“I have never seen battles quite as terrifyingly beautiful as the ones I fight when my mind splinters and races, to swallow me into my own madness, again.”Nicole Lyons, Hush
I’ve been gone from this site for well over a year. I lost sight of just who the loopy librarian was meant to be. In fact, I considered abandoning the site and going for something more innocuous like “the bipolar bookworm.” After going on disability 8 years ago, I had an existential crisis. The site, by default, eventually did the same. My husband says not to let go of it. But if I still wonder who I have become, how can I possibly define this website. I no longer work in a library. I no longer work at all. But I do know a few things, experienced a few things and am still a relevant human being. As are we all. Me? I’m still loopy, something I’m oddly proud to be.
The word “loopy” can mean nutty, batty, eccentric, even drunk. I chose it because I suffer from mental illness, specifically bi-polar disorder, and I love to play like a kid. In a wonderful way, this disorder perfectly suited me to the life of a Children’s Librarian. I wore silly hats, danced around, read aloud with glee, and made crafts while I also helped children and young adults with their school assignments and introduced them to the best books. It was there, in the library, where I experienced true belonging.
Unfortunately that same illness eventually lost me my job at the same time as my children left the nest. I was truly at sea. I kept reading, writing and keeping up with my library family through old friends. Nevertheless, I wondered, “Who am I now that I’m no longer a librarian?” And I was angry. I’d been ill since my teens, but it had never stopped me from achieving my goals. The road was rockier certainly, but I gritted my teeth and drove on. Until suddenly and not so suddenly, I could drive no further.
Today, two household moves and a grandchild later, I am preparing a craft room. It will all be installed soon. As I prepare, I toss old photos from library programs of long ago. Most of those children are grown now. We are all on new roads, I suppose. My battle with mental illness rages on, but I live a blessed life. I fill my home with books and write every day. I’ve taken up the journaling rage. I still love playing. I play with stickers, words, yarn, paper and paint. I dance.
So, what is http://www.theloopylibrarian to be? It’ll be what it has always been: a celebration of books, authors, readers and libraries. Now though, it’s more personal than professional. I’ve drifted back to shore. I’ve turned a corner in the road. I’ll keep writing because I must. I’ll keep playing because it gives me joy. And I’ll keep celebrating. If I disappear from time to time, you’ll know why. But I’ll return because I belong here.