Postcards from the scenic overlooks of life

It usually happens to me after I have published a blog post.

Sometimes, it occurs in the grocery store. An acquaintance will approach, face filled with pity, and ask, “How ARE you? Are you holding up OK?”

Or I receive an email that reads, “Your latest blog seemed so melancholy. Is all ok?”

The sentiment behind these questions is sweet. I know it comes from a good place.

But I still find myself scratching my head, wondering about how well this person knows me. It turns out, usually, not so well.

Because if you know me well, you know I go through peaks and valleys just like any of you do. We all hit them in one form or another. But rarely do I stay in either scenic lookout. The majority of my days are a steady path, moving forward. The peaks and valleys are not something the wise among us bring to work, or to parent/teacher conferences—but my blog, well, that is a creative outlet. Ripe for peaks and valleys.

I write about the peaks, yes. Although, as luck would have it, life has handed me fewer of those than valleys over the past five years. So, I write about the valleys also. Usually when I’m traveling through them.

Consider my posts a friendly postcard. Sometimes, with a warning to watch out for the boulder you will find at mile 11.4—it’s a doozy and it rolls. Sometimes, perhaps shouting out that the view from above the clouds, at a peak, is all sunshine. Either way, I’m moving on. One can only stay at a scenic outlook for so long before the journey—up, down or sideways—must continue.

I write when fully experiencing something, in the moment. Or, some time later, when all the pieces that contributed to it and the learning I’ve gleaned, gel. When I feel I have something to offer.

I may experience joy and pain to a greater depth than some. I think us creative types do. We have a harder time stuffing pain with Oreos or mindless projects than some others might. But, if we are emotionally and spiritually healthy, we then move on from either baptism—joy or pain.

We move on with life. With living. Knowing more peaks and valleys lie ahead and the journey must continue. The beauty, for me, lies in the sharing.

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41 Comments Add yours

  1. Isn’t it funny how a blog can be serious one week and the silly the next? Maybe us creative types are crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. You just keep writing the way you write. Obviously, you’re doing something right.

    1. candidkay says:

      I hear you. I think blogs from true writers tend to jump around a bit–because the craft is in the telling, rather than the specific content. We write life:).

  2. I am so with you on this one!

  3. We all go through those peaks and valleys, but you have such a wisdom and honesty that comes through in the end. Thanks for sharing your life. I hear strength, compassion and comfort in your voice.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Christine! I’m so glad the good bits are coming through. Makes it all worthwhile.

  4. I love this. A friendly postcard 🙂 perfect.

  5. reocochran says:

    I like the idea of equating your posts to postcards, K. They help to proclaim joy, news, ups and downs. Blogging does need a variety of emotions, don’t you think? I find all upbeat posts or ones which choose quotes most of the time instead of sprinkling them in to be disconcerting. Nicely expressed, K.

  6. I have found when I write in the peaks, I hardly get any responses to my post.
    When I write in the valleys, I get flooded with responses.
    There appears to be a natural urge to want to help pick pick themselves up, but less people wanting to celebrate in the good times.
    At least, that is in the blogging world. In the real world it seems to work the other way round.

    1. candidkay says:

      I think some people have a hard time coming face to face with others’ pain. The ether provides sufficient distance that they can be more expressive. Just a hunch.

  7. Aunt Beulah says:

    I appreciated the metaphor of a journey filled with a variety of scenic outlooks. I also think you captured why we writers write.I have never finished one of your posts concerned about how you are doing. Instead, I have enjoyed the skillful explanations you provide of a life fully lived, including the peaks and valleys we all experience.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you so much for your discernment. If we think of our readers as we write, it can be all too easy to edit the truth, the raw, right out. I appreciate your regular visits!

  8. Hey that is a great deal. Maybe they have not understood you completely but at least they are trying to understand you.

    As for blogging is concerned, I think most of us write to be okay; we really bounce back when we are hitting the conclusion of the post.

  9. Excellently articulated, thank you! 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you for the kind words!

  10. Changing Wind says:

    Thank you for putting into words the way I feel.

  11. gina amos says:

    Well put, Kay. One thing is for certain…life is never predictable!

  12. George says:

    That’s strange because I never picked up the melancholy from your posts. Occasionally, of course but we all do. Nothing that is I’d ever approach you about if I knew you. You’re always pretty direct, straightforward and honest. Maybe some people confuse honesty with melancholy. Hard to say.

    1. candidkay says:

      I think some people also live at the surface line and when you dip below, they freak:).

      1. heyjude6119 says:

        That may be a good explanation. I have one friend whose life is all good. Everything’s good, never complains. That’s great for her and maybe she just has a really good attitude (vs my complaining one) but it’s hard for me to relate to her. I want someone to commiserate with me when I’m going through those valleys. I know her life isn’t perfect but she honestly always says everything’s good. I’d rather hear how your kid just screwed up so I don’t feel so bad about mine. Misery loves company. ha ha ha

      2. candidkay says:

        I’ll take real any day. Not wallowing, but a real acknowledgement of where you are. Agreed!

  13. The writing is a healing within itself Kay, it allows you to express something and release it, not hold it within.
    And enjoy your expressions I am, much wisdom for us all kind lady, thank you for sharing 😀

    1. candidkay says:

      I appreciate you loyal readership, Mark! And yes, writing has always been a healing force for me. Thank God:).

  14. Writing is a great way to help ourselves make sense of those peaks and troughs, but yes, they’re usually a moment in time and don’t necessarily reflect the way we feel even the same day 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      It’s giving readers a peek into a moment or even a period, but they can’t see the rest of the painting via the small peephole.

  15. apw says:

    Reblogged this on a photogenic world and commented:
    My recent post “None So Blind” prompted an email conversation about why I would post such a raw piece about my feelings in the wake of the end of a relationship. I left it there for a while for its cathartic effect, but with passing time it felt less appropriate so I have password protected it to keep it private, though after reading this post from Candidkay, I’m wondering whether to draw back the curtains again…

    1. candidkay says:

      Ah, yes. The tug and pull of how much to share. So much I keep private because of my children. And yet, to hold back too much is to make a blog like mine extremely half-hearted. To make people laugh, cry or truly think–you’ve got to put something of yourself out there. I’ll be interested to know if you do repost that installment.

  16. I hear you. Well said. Blog posts are like that, often capturing a moment in time. Then there’s my own blog, which my husband claims proves that he exists “solely as an object of amusement for my wife and children”. But he does smile as he says it, so maybe I’m forgiven.

    1. candidkay says:

      Well, tell him we are more than grateful for his sacrifice. I always find your stories amusing!

  17. Archita says:

    Writing is a beautiful way to reveal true life to the outer world. Sometimes in the chaos, we ourselves forget to care for our own thoughts. That way, it’s great to have a journal ( online or offline) to look back, smile a little, document the present, and move forward. Keep writing! 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Funny–I used to journal the traditional way. Betting you did too:).

  18. I used to hold my breath each time I shared my writing with someone new, hoping that those I trusted with my words would not ask me to perform my thoughts; to afford me a measure of privacy in my expression. Other times, I was eager for their insight or encouragement. It’s a tricky thing to share so openly – for those who write and those who read.

    1. candidkay says:

      I hear you, Marie. We put it out there so we need to accept what comes. But sometimes I wish I could filter it all . . .

  19. mentalbreakinprogress says:

    Yes! Share your journey as it unfolds! Although the valleys can be frequent, it’s always nice to look back and see the progress, to open up and let others share your journey with you is a beautiful thing. Not everyone will understand and that’s OK….YOU understand and you have others out here who “get it” The creative mind is a maze, sometimes we hit dead ends yes but there is always another path ❤ Great post! Thanks for sharing your journey with us 🙂 xo

    1. candidkay says:

      You’re right! The blog, for many of us, tends to log our progress whether we like or not. Thanks for your encouraging comments.

  20. Its healthy to acknowledge the highs and lows of life x No one has a perfect life, although some people like to give that impression. I sometimes look at Facebook and see everyone doing all these wonderful things, going great places, having roses and chocolates delivered, whilst I am dragging my arse around the supermarket, with a streaming cold and facing another night shift and feeling knackered.

    I enjoyed your very honest post, thank you xxx

    1. candidkay says:

      Thanks, Lisa, for stopping by my blog and commenting. I agree that Facebook is mainly the public relations portal for many:). It’s great to stay in touch with far-flung friends but it doesn’t replace a good catch-up–the good, bad and the ugly.

      1. Very true. I find it quite amusing at times. At least everyone knows when I’m having a shit day 🙂

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