change anytime soon.
I also obviously (in retrospect) had a lot of other "issues" that needed working out too. Many of them, as it turns out, were linked in some way to alcoholism and all of the emotional and psychological damage that causes. But I've been sober for 3 1/2 years now and a lot of those issues have been resolved as well. No more panic attacks. No more General Anxiety Disorder. No more roommate troubles. No more surrounding myself with addicts and enablers. I finally feel balanced, relatively sane and at peace. In other words, I feel kind of boring.
And a boring sober middle-aged gay man doesn't necessarily have all that much to write about. At least, that's how I've been feeling. I didn't write 'cause I was happy. Which I guess means that the last 7 years could in fact be viewed as one long primal scream. In a way, I guess it was. I was lost. I was alone. I was confused. I was scared. And I poured all of it out on the page. Eventually I also poured it out to a couple of competent therapists and several hundred AA members in the last several years of meetings. Slowly, I got better. Things settled down. And I felt like I had less and less to say.
The last year maybe, certainly the last few months, I felt like I was struggling for posts, and struggling to find content. And I certainly thought about shutting From The Ashes down. I suppose I still might. But I'm not ready to walk away from it yet. And I think that this blog still has a purpose. For me, it's a creative outlet. and one that I need. I do love to write. It's only the struggle I couldn't identify that had turned it in to a chore instead of a pleasure.
So I took some time off (that lasted longer than I intended) and let things percolate for a while. I thought about what I wanted, what I had to say, and where I wanted this blog to go. I have no idea if that's what will actually happen. That's the thing about creating something from nothing - it frequently becomes something else. To me, the end of the journey is not what's important, it's the road you take along the way.
I definitely plan on writing some longer postings. Stories from my life, my childhood, as well as a chronicle of the 20+ years I've spent finding my way in a city that allows you to constantly, repeatedly reinvent yourself. Ultimately, that's what From The Ashes has always been about. I have loved the story of the phoenix from the moment I first heard it.
Rebirth. A new life rising from the ashes of the old. Renewal. Redemption. A fresh start. It's where we are today.
In the future, we'll see where it takes us. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."