Authors are supposed to “build their platform” and put out engaging blog posts at least every couple days so that they can confidently tell their publishers that their blog gets several thousand hits a day.
This writer once wrote a book with a message that she really cares about, and technically, she should be trying to engage more readers and sell more copies to potential readers and write engaging, pithy quotes on Facebook-able photos.
But these days, never mind a blog or Facebook. She’s doing good to answer texts on her phone as they come in, and catch up on emails about once a week. Her days and minutes are full of other kinds of words–words sprinkled between coffee and meals and a couple private lessons and walks to the park and good-bye hugs.
There’s another good-bye nearly every day, and the occasions are filled with the dearest, most beautiful conversations and overflowing hearts, and little gifts handed both ways, and she repeatedly talks to herself where no one can hear, “This has been really lovely, but I have to go away and cry now.”
But mostly, she laughs and wonders at the rich blue of the sky and the fragrance of mock orange, and eats another chocolate.
Or loses herself in a riveting book. Or on Facebook. Didn’t someone say Facebook is the opiate of the masses?
There are moments when she wants to wail that she’s a homeless bird and a refugee and she’s going to hyperventilate and die when she lives in the US again after not having lived there for 19 years. Then when the histrionics pass, she knows that she’s not refugee: she has a definite place to go to, no trauma to escape from (although maybe language barrier has been a kind of trauma?), she’s not leaving with only the clothes on her back, and she is actually very, very rich.
She’s leaving what was joy and security and delight, a foreign country that gave her wide experiences and deep relationships. To uproot all of that will be hard, hard, hard, but it’s not a bad hard. It’s not a tragedy. It’s the end of her current world as she knows it, but something else lies beyond the horizon, and the earth isn’t flat, and she won’t fall off the edge and splatter to pieces.
And if she does fall apart now and then, well, that’s a fairly normal occurrence for her in any place.
Hopefully, tucked away somewhere in the next chapter of her life, she’ll find words again to put on her blog, and be able to think about whether she should try to build her platform, whatever that means.
For now, she’s focusing on loving well and finishing well.
Whatever that means.
30 thoughts on “Waiting on a Platform”
Blessings to you as you make this transition. I didn’t realize it was that long since you lived in the states. We welcome you back. 🙂
Thank you, Mary Lou! =)
“loving well and finishing well”… I like that philosophy for approaching the end of such forming living. You will be well loved and cared for at FB. It’s another lovely place to fall apart. 🙂
Your approval of the place is good to hear, Janelle. =)
You inspire me with your openness in sharing about your life! I have returned “home” several times from the mission field now and definitely feel for people having to do that. One thing I would say, give it time and don’t freak out if “fitting in” doesn’t happen right away. (Whatever that is anyway :)) and you’re not weird for being “different”. It’s ok to be that way. 🙂 It’s ok for it to be hard. I have a link to a blog that was given to me and has some very helpful posts on reintegrating to the home country. http://www.rockyreentry.com/
Blessings as you return!
Thanks for those wise words, Gina. I will definitely need them.
“…the earth isn’t flat, and she won’t fall off the edge and splatter to pieces.”
This made me smile. And wince a little too. I know there will be days when you’ll feel so lost and just want to wake up and have all this discomfort of change be a dream, but grace and peace to you! He’ll go with you, and you’re going to be ok! XOXO
Thanks, Kendra! It’s good for me to be reminded that I’m going to be ok because sometimes I feel very not-ok.
If “building your platform” means more words here – I hope you find it soon. I enjoy your words here.
But relationships come first. Your focus on loving is what will enable you to finish well.
And do be kind to yourself for the next months of readjustment. It is okay if you think you really did splatter some days.
Thanks for reminding me about what helps to finish well. I needed that.
I am totally with Gina – and do not forget: You don’t HAVE to microwave the water for your tea (my first “How-could-anybody-ever-think-of-doing-something-like-that-US-experience” 😉 only because you moved back to the edge of the world 😉 Let me know whenever you need Lindt chocolate or anything else that is keeping you from splattering to pieces – even if it takes over-night delivery – I will get it to you! 😉
I wish I could say something amazingly wise… but I can’t… I am sighing and sniffling through this message, feeling sorry for myself, Poland, Ireland and Europe. So glad that HE is really smart and wise and is able to give you great advice and simply carry you through the tough time of coming back to a foreign home after being in the mission field for so long.
I am sending you many, MANY hugs and kisses and even more tearful sighs (I know, it isn’t helping anybody). I love you and cannot wait to hear how the Lord is leading you in the future.
Ella, your hugs and kisses and sighs are helping me! I miss you lots and wish we could laugh together again! I will still want to be in touch with you even though the ocean is between us, and hear what you’re up to. Thanks for your promise of rescue chocolates. =) And yes, I know–microwaving water for tea isn’t proper, but what’s a person to do when they don’t have a kettle????????? This is a huge dilemma!!!!!!!!!!! Which means that it will be one of my first purchases in the US. One must have one’s priorities in order, you know. Hugs to you my dear!
Beautiful! You say things in a way that always makes a great deal of sense to me. Best of wishes on the changes you face. Maybe someday I’ll get to meet you. I’m so sorry about goodbyes to so many things and people you love….
Thanks for your kind words, Luci!
Ah, Anita. God be near you. Give yourself a year to get used to life in a new place. Dead serious. It’s more than ‘adjustments’. It’s learning a new culture. Another world. Learning to know the ‘new’ people…that you used to know well. It’s more than slipping back in and finding your place. I wish you peace in the closure and God’s tender hand in the beginnings.
You know what you’re talking about Karen, and I’m glad to hear from you. Thanks for those wise words. I hope we can re-connect somewhere/sometime!
I have been thinking about you frequently since that lovely bit of catch up a month ago–praying for your goodbyes and your move(s), and for you to be aware of Jesus walking with you in a new place. I’m so glad we never have to leave Him behind . . . . Hugs to you, dear friend!
Thanks for the prayers, Jeanene! That little catch-up chat did me a lot of good!
Though there was a very painful glitch as I was preparing to leave FMH (a huge misunderstanding that finally got ironed out) I found the adjustment back to the land of my nativity rather uneventful. I had been gone for 20 years, except for visits every year or so. However, after I left FMH I spent time in another community in Virginia but was frequently in and out of FMH, so that somehow diluted the pain of leaving. After living in a temporary mode for three months, it was such a relief to get home and settle in right. I counted that 3-month buffer as God’s gift to make the transition easier.
I know our situations are far from parallel, but you do have a summer-buffer that might make the transition a little bit easier (I got some details from Elaine when chatting with her recently).
May God give you grace to embrace your new people and surroundings, treasure your precious memories from “across the pond”, and the wisdom to know what traditions to keep and which ones to release.
In my opinion, this is another chapter for “the book”.
Grace and wisdom. Yes. This is what I need most. Thanks, Linda Rose!
I only lived overseas for one year and even still re-entry was/is hard for me. So when I read this post I found tears in my eyes at the thought of the giant leap you are about to take. You are so courageous, even when your eyes are filled with tears, and I bless you for that courage. These words were given to me and gave me such permission to grieve what I lost and I want to pass them on to you: “It’s okay to not be okay for a long time.” Blessings on your adventure!
Thanks for your understanding, and for that quote. It might just be a life-saver!
Read your post and the comments. Very good. I’m in the midst of re-entry myself after 5 years in Central America. Another site that has been a real blessing and encouragement is http://www.thecultureblend.com
Nice to hear from someone in the same shoes! Thanks for the link–I’ve enjoyed that site now and then as well.
So where in the US are you moving? Anywhere close to my area? =) Blessings in the transition!
I don’t know where your area is right now, Ruth Anna, but I’m planning to be a student at Faith Builders for a year. =) Hopefully our paths will cross sometime here or there!
Oh, wow! Go, you! =) Which program? Yes, hopefully I’ll get to talk to you! =) FB is like 3 1/2 hours from my place….and I like to go there occasionally. =)
I’ll be a non-program student. I have some trepidations, but mostly am excited. =)
Sending you thoughts and prayers today. Your focus on “loving well and finishing well” means you are also equipped to begin well on this side. You are in my heart constantly during these days of much transition, travel, and uncertainties. Love you!
I just started a blog, too, and I don’t know which is more painful–to have the words inside of me or to let them out. I hope you still find time to write! Don’t worry too much about the platform, you will always have something worthwhile to say!