Thursday, June 27, 2013

It takes guts

Way back in 2010, when I started this little blogging hobby, it was a new year's resolution.  A way to share the stories I'd been writing via email to a group of family and friends each month.  For whatever reason, I felt as though more than just my 'groupies' might have an interest in what I had to say.

Turns out, I was right.  Granted, I'm not an out-of-the-ordinary, cutting-edge blogger aficionado; but through here, I've been able to share stories that reach out to people beyond my little email group.  It's so humbling, reassuring, and greatly appreciated when I receive feedback on something I've written that has touched a space in someone's heart--the humorous side, the heartfelt side, and everywhere in between.  So to those who have taken the time to comment {via Facebook or directly on the posts}, thank you.  Those words seem too small to share my appreciation for the acknowledgement that I'm actually doing something that others enjoy {or, at least, I assume so because if you're like me, you don't tend to read things you don't like/relate to/find enjoyable}. But, the words come from the most genuine space in my heart.

I still hesitate to call myself a 'writer', even though I spend a good chunk each week doing so {definitely not as much as I'd like...but mommyhood and sometimes sheer exhaustion trump my abilities to stay up late, clicking away at the key board}.  I know in the raw sense of the word I'm a writer, but I withhold labeling myself as such, because to me, that means putting myself into the same category as the fellow bloggers whom I look up to, respect, and learn from daily when I read their posts.  I don't view this as a comparative or competitive relationship, but more like a student-teacher dynamic, where I'm often times feeling like 'the new kid' who came in during the middle of the year.

This past week however, a fellow blogger took a chance on me.  Through a mutual group on the social media pipeline of Facebook, she asked for guest bloggers.  For whatever reason {perhaps I had too much coffee that day}, I contacted her and we hashed out the details.  Simple enough, right?

Um...yeah.  At any given time, I have about 3-5 blog posts either sitting half-written in my draft box or in my {less reliable} brain.  It's merely a matter or organizing my time, caffeine consumption, and children's behavior {HA!} to get the words out and onto the World Wide Web {or is it 'into' the Web? know what I mean}.  But when it came time to writing my guest post?  In other words, blogger's block.  I took my own advice--the advice I gave to my students when I taught writing--and was looking at everything through a 'writer's eye' {even though I'm not quite a 'writer'!}, and could not.find.inspiration.  Frustration and nervousness set in as the calendar crept closer and closer to my submission date.

And then, as it always seems to happen, when I stepped away from the task and took some time for me...the light bulb.  A well-timed phone call from a dear friend {and new momma} brought things full-circle for me.  Our conversation reached deep all the while existing in a space of 'catch up'.  I listened as she shared things that I only wished I recognized that early into motherhood.  I don't think she realized at the time, but I really took such joy in the words we exchanged.  Not only for the obvious reason that it had been waaay too long since we spoke rather than rely on social media to 'chat' but because the connection we share has reached a new level.  Aside from college-based history we share {and that's another blog post...or two!}, we are now both in the 'mommy boat'.  We are both navigating a world where SUPERMOM tries in earnest to overshadow the title I tend to prefer: Okayish Mom.  We're trying to see past a world where the ugliness of competition and fear and shame and guilt take away from the sheer beauty of raising your children as best as you know how {and some days, I'll admit that I leave it up to sheer survival: it isn't the best I know how, it's the best I can.}  We're relying on innate feelings and instincts rather than what the outside world tells you is 'best'.  But, all the while, we need to recognize that it's okay important necessary to encompass a space where you can ask for help without fear of ridicule or shame.  Every mom needs help once in a while {or...more often than that}.

So this.  This is the post I wrote for a fellow blogger whom I consider a writer, a teacher in my little blogging community, and a fellow momma with whom I showed a bit of courage--putting myself 'out there' beyond the walls of my own blog, for many others to read and {hopefully} enjoy.  A leap of faith that I'm pretty proud of taking, being a 'non-writer' and all...

Thank you, Ashley, at It's Fitting for the opportunity!

Find Ashley on her blog, as well as find her on Facebook to read more!

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