Perhaps you’ve noticed that things look a little different over here? That’s because I recently completed a full re-design of my website and added some things that will make it more fun and user friendly for all of you (like easier email signup – which you’ll find at the bottom of the page. I may have happy danced over that one).
If you’ve been around for a while, you won’t see a big change in content. Rather, I simply updated the look of my website to make my purpose as a blogger more obvious to new readers.
This is my third blogging home since I began this journey five years ago. At the time, I was looking for little more than a cheap and convenient outlet to explore a secret passion for writing. I started telling stories about my journey as a new mom, and I shared things that were safe and fairly universal to the experience of motherhood.
But my experience of motherhood has been far from universal (or at least, far from what appears universal).
Occasionally, I shared the other side of my story with vulnerable honesty – the side that knows motherhood isn’t all snuggles and giggles – and while some readers identified with my story, others reacted with concern or pity.
Out of fear that I would continue to be misunderstood, I learned to walk the line – in my writing and in my life. But something happened over time. As I found the courage to share deeper truths about who I am and where I struggle, you – many of you – stepped alongside me (on line and in real life) and you taught me that I am not alone in the way I experience the world.
You also taught me that life changes when we find our people.
It changes because it’s exhausting to feel alone in a world where everyone else appears to be doing life better and the only bits of advice we ever hear are things like… Have faith! Choose joy! Be present!
Well, what if you desperately want to do those things, but your mind is so busy and your thoughts are so loud that the choice isn’t always so simple?
We live in a noisy world, but for people like me, it’s more than noise. It’s a deafening, stifling roar. On many days, the break-neck speed of life in today’s culture is more than my brain can process. Loud, chaotic, or unfamiliar situations overwhelm me, and the painful parts of life hit me hard, especially the unexpected ones.
And so, from a young age I learned to expect that pain and prepare for it. I built walls around my heart and committed myself to what was safe and predictable, choosing comfort over adventure and familiarity over discovery.
Before I knew it, I became addicted to order, certainty, and control.
Of course, I didn’t know any of this at the time. I found out the hard way – the way so many of us discover our bruises.
I had children.
The minute I became a mom, my heart’s protective walls came tumbling down. I lost access to the arsenal of coping skills I had so carefully crafted over the last two decades. I often felt vulnerable, anxious, and lost.
But my children also opened my heart to the deepest love and the greatest joy I had ever known; and they taught me that we can’t guard ourselves against deep pain without also walling out true joy.
It was a price I no longer wanted to pay – and one I didn’t want my children to pay. After all, how could I raise children who can process deep pain and experience true joy if I couldn’t do it myself?
I decided that it’s worth opening ourselves to both – the pain and the beauty of this life and it’s story. It’s worth taking down the walls and opening our hearts. Worth asking hard questions and chasing big dreams. Worth embracing the cycle of rising and falling and rising again. And again. And again.
Over the last five years, I walked through that process and I shared it in the stories I’ve told here. For those of you who have walked with me, I can’t thank you enough for the love and support and the realization that there are so many of us whose minds have lives of their own.
Although it’s exhausting and challenging at times, having an overly busy mind isn’t always bad.
Because we may be high-strung, worry-addicted, over-thinkers, but we are also deeply passionate, highly devoted champions of hope.
These days, when I get the occasional comments of pity or concern, it doesn’t bother me so much. I know who I am and I know that my life – every good and beautiful and hard and challenging part of it – is a journey I would never trade for even the smoothest ride through life.
So here’s to the need for constant reassurance that everything’s gonna be okay.
Here’s to putting worry in perspective and knowing that God does have our backs.
To the tears of joy we can’t always explain.
To the struggles and the victories… and lots of deep breaths.
And here’s to the moments that bring steady, small doses of quiet relief to our busy minds.
Welcome to the next chapter, friends. It’s an honor to share the journey with you.