Starting Is The Hardest Part
Today I will START knowing that my thoughts, grammar structure, and vocabulary may be unorganized and imperfect. My goal is simply to begin and finish.
I will claim my title as a rookie blogger undeterred that I don't have 100 blogs prior to this one. I will expect to make mistakes and find comfort in the fact that perfection is a myth. I will remind myself that my desire to blog is to share who I am to whoever wants to read about me.
Most importantly, I will remember that I'm not doing this for validation but merely a way to document my journey of motherhood and friendship and anything else that comes along with it. And if I'm truly honest about the highs and lows of it all, I'll be able to read back and see that I've grown for the better and kinder.
So, I will write like no one's reading this because no one will other than my husband, and he'll just be surprised I actually posted!
If anyone else reads this, hold me in your heart while you do, as this feels like I'm jumping off a cliff! I have no idea what I will write about. I have 30 minutes to allow my heart to talk through my fingers and type out a blog that will be posted and will not be perfect!
What Started As A Daydream
Writing is one of my favorite hobbies to practice. I'm often captivated by one's ability to use human words to describe intangible things such as feelings in a way that transcends the reader into the depths of the emotion. Regardless of one's writing style, it is a gift when writers are able to make connections with readers through their stories, and I've aspired to hone my ability to do the same.
When my first child was born, she inspired much to write about as my whole life was changing with every feeding! I began writing in journals, notebooks, on napkins, with the goal to piece her story together should she ever want to read about her childhood.
Blogging wasn't quite mainstream yet, as it was only 2001. I kept track of all my journals, ripped pages, and tattered napkins knowing I needed to find the time to look into this "blogging thing" people were starting to talk about. I was a busy new mom, but I knew I had time, and eventually, I'd get around to blogging.
When my daughter was two months old, I found out I was pregnant again. And then I got pregnant again, and again, and finally, one last time. Go ahead, count it up: five babies in about six years! Although I continued to journal about my babies, the stories got shorter with each child. Blogging was going to stay a daydream for a long time...
Grew Into A Dream
My babies were growing fast, and I was in the throes of motherhood. I was living my dream of being a Career Mother but visions of another dream started to take root. It would be years until I could fully articulate what that dream was, what it meant, and what it would look like today. But what I did know was that I wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of mothers and children and writing would be my pathway.
I was still writing but my journals and notebooks consisted of more To-Do Lists than stories. But when I think about it, even To-Do Lists are stories-topics without the fluff. I was busy, but I knew I had time, and eventually, I'd get around to blogging.
Similar to my kids, I knew my dream couldn’t stay in its infancy stage and that it had to develop and grow if it was ever going to amount to anything. So I gave it ambitious goals and told my closest friends about the baby I've been hiding all these years. They high-fived me over several empty bottles of red wine and told me I was awesome. Clothed in love and encouragement from my girl gang and my husband's full support, I started my company, The MotherNation.
And Evolved Into A Goal
Starting, developing, and growing my business is an experience that continues to teach me who I am, and that I can't do it all by myself. Yes, personal growth is my responsibility, but many times family and friends are better teachers than us. Thank goodness mine are smart and patient.
Recently, while reading through years of journals about my kids, I realized it was never just about being able to record their childhood stories-it was more than that.
I not only wrote about my kids, but I also wrote about my marriage, my friendships, and a lot about a woman who didn't know that she was searching for an identity between the pages and words of my thoughts, hoping there would be at least one story of her that would explain who she was without her titles of Wife, Mother, Sister, and Friend.
I kept reading to find she was desperate to discover herself because her identity was always attached to someone, whether it was her kids, husband, or friends. She didn't exist in any story independent of herself. What an epiphany I will never forget. I've burned too much time thinking I had enough of it, and I needed to just start blogging already.
I Just Had To Start
Writing has kept me sane throughout my life and that's because my pen has been able to capture my craziness and corral it safely onto paper. As grateful as I am for my stream-lined accessible files on my blog with its modern font, my weathered handwritten journals will always be the beloved mismatched encyclopedias of my life. Eventually is finally here, and I'm starting my blog recognizing I'm always going to be busy, but just like with everything else that's important, I need to make the time for it.
I let almost two decades fly by thinking I had to get the process perfect before I could start. Over analyzing, second-guessing myself, and an unrealistic expectation of perfection robbed me of the experience of starting and learning. But to be truthful, I was terrified to put myself out there not knowing how I would be received, or if anyone would "get me." Thankfully, with time I've grown wiser and have learned that no one and nothing will ever be perfect, and done will always be better than almost ready.
As my life continues to evolve, so do my stories. I'm excited to share my experiences of motherhood, friendship, and how the lovable people in my life helped that woman-their Wife, Mother, Sister, and Friend-discover that she is not only Empowering, Smart, Kind, and Beautiful, but that she is deserving of her own story, too.
And so it begins. Welcome to my story, I am J. AnnMarie...
BAM of TMN