As February draws to a close – the month of my blogging anniversary – I thought that this was as good a time as ever to reflect on what this past year of blogging has taught me.
I can sincerely say that it has been an eye-opening experience. Finding the one thing that I can call my own, the one thing (besides my family, of course) that I have fallen in love with, the one thing that has given me serious cause for self-reflection. WRITING.
Looking back… I have always looked to define myself through personal achievement and succeeding at the goals I set for myself. For example, I got my first qualification in Education, my second in Human Social Sciences (both on my own dime and while working full-time), then – when that wasn’t quite enough – I got qualifications in Play, Art, Puppet, and Sand Therapy. Perhaps this is because I grew up never feeling “good” enough. Never feeling like I had what it takes to show people that I was actually capable of more than what they expected. I felt that if I had a piece of paper declaring I was good at something, then that would be accepted.
Roll forward to the day I became a mother and suddenly (for me) everything I had done before – to seek personal satisfaction and a sense of achievement seemed futile and completely irrelevant. I remember my first moment of parenthood, looking into the eyes of my sons and thinking this is what it’s all about. This is MY purpose.
Parenting has by far been the most difficult yet rewarding experience of my life. All the mistakes I had made as an ignorant teenager/young adult, all the difficult experiences that I was far too young to have gone through, became life lessons on how to raise my own children.
I was now able to look back on my life (albeit a young one) and see it through different lenses. Instead of holding on to my anger, I was able to turn those experiences into life-changing moments. A life of experiences that shaped me into the person I am today. Funny enough, I can laugh about most of them, and write about them, openly and honestly, so that my children and maybe other people can find some form of comfort in them.
And what blogging has given me, essentially, is a platform to share that with others.
So… What has blogging taught me?
- To live without fear of being honest. I’ve always been a “say it like it is” kind of person. Maybe too much so. :) Blogging has taught me, to be honest without fear of what others might think of me. To say what is on my heart in a kind and loving way. Showing respect and understanding.
- It’s OK to be me. I’ve been asked what my “niche” is? I have absolutely no clue. I just write. And that’s OK. There are times that I wish I could write hilarious comic posts or academic articles, posts that go viral, however, I have come to realize that I write as I feel. And that’s OK. That’s who I am.
- To live without shame. It’s easier to write for people you don’t know but when you know that you are sharing a part of yourself in a sometimes “raw” manner with people that are close to you, you can’t help feeling a little apprehensive about how you will be perceived. I remember my mom chatting to me about a post I had written, she commented on how she had never realized that I had felt so deeply about a particular experience. It opened up the door to such a beautiful and meaningful conversation, one I will never forget. We all have moments we regret, but there is nothing we can do about that, except to acknowledge it and move on.
- To challenge ‘self’ more. There is no point in becoming “stagnant” in life. It only leads down an endless stairwell of dissatisfaction with the gifts we have been given. Blogging has taught me to push myself more, to expect more of myself, and to reflect on the example that I want to leave for my children. Nothing beats knowing how hard you worked to achieve that mountainous goal that you never thought you would accomplish.
- Showing emotion is not a weakness. I’ve learned that I am an emotional person. I feel things deeply, people and situations touch me on many levels. Instead of my usual attitude of brushing it off, I’ve learned to engage in those emotions, write about them and share them in the hope that others might be empowered to share of themselves as well.
Wow, what a long post! Thank you to each and every one of you for your unending support, encouragement and for continuing to read my humble ramblings!
I look forward to sharing what this Messy Mama has in store for 2017 – watch this space :)