I took Marlowe to our local park yesterday. We come to this park often, its close, there’s birds to feed, and a tiny playground that’s just her size. Yesterday though, yesterday I asked her if she wanted to climb the hill we sometimes pass. She did of course, and loved it. I can tell you the last time she climbed that hill, it was the first time she climbed it. It was over a year ago, 14ish months ago— last April. The day was similar yesterday– muggy, scattered storms, and fear of torrential downpour. Oddly enough, and completely unplanned, yesterday she was wearing the same dress and shoes as that day, but one size larger in each, and in different colors.
I think about that day a lot, the first time she climbed that hill (but on the other side). It was a day that Alex and I both had off of work. It was one of the many times, we decided to spend our time together, to (sometimes hesitantly) try to work things out together– but without anyone knowing. We did this often, this back and forth, 1,000 more times than I’ve ever written about. It had been emotional and complicated, to say the least (but I think you know that). I’m tempted to write that “it was more work than it was worth at times”, but the truth is, it wasn’t— It’s something we’ve both worked hard for. That 1,000 times I’ve never written about were really good, sometimes bad, something that people hardly know about, and something everyone will view differently— even him and I. That back and forth, the tugging and pulling on both our ends— it got us here— to a place of real acceptance, acknowledgment, and unconditional love today.
Anyway, I digress. Our moods weren’t great that day. I knew something was off, I could feel it. What was off, I’m not sure, I’ve forgotten about it now. We picked up falafel, and drove around looking for a place to eat. I told him I knew of a park, one I hadn’t been to since I was in summer camp, but I remember liking it once. This idea, this day, this secretive lunch date together, changed my life forever. As I navigated the way to this new-old park, I stumbled upon a “for sale” sign– a sign I wouldn’t have passed by otherwise. It pointed to a neighborhood I had never heard of before, something that looked small, but most likely agreeable. I took note, and drove back the next day. That day and that sign led me to this spot I’m sitting in today. No, I mean, it was more than that, there was thousands and thousands of some visible and some intangible events that led to this moment of who I am and where I am (and who I’m with), but that day? It’s a bigger event that no one really knew about that found me this house, I saw, I liked, I waited 6 months for, and I worked hard to create a space that I’m proud of. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.
As I sit here with my family asleep, the hundreds of birds singing outside, and the sun making it’s point to rise just between the persistent clouds, I wonder how much I may have created and how much has just found me. I tend to be more passive. Indifferent to much, but always open to flowing with the changing events around me. I like to make the spaces I’m in beautiful and comfortable. I fight for what I believe in. I always fight for what’s right, even if it means me or the people closest to me are wrong and the opposing side is right. I like to fight for myself—– when its worth it. Even when coming to a point of (unneeded defense), I tend to just give a shrug of irrelevance, because my fight is not with someone’s vision of me, but with who I really am. That shrug, I do it a lot, it’s my safety to stay in the middle, I don’t have to do much but be myself, work for the life I want, take care of the people around me, be honest, and let the world keep happening.
Sometimes I think it’s silly, but I wonder where I would be if I never started this blog. Not here, that’s for sure. I’ve gone back and forth a few times with whether I want to continue it or if I should just quietly sneak away from it all (like I do so often with so many things around me). But I like this place. And I’ve said it a lot, especially lately, but I’m certain that I’ve gained far more than I’ve lost from this blog. In fact, I haven’t lost anything at all… so why not keep going? Do I dislike the idea of people assuming they know me by the few words and pictures I share? Sure. Do I dislike the fact that people will shed judgement, whether I ask for it or not? Of course, but it’s part of it— that’s part of this whole open public sharing thing. It opens up your flaws and leaves you vulnerable– if you allow it. It’s human nature for people to assume, judge, and deduce without a proper second thought or accurate reasoning— we all do it, until we realize how artless it truly is. Maybe I’m bias, but the real art is in being open, honest, putting ourselves out there, completely aware of all our faults— not holding them against anyone else, and finally, most importantly, being able to shrug it all off (and laugh it off too). If I’m completely honest, which I always am, no one can ever hold anything against me. It’s all already out there, there’s no back and forth, I am aware, I am happy regardless of second judgement, and I’m able to just relax in this good place I’m at.
When I look back on this blog, I wonder what I would have done differently, not much. I don’t, not for a second regret how open I’ve been. The crap between Alex and I, it would have been there whether I wrote about it or not. It’s a past we share. It wasn’t at all a fairytale, but it’s (really) good now— and thats what really maters for our family. It was truly awful at times, and no amount of puppy dog and kitty cat fluffing was going to make it better. It was good to get it out there, to gain connections with other people experiencing similar situations– to feel I wasn’t alone in the bullshit and for them to feel that too. That connection is lost for some since things have changed. I understand that, and I try not to take it personal, because life has changed, like it will always keep on doing. I’m certain I’ve lost readers with my back and forth and changing life, and this is something I’m absolutely okay with. I don’t write to create stories to please others and keep numbers, I write about my life and the small things I enjoy that keep me happy. I think theres only one post, I can maybe look back on that I don’t like… and you know what it is? Not one of open rambling thoughts where I let all my emotional vomit spew out, but a silly sponsored type post. It didn’t feel natural, and it felt forced. Now, I’ve learned, if something doesn’t fit organically, I turn it away. There are still sponsored posts and ads here, but that? Well, it’s a business that allowed me to raise my daughter on my own while leaving the house only part time and spend the majority of my time with her— something so rare for most single moms. And now it’s a business thats helps us cover so many of the expenses one has when having a family, a home, and a quiet and enjoyable life. But more than a business, it’s brought me connections with some of these women, blog writers, and shop owners, that have become real friendships– that I am SO incredibly lucky for.
This growing blog, while I never put much effort to make it grow, it did. And sometimes, sometimes I wish it wouldn’t anymore, because there’s always bad that comes with the good—- but it keeps going and shrinks and expands, and it finds it’s own path while I just sit here and let it go. No matter what, it will be ever-changing, just like life… but you know what? I’m grateful for it, it’s been good to me. It’s gotten me through good times, bad times, it’s been a creative outlet, a friend maker, a memory holder (and maker too!), and it’s supported my family along the way. It’s also played a big part in getting me in this spot, at this moment, this happy place— where I can look back on the good and the bad, without judgment of myself. I can go back and forth, but really, it’s this openness, this honesty, and the fact that I cannot make life stop or slow it down (even if I wanted to), that’s gotten me here. And I’m okay with it, I really like this place.
I don’t expect anyone to read this, especially not today! It’s long, it’s a holiday, and its a party day! I’m off to set up for an amazing day of celebrating with new and old friends and I cannot wait. Happy fourth of July everyone!