This is Joan. (With thanks to Mike and Allison for the picture. )
I’ve been Joan twice this summer. It’s peculiar – in the run up to Kentwell I do a lot of faffing and panicking, then there’s the actually getting there and putting up tents and then I just am.
Life is both simpler and more complicated. There are constant logistical challenges associated with having all the things you need for during the day and then the evening in the right place at the right time when some of them can’t be dealt with at particular times (when the flag is up to show there are visitors on the manor, we stay firmly in Tudor character). And yet, because I have such a clearly defined set of belongings and things to do I’m so much clearer in my head.
I come back ready for the modern world and also utterly dissatisfied with it. I miss my transient village of friends – speaking to people who are understanding of quirks of neurology, and tolerant of what would otherwise be regarded as unusual passions. I miss particularly the evenings sitting in the sun on the front sward while children play and we chat, or analyse Tudor books, or mend linen while drinking gin from camping mugs, or sometimes all of these things at once.
I come home to a virtual world where I feel more unusual and isolated than ever.
Part of what I’m gaining from Blogtember is a reaffirmation of community. That was what blogging was about in the first instance for me – the home ed blogring was our virtual village, our way of chatting over the garden fence about the things our actual neighbours wouldn’t understand. Now that everyone’s blogging it is oddly harder to maintain those community links.
I need to realign my blogging with my aims in life, but to do that, I need to work out what those aims are. I’ve watched endless webinars trying to identify business strategies I can follow, signed up to mastermind classes, enrolled in courses.
I haven’t found any answers. I know what I can do, and I know what I can’t. I can’t, for example, sign up to a drop shipping business that would facilitate more tat being shipped around the world. It just doesn’t sit right. I can’t be a coach, that idea is utterly laughable. I can fix your website, or explain to you how to fix it yourself, but I can’t market myself effectively to strangers.
It was much easier being Joan. I miss her.