Like a volcano of sorts

I’ve been doctor-blogging for 10+ years, and with few exceptions, I’ve posted at least monthly, if not more frequently. Looking back over any pauses, I realize that all were during times of transition. But this latest pause— my last post was in May— can’t be blamed on any obvious life shifts. Yes, we had some vacation, travel, events; but typically I can at least get a “We’re at the beach” post up.

This stretch, I have been bafflingly blocked. I’ve started like ten posts, even lame placeholder posts, and couldn’t muster the energy to follow through with any of them. Nor have I been on social media, at all. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, nor LinkedIn. (Which has actually been very refreshing!)

But what gives? Something must be going on.

So that’s what I’ve been reflecting on.

Often, one has to take a few steps back in order to gain perspective on one’s life. Things like vacation, travel, or even just going for a solo stroll can help us gain clarity and direction.

Last month, we went to Guatemala to visit family, and this trip was especially rich with insights around “my next steps”. I mean, I’ve switched careers, I’m loving my new role in my new job, the kids are thriving, it’s all good. So what do I mean by “my next steps”?

Ah. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. See, I know there’s another major creative project in me that needs to come out. A book? A screenplay? A streaming series? An online course?

Or all of the above? I can imagine so many things, loads of ideas, I’m absolutely bursting with ideas! Like a volcano of sorts, with pressure building up…

I love this volcano photo. I snapped this from the car as we drove from Guatemala City to colonial Antigua. I love it because this is iconic Guatemala: The steep narrow road with no shoulder, sidewalk, or median line is also a heavily traveled route out of the capital city to many destinations south and west. Just off to the left there’s a pickup truck “taxi” pulling over to let some people jump off and others climb in. The car in front of us is passing the pickup truck at full speed, on a curve. Then there’s crazy electrical wires every which way, because the area is thickly settled, houses right up to the asphalt. And of course, the ubiquitous skinny stray dog. And that volcano? I’m pretty sure it’s Volcán Pacaya. It’s easy to get them mixed up because there are 37 volcanoes in Guatemala. 37. They’re everywhere!

But then there’s that part about actually following through. Where do I even start? Wait, what was I even thinking? I can’t do THAT. It’s too X and X and X and I’m too Y and Y and Y. (And I’ve filled in those blanks every which way a gazillion times over.)

So, I’ve been spinning my creative wheels for the past couple of months. And the end result has been no blog posts. Or anything. That part of my brain has been in Blenderize mode!

Meantime, I’m a dormant volcano– not erupting, yet. Which is a handy metaphor, given our recent trip to the land of volcanoes. Most of the time, these sleeping giants are simply part of the natural landscape:

The volcano in the distance… I think it’s Volcán Tolimán. We rented an Air BnB on Lake Atitlán just outside of the small town of Santiago, and this photo was snapped from the front yard. Fun facts: Lake Atitlán is 1,500 meters above sea level, with a length of 18 kilometers, and a depth of up to 341 meters, making it the deepest lake in Central America. Three hundred forty-one meters. That’s like, crazy deep. Anyways, the volcanoes Atitlán, Tolimán, and San Pedro (“The Three Giants“) form an impressive backdrop to an equally impressive body of water.

But you never know. Take Fuego, for example.

Hubby snapped this photo of El Volcán Fuego from the car. It huffed and puffed while we were nearby, but thankfully no big eruptions.

The scarred, ashen slopes of El Volcán Fuego, or “Fire Volcano”, hint at its frequent activity, spewing lava, rocks, ash, and sometimes all of the above– pyroclastic flows. In 2018, Fuego unleashed a pyroclastic tsunami, resulting in a Pompeii-level disaster:

Watch on YouTube

Fuego periodically erupted during our July visit, which was disconcerting. But I don’t feel like THAT type of volcano. Not right now, anyways. I just feel like the creative energy I’ve been holding in is going to manifest very soon, in the form of some powerful artistic endeavor. A project that is going to define the future direction of my blog and social media. It’ll be big, huge, important…

In the meantime, just wait for it.

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