There’s a quote I came across a while ago, and today it’s on my mind again. It’s by the brilliant Margaret Atwood:
“We lived in the gaps between stories”
And it’s not so much that this is a powerful quote, or is one that might make us stop in our tracks and consider something new. Margaret Atwood has so many great quotes that do that – go ahead and google her – but this one is just where I am right now. And I think it might be a good transition to help me get back to this blog after letting it sit ignored for so many months. Just in the simple obvious, there’s been a huge gap in my blogging. I last posted in the fall, and I didn’t even finish publishing everything about my travels through Turkey. I have so many drafts that I started and will likely never return to, unfortunately. I wanted to tell about the ancient cites in Turkey, and the epic natural sights, plus the cities and food and vibrancy. But life was changing and I was busy living so there’s gaps left in my external chronicles.
Here’s a little sample of what I had meant to write about:
I bet you can relate. We scroll through stories online and keep up with others’ lives digitally, and we post our own hoping to capture a good memory, or to gain validation. As silly as it may seem to say; the obvious is easily overlooked; Despite our connectivity in 2019 we still have life outside of what we share as our social media stories. I have to admit, for a minute there last year I was beginning to getting caught up in the idea of being an Influencer. And even while I knew that my paltry 250ish Instagram followers left me about 2,000 short of what would qualify as a fledgling social media influencer, I’d still daydream about it. My unplugging from this blog and from writing was not some grand gesture by design, not a deliberate retreat to ‘find myself again’ and come back all glowy and full of marketable tidbits of wisdom. Nope. I was just battling a bit of writer’s block and also just really busy. Living the little details of daily life, slogging away at work but also having fun with the people who mattered to me already.
I lived in the gaps between the stories. To be literal I say that because I spent about 6 months without posting anything on AimlesslyAli. Life went on without the spotlight. More poetically, the gap allowed for an echoing in my life. Words I had sent out ages ago came back to me and I was reminded that building up love and fostering purpose in myself and others is what life’s all about. Even without any intentionality, it turns out I did learn something. Here’s what I learned: I don’t need to be paid for my words, or to get free samples for photos I take. I want my influence to be personal, in real life, in my day to day connections with people who cross my path. I hope to be able to demonstrate that kindness and gentleness ARE a form of strength rather than just the aloofness we tend to associate with mental toughness. So this aimless wanderer is now on a deliberate path to show love to others in the gaps. Though, let’s be real – this’ll likely be accomplished without a map and written with drifting thoughts and paragraphs of run-on sentences….. I am still Aimlessly Ali, after all. (who’d in a heartbeat accept a sponsored trip in exchange for promoting the location if I ever got the opportunity!!!)