There's no way to introduce this elegantly, so I'll just go for it: I'm taking the month of February off blogging. I know I should blame the break on a lack of inspiration or something else that makes it sound like I'm burned out, but that's not the truth.
The truth is, right now I love what I put into blogging but I'm not loving much of what I take from it. Up until recently, the satisfaction I've found in connecting with the many bloggers with whom I have wonderful relationships has always outweighed my discomfort with what blogging seems to be for others I follow on various platforms. For some reason, though, that's changed, and my focus has been less and less on the positive aspects of blogging as I've been increasingly distracted by unappealing attitudes and trends. I tried to work out some of these negative feelings through writing - here, here, and here, for example - and I was generally able to manage them. Unfortunately, that's no longer the case. My discontent with some aspects of blogging has infected the camaraderie I share with others, and I'm disappointed to admit that I'm spending more time and energy angered and annoyed by the bloggers who bother me than being encouraged and inspired by those whose online presence I enjoy. That's untenable, and it's no way to be part of a community.
I think it's important for me to note that this is a situation entirely of my own making. There's no reason I need to get so worked up about how others blog. There's no reason I need to follow these women via any social medium. And there's no reason I need to let it ruin my view of blogging as a whole. So, in short, I'm taking a break because I feel I have lost sight of my blogging priorities. That's my fault and mine alone, as weak or cowardly or insecure as it may be.
It goes without saying that the readers who engage with me on Betsy Transatlantically are not those who have precipitated this; the conversations we have here will be very hard for me to pause even just for a few weeks. But, since I'm having a hard time separating the blog life I love from the blog life I don't, taking some time away from my own blog will allow me to focus on the blogging relationships that make me happy. I will still be active on Twitter and Instagram because I can't give up social media all together, but not posting here will give me the opportunity to reevaluate and reset, to reengage with the bloggers I love by reading their words and sharing their lives and being part of what they - you - are creating in a positive way.
Thank you in advance for understanding, and I absolutely look forward to coming back here in March with a more optimistic mindset.