About two months ago, I was sitting at my kitchen table staring at a blank computer screen. I felt a nagging responsibility to do the dishes that overflowed in the sink, tackle the piles of laundry and finish cooking this weeks lunch snacks. All these things competed for my attention and time. I wanted to do none of them. So I sat there kind of pathetic and sad. I was at a crossroads. I felt let down by life. My career was non-existent. My home life, although filled with wonderful people, was hectic and overly busy. In my head and in my heart, I felt out of sorts… out of my skin. Like I had somehow stumbled into a point in life where I no longer felt like me. I was a mental shut in. Not living intentionally, but moving thru life each day.
Don’t get me wrong I have so much to be grateful for, but I had no time to reflect on being grateful. I had to go to work, fix lunch, do the laundry, pass out from exhaustion and repeat the next day. I was so busy trying to be what I felt I should be to everyone, that I stopped being me. I lost myself in the mornings, afternoon and evening tasks of the day. Once upon a time I was a writer, a girl who would take walks and reflect, someone who would push out of her comfort zone. I had a future of possibility and excitement ahead. I love being a mom and a wife, but they had taken me over. They squeezed the former me out till I felt lost trying to grasp at the me I thought I needed to be.
One afternoon, I was listening to a podcast of a mom who felt similar to me and how she decided to start blogging as an outlet for her feelings. I thought that might work for me, but I was scared. I did not have the confidence to do anything about it. I kept thinking, “who would want to read what I would write?” “Would people critique me?” “Would they judge me?” So this idea stayed in the back of my head, percolating. Then after a particularly trying day a friend suggested that I find something outside of work and the kids to put myself into. She encouraged me and made such a strong case that I knew in my heart I needed to do this. I was so out of balance in every other area of my life that I needed to find an outlet to express myself.
With her encouragement I finally pushed aside my self-doubt and wrote my first post. It was freeing. Each day since I have felt more like me. More then that, I feel I am growing into a better me and there are several factors as to why.
1) Blogging has helped me find and develop my voice. Before I did not stop to contemplate how I was feeling. I was in constant motion from task to task. Not only did I ignore my feelings, I failed to properly express them. This would cause problems later when these emotions came out in other ways. For example crying at a minor criticism or getting overly angry about something insignificant. I just could not put things into perspective because I felt I had no voice.
2) It has helped me by creating connections outside of my sphere of influence. It has helped me see how big the world really is, gain a better understanding about my relationships and what truly matter.
3) Probably one of the biggest influence is that if has helped me connect with a community of encouraging, creative like-minded people. I was totally shocked at the variety of what people write about, the level of encouragement and support I received from people all over the world. These people didn’t even know me and owed me nothing but gave me so much. Not only did this bolster my confidence, it actually restored my faith in others and the blogger sphere in general. There where not as many trolls and critics as I was afraid of.
4) It gave me an almost anonymous outlet to be myself. To talk about things the I find interesting or frustrating. It helped my face some challenges and has kept me accountable and consistent. It has been, well…like therapy. I could talk about my feelings, good or bad. Share my failures and my triumphs. I never expected to have so much to share and how much a part of me this would become. I am so thankful to all of you for helping me find myself again and for following my journey.