Lately I’ve been fascinated by the way we perform different roles in our lives. Sometimes we cast ourselves in roles, sometimes they’re thrust upon us, and sometimes other people cast us in roles that we have no idea we’re in. Or we suddenly find that we’re in a role conceived by somebody else, and other people are getting all mad because we’re not playing our part properly.
Roles are a funny thing. Sometimes they work fine for a while, and then all of a sudden you realize that you’ve outgrown a role, but the play is still going on. Only you’re having increasing trouble being genuine about it. You start to get irritated and cynical, and feel like you’re wearing something that doesn’t quite fit any more and that makes you look like a clod.
Well, that’s me, anyway.
A few years ago I started a blog. Basically I did it to entertain myself and also to write about what life was like on a mid-sized island on the edge of the inhabitable world. Then an economic meltdown occurred and I found myself caught up in a maelstrom of bizarre happenings, so I started to blog about that because, well, it was all a bit crazy. I needed to get my head around it, writing about it helped, and lo! – before I knew it, I found I was in a new role as some kind of “authority” on the Iceland situation. All sorts of people from all over the world started contacting me to ask me questions about what was going on. I started getting invitations to speak at conferences and festivals abroad, and writing and reporting gigs for big international media organizations. It was great.
For a while. Eventually it all became a bit too much. I had become an unofficial information officer for Iceland and it was practically a full-time job, only I wasn’t earning anything from it – or at least not nearly enough to warrant the time and effort being put in. So I shut down the blog and moved to Facebook, where I thought I could continue with a sort of “IWR light” version. For a while that worked fine. I left the anonymous haters behind, and basically I could continue enjoying the rapport with the small community that had formed around the blog on my own terms.
But now, I find myself once again at a crossroads. The role in which I have cast myself on The Iceland Weather Report page has become a little like an old jacket that no longer fits me very well, and is both limiting and confining. I find that people are starting to want and expect certain things from me, and frankly I’ve come to the point where I don’t care enough to want to oblige. Besides, I don’t really think I’m needed. There are lots of other people out there posting stuff about Iceland – everything from pretty pictures to news and views. And no doubt doing an even better job than I could.
I still keep up with news and politics in my little corner of the globe, but I am also interested in the broader picture – and lots of other things as well. I’m fascinated by trends and shifts in the world, and how things interconnect, and I’m also fascinated by the human condition and how people manage to navigate the endless challenges and tests that are put to them in this life. Myself included.
And maybe I’d like to share a little bit of that now.
All of which is to say that I’m going to say goodbye to The Iceland Weather Report, and strike out in a new direction. I’m not entirely sure where that direction is going to take me, but I have lots of ideas that I want to try out and explore. Some of those involve Iceland, but more because Iceland is so inextricably intertwined with my life than because I’m making a point about writing about current affairs. I miss writing things in a bit more depth than the flash-and-glib social media statuses allow, and I would like to get back to blogging [I know, I know – I keep saying that] – though I have a lot more demands on my time now than I did before [but still I want to try]. Also, I recently finished a novel [you may remember my call for beta readers, which worked out smashingly] and am presently pondering the best way forward in terms of publication.
Finally, a big THANK YOU is due to all the loyal followers of the page, and the blog, and ESPECIALLY those of you who have stuck with me and given me your support throughout the years. I’d love it if you’d follow me in my new ventures, but I am realistic enough to know that many of you are specifically interested in Iceland and Iceland-based news and happenings. If that is so, you may want to follow The Little Book of the Icelanders Facebook page, which I intend to keep running. I am also on Twitter, and I’ve opened up my personal Facebook profile for subscriptions, if you’re interested in that. And of course, you can always use the form below this post to subscribe to my blog updates.
Thank you all for reading, and here’s to new directions!