Bookish Life: I’m Feeling…

I’m not supposed to be officially back from my hiatus until Sunday, but I felt I needed to get this out. There’s a lot going on in this little mind of mine.

I’m feeling loved… 
I want to start this out positively and say that I lack no love in my life and for that I am eternally grateful. From my wonderful fiancé Dave to my always supportive family to the many bookish friends I have around the world, I am surrounded by an amazing support group and am so happy to have you all in my life. If you’ve ever talked to me in any way, from comments to emails to Twitter, please accept my sincere thanks.

(And yes, I did get engaged while I was gone. It was an absolutely amazing moment, and I feel so incredibly lucky that Dave has decided that he wants me in his future.)

I’m feeling drained…
That being said, I am feeling absolutely drained. I look at my inbox with emails I need to respond to, I look at the three hundred plus comments I need to reply to on the blog, I look at my Twitter and Facebook and Instagram… and I just have absolutely zero motivation to do any of it. It requires so much time, so much energy, so much everything, and I just don’t have any of that right now.

(Since I’ve come back to the States I was promoted into a managerial position at work. This means that I now work forty hours a week and a majority of those hours are spent assisting customers with their needs which, as any introvert knows, sucks out a lot of energy. Not only do I have less time to blog, I have less energy to do so too. I literally just come home every day and watch TV or YouTube videos because my brain can’t handle anything else.)

I’m feeling frustrated…
Of course, my lack of motivation absolutely frustrates me. I want to be able to do all the things I did before. I want to respond to all my comments and emails and tweets. I even save them all with the intent that I will do just that. But each day goes by and I have to keep pushing it off, and it only creates a bigger mess I need to sort out and more frustrated feelings that I just can’t seem to get on top of things.

(And can I just be super real for a second? I’m 100% frustrated with my current situation in life. Not that I’m living at home or working as a manager or any of that… just that I live in a world where two people who love each other and want to have a future together cannot do that because one does not make some stupid annual salary. Here I am, engaged to the one person who truly makes me feel at peace, and yet I still have to wait at least another three years before we can even live together in the same country, and then another five years after that before we can start having a family because the salary requirements increase which each kid. I mean, I’m content with the life I have set up for myself in the States for these next three years, but I can’t help but be frustrated that the life I want has to be put on hold because of stupid laws on immigration. It affects me no matter how hard I try to not let it.)

I’m feeling guilty…
I can’t help but feel really guilty about it all. How can I come back and keep blogging when I can’t keep on top of things? I know everyone says they’ll support me no matter what, but let’s be real. It sucks when you take time to visit a blog regularly and they don’t get around to ever responding to your comments or commenting back. Or when you reach out to them via email and don’t hear from them until two months later. It makes you feel like you don’t really matter. And I hate that. I don’t want anyone who visits my blog to ever think I don’t appreciate their kind words or that I am too good to respond. It makes me feel absolutely horrible.

(I also feel super guilty as a co-blogger. Kelley is waiting patiently for me to return to blogging, has always been super supportive of my hiatuses, and yet here I am with no motivation, energy, etc after a month away. If this were just my blog, I’m sure I would have attempted to quit a long time ago, but it’s not just mine and that makes it all the harder to decide where I’m at with things. I hate disappointing my friends.)

I’m feeling afraid…
Along with the guilt, there’s a fear I will lose everyone. It’s crazy to me to think about all the friends I have made through blogging and have lost just because they stopped blogging or we stopped commenting on each other’s blogs or whatnot. I want to form connections with so many people, but I’m afraid because the more I form the harder it is to maintain them all. I can only stretch so far. It gets to the point where each person only gets a little piece of me because I’m stretched so thin, and it’s barely enough to form any sort of friendship on.

(Especially because, let’s face it, with all the feelings I’m struggling with I just don’t have the energy to socialize. I honestly feel drained each time I see another tweet, email, etc because it’s just adding to the overwhelming pile of to-do. Part of me wants to just run away from it all so I can have a chance to breathe.)

I’m feeling like a fraud…
On top of everything else, I’m feeling like a fraud. A book blogger who barely reads? It’s pathetic. It’s like life has gotten so busy that in my mind I’ve had to sacrifice something, and that something has been books. And yet here I am, devoting whatever free time I have, to create this image that I’m such huge book nerd. What the hell, Asti?!

(Sometimes I also feel like an emotional fraud. Like I try to create this positive and upbeat image of myself online because I want to be friends with everyone and keep this a happy place, when really sometimes I just feel nothing like that. Like now. I’m just bitter and angry and tired and all the things, and yet I’m afraid to say any of it because I want people to think I’m a strong, happy, confident person. Ugh.)

I guess what I’m trying to say, if you couldn’t figure it out already, is

I’m feeling like this is the end.
Maybe it isn’t. Maybe this is just my depression sneaking up on me and making everything seem way worse than it is. But I have to be honest and say that each day that passes fills with me dread because I know my hiatus will soon be over and I should be back at it and yet I’m not. And that’s wrong. Oh so wrong.

Blogging should be a choice and for the past year, I can’t say that I’ve been choosing to blog. I’ve done it out of obligation to my co-blogger, to my readers, and to myself. I’ve told myself I had to do it to help me get a job in publishing (which obviously didn’t happen), to keep me distracted from the troubles in my life (when in reality it has started to add to them), because I’ll lose all my readers (and as much as one does it for oneself, it’s better with others) and because Kelley has been counting on me (though to be honest, I do wonder if blogging has hurt our friendship as we barely talk at much as we used to). It has become such a “has to” thing that I feel like I’ve lost myself in it.

If I’m going to blog, I want to blog the old Asti way. I want to create posts because I’m feeling inspired, interact with others without it feeling like a chore, and open my blog each day with excitement and opportunity. Until I feel I’m at a point where I can do that, I think I need to step away.

I hope you guys can understand.

Asti

Read 48 comments

  1. Oh Asti I just want to give you a big hug. I can just see how frustrated and depressed you are about not being able to keep up with blogging and how it might just make your feelings spiral out of control. Of course we will understand! There is no point blogging if it is no longer your happy place, and it sounds like you’re pretty frustrated about life in general as well. Until you sort yourself out, just know that we WILL be there for you, on Twitter, instagram, email or whatever whether you like it or not, you can’t get rid of us that easily. *big hugs* Just look after yourself girl.

  2. Hugs, Asti! <3 I can relate to some of your feelings… when I was on hiatus it was so nice not to worry about the blog, and I didn't really look forward to coming back. However, I enjoy having the outlet when I want it, so I decided I would just become a really laid back blogger. Sure I would like to get dozens of comments a day and be inspired to always write wonderful posts, but I knew that I had to concern myself with my life and my writing goals first. However, I also understand your desire to either go "all in" or not at all. I would love for you to stick with blogging, but even if you don't, I do want to keep in touch!

    When you posted about your engagement I thought maybe the salary requirements had been met, so I'm sorry that you'll still have to wait for all that. Those are some pretty strict laws! Here's hoping things will work out even sooner than you think, but if not, that the wait will feel short and make everything all the sweeter when it happens.

    • Yes, I’m definitely an all in or not at all type of person! I think I’m going to take the rest of the year off for sure, and then reevaluate everything and decide what I want to do for 2016. It’s sort of a relief, honestly, to not have to worry about it all right now. I think it’s the best decision for me at this moment.

      And yeah, the immigration laws in the UK are horrible. No one ever seems to really know about them unless they’re affected by them. Dave has to be making a certain salary in order for him to sponsor me there, whether we’re married or not. He’s currently going to college to get qualifications and once he does his company will increase his salary to the needed salary, but that will take at least three years. So until then I’m just sort of stuck waiting. It sucks, but we’ll do it because we have to.

  3. First off, congrats on becoming engaged :)
    Secondly, take your time. If you lose readers in the mean time, do not worry, (I will stick around) new ones will come around. Mend the bonds that have been broken and get your life back in order.
    I’m not good with this commenting this, I need to work on this…
    Take good care of yourself,
    – Krys

    • Thanks Krys! Glad to hear you’ll stick around if/when I do decide to come back. I think I’ll definitely be taking the rest of this year off. Then I can sit down and see where I’m at – if the break was all I needed or if I need to be done for good – and act accordingly. But yay, thanks for commenting even though you’re “not good” with it. <3 Take care of yourself as well!

  4. I’m sorry that you’re feeling so stressed!! I would just like to say that you don’t need to reply to blog comments. It sounds as if you like the IDEA of being able to reply to them all, which is admirable, but the actual process is wearing you down. DON’T DO IT! Forcing yourself to do things like this will only add to your stress and might even make you resent blogging.

    And I’m sorry that you’re having such a hard time with your relationship. I know the immigration laws are totally crap and they only ever seem to make them worse. *sigh* But you and Dave so obviously love each other so I’m confident that you’ll find a way to be together. I know it sucks, but I genuinely believe you can make it happen.

    In books and movies (and probably real life) people always act as if long distance is the end of a relationship. Like, “Oh we’re going to different schools, WE’RE DOOMED. Long distance doesn’t work.” That’s rubbish. I think if people feel that way then the passion isn’t really there. But you and Dave have passion and you’re making this work. It might be a crappy situation right now, but you’re dealing with it and I’m sure you’ll someday find the end of this crappy tunnel.

    • I have no doubt that Dave and I will make this work. None at all. It just takes up a lot of my mental energy, so I really have none left to use for blogging. Plus, I don’t really feel like the blogosphere needs me anymore so that’s fine. We’ll see how these next few months of not blogging goes, and if I decide I need to come back I will.

      Oh, and in regards to the commenting thing, I know there is no rule saying I have to respond to all comments, but that is the blogger I am and have always wanted to be. Even though it’s contributed to my downfall, it’s what I do and I don’t regret ever having that expectation of myself. :)

  5. *sends all the love and hugs*

    Even tough I’m going to miss you on this blog, if you need to quit than I totally understand! It really doesn’t sound like fun for you anymore and you should do what makes you happy!
    I might totally suck at answering emails, but I’ll definitely be around on whatever platform, and if I have to write more letters because of my non-existing email skills ;D

    • Yeah, we’ll see how these next few months go. I’ll either love the break and run away from the thought of ever coming back, or I’ll miss you guys so much I’ll be writing posts in my sleep. I think the only thing I’m really worried about are the Bookish Games. It’ll be sad to lose that, especially when so many people are just now getting interested.

      But yes, hopefully everyone still stays in touch!

  6. Oh Asti. I haven’t a clue what to say, but I do want to say this. Kelley will understand, as will the followers. You are human and humans have bad days. We lose courage, we lose our strength, we lose our will and our passion, and with everything that’s going on, you’ve got some adjusting to do. If blogging isn’t no.1, don’t force it to be. If socialising isn’t, do worry about it. You need to write down what your aims are, what your goals are, what needs to be and what doesn’t, and what you can do to look after yourself. Only then should you consider everything else. Focus on work, focus on your health, focus on your future. Find your focus and consider yourself above all else. We will miss you, but you have to be selfish from time to time. The time is now Asti, do what you must!<3

    • Thanks Amanda! I definitely think this is the best thing for me right now. I’m looking forward to doing some of the things I’ve put aside over the last few years. And who knows, maybe I’ll be back! Either way, thanks for all your love and support over the past year or so. It’s been a lot of fun seeing you grow as a blogger, and I think you have a lot to be proud of with your new blog! Keep being amazing :)

  7. Oh I’m sorry you’re feeling so bad about all this. Working full time AND blogging on top of that is HARD and SUCKS. I know. And when you’re already exhausted from work the last thing you want to do is think about writing a book review (for example). Add in the long distance relationship and I can see how easy it is to crumble under all that responsibilty. I’m sure if you decide to stop blogging, you will feel a huge weight lift off your shoulders. You need to blog for yourself, because you love it. Not because you feel obligated. There are so many other things in life that you HAVE to do, don’t make blogging one of them. *big hugs!!*

    • I have to be honest and say that it’s already been quite the relief, and it’s only been officially one day! I think in the end I was just putting a lot of pressure on myself, and even though that pressure isn’t necessarily I don’t know how to blog in any other way. Hopefully these next few months will help me reevaluate where I’m at with things and I can either come back at it in a better place or leave it behind with happy memories. Either way, thanks for being such a supportive reader and friend! It’s people like you that make it hard to say goodbye! <3

  8. Well, you’re not rid of me yet!! <3

    I totally understand you and though I've never actually thought about quitting blogging altogether, I've been sucking at it for the past eight months or so. It sucks that immigration laws are the only thing between the life you want and the life you have. It's just frustrating and I'm frustrated for you! I just hope you enjoy your break and make the most of it because sometimes distancing yourself away from source of stress works wonders. I will miss you! Lots of love and hugs for my Evil Mastermind. <3

  9. Sorry to hear you’re so stressed out! I think there definitely can be pressure to read all the time and love all the books, but we all have reading slumps and blogging slumps. As a student, I often read in huge chunks during breaks and schedule posts for months in advance. (Obviously I still read during the school year, since I study English literature, but I don’t read much for the blog.) I took a year off from school though, during which I worked retail, and it was really draining. I was also sometimes uninspired to do much more than crash once I got home. I have a lot of respect for people who work full time and blog. Take as much time off as you need!

    • Thanks Briana! I used to schedule posts in advance, and I think it really helped. It’s one of those things that if I do come back, I think I’ll try to do again, just because it’s nice to have that buffer for those moments you aren’t feeling it. But we’ll see what happens. Either way, thanks for being a reader and a friend! <3

  10. Aw, Asti! I’m sorry about all that—but if you need to step back from blogging, I totally understand. I even gave up at YA Asylum, as much as I loved blogging about books, for similar reasons. I was too drained to write a blog post regularly and it just gave me anxiety and made me feel bad when I wasn’t blogging :(

    I can tell you that even though I’ve left the book blogging community kinda since I don’t have a blog dedicated to it anymore, I still have kept many friends from my time and still value it. It was a great experience and I enjoyed it, but when you stop enjoying it I think it’s okay to leave. I still pop in and look at my favorite blogs (like this one), still find great recommendations, but overall I’m happy with my decision. And if a day comes where I want back in, all I have to do is start blogging again :)

    You’re really loved, Asti. I don’t think anyone would hold it against you to leave. We’ll all keep following your instagram and Twitter to get our Asti dose.

    • Aw, thanks Kim! I really think that’s my biggest fear with the whole not-blogging thing. I know that this is the best decision for me right now because it’s not bringing me the happiness it should, but part of me worries about no longer being a part of the community. I guess after blogging for a couple of years I’ve seen so many bloggers just fade away, and I really don’t feel like I have a community in my real life so losing this online community is a scary thought. I’m glad to hear that won’t necessarily happen, though. In a way, I’m actually thinking this might help me be more involved. I’ll be able to spend more time chatting with others and being more responsive since I won’t have to worry about creating content or whatnot. We’ll see how it goes! Either way, thanks for being a long-time reader and friend! :)

  11. Aw, Asti, I just heard you were going on hiatus/ending your blogging, I’m so sorry about everything. Congratulations on the engagements! And the immigration laws really, really suck. :( I’m sorry about that. I recently returned from a month long hiatus just the other day and it was a real struggle to get back to it. Like you, it’s been draining to think about posting and commenting and everything else. It’s really insane how draining blogging can be, even thinking about blogging. Or reading. I’m a book blogger that barely reads as well or if I do read, I read small amounts every few days. I’m picking up on that too though.

    The draining part and being tired was why I needed to take a hiatus when I did. I understand a LOT of what you’re saying in this post. I’m sorry it’s been hard for you. :( I’ll miss your posts on here.

    Overall, if you’re not happy blogging anymore, then you shouldn’t have to and hopefully you don’t feel too bad about not blogging because it’s totally your right not to do so. Don’t worry, I’m sure you won’t lose anyone. <3 And who knows? Maybe one day you'll come back to blogging or maybe you won't, but whatever you decide, it's completely your right to do what you want. I'm sorry about the depression. :( That's really awful and so hard to deal with. I hope it gets a little better for you. <3 Just take the break you need and take care of yourself.

    • Thanks for your understanding Amber! It really is crazy how much energy blogging takes! I don’t think it ever is more obvious than once you’re on a hiatus. You realize how much you’ve been doing and how much work is required once it’s time to come back, and it can be so hard. Unfortunately I just don’t have that energy right now, so this decision is the best for me. I’m optimistic I may return at some point in the future though, and if I don’t, there’s always Twitter!

      I hope that you’re happy with whatever you decide to do as well, since you say you feel similarly. And if you ever want to chat, don’t hesitate to get in touch! :)

  12. I’m sorry you are feeling so disheartened right now, Asti. I hope that you are able to find a way to feel at peace soon and if that is leaving the blogging community then I completely understand. I hope everything works out for you. Much love. xo

  13. Oh, Asti. I wish I had replied to this sooner.
    Life seems to have hit you hard recently. And it’s okay to feel stressed.
    I’m so sorry. I want to hug you and run over you. (Like in the friend way. Like hug you so hard you fall over. Or something less violent.)
    I’d watch crappy romance comedies with you and just veg out. And pig out because I’d bring red velvet and ice cream and cookies and cake because I can.
    Asti, I adore you. As a person. As a blogger. You’re AWESOME. Like hardcore awesomeness radiates from your core. Bro, you don’t even know how much I respect you. (And I mean bro in the Barney Stinson way. The good way.)
    It’s okay to feel stressed. It’s okay to take a break. You deserve it. And maybe you don’t blog for a bit. Or maybe have a hiatus until the fog clears. You’re stressed. Sad. Anxious. I don’t want you to be anything but happy. The true kind of happy. I love you, girl. (In the friendliest way posssible. Don’t want Dave thinking I’m making moves on his woman. Even though it’ll be highly illegal because of my minor status in life.) Just be the person you want to be. If you know what that girl is like. (Or maybe you want to be a ten-foot tall guy named Erica. I dunno your dreams.) Just be Asti. Whoever you think it is. You have no obligation to anything. Books. Blogging. You just gotta live. And lol a lot. And -fangirl- a lot. (Because who are we kidding?) Just smile, girl. The world is a crappy place, but you found a nice place to be in. You have Dave and Kelley and all of your readers and friends. That’s something, that happiness, not many people can find. But you found it. You really did. So YOLO.

    And hey. I WILL always be here for you. Need a pick me up? Insert awkward cat GIF or hilarious anecdote. (And I have lots.) I will be by yourself. Because I know how that pit of darkness and hatred feels like. It’s my life. (specially since I gotta think about college now. Sigh.) I will always be by your side.
    I’ve been waiting to see my best friend Jenna for two years. And we’ve never grown apart once during those trying times. I think I can keep up this long distance thing we have.

    Sincerely, and forevermore, and you’re awesome, you go girl,
    Wren-chan. Your faithful reader and GIF-giver

    • Aw Wren, you have no idea how much your little comment made me smile. Thank YOU for being awesome as well!

      I think this break thing is the best thing for me right now, but I’m optimistic that one day I’ll return. I’m just at a different place in my life right now than where I was when I started blogging, and I’m worried that if I try to juggle it all at once I may fall apart. With the new job position and dealing with this LDR again, I think it’ll be good to cut myself some slack and just limit my responsibilities for a while. (I’ll be honest and say I already feel way better after making this decision than I did before!)

      But yes, please don’t lose touch! I WILL respond to your emails (seriously, that is my first goal now that I don’t have to worry about blogging – get on top of my emails!!!) and I’ll also be around on Twitter if you ever want to chat (I SHOULD be a little quicker to respond on there :P). Thank you for being an amazing reader and GIF-giver. <3

  14. I can actually, pretty completely relate. I got engaged earlier this year, started making changes at work, started making changes with school, and just felt drained, constantly. I didn’t read just about anything from May until just a few days ago (I kept up with Audiobooks simply because I have a commute and a long walk to my desk). The insanely long break did me a lot of good, but what honestly got me feeling a little more like myself was doing other kinds of creative stuff while I watched TV. I didn’t have the attention span when I came home to read or blog or anything, but I started crocheting just to have some form of outlet while I watched TV.

    So, really, don’t feel like a fraud or feel guilty or anything. Take the time that you need, and when you come back, come back because YOU want to come back. And blog the way YOU want to blog. Because otherwise, what’s the point? (And yes, I did say WHEN you come back, because I suspect that you’ll eventually want to get back into it once you’ve had the space you need — that’s what happened with me when I was about to give up entirely.)

    Best wishes, and good luck with all of the changes in your life!

    • Thanks Liza! I definitely think I’m making the best decision for me right now; it’s already felt like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders since making this announcement. It’s comforting to hear others have gone through similar things in the past too though. Gives me hope that this break is just what I need and that eventually I’ll get my blogging mojo back. :)

  15. Aww, it makes me a little sad, but if anyone can understand, it’s me. How many times have I quit and then come back?? Too many.

    I’m glad everything is going well with you and Dave, I wish the immigration laws weren’t so terrible. :(

    As for losing me as a friend because you won’t be blogging, not happening! You’re stuck with me! :) <3

  16. Ásti! Congratulations, I didn’t know you got engaged. I’m sorry that all these things are happening to you right now, I hope it gets better. I can’t say that you won’t lose my friendship because we barely know each other, but every time I commented on your videos and you answered I felt like someone was actually interested on what I had to say, and that was really helpful at that moment in my life. And don’t worry, I won’t be expecting you to answer this, I understand ;)

    • Hi Adriana!
      Yes, Dave and I got engaged about a month ago. I took two weeks off to visit him in London and we spent part of that time in Paris, during which he proposed to me next to the Eiffel Tower. It was super sweet. :)
      Thanks so much for commenting on my post. It’s a shame I’ve been feeling so all over the place lately, I was really feeling inspired there for a while after my endeavor into YouTube. Maybe I’ll be able to come back eventually, we’ll see, but for now the break is definitely a good thing!
      Anyways, don’t ever hesitate to reach out to me. We may not know each other really well or anything like that right now, but I’m always open to making new friends and appreciate your support! I’ll always be interested in hearing what you have to say, so feel free to share!
      Take care! <3

  17. Asti, just reading your post made me incredibly sad and overwhelmed. I cannot imagine how you feel on a daily basis, let alone how you are coping with all these things and the mounting stress. I want to give you a bunch of hugs. I am so happy for you and Dave, but not those stinking immigration laws! I applaud you for making this choice for YOU. We all understand and want the best things for you in life. We’ll be around. :) Take care!

    • Thanks Charlie! It definitely is hard, especially around the times we do get to spend a little bit of time together. It’s like on the one hand we want to see each other whenever we can, but on the other hand seeing each other just reminds us of how happy we make each other and it’s hard to then tear each other out of our lives and go back to our own things. We’ll make it work though, we’re both determined to stick it through, it just takes a lot out of us sometimes. I appreciate everyone’s support in the blogosphere though and hope I can come back at some point in the future, whether three months from now or further down the line. Take care! <3

  18. Asti, I read this during the week but had zero time to come and comment. It made me sad to see how you are feeling but I get it. I’m an all or nothing personality too. When it comes to everything in my life, I think I only have two speeds – full steam ahead and parked! So I know how blogging half-heartedly just wouldn’t cut it for you. And it does seem like this is the right decision for you right now. The important thing is that you are looking after yourself and doing what feels good to you and improves your life, not add more stress to what is already a stressful situation.

    • Thanks Trish! I’m glad someone understands. So many people say “just post when you feel like” or “don’t worry about responding to all the comments” and I know they mean well, but it’s like they just don’t get how impossible that is for me! I’ve been trying to do both but even if it doesn’t bother me at first, I eventually get stressed at the fact that I’m not doing all the things! I definitely feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders since making this announcement, so I do think it’s the best thing for me now. I’m hoping I’ll be able to return someday in the future though (but hey, either way, I’m aiming to still be apart of book club!).

  19. I’ve read this post twice. I’ve thought about my comment for a long time, but no matter how long the comment it will all come down to this: you are a wonderful person Asti and you will be missed. I always love your posts. BUT, I do think it’s good of you to step back and to take your time. We will be waiting here. There will always be a place for you :)

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