Succumbing to a list of things I vowed never to do
For the obvious reasons that we all think of when the word blogger is used-and even more, mommy-blogger. Julie Powell says it well, “Nowadays anyone with a crap laptop and an Internet connection can sound their barbaric yawp, whatever it may be.” And yet, here I am.
After years of checking social media accounts, daily, a month long break from it left me surprisingly lonely. My mind and hands quickly found something else to give my time to. I found myself drawn into reading other women’s thoughts on, motherhood, faith, and cooking. Mindfully clicking on a specific link rather than mindlessly scrolling through photos made me feel I had more control about how I was spending my time.
I’ve kept my journals from grade school, read my eight year old self to sleep, and have fallen in love with songs for their lyrics over their melodies. Letters on a page evoke feelings, feelings that can resemble a series of broken pieces, when written out, become the puzzle they were intended to be. Moving my heart and drawing it into action. For whatever reason, it’s always been words for me.
Elizabeth Gilbert pens my concerns surrounding all this perfectly by saying,
“You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it.
You’re afraid somebody else already did it better.
You’re afraid everybody else already did it better.
You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark.
You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing.
You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, and effort.
You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline.
You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree.
You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.)
You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. (Yup!)
You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal.
You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud.
A heavy exhale with the realization my anxieties are not all that unique and the charge from the Apostle Peter to use my gift (see fear #7) to serve others, has me writing my first post. It would be unnatural for a vocalist to sing off key or a chef to unmistakingly add too much salt. Our hearts are authored to express themselves uniquely. Admittedly, creating through writing has helped me narrow in on parts of myself I had and hadn’t wished to see.
With some hesitation and restraint (Proverbs 10:19) I am excited my words have a place outside of a coiled notebook.
JUMP ON A HEALTH FOOD TREND
No matter the amount of judgement I’ve given as someone excitedly shares the foods they are not to touch for the week, or the level of eye roll when someone decides they are on a diet the moment we get a table at the restaurant, I evaluate my food and eating habits, often.
Despite the inconvenience and look-at-me factor, I have gone weeks denying myself of gluten, dairy, meat, GMO’S, or sugar. There was an entire year where I didn’t consume any form of bread, all I craved that sad year was anything fluffy. I have moved past the days of trying to convince myself that a rice cake is the better option for the base of a good sandwich. I most likely wear glasses now because of the amount of food labels I’ve squinted to read.
And yet, if I’m being really honest, Whole 30 is still something that I’m not completely against trying. I am able to pick and choose from the abundance of food available, what a privilege. Being intentional with what I eat, while not putting too much thought into it in between meals, encouraging my girlfriend when she suddenly decides she’s a pescatarian, and sharing a cup of ice cream with my daughter occasionally, is what’s working for me right now. However, ask me the next time I finish Netflix’s new food doc.
PRACTICAL OVER TRENDY CLOTHING
My 19 year old self would cringe.
This summer I bought my first pair of Birkenstock’s, not for their aesthetic but for the fact that my feet have never felt anything more comfortable. I walked on clouds for three months. I lived in those shoes this summer.
A toque no matter how great the attempt to do my hair.
My grey, high neckline TYR one piece bathing suit
Driving gloves from Costco over faux leather
I ditched the thin ankle socks that hide beneath my boots in exchange for something more along the lines of what my Dad wears hunting.
There is a time and a place to look put together and it is not at -30 degrees.
USE AN EREADER
I was way too authentic for anything other than paperback...and now I’m three books in, thanks to the free kindle app. The E-reader also removes the ego-factor of showcasing how many books I’ve read, which is what I admit, my book shelf was doing.
I’ll always be a sucker for a heavy, deckled edge paper copy but now, read with ease knowing I helped save some trees.
An exercise in humility, telling myself I’m allowed to change, and a reminder to not take myself too seriously.