As a blog reader – what makes YOU hit the subscribe button? What brings you back a second, third or fourth time? On the other hand, what turns you “off”? I’m about ready to make some changes around here…nothing major – but I’ve been urged by many to “tell my story”. Yes, this is a DIY blog, but there is a lot more to me than tutorials and Facebook posts. If I find the nerve, the story may continue to unfold a little at a time.
So here it goes, and I hope you’ll take that journey with me.
Nesting. Purging. Starting anew. I love how marriage does that to a couple. And it’s happening to us.
But today’s blog headline is not a “tips and tricks” article. It’s not telling you how to upcycle, or repurpose a piece of furniture. It’s not about freeing up excess space in your closet. The headline is meant as an idiom for change. It’s the Eminem tribute, with a little less swearing but equally passionate. It’s my attempt to make a tonal shift in my writing. This doesn’t mean I’ll be slinging F-bombs at you during my next DIY endeavor, (unless it’s upholstery). But it DOES mean that you will begin to see just a little bit of real life in my the blog.
So…let’s start with some confessions.
I also confess that I’ve struggled with what’s appropriate to share with readers who come here expecting DIY tutorials, pretty before and after pictures and well-written, witty articles that you can pin. After all…you don’t really care about the writer, just the outcome of the project, right? Or are you hoping to learn more?
I confess that we are challenged with the effects of Apsergers on a child in our home. I confess that blending our two families has not been easy. And I also confess that being a stepmom of older children is a wonderful opportunity, but it comes with many challenges that I wasn’t prepared for. And I often don’t feel I’m very good at it. Maybe I’ll never be…
These struggles happen. Each. And every. Day.
If you’re new here, my blog platform evolved into a DIY-blog-written-by-a-single-Mom-with-champagne-taste-on-an-extreme-budget. And for two years, that was the case…
Aspergers…that’s really how it started
But, do you know what my original blogging intentions were? To write about Aspergers, and my journey as a single Mom raising a child with a late diagnosis. I found that journey extremely sad, and very, very isolating not just for me–but mostly for my child. Close family members–the ones that typically should support you, offered harsh opinions and judgements of me as a parent. Instead of receiving empathy for the challenges I faced, I was presented with even more challenges. The truth of what my family thought of me hurt deeply, and as an only child it made this especially difficult. My divorce and prior marriage were often blamed for my child’s struggles. And while my kids and I were mostly joyful and kept our lives intact, we were a vulnerable unit and experienced more than our fair share of obstacles. Many times the fear of losing our home was very real, so I fought very hard to keep it. This tough road caused me to become an unbearable person at times (who wouldn’t be?). I was fighting a very real fight to keep my home, only to be increasingly ridiculed or ignored by the people that I loved.
Blogging as therapy
I began to realize that creativity and writing offered me an escape–a personal sanctuary. It was a place where I could at least think happily and be proud of something that I accomplished. It served as MY therapy. It taught my kids to be creative people and it helped keep my own pain in-check. It also opened me up to new friendships – and it gave me joy. Ultimately, the choice to NOT write about autism protected my child (who is doing SO well today, that someday I hope they will write their own story. I’m very proud.). The decision to NOT blog about autism was based on my desire to give my kid a fair shake at life. I didn’t want a written account of our bad days. So DIY helped me stay distracted, and overall…positive.
I was doing pretty well with all of that for awhile, and I thought the hardest part of life was behind me…
…but 2014? She had some tricks up her sleeve. Mark’s aneurism was a shock, and I nearly lost him. By the grace of God, we experienced numerous miracles that night. Today, he is 100% ok, (except for when he turns left too sharply into a parking space–depth perception issues maybe?) I had a job change that puts me on a plane (often). The same week I started my new job, we got engaged! We planned a long distance wedding (not a “destination” wedding with an all-inclusive package—WE pulled it off). Four months later, we were married. And my parents–although they were invited, they did not come to the wedding. My son walked me down the aisle, and my daughter was standing next to me. All of our kids stood up with us, and this meant the world to us. We had an amazing day as a new family.
I wouldn’t want things any other way.
So…now I’m moving on with joy in my heart, a wonderfully accepting new family. They love me. Flaws and all. And I’m grateful for that.
If ever there was a year that I should start writing ‘from the heart” this would be it. I also don’t speak of faith very much, but I’m extremely spiritual. I appreciate when I read that honesty in a writer. But when I sit down as a writer seeking the right words, I often lose confidence and I end up telling you an antiseptic tongue-in-cheek commentary. Looking back, I sometimes wish I could edit an old post and tell you the truth about what was going on behind the scenes my real life. But then I think, it’s part of the writing journey that I’m taking. And truth be told, those periods were full of growth and change, and I wouldn’t want to revisit some of the back-stories anyway, let alone share them with the world.
But lately, I feel a gravitational pull back towards my blog. Something tells me that maybe…just maybe, I should start showing that side of life. Even if it’s just a glimpse.
And…I hope you’ll take that journey with me.
Blog Projects to Come:
A few months of wedding-DIY burnout and light blogging has offered me a macro view of the projects that I have historically taken on. My path as a blogger has become MUCH. MORE. CLEAR. I started working with brands I love, and I plan to do more of that and to grow this blog into one that is authentically “us”.
Prior to this post, I spent a month of purging everything in my house with the intentions of a fresh start. Now that I have a clean slate, I’m motivated to assembled a fresh to-do list…and start looking ahead.
So, this post still begs the question – what keeps you coming back to a blog? The projects? Or the person? How much detail is too much?