AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: January 13, 2014 | COMMENTS: 12 Comments
CATEGORIES: Authentic Life, Blogging Honestly, Constructive Criticism, Holidays,
When the alarm went off this morning it might as well have been a code red alert buzzing at 1000 decibels through headphones buried in the deepest part of my ear drums. After knocking my alarm clock to the floor and clearing my eyes from what seemed like a very long winter’s nap (Let’s be honest…when you haven’t put pants on for seven days waking up at 6 am feels more like 4 am) I went about waking our sleeping home from the equivalent of a monster, snow-dazed hangover.
It was dark, cold and just a little bit ugly.
Going back to school after Christmas vacation always is, but after a bonus week of pajama time due to the polar vortex this morning was just a tiny bit uglier than normal. Regardless of the fact that every single person in our house wanted to crawl back under the covers we rebooted.
It’s time to get our new year on!
For me that means getting back to the routine of writing here. I realize I haven’t been the most consistent read over the past few months. I’ve thought a lot about the reason behind my absence and as most things are in life…it’s a little bit complicated. Of course, like you, I was busy with the holidays and my family. But my recent apathy was about more than time being in short supply. I actually kind of walked away from this space because I experienced a bit of a blow this past fall that had everything to do my writing and ultimately had me questioning whether what I do here is worthwhile.
It all started when I approached a “big time” blogger about writing a guest post for her online space. It was a shot in the dark for me but given that this blogger had advertised she’d be taking a trip around the end of September, I figured she might be interested in a guest post to help her fill in the gaps that always happen when writing routines are disrupted. So, I held my breath, contacted the blogger and pitched a post. A special post. A post about Logan’s fourth birthday. I was elated when she replied within minutes of receiving my email. The guest post was on!
Cool. Or maybe not.
In retrospect I’m not sure why I thought guest blogging that post was a good idea. Traditionally I write my recap of “lessons learned” since Logan’s birthday here. In my own little corner of the blogosphere. After all, Logan is the reason this place exists and a huge part of the reason I keep it up. You see, there’s purpose behind all the funny anecdotes, family recipes and other random posts that litter this blog. Of course, I do like sharing with my friends here, but my ulterior motive has everything to do with creating a public footprint about who our family is. I figure some day he might want to know more about us and if, for some reason, I’m not able to fill in the gaps this place will be here to teach him about who I am. (The good, the bad and the ugly included.)
So why on Earth would I outsource a post as important as his fourth birthday recap?
I’ve been asking myself this question since the middle of October when it became apparent the blogger I sent it to wasn’t keen on sharing it with her readers. At first I was all, “Oh…she’s so busy. She’ll get around to it. She knows how important this is. She said so.” And those thoughts were always paired with justifications about how sharing such an important piece of my journey with a wider readership was better than sharing it here. If more people read it than it does more good…and makes everything I’ve been through more worthwhile. Right?
As time passed with no publishing my earlier dismissals for the radio silence started to fade. The blogger in question had only communicated that she was “looking for a good time to publish it” when I inquired but, as things work in my brain, I started to concoct worst case scenarios about why the piece had been shelved.
Maybe my writing was horrible or my message wasn’t authentic enough. Perhaps she found the piece overly emotional or maybe she thought I came off as unrelatable. After all, the whole pregnant with the wrong baby experience is unique.
As October became Novemember and November bled into December the entire ordeal had me second-guessing this blog. If this blogger, who I admire, thought I wasn’t good enough maybe she was right. Perhaps it would be best to just walk away from this space.
Time to take inventory of what I’m doing here.
Of course, this wasn’t the first time I’ve experienced an opportunity turning into a disappointment. I’ve had my share of false starts and unexpected turns towards self doubt. What I’ve learned over the years is that as uncomfortable as these discouraging moments are, they can serve an important purpose. Without rejection and failure I’d probably never engage in self introspection because looking at myself honestly is never fun.
Most days I prefer the shiny veneers of success and at-a-girls.
But life’s setbacks provide me with opportunities to reconnect with my motives. It’s up to me to do the unpleasant work of checking myself. Hopefully by doing so I can move forward in a direction rooted in purpose.
I wish I could report that I’ve overcome the sting of being rejected by someone I greatly admire. I haven’t. Regardless, I’ve decided to reboot this space. I’m not giving up on why I share here. It’s important. I’m sure of it.
A few pics of our Christmas holiday…