Monday, June 13, 2011

Blogging is Hard in the Real World

This has been one of the hardest months of my life. In two weeks, on June 25th, my wife and I are officially moving back to our hometown Greenville, SC. There are so many good reasons to move home. Both of our entire families are there (except for those overseas). I can't commute an hour to work anymore. As our plans for kids get closer, grandparents and aunts/uncles get more valuable. But the move is bittersweet.

I've come to love North Carolina. I've created friendships that will be hard to leave. A teaching job I originally took mostly because it was offered has been great place of growth and opportunity. I will be currently moving without a job to a state with a worse overall economy. I'm going to miss the improv teaching and performing opportunities I've gotten at DSI. Also, the stress of deciding to move and the actual process of moving is difficult for any relationship. At least in the short run, by many measures, my life will be worse. No job, less friends, and less career and artistic possibilities.

This explains why this blog has been silent for the last couple of weeks. I've been so focused on what my life will look like if what I've been working on for 8 years (improv and teaching) isn't immediately available. What am I if I lose some of my labels? It's very difficult to write about the difference between humans or animals or the stimulus package when my life is being turned upside down. In fact, I feel like I've been pushed down Maslow's hierarchy of needs:
Look back at most of my recent posts. They were questions of morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and changing my beliefs based on facts. One of my main blogging goals is to slowly improve myself in hopes of reaching my personal potential. But when my wife and I finally decided to officially move, that desire got taken over by more basic desires. Leaving my teaching position at my high school and at my improv theater makes me question my personal esteem and sense of belonging. Leaving my current home and pay check makes me question my safety and if worst comes to worst my physiological needs.

However, it's been nice to look back and remember that even the unemployed in America are relatively rich (physiological need, check). That poverty isn't a lack of employment, but a lack of relationships (safety need, check). That my family is big and supportive (belonging, check). That my esteem is not self-esteem gained from being a good teacher or good performer. It comes from being a connected to a good God who only requires we recognize that. I'm optimistic my spirits will improve. And I hope that this will make me more empathetic to my future students, wherever they may be on the pyramid.


  1. As someone who has moved a great deal (and to far worse places than Greenville), I can only tell you that it gets better. All the costs of moving seem unbearable, but if you eat a lot of spaghetti and you remind yourself that soon things will be better, it will be better before you know it.

    Good luck with the move, Harrison. And good luck with your job search. Get with Jason about improv - he's sort of built the Greenville improv community from the ground up.

  2. Interesting title. I wonder if blogging when life is hard is more difficult for you because your blog is intended to be a sort of "answers place" for others. Blogging helps me deal, but I think that's probably because I think of it as a place for asking questions. That's an oversimplification, but whatcha think?

    And we're so excited to have you guys here. It's going to be good. :)

  3. What Lindsey said. One of the most effective ways to deal with your problems/anxieties is to write about them, and in particular, the causes and potential solutions.

    I'd bet your readers would prefer to hear your thoughts on that more than about the differences between humans and animals or the stimulus package.

  4. It's interesting that as you feel like you're moving down the hierarchy of needs, you also feel that you have to most potential to fulfil and become the person you long to be.

    Proud of you brother. I'm glad you're married to my sister.

  5. Hope the move goes well, and best of luck in SC!

  6. Alyssa,

    Thanks, that's the current plan.

    Lindsey and Justin,

    I think you're right, this blog is about ideas not about vague musings. How do I change that without completely changing the intention of this blog?

    Stephen and Elizabeth,



You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.