Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Head First, Fearless."

Oh the soul searching I've been doing. 

Wait, maybe soul searching isn't the best choice of words.  Deep thinking is probably more appropriate.  More like, I have sensed this stirring inside me... for something more.  Wanting more for my kids.  Wanting them to squeeze more of the craziness and fun out of this one life we've been given?!  Does that make sense?  I have this stirring to do something... what that is?  I have no idea.  But that's not really the point of this post.  It's more of a branch of a bigger tree.

Anyways, I was marveling at the new blogger (sucky me hasn't blogged in months), with all its fancy settings.  In awe, I sat scrolling through old blog posts and reading the statistics for each post.  I have written 948 posts.  And it was so entirely interesting to me which posts were the most "hit on."  I have posts about flipping everything...everything.  I have posts that are filled with only pictures.  I have posts about big, fun, special events.  I have posts that are happy, cheerful, I'm shooting rainbows out of my ears kind of posts. And I have depressing, bad days, running for the hills kind of posts.  It's the latter of these that have received the most hits. 

 I came across this particular one, which was my highest hitting post.  527 reads.  Pretty cool!  So of course I went back and read it, excited to see what it was that was so interesting.

It turns out, nothing about the post was interesting or extraordinary.  It was the opposite... very ordinary.  It was one of those "rough" need a glass of wine, kind of days.  But apparently something about it was striking. 

I started thinking.

Blogging this past year has been a complete fail for me.  Not because I don't have things to say or pictures to show.  It's the exact opposite actually;  There are many things to say, but they're things I don't want to say... and pictures I have, but not necessarily pictures I want to show.

This past year has been a hurricane for us.  While we've found refuge in the glorious place we live, our family and the great friends we've met, we still have a lot of wreckage that has followed us, and will continue to follow us. 

I believe I stopped blogging because in between posts about the beach or going to the local frozen yogurt shop, there would inevitably be the posts about transition.  And foreclosure.  Or going into the WIC office for the first time. Starting over.  And those are posts I wanted to avoid.  Not just for my sake, but for the readers' sake.  I mean, really, who wants to read about the horrible day I had, where I went to buy diapers and my credit card was declined, where I retreat back to the condo only to find a letter from an attorney in Jackson confirming that yes, indeed, we've lost everything?   Shouldn't my blogging just be filled with smiling faces and beautiful things?  Awesome days spent learning about nature and classical music, colors and shapes? 

 Heck to the no.  Because that's not my life.  It never has been and it never will be.  It's taken me awhile to realize this, but it doesn't matter how stable (or unstable) financially we are, life is going to throw big fat, rotten eggs.  Whether its Henry breaking his arm at the dinner table or my little Stella getting some scary blood work back.  That's life.  And I've been too chicken to blog about it. 

Until now.  (dun dun dunnnnn........!)

As Taylor Swift says, "Head First, Fearless."  That's how I feel.  I want you to relate to me.  I want other moms out there who've had a day delivered to them straight from hell to say "YES.  I am not alone."  I want to give comfort to another mom, one of whom has just suffered a grocery store trip comparable to some kind of medieval torture, just to make it to the end of the check out line to hear "Sorry.  Insufficient funds."   If my stories of anxiety, depression, foreclosure, starting over and everything that falls in between does anything to spark even a little bit of cheer or hope into someone, then I want to say it. 

I don't want to just blog about trips to the children's museum or local petting zoo.  I want to blog about real life.  Inevitably there will be blog posts about museums, zoos and running up and down the big hill on the bay front, because we are blessed enough to be able to do these things. And it's true, my kids are my world and we do indeed, have oodles of fun!  But we also have fears, anxieties and I, myself always, always will have that ever present yet unattainable, "PERFECT MOMMY" crown hanging over my head.

The moral of the story is this:  We all have our hardships in life.  We all live in glass houses, with our own individual vices, fears and insecurities.  Unexpected surprises, tragedies, blessings; they await us all (I don't mean that to sound so doom and gloom).  But really folks, its the truth.

And if there's one thing I've learned this year, its that no amount of security will ensure you a perfect life.

You know that saying about learning to dance in the rain?  ("Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain.")  I've kind of adopted that as my motto.  Actually mine is more like embracing the finger poked, holey tomatoes, but you get the idea. 

Either way,  I'm going to continue blogging.  I'm going to be open and honest.  I'm going to blog about our wonderful mornings spent at the beach or splash park with my mom and friends.  And I'm going to blog about the double wide we just looked into renting this morning.  I'm going to snap up a million photos of my growing, precious babies, and be thankful for time with them, even if at times, its so, so hard and my perfect mommy crown falls and shatters into a million pieces.  I'm going to continue on... because imperfections and all, this is our life.

I guess all I'm asking in return is for kindness and understanding... and to keep reading.  Because your comments, love and acceptance makes my skies a little sunnier :)

Thanks friends :)


**Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally) it was pouring rain while I wrote this... I stepped outside with the camera for a few minutes during the kids' nap time to soak up some rain.  :)

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Nessa Bixler said...

thank you for sharing, and your honesty and courage is beautiful. Always reading and cheering you on.

Ashley said...

thanks so much Nessa! :)

The Paulk's said...

What a great blog post. (I've missed your blogging!) AND thanks for being so real, I think we've all been there whether we want to admit it (or share it) or not. A long time ago I can to the realization that it's not how much $$ we have or what nice things we have, but how happy and loved our kids are! Your kids will never know about your financial issues because YOU provide all the stability they will ever need!!

Jill said...

Ashley, I am going to covered up all the sadness in your life well. I had no idea and am sorry about all your hardship. BUT I do need to tell you this, when I decided to name my son Henry, one reason is because when i see pictures of Henry, I smile. He is a happy boy, all your kids are :) and they will never know the struggles. My mom and dad struggled when we were growing up and I had no clue. Ignorance is bliss. I hope all gets better. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. We love all of you for being you :)

Ashley said...

thank you Shelby :) I have missed the blogging world.

Ashley said...

aww Jill thank you! And hardship is hardship. We all have had or will have or are having our fair share of it. No need to apologize! I am a blessed mama regardless of our credit scores ;). I just wanted to get all the gunk of my chest ;)

Shannon said...

This was great! I totally agree and have felt the same way.......

Have your read Nie Nie's book? Heaven is Here? I'm not a big book worm at all and I can't put it down.......its helping me get back on track with blogging too, I wish I had a way to better think of " what I want to share" as I've become shut off or our of tune with the blogging these days!

Keep bloggin!!