I’m coming up to the one year anniversary of starting this blog. I thought by now I would have an idea of where I was going with this.
I didn’t know then and I still don’t know now.
I can’t completely figure out why I started in the first place.
I was between here and there. Of that I am sure. I was sensing I was leaving one part of my life behind- the one where I was a Mom 24/7, managing a household and a small business and working part time. I was absorbed with caretaking, running errands, tending to the needs of others; the needs of my family and the one I was raised in.
I knew the change was coming.
In a short period of time, ( about 8 months) my friend died, my father died ( the most significant relationship outside of that with my husband and children), my dog died, two of my children left home, the economy brought my business to stagnation and my part time job …..well……. the economy did a number on that one too.
It made for a perfect country western song.
I was at a standstill.
I considered buying a harmonica. Y’know…to sing me some blues.
I was this close to self pity- the really all encompassing type. I romanticized sitting on the floor of a dirty ramshackle of a shed, harmonica cupped close to my mouth whining its distress in the early evening as the sun went down; my dog howling beside me trying to keep up with my tune.
Oh wait, that’s right, my dog died.
I was devastated by the losses and at times annoyed by them.
I was annoyed to have been right…about sensing that change was coming and I was annoyed that I hadn’t properly prepared for all of this to happen all at once.
I hadn’t planned on any of the above happening. It definitely was not part of the visions I had of life in my 40’s when I envisioned it in my 20’s.
I had never planned on what life would look like after 40, other than a faint picture of my moseying along, in complete health, with a well established and lucrative career, enjoying weekend shopping, travelling and Sunday family dinners with my grandchildren.
I hadn’t planned for hot flashes and having to keep a magnifying glass in the kitchen so I could read the list of ingredients in my recipe book.
I hadn’t planned on using a form of Braille to press my password onto the key pad on the debit machine. I feel for the location of the numbers rather than see them.
I always forget my glasses and where I put my keys and where I parked my car.
I never planned on a bulging disc after a simple sneeze.
I hadn’t planned on losing people I loved. I hadn’t planned on grieving. I hadn’t planned on losing my job.
I hadn’t planned for the time when my children would no longer need me. Although that was the end goal when I raised them; that they wouldn’t need me or anyone else. They would be confident to go into the world on their own…..which is exactly what they were doing.
I never planned on being in this position.
But here it was.
I couldn’t quite envision what the next part of my life could look like. I couldn’t see a thing. I had come to the end of this road in my life. And I didn’t know which way to go next.
So there I was, between here and there. I had to do something. I had to cross that street.
It’s hard to step off that curb when you can’t see to the other side especially when there’s a lot of traffic whirring by…..and it’s foggy….. And for all you know, that street is a mile long….sprinkled, in all probability, with a lot of pot holes…..
I tried to figure out a way around it. But…. time was ticking and ……
I was bored with standing there. That’s when I decided to step off…………
At some point in our lives we have come to the end of a road. We have arrived at a great intersection. We have to make a choice on which way to go because we have to keep going.
Some people come to that place and leave a marriage or a career that is no longer working or they realize it never did.
Some people take up new hobbies to spark them forward. Some move across country to create a new life. Others make themselves over, losing weight or getting fit. Some start running marathons.
We’re either running from something or to something. It doesn’t matter; they all involve taking some kind of action to get you on the road you were meant to be on.
Given that my marriage was delightful, I was still passionate about my career as an artist; I had enough hobbies to keep me interested and was perfectly content to live in the city I grew up in, it left me considering what else I could do as a symbolic gesture of moving forward.
I considered running marathons but wondered if the sling that held my bladder in place could withstand the constant impact of my body hitting pavement with each stride I took in that race.
My bladder had been through enough; the 3 childbirths had pushed it out of its nesting spot and poked out of my body dangling like a button hanging from a thread. Some days I thought it was so low, I imagined I could trip over it or whip it around my ankle and hop over it like that “Skip it” game you had as a kid. You know the one where you put that little ring around your ankle and the ring was attached to a little ball of some kind that you jumped over as it swung around.
No….I don’t think I was cut out for running. But I felt like I needed to run….for my life.
So I did what some would consider fearless and others would consider stupid and others might even call embarrassing. I started a blog. Instead of running for my life, I wrote for it.
I was not a writer; never even considered it. I just wanted to do something….that would conquer a fear. That by doing so might empower me a little.
There was only this. I was a little afraid of speaking up and revealing who I really was and what I really thought. I might take a few plunges forward and then two steps back when the response wasn’t encouraging. I held back because I thought I would be an embarrassment, that maybe I had nothing of value to say. Maybe I would find out that I wasn’t that smart or wise or funny. Maybe people would leave my life when they knew that I wasn’t perfect or strong all of the time. Maybe people would leave if I told them the truth that life was not always good and my childhood was at times very difficult. That is the truth.
Maybe they would judge me because I really do think it’s ok to say some things are not ok.
Maybe they would leave because I am stronger than they thought and I can’t be shut up.
Maybe they would leave because who was I to be any expert on anything. What did I know?
Maybe they would leave because they think it’s not normal to talk about life and spirituality and loss and grief and wonderful everyday miracles because….it doesn’t feel normal to them.
What’s normal anyway? There is no normal. We’re all just doing the best we can with what we have.
This is my normal. Talking about what moves me today. Sharing my stories, whatever they may be; to anyone who wants to sit a while and chat.
I don’t apologize for that. It’s just the way I roll.
I did lose people in my life when I started this blog and it made me sad. There were a few that were embarrassed of me. But that’s ok, it wasn’t about them. This was for me.
I didn’t want to live the next chapter of my life worrying about people leaving me or judging me for being…. me. I was willing to risk it to really get to where I needed to go. I‘ve got one life to live, may as well be fully me while I’m living it.
I do know a thing or two about getting through a thing or two or ten, because I have. And I know about how to have a happy fulfilling wonderful life anyway.
Writing on a blog may be “not normal” for you, but for me…….cathartic.
I blogged for my life and I found it again.
As my kids would say “H8ers to the left”.
So…..there was a higher purpose to this. Weird way to go but it’s what I had to do.
Someday I may stop this blog. Or I might still be here writing my thoughts when I’m 90. I’ll know when it’s time to take a different road.
In the meantime,
Happy anniversary to me!
And as Joe Dirt would say “Keep on keepin’ on!”