When I started blogging, my children were two and four years old. My oldest went to part-time preschool from September through May. My youngest was in diapers. My family lived a state away, and my husband was gone eleven hours a day.
My entire existence looked something like this.
Pictures taken by children three and under on a Fisher-Price camera.
I had known for my entire life that I needed to be a mom just as clearly as I knew that I was hungry, thirsty, tired. Whatever instinct is supposed to take root when the double X chromosome wins the race was alive and kicking in me from my Cabbage Patch Kid days until the moment my husband finally said, “Yes. We can try.”
What I did not know was what else I wanted to be. Who else I was. I taught English and studied psychology and directed musicals. But none of those descriptors ever seemed to stick as an identifier.
So when “mom” took hold in February of 2004, everything else about me seemed to disappear.
When I sat down to write my first blog post, I was crying out into the void to figure out who I was and how I had become so completely cut off from the rest of the world.
So when does this happen in a mother’s life? When does a woman get to the point where her former self is so far in the distant past that she hurls at the speed of light towards what feels very much like a man’s mid-life crisis?
I missed this person. I wanted her back. She loved life and did things and went places. And yes, I loved my children and we made crafts and went to the zoo and lived life, but there was some spark of a person that was fading, flickering. She was a person I used to really enjoy. I honestly wondered if she still existed.
A funny thing happened once I began writing. I not only found my voice again, that person who was introspective and angry and passionate and funny, but I remembered how much I loved music and travel and art. I remembered how much I loved people and dancing and good food. I remembered that professional achievement used to be on my radar. That alongside of my dream to be a mom had always been my dream to be an author. I remembered to care for myself while caring for others, my marriage became better, my parenting improved. I renewed my faith, I spent time in therapy, I ran a 5k. I built a business, I wrote two books, I joined a band, I helped pay the mortgage again!
Blogging truly changed everything. Everything.
And I wrote about it all.
And then it all became too much. Overthinking every detail of my life became my very existence and I didn’t want to talk about any of it anymore. The blog posts, the therapy sessions, the people coming up to me and seemingly knowing me intimately while I struggled to remember if we had met. People around me were running around as if on fire, chasing blog statistics, an invitation, a social media goal, trying desperately to keep up with the next big thing, the latest platform or tool.
I didn’t care.
I just didn’t care anymore.
What was the point of finding my lost life – creating a new life – if I couldn’t take time to enjoy it or the people in it? When would I reach enough?
Something broke and overthinking, oversharing, expressing every little detail of my life and yay! creating the appropriate pinnable image! became so far off the radar of what brought me joy that I had to walk away.
So for the last year I’ve been slinking around in the corners of blogging, occasionally inspired to share, mostly tossing half-hearted attempts at writing into my drafts folder.
Today I feel like writing again. Yesterday I felt the same. Tomorrow? I have no idea.
But I do know that I don’t ever want to go back to that navel-gazing, selfie-taking, personal brand developing, family missing, exhaustion creating, soul stifling world again.
And worse than losing myself, I don’t ever want to become sick of myself again.