The Swan Song

10 Nov

This post started out as an explanation of why I broke up with Facebook. As I was working my way through the original draft, it became clear to me that there are other chapters in my life I need to close as well.

I’ve dabbled in writing my entire life, but it wasn’t until early 2007 that I began trying to put my work out there for others to read. I joined a “citizen newspaper” online which allowed me to connect with other amateur writers, and publish content which didn’t fit into other sites I had previously joined.

I strayed from writing after a couple of years due to personal issues, but found my way back a few years later. Unfortunately, the site was sold during the time I had been away, and was no longer a hospitable environment. I needed a new place to hang my hat which is why Sips of Jen and Tonic was created.

I didn’t know what to expect when I first began this blog. I hoped to see some familiar faces, and meet a few new people who would eventually become familiar faces. I wanted to learn and grow not only as a writer, but also as a person. The main goal for Sips of Jen and Tonic was to be a space space for crazy people.

I’m proud to say that I got all of that and more.

I finished NaBloPoMo (which I’m sure was created by the devil himself) twice, wrote countless guest posts, helped create and execute Blogger Interactive, was Freshly Pressed twice, and managed to convince thousands of people to follow my blog. I also met a multitude of interesting people hailing from all walks of life who had compelling stories of their own to share.

Sadly, with the good came the bad.

As with any online gathering place, you’ll meet some truly amazing people, but you’ll also cross paths with narcissists, sociopaths, liars, cheats, hypocrites, misogynists, zealots, sycophants and generally unsavory types.

The first time I saw this on WordPress was when a fellow blogger (and former reader of this blog) started posting inappropriate and childish ramblings (usually disguised as really bad poetry) about his ex-wife. After the first couple of posts came out I chalked it up to a broken heart, but it became clear this guy was just vindictive and exploiting his readers for self-satisfaction.

While I was able to unceremoniously unfollow him, he would still comment on my blog occasionally, and I would see his name pop up here and there. I use him as an example, but there were dozens of other people I had to unfollow for similar (or significantly worse) reasons. In my real life I can carefully pick and choose whose energy I want around me, but online it isn’t so simple.

Then, last year, I was contacted out of the blue by four separate people I had distanced myself from (and for good reasons). I believe one of them had been spying on me through a mutual friend’s Facebook page, and the other three had been reading my blog and thought it would be nice to get in touch. The warm fuzzies they thought I’d be feeling felt a lot more like a deep wound being reopened.

Not to be outdone by 2013, 2014 presented two situations which absolutely devastated me. I won’t go into detail about either of them because I’m still really hurting over both of them, but I will say that two “friends” I had come to know and love through writing ended up being wolves in sheep’s clothing. I’ve learned there are more of those than you think online.

All of this got me thinking about what it means to share your life with the world, and the risks associated with that. I’ve been working very hard to heal myself the last few years, and I realized I’ve knowingly put myself in the path of people who could possibly hinder those efforts. This not only isn’t a smart thing to do, but would be considered self-sabotaging if I continued.

Additionally, all of this self-improvement has brought on a new me who didn’t exist before. The Jen and Tonic people have come to know and love says and does all of the wrong things, drinks too much, is crass and crazy and generally a mess.Β  Alas, Jen and Tonic is someone the real Jen no longer completely embodies or even recognizes anymore. The real (new) Jen has a good job, just bought a house by herself, is a pretty responsible person, and rarely drinks. That doesn’t make for funny or interesting blog material though.

Because of everything I’ve outlined above, I’ve decided to put Sips of Jen and Tonic on an indefinite hiatus. Orson Welles said if you want a happy ending that it depends on where you stop your story. I want a happy ending for my blog so this is where I’m stopping this story.

The great thing about blogging is that where one story ends, another begins. I’ll remove myself from WordPress and it won’t matter because there are thousands of people who can take my place. Life will go on as though I was never here.

I will forever be grateful for everyone who supported me in this endeavor, and indulged me while I shared tidbits of my life with you. I hope that I made you laugh or cry or think or anything in between. I want you to know that if we had any kind of interaction here on WordPress, you made an impression on me.

I will miss all of you.

55 Responses to “The Swan Song”

  1. Main Street Musings Blog 11/17/2014 at 5:18 am #

    Jen, I’m sorry it’s been a rocky road on social media, and though it sounds like it’s been challenging, it seems like your blog has also been a catalyst for personal growth. Writing helps us evolve, and while you’ve matured over the years and the “crass and crazy” topics and tone of your posts no longer resonate with you, that doesn’t take away from the fact that tons of people have enjoyed your writing. You are a talented and entertaining writer and I hope that you will continue writing when it feels right for you. Best of luck to you.

  2. mytwistedroad 11/13/2014 at 8:35 pm #

    Reblogged this on mytwistedroad's Blog and commented:
    Sad to see her go, but I’m not here to be selfish. Take advantage of what she did share with us. I’m grateful for what she shared with us. We’ll miss you Jen!

  3. Aric 11/13/2014 at 9:09 am #

    You are a strong woman, bestie. It makes me happy to see you taking care of yourself and walking your own path. Keep being you. You are not alone.

    I love you πŸ™‚

  4. silkpurseproductions 11/12/2014 at 12:02 pm #

    I wish you only the best, Jen. Your writing will be missed most certainly. I totally get it though. Last spring was a tough one and I can honestly say I was left broken hearted and really uncertain of everything in blog land. There seems to be a mass exodus the past month or so. Perhaps the “writing” is on the wall.
    Congratulations on achieving a better you. I know you will only continue to get better

  5. calahan 11/12/2014 at 10:04 am #

    Good for you for evolving into a better you, Jen. And congrats on being a homeowner. That’s amazing! While I will miss seeing you online, I can only wish you well and remember our back and forth’s with a smile. πŸ™‚

  6. She's a Maineiac 11/12/2014 at 7:01 am #

    Where the hell’s the “Dislike Intensely” Button?

    While I can certainly totally understand your reasons, I will really really miss your writing. You are one of the few bloggers that actually makes me laugh out loud for real. I’m not blowing smoke up your ass, it’s true. God this sucks you’re done! All the good bloggers are leaving me! (wah! it’s all about me right?) But I get it. Please keep on writing in some capacity in the future, maybe another blog? Hmmm???

  7. WalkToRio 11/12/2014 at 3:03 am #

    All the best for you Jen.
    I’ll miss reading your posts, I’ve been following you since Le Clown put that blog roll contest 2 years ago or was 3, can’t remember.
    Best wishes!

  8. GiggsMcGill Jill 11/12/2014 at 12:26 am #

    I’m glad you’re happy with where your life is going. Absolute best of luck to you!

  9. lauren 11/11/2014 at 11:35 pm #

    Jen, this is sad news for your readers, but good news for you as you are doing what will bring you the most happiness, so this makes the loss of reading your blog just a little bit easier. Good for you for making a big change that might have some positive impact on your life — you have my full support as I’m sure the rest of your readers do too. You will be missed! xo!

  10. Kevin 11/11/2014 at 11:31 pm #

    Good luck! Perhaps you can start a new blog that is more in tune with your current writing style.

  11. talesfromthemotherland 11/11/2014 at 8:54 pm #

    Jen, bravo to you, and sad for us. Truly. For what it’s worth, I’ve always most enjoyed the Jen who made herself a little vulnerable and real, and generally felt like I wasn’t hip enough for the funny, crazy Jen. I’ve enjoyed all of you, and all that you’ve put out here. But, I do get it. I’m on a very long healing journey, myself, and there are some days when I too question what I’m doing here. I was deeply shaken by probably (at least one of) the same wolves this year. It still rattles me. but, I learned something there and I’m still working on “to thine own self be true.” I celebrate your joyful accomplishments and your decision to be true.. to thine. πŸ˜‰ But, I’ll miss you. (I have been tempted to send you a message, but didn’t want to pressure you again, or push… when we all have to do what’s right for ourselves). Good things are surely coming your way. xox

  12. Aussa Lorens 11/11/2014 at 7:30 pm #

    This is like a bummer wrapped in a huzzah. It sounds like you’re kicking life’s ass though, and that’s what’s important. I hope you find a writing outlet again though. Best of luck!

  13. rachealizations 11/11/2014 at 7:23 pm #

    It felt odd to “like” this post, as it was so sad to read. You are wrong that your absence won’t matter…with all of the blogs I’ve read, there are a handful that have truly made an impression. Yours touched me and made me laugh. It was honest and smart and funny and authentic. It was a unique voice in an ocean of banality. I am sorry to see you go, but wish you great happiness. Hopefully, you’ll be heard again. Happy trails….

  14. prettytrippy 11/11/2014 at 6:01 pm #

    Oh no! I’m so, so sad over this!!!

    But, honestly, the internet can be such a scary place and given your experience(s), I don’t blame you one bit. One reason I’m so shady with my own online presence and not revealing much either. GAH. I hate these dumb trolls who ruin the sharing of your hilarity with the rest of us. Either way, we’ll never forget you – “I’ll never let go, Jen. I’ll never let go!”

    Hopefully you’ll stay on Insta? I need my dose of witty comments from ya πŸ™‚

    All the best,
    Gillian

  15. Jana 11/11/2014 at 5:22 pm #

    I’m also in the midst of self-discovery and life change. While I like myself better and I’m more at peace (most days), I don’t think I’m nearly as funny as I used to be. Maybe that will change and my sense of humor will return once the major upheaval is over – but I sometimes wonder if my blog will survive the journey. Good luck and happiness to you!

  16. Summer Solstice Girl 11/11/2014 at 10:16 am #

    Well, either I am the biggest, self-centered idiot in the whole world or just a totally-out-to-lunch basket case cause I keep hearing about terrible things that happened in the blogging world and yet I managed to miss them all. All for the better, other people tell me. I don’t know.

    Heartbreak sucks big time. When you say you’ll be removing yourself form WP, do you mean deleting this blog? Or just stopping writing and closing comments?

    Cause, girl, you have some damn good posts and I’d be sad there are erased forever. I sometimes go back to them for a good laugh. OK, fine, not as often as I wish, but I still do think of them and laugh again.

    But! as everyone wiser than me have said, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, so best of luck on all your endeavours, wherever life takes you!

  17. mytwistedroad 11/10/2014 at 10:17 pm #

    First of all, congratulations on being a responsible independent person. There needs to be more of you out there. Life is crazy enough, right?

    Secondly, congrats on giving your evil commentators the middle finger and disapearing. There are too many folks that take advantage of their “virtual” lives knowing that in real life they would have gotta bitch slapped or back handed a long time ago. This is basically nothing short or adult bullying and cyber creeping. Disgusting! I also appreciate your honesty. Too many wanna be bloggers or facebookers judge their lives by the number of “likes”. You have shown us that life is not a popularity contest. Thanks for keeping it real and making us laugh.
    We will miss your crazy stories, but we know you will be out there writing a new chapter in your life. Be safe and get out and live! πŸ˜€

  18. herschelian 11/10/2014 at 7:09 pm #

    Nothing lasts forever, and though I will miss your blog, I wish you well in the next chapter of your life

  19. speaker7 11/10/2014 at 3:19 pm #

    My hats off to you, Jen (I’m wearing several, for some reason). Your post just reminded me this was the month we would torture ourselves writing a post a day. Thanks for doing that with me two years running. I completely get your hiatus. I’m on my own I think so I don’t post at all anymore. Reading your post made me jump back in for a second so I can say how much I enjoyed reading you. I’m sure I will read whatever amazing things you write in the future. xoxo

  20. Samantha 11/10/2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Good luck Jen. I’ve enjoyed your blog while it’s been here. I wish you great things in life, whether they’re big or small.

  21. thefoodandwinehedonist 11/10/2014 at 2:35 pm #

    Thanks for the smiles, wishing u the best!!

  22. Vanessa-Jane Chapman 11/10/2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Good luck Jen! I think it’s really nice that you’ve written this post, a lot of people just disappear from the blog world and we’re left wondering what happened, and if they’re ok, so it’s good you’ve written this explanation. And you know if you ever do come back to it, we’ll be waiting! πŸ™‚

  23. Kathy Sharp 11/10/2014 at 1:28 pm #

    Sorry that you will not be writing anymore. I looked forward to your stories. However, I know that sometimes in order to get rid of ‘toxic’ things in your life you have to let go of things that you love. A big hug from Mom

  24. philosophermouseofthehedge 11/10/2014 at 1:28 pm #

    Was wondering about you recently. (Terribly sorry about the brutality of FB /blog intrusions/online – you always hope it won’t happen, but it’s thin ice in reality….)
    Orson Welles is right on. Life is out there. Write it as you see best.
    (But we will miss you, don’t sell yourself short: in blogland or in real life. Houses bring their own stories and adventures…maybe you’ll be back someday under a new brand – but just as funny and endearing.)
    Now go. Run! Run! Morph and reinvent yourself. The Great Adventure is waiting for you to begin!

  25. transforminglifenow 11/10/2014 at 12:51 pm #

    I just started following you, and understand where you’re coming from. Good luck. I hope you’re successful in all you set out to do. πŸ™‚

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