I have been pretty quiet around here for the last little while, and for that I’m sorry. Things have been a bit of a struggle for me of late, and although there are lots of things I want to say, stories and thoughts I want to share with you all, the words have just been stuck.
I’ve been fighting with the demons in my head again, not knowing whether it is a result of post-vacation blues, the loss of two of our beloved kitties, or the fact that it feels as though my CRPS has a mind of its own sometimes and that mind is determined to push my mind to its absolute limits before it cracks. Maybe it’s all of those things and maybe it’s none if them. I don’t know.
Depression lies, you guys.
It plays with your mind and your heart and tells you that no one cares what you have to say, that you aren’t any good, that no one would notice if your words or your voice or your little corner of the internet just quietly disappeared. It sneaks into your head with rejections, with comparisons, with envy. It tells you not to bother because you won’t get *It anyways.
*what is It anyway?
I’m embarrassed to say that those words, those thoughts, those lies got into my head. I started to look around at other bloggers I knew and compare myself. I tried to keep up and follow “the rules for being a success”, changing myself and the way I did things, trying to make myself into something that I was not, and hating every second of it. I wished I could be somehow better, but didn’t know how.
I got caught up in it and it started to make me resent my blog.
If these were the steps I had to follow, the courses I had to take, the money I had to spend and the changes I needed to make, I didn’t want it. As a result, my writing suffered. I tried to change things so much that the words simply stopped coming. My heart and my brain knew something wasn’t right, so they simply refused to provide me with any material to mold in this new image. This place that was once where my heart and soul resided, this place where it was safe for me to open up, be raw and real and hopefully make just one person feel like someone else understood, just wasn’t anymore. I struggled to find a niche to define me and couldn’t, so began to question why?
Why would anyone care about my words if they didn’t all fit into the neat little box that was a niche? How would they find me? I began to obsess about numbers. How many people ‘liked’ my page? Why couldn’t I get lots of hearts on Instagram? Were my pictures that bad? Did I not use the right hashtags or join the right groups? What was I missing? Even following along, doing the things I was supposed to do, it just wasn’t working. Why?
I had stopped being myself.
I felt so compelled to compete, and follow the rules and be like everyone else that I forgot just what it was that I brought to the table that no one else did.
Perfectly imperfect, broken, silly, crazy me.
I’m not a defined niche person, and so cannot be one as a blogger or social media influencer either. I don’t focus my life on just parenting, or fashion, or makeup. I am not a professional photographer who is able to successfully stage every picture, not do I own a snow white backdrop. I don’t plan my every move and action in life, and so I needed the freedom to write about what was pressing on my mind at that moment, even if it didn’t fit into a schedule or calendar. I don’t fit into a neat little box and so neither could this place, no matter how hard I tried to make it.
Something had to change…
From the first moment I started One Crazy Kid, I wanted it to be honest and real. I wanted it to be a place where we could share adventures and laughs, failures and successes, be happy and sad. A lot has happened in our lives since I wrote my very first post. When I first started blogging, almost exactly 6 years ago, I was a full-time working mama with an off-the-wall bonkers preschooler. I had two working hands, a very much alive dad and 3 cats. Now, there is exactly one of those things that is true.
The mama part.
That is a lot of change in 6 years and you guys have been here and supported me through some of the worst and best times of my life. You have let me bare myself body and soul. We’ve cried and laughed and been silly. We’ve inspired and challenged and lifted each other, together, as a community. And yet somewhere, along the line, I got caught up in trying to be a “good” blogger that I started to misplace my ability to be myself. I wanted to give the world a more polished, finished, shiny version of myself that, let’s be frank, just doesn’t exist.
This has been an ongoing struggle for me – this need for bloggers to be defined only as the best, most edited and censored version of themselves. I tried to just be positive when things felt like they were crumbling around me, and since there wasn’t anything to share that fit that bill, I just didn’t write. I tried to carefully stage and edit my pictures before putting them up but it made me want to stop snapping. I tried to follow the formulas for growing your Facebook page and actually lost followers. I know these strategies work well for some people, and that is fantastic, but, as I found out, I am not one of them and you know what? That is okay too.
It all felt wrong.
So I’m done being some half-truth, sanitized version of myself to make others happy. I’m going to share my truth and hope that it rings true with another heart. I may not be the perfect housewife or mum or blogger and I might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s okay too. I figure that if my voice is true, then the people who it does resonates with will find me. And I’m cool with that. So to hell with trying to be something I’m not. And this goes out to anyone struggling with this.
Depression has a nasty way of telling you that you are never enough, that other people are better, smarter, prettier or happier than you. But it’s not true. We all struggle, we all fall, but we can learn from it, can learn to say to depression ” you will not change me today” and tell society that not only do you not want to be defined by the four walls of the box you’ve been put in, you don’t even want the box. We don’t need these boxes, you guys. We can be triangles and hexagons, mandalas and infinity loops. We can be whatever the heck we want to be, and maybe that changes from day to day. When you are not true to yourself, though, your mind and heart can tell. That much I know.
I promise you that I am going to do my best to be as open and honest as I can, no more trying to hide behind a mask of smiles all the time. We all have something to contribute to the world, and I hope to let this place be part of my contribution, part of our community’s contribution.
So thank you for sticking with me, or for joining me on this crazy ride we call life. Now let’s get back to being real, about the good, the ugly and everything in between.