Lately I have this crazy urge to write again . . . to be open and vulnerable. Being open and vulnerable is an essential part of good first-person narrative. It’s also one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. Whenever I’ve written a particularly vulnerable blog post, it’s usually been at night, and I’ve usually woken up in a near-panic the next day. What did I just do, sharing myself like that? Then, generally, people have responded well, pretty quickly, and I’m buoyed by that. When people respond critically, or–worse–hatefully, I ruminate on it for far too long.
I had created this space, Aprovechar, because I wanted to explore getting the most out of life while recognizing its complexities and difficulties and limitations. For a long time, that felt incredibly freeing. I grew up in a family that was all about keeping secrets, whether or not they needed to be kept, to keep up the appearance of everything being perfect. And escaping that by coming here and being really honest, but also mostly positive–it felt amazing. Then things changed in my life, felt out of control, due to me developing a chronic medical condition that ended up changing my life drastically and affecting me down to my core. Interestingly, it wasn’t actually as bad (objectively) as things I’ve gone through before–nothing life-threatening. But chronic illness compounded by other life changes, including two moves in two years, has created in me a struggle over my purpose and my very identity. For the last couple of years, I have felt too raw and tumultuous to write here, in this space where I wanted honesty.
Now I have a son. My husband and I adopted him eight weeks ago, the day of his birth. While we were in the adoption process, I thought so much about how I wanted to raise my child. When we got him, and I fell in love with him, I started thinking not so much about how to raise him (which matters, but he’s awfully small right now) but instead about how he’ll see me as he grows older. That has led to a series of epiphanies that have been a catalyst for me to return to some of the things that matter most to me . . . the things that it’s scary to want, in case life doesn’t work out. And it has returned me to a positive emphasis on self-care, which is essential to my son’s well-being as he grows, and is essential to my own life, as well.
So lately I’ve mentally explored at least a dozen topics that I’ve wanted to also explore in writing, in a blog, with the possibility of community feedback. Of course, I’ve usually thought about them while I’ve been pacing the hall, gently bouncing my son up and down to soothe him to sleep. I have little time to write right now. But I’m very happy to have the will back.