The template on my blog said to "write a catchy title." The truth of the matter is I want to catch the wave of inspiration I had to blog all of the time close to 20 years ago. And then I started to feel all of this:
I was a new vegetarian with an infant and a kindergartener who had involuntarily become a
stay at home mom with a fairly new husband who worked 90 minutes away from home and living in a city where I knew no one. I guess I had time to write and needed to contact with the outside world. I was "rediscovering" myself in my new role.
My first blog was titled "The Broke Vegan." An unfortunate set of events sent my family spiraling and buying fancy food wasn't an option but I didn't want to go back to eating meat. I was also secretly battling anorexia for the second time in my adult life (I REALLY wanted to lose my baby weight and, because my husband had lost his job, I could no longer afford to go to Weight Watchers) and was eating less under the headline of "trying to go vegan" and "trying to eat more simply."
I fasted every Sunday (not "discipline"...starvation) and I cried a lot. I had an extreme case of postpartum depression and was trying my best to advocate for my son who was having behavioral issues in school. I had cut off all of my hair late in my pregnancy (long before the "natural hair movement" ) and was stressed about what it meant to be "unattractive." Gaining 46 pounds during pregnancy did not help.
Saying all of this makes me feel some type of ways; actually two ways:
Wow. I don't know I survived.
I'm thankful I did survive.
As I sit here with two grown children and a grandson (who will be busting through my door any minute, ready to play), in a home that is much bigger than the one we eventually lost, in a different city (we eventually moved to Huntsville, AL which is where my husband is from), responding to multiple emails for my services through a business I started from the ground with a minimum wage job and $.01 yoga books from eBay and preparing for a trip out of town to guest teach, I am both:
I still struggle with depression and keep a support team to help me through and to help minimize relapses with my food. While Huntsville has been home for almost 19 years, it still feels foreign sometimes because "my" extended family still lives far away. My body is now feeling the effects of both menopause and jumping up and down teaching multiple classes a week and spending some of the years, the years when I was afraid to ask for help and felt like a failure because I wasn't living the blissed out life people thought I was, surviving on protein cookies, energy drinks and multiple shots of espresso (5 or 6 at a time was normal).
And the pressure to perform like I did 15 years ago, post amazing, entertaining reels that are perfectly synced, answer emails and texts when they first come in and smile on every picture I post on social media feels like a lot. And some days I take it in stride. Days like today, well, I could throw this laptop out the window, move to a small town in Maine and take up basketweaving. I am both:
I had no intention of writing of saying any of this. I had no intention of writing a blog today. I hadn't even thought about some of this until I start typing. However, I know the purpose was to give me perspective that
I have experienced my share of failures but I am not a failure.
I have experienced my share of successes but my identity isn't wrapped up in anything I've accomplished.
Everything is temporary.
And the purpose is that someone reading this will see the duality of the human experience and give themselves both a pat on the back and a huge serving of grace. We will:
lose and win
be in the valley and on top of the mountain.
laugh incessantly and cry uncontrollably.
have days of ease and days of struggle.
On days like today, when it all feels heavy, I remember a time when it didn't. I remember that life ebbs and flows. I remember that this day will only last 24 hours and pray that I live to see the one after this one so that I can try again. On days like today, I remember that no one is perfect, we're all going through something, coming out of something or are about to go through something. I remember the days I couldn't even stand up and the days I danced for hours. I give thanks for what I have gained and hold space for the grief of what I have lost. On today, I remember the words my son says to me often when I am having a moment:
"But, Mom, we made it!!'
Indeed, we did.
Indeed, you did.
Indeed, we will.
Indeed, you will.