As I sit here in bed, tears gently stream down my face dripping awe, disbelief, gratitude and joy upon the keyboard. Today marks the one year anniversary of What We Don’t Do. Reflecting back on this year has left me extremely emotional; I’m overflowing with gratitude, shaking my head in awe at the circumstances that have presented themselves to me, joyful for the relationships and experiences I’ve had and so incredibly blessed and honoured to tell you that as I write this, I’m 9 weeks pregnant. This year feels like a true full circle year. I started blogging while pregnant with my fourth pregnancy (and third miscarriage) and am writing this pregnant again. Only this time, it feels right. I’m sick as a dog, nauseous and dizzy, throwing up and eating little. I’m craving candy and Pepsi, eggs and toast. I never had these symptoms with my others, aside from my pregnancy with my daughter so we are hopeful. We’ve come full circle.
What a year it’s been!
This year of blogging has opened me up to deeply rooted feelings of inadequacy, doubt, vulnerability and fear but it has also taught me that Love is stronger than all four of those feelings combined and that when I write from a place of authenticity and realness, Love is the message despite the mess. Those negative feelings only have power when I give it power so despite getting a “quickening” in my chest or shaking with vulnerability hangovers, I know that it is only my body’s way of sending me the message: “this one is going to touch someone. This vibration you’re feeling will ricochet off many. You did good here, kid.”
I’ve always loved writing even as a small girl. Reading and story writing were my passions and you’d always find me with my head in a book, even while walking! When I chose journalism school out of desperation to *just choose something* for post-secondary education I thought I would thrive. I was inquisitive, easy to talk to and of course, I loved writing. It seemed a perfect fit. Alas, I saw journalism as a career focused on deadlines, politics, propaganda and intruding upon tragedies than anything else. I failed miserably in the world of media. That failure burrowed itself in my mind and my love of writing became a thing of the past. In the years since my journalism jobs in the mid 2000’s my writing consisted of poems for loved ones and really long letters to friends afar.
When my dear friend Nancy planted the seed that I should start a parenting blog about what we do and don’t do (hence the name What We Don’t Do) I thought it was a great idea. But the more I considered it, the more I didn’t want to be lumped into a parenting blog niche. First of all, I have only one kid and she was a dream baby. She slept through the night by 14 weeks, she never had any health issues, always ate well, was always smiling and was such a good baby. I had no advice for colicky babies or the burn out from multiple children. I truly don’t know a thing about parenting worth sharing.
What did I know, me with my sweet little girl with her sunny disposition?!
Second, I don’t identity with my role as a mother the way other moms do. Yes, I am a mom and yes, it’s an important job that I wouldn’t trade for anything but it’s not solely the reason for my existence which seemed to be a norm I found in parenting blogs. Also, moms are frigging mean. I didn’t want to deal with the backlash of mom trolls who would clearly disagree with my sleep training methods and my discipline tactics and probably everything else too! No thank you!
So when I wrote about a miscarriage that had happened a couple years prior, I had no idea it would have the impact it did. That piece went viral and landed me on CBC radio twice for interviews. I reconnected with Dani Friesen, an ex co-worker who wanted my help in creating a non-profit charity that raised money for IVF treatments. We just donated our first $5,000 grant and are awaiting news of their transfer with hope and joy for a very deserving couple.
I’ve received messages from women all over the country praising me for my words, my courage and my voice. I’ve had countless women thank me for sharing my story; one that is very similar for so many women. I didn’t feel as lonely in my circumstances for here were 100’s of women saying they felt the same things. I felt less crazy knowing that my feelings had been felt and justified by someone else. I wasn’t alone! Finally! It was a beginning to writing again that took those past burrowed failures and rendered them obsolete. I found a community of women who understood me and felt my words; that helped me to believe I was a good writer again.
Unfortunately, you can’t have all good, all the time in life. Sadly, I had two miscarriages in this year of blogging and as of today, I have received two rejection letters for a deeply personal essay I wrote and one carefully crafted email declining my services to write, for free, for their publication. I keep these in my inbox to keep me humble and motivated to be a better writer and keep fighting for my dreams. That dream is to be a published, professional writer and I realize now that maybe I have a shot at that despite the big fat no’s I’ve recently received! So I’ve started writing a book to help women with fertility issues find peace. I believe I can do this and that’s because of the feedback I receive from the amazing people who read and follow my blog.
Now here we are today, pregnant again and praying for our rainbow baby. I spent the year shuffling through grief and resentment and anger to finally find grace, peace and acceptance. I have to believe that I was only given this gift of new Life because I did the immensely hard work of finding meaning in the meaningless and growing stronger in the process. I think that’s the beauty of humanness. We can create art, music, dance, words, poetry, stories, movement, etc. that encapsulates our feelings and expresses it in a way that is relatable to others. For me, you can see the progression of my feelings, growth and story throughout the year. I went from grief and resentment and pain to joy, resiliency and gratitude. The power of written word has this really incredible healing quality to it. That’s probably why so many psychologists, life coaches, counsellors etc. recommend journaling. It truly is magical to put feelings and emotions into tangible, concrete form that can be analyzed and reflected upon.
And when we write it down, we move it out of our souls to the paper/screen and when that happens, a release accompanies it. Like an exhale, I let the words flow while simultaneously filling the void with surrender. I let it go and it is no longer mine anymore. The words become an energy of their own. That’s why I tend to cry after a post: I release and surrender, letting go of what was and accepting what is. There’s no bottling things up anymore. I have this beautiful blog to release, heal and connect with others through now. My hope is that I may be helping someone, somewhere, in some way, whether it’s through a new way to think of something, a common feeling or just feeling united in solidarity.
It’s the impact that matters, no matter how small.
From the deepest parts of my soul, from the highest vibration of my being, thank you all so much for reading my blog. For every like, share and follow. Thank you for the loving messages/e-mails/texts you send me. It makes the Fear vanish and the Love pulse and radiate. Thank you for telling your friends about this blog when you think it may resonate with her. Thank you for loving and supporting me while I navigated a very transformative year. I hope many blessings are bestowed upon you this year and that we may rejoice in the joys together and if the opposite happens, that we may halve the sorrow by sharing it together. I look forward to sharing the continued joys, triumphs, fears and bumps that make Life worth living and seeing where this passion for writing leads me. I can’t wait to do it alongside all of you: the many friends, family and readers that support me in this crazy Life. Thank you.
United we rise,