The End

It’s time — the season for writing at High Countries has come to an end.

How do I know? I’ve known for a few years now, actually, it was just hard to admit. Endings aren’t nearly as exciting or colorful as beginnings, and so we let them drag on, hoping we might be able to bring new life to something that was once refreshing and fulfilling. That is absolutely what High Countries was for me — bright life in a time when I most needed it.

I have a vivid memory of sitting on the floor in Jones’s room, looking out the window to the slice of sky available in Shizuoka, Japan after we had first moved there. I was completely distraught, just two years out of university and already a married mother, living overseas and trying to learn a new language. I couldn’t believe how much those things had impacted my ability to write and be creative — I felt I was losing my identity somehow. So the blog I started after Jones was born (because it was a time in which every young mom started a blog) became a lifeline for my creative self and a place for me to work out who I was becoming, work out life as a young creative trying to do her best.

Sometimes when I want to connect with a specific time, I will read old posts — but it’s strange and somewhat uncomfortable. It’s like going through old diaries, reading thoughts written by a version of yourself that no longer exists. It’s rather terrifying to think of them as always available for public consumption. But the process of growth and change is never something to be ashamed of, even if it is a little embarrassing, and I am proud of the things I’ve learned while writing here. I can see them as stepping stones, sliding slowly into the water after my foot has touched them, providing just enough support to make the move to the next.

A few weeks ago at a meeting, I was tasked with making two lists: one of goals and another of potential obstacles to those goals. I was challenged to think of obstacles not just as things that used up time and energy, but even things that simply sat in my mental space. I reluctantly wrote High Countries on the latter list. While I have loved the experience of growing a blog, of sharing my insides with whomever wanted to read, I know that the time for it in my life has ended. There is simply less for me to say — partly because this is no longer the appropriate vehicle for my writing, but also because the intimacies of my life are increasingly intertwined with that of the five other people in my home, and I want to let them tell their own stories.

I am so thankful for my time at High Countries, and I am so thankful for those of you who have encouraged me by telling me that my writing mattered to you. Be assured, writing is something to which I will always give myself.

Blessings to you all!
Jamie

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