I’ve mentally labored for years over how I was going to get the thoughts and words that were inside my head outside my head. I don’t think it’s really a matter of wanting to write ‘the great American novel’. I don’t think so. For a long time I tried to think of writing in novel-terms.

It scared the shit out of me.

Then, one day, I sort of woke up the idea of a blog. That felt a whole lot more manageable.

Not a novel. Vignettes.

Short. Snappy.

Just let it flow.

And, I reasoned, it would be safe.

Relatively anonymous.

Relatively unread.

Safe and easy.

But, it’s kind of not that.

In fact, I’m really rather enjoying this writing process. It’s something I hadn’t done in years. Something, in truth, I was unable to do for years. It feels good to have the words flow the way they did many, many years ago.

I’m also enjoying the discipline. I’ve yearned for a routine since the man and I made our ‘significant lifestyle change’. ‘Retirement’, as it were, is not quite as easy as I had always imagined. (In fact, it’s not even that much fun when you’re a bit too young in public opinion, but that’s an issue for another day. . . .)

I miss getting up in the wee hours of the morning. I miss the feeling – either while running to Canary Wharf or tubing it to Green Park – of having an amazing city almost to myself. I’m an early riser so it was often just me and the construction workers on the journey. I miss watching an office come to life. I miss throwing myself into some ‘crisis’ situation that is in no way a crisis in any real way but that manages to get lots of people flapping about.

I miss feeling needed.

I miss feeling wanted.

I miss feeling appreciated.

And this, this is a good way to get some of that back.

In a safe environment.

Rather anonymously.

But you see, what I’ve noticed, what I hate to admit is that I’m not sure I like the anonymity.

This isn’t a journal. If it were, I wouldn’t have put it out there for the world to see.

So, it’s odd, to expose myself so completely, so totally to the sound of deafening silence.

I should be accustomed to silence.

I don’t know if it’s Southern or if it’s just the family I grew up in – a bit of both, I suspect – but openness and feedback weren’t on the agenda. And, compliments, well compliments could only lead one place, a big head, and nobody wants that.

Then, there’s the fact that I’ve always been a bit of an oddball. It’s okay. It’s true. I have been. I am. I’ve always communicated in a ‘funny’ way. I didn’t realise that until recently, but once the penny dropped, lots of things suddenly made a lot more sense. So, I’m accustomed to saying something, only to stare into blank, silent faces.

But this, this is different. There are no faces. There’s just this big vast unknown. . . .

Which makes this an incredible challenge.

And oddly, oddly liberating.

An incredibly liberating challenge.

I like a challenge.