This feels very awkward.
I haven’t blogged in a loooong time. I used to be kinda into it, and honestly, it fed my soul and was good for me. But it was also a discipline. Somehow, writing is like that for me. It’s so hard to make myself sit down, be still, and use my brain to explain what I’m thinking… but at the same time, it’s so healthy. It’s so life-giving.
I started this blog in 2008 when Evelyne had just turned 1. We were living in a third-floor apartment outside of Memphis while Clay was in physical therapy school. I was coming out of probably the hardest year of my life. Becoming a parent had really kicked my butt. I was starting to realize that I really enjoyed toddler parenting a lot more than baby parenting, and maybe I should actually try to engage with the outside world rather than just watch HGTV all day. (not like that stopped immediately…)
I felt like I had so many thoughts swirling around in my head and no outlet for them, other than Clay. He was and is always a willing listener, but I needed to process by writing it down and engaging with others. Some of it was pretty thoughtful, some of it was spiritual, some of it was just silly, but it was just good for me to feel like a real person again and not just a sleep-deprived mom.
I kinda fell off the wagon after Harris was born. To be fair, life sort of halted in many ways when that beautiful, screaming, handful of an infant came to us. He was either on the boob or crying for about four months straight. Those first six months were rough… I know people can testify, I was a hot mess. I think I cried for about four months, too. Once our family re-emerged from yet another baby hell, I think I was too tired to engage in the blog. I’d rather watch The Real Housewives. (I’m a little addicted to the O.C. and Atlanta, I’m just gonna be honest.)
I think, more or less, that’s where I’ve been for going on three years now. We moved to the Seattle area four years ago, and now we’re about to move back to Memphis next month. I did have another kid, one who redeemed the baby stage for me, but life got busier and I got tireder and less willing to do something that felt like effort once the kids were asleep. Reading other people’s blogs and building my Google Reader subscription list was about as far as I got.
But today I think I was cooking dinner and I thought, “I should blog.” Really, I’ve thought that several times in the past few years, and several people have encouraged me to get back into it. But I’ve also had time to think about the other reasons why I haven’t blogged in so long, and some of those are deeper than The Real Housewives.
Towards the end, it got hard emotionally hard for me. There was something about putting myself out there for anyone to read that made me feel naked. I used my blog as a place to process my thoughts, state my beliefs, and provoke others to consider ideas that might be new to them. I really value authenticity, and I try to be honest in my relationships and my writing. But I’m also an introvert, and it got a little weird for me when it seemed like everyone I knew read my blog. Family members, old friends, old acquaintances, new friends, people who would hardly wave to me in public…. I felt a little unbalanced in those relationships. Like all of a sudden, they know everything about me and I still know only what they tell me about themselves. And I think there’s a very real element of warning in that for me, that I need to practice real discernment in the way I choose to put my thoughts out there. Because, this is the Internet, folks. It’s not like I didn’t think people would be reading.
Tonight I also had the thought, “Maybe I’m uncomfortable with blogging because I’m not fully comfortable in just being ok with who I am in front of the world.” And I think that’s a big part of it. I’m a very opinionated person who hates confrontation. (Not a good combination.) I like to challenge ideas and chart new courses, but I have a hard time not taking it personally when someone disagrees with me. I’m a little too concerned with how others perceive me, and way too fearful of being misunderstood.
But, I’m 31. I think it’s time for me to grow-up a little, develop a thicker skin, and start being more of my real self. Weirdly enough, I think that means it’s time to start blogging again. It’s going to take all my strength to drag my eyes away from yet another episode of Property Brothers, but I’m really going to try to do what I know is a healthy and growing process for me.
I might offend you. (I’m not trying to, so I apologize if I do!) I might annoy you. (I’m sure it happens.) I might bore you. But I need to write, and I need it for me as much as for my readers. I think I lost almost all of my subscribers when I switched platforms, but for now this is where I’ll be. Doing my best to be honest.