November

November

I’ve been struggling. I often write after-the-fact, when things have resolved a bit, you know, when I have a somewhat tidy way of presenting something that was messy. But I’m sitting down right now to write, and I’m still smack dab in the middle of it, feeling adrift in my life and, well, a little bit like I’m drowning.

I’m finding the mom thing hard. Really hard. Here’s my caveat that I know I’m blessed to be the mom of two beautiful boys and that I’m lucky and shouldn’t complain yada yada but goodness gracious, most days I feel like I’m slowly dying on the inside.

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Book Q&A

Book Q&A

My memoir will be out July 6! For June’s blog post, I decided to celebrate the book and reached out to friends on Instagram for some questions about it. Here they are!

What is something you hope somebody takes away from reading your book?

  1. Don’t give up on God. Keep seeking. Keep pursuing. Even if it feels empty or pointless or confusing or hard. If you’re angry at God, explore that emotion rather than ignoring it. If you don’t believe in God, yet you still feel a “yearning” within yourself, explore that feeling and don’t shrug it off. I think the worst thing we can do is to land in a spot of indifference.
  2. If you’re in the midst of a messy mental illness, I promise that there is hope. At the time of writing this book, I was still finding my own mental stability, so I don’t talk a lot about “the other side” in these pages, but I hope readers know that healing, although a challenge, is possible with help.

When did you start writing it? How long did it take to write?

I started writing this book in 2016 and finished in 2018. This book has been re-written approximately 79 million times in a 2 year span.

When did you realize you wanted to share your journey with others?

After writing this book in graduate school, I originally wanted to get it traditionally published, but I learned through a series of events that I would have to focus a lot of my time and effort on social media marketing in order for that to happen. The influencer-life is not really “me” so I decided to self-publish—which, as a plus side, allows me to retain artistic control and my rights. I decided that if my story could help just one person, it was worth self-publishing and getting it out there. But then I had a baby and another baby, so it got pushed to the back burner until now. And, truthfully, I’m glad there’s been a gap between writing and publishing, because the content is no longer a fresh wound. I have some distance from it and feel a lot better about sharing such personal content!

What inspired you to write memoir?

I’ve always loved writing, and I write my best when I write about my own life. I love reading memoir and I found that I also enjoyed writing in the genre too—it’s the sweet spot between fiction and straight non-fiction. I chose the creative non-fiction track in graduate school, so here we are.

What was your favorite part of writing it?

Writing sometimes feels like doing an exciting word puzzle. It’s so fun when I would reach an “aha!” moment. “If I move this sentence here and use this word instead of this one, I get this!” I love when I have that creative energy buzz. If only that energy translated into chores around the house and changing diapers!

What was the hardest part about writing the book?

Editing, editing, editing. Writing is the easy part. Editing is hard. The 30th draft of this book looks nothing like the 1st draft. When I first started writing this book, it was going to be a collection of essays. Each essay was going to be about a different guy that I’d liked, as I was a sappy romantic with ridiculous stories of love-gone-wrong.  It was supposed to be humorous. If you look for it, you can definitely still see remnants of that first inclination in this final draft. I did not set out to write about God or mental health. The book took on a life of its own and became what it wanted to be.

Did you change names?

Oh my, yes. (Except for a couple people who gave me the okay.) People deserve privacy. But I did contact everyone in the book to let them know, even if their names were changed. Kinda (okay, very!) embarrassing to reach out to some people, but whatever.

Do you want to write another book?

Yes! Another memoir, hopefully. Maybe about body image? Maybe about motherhood? Both?

P.S. I want to add that I am so thankful to everyone, especially you faithful blog readers, who have supported me through this writing project and publishing journey. The book comes out July 6 and is available for pre-order now! (See tab at top menu bar).

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May Reflection

May Reflection

“Your hands are like my mother’s,” Grandma told me as she stroked my hand. She paused a few seconds, and although I loved the potential sentimentality in that second, I didn’t accept it completely, because I knew there was more coming. “Because your knuckles are dry. You really need to put on some lotion.”

I looked over at my sister, Abby, and we smirked at each other.

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March Reflection

March Reflection

Lately, I’ve been reminded of my limitations. It’s not a fun reminder, but it’s one I need to listen to. It is in my nature to want to do everything “perfectly.” I am a rule follower—my counselor calls it “black and white thinking”—and it deeply troubles me when I feel as if I am in the wrong. That manifested itself differently at different times in my life, and now it’s made its way into my stay-at-home-motherhood.

So here’s the thing: I can’t do motherhood perfectly. I do it wrong sometimes. (Okay, like, a lot.) I’m learning to re-frame how I think about it. It doesn’t have to be, “I yelled at my toddler. I am a horrible mother and am worthless.” That’s my immediate thought, yes, but I am working at turning it into “I yelled at my toddler. I don’t want to yell. But I can forgive myself and move forward and try better next time.”

I know my limit for stress is low. I know my patience can run thin. I know I get overwhelmed easily. I know my mental health is a bit wobbly right now, some days really good, other days not so much. But, in the midst of all of it, I am learning to ask for help and not to feel ashamed about it.

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