Finding Your Voice

Writing is such a complicated thing. It’s at once completely impersonal and vague, yet it feels highly intrusive and very personal – almost TOO personal, at times. I’ve always been a ‘writer’, even though I didn’t realize it. It’s funny; when you’re a kid you dream of growing up and becoming all the things you want to be, and when you finally grow up you realize all of the things you wanted to be were already there.

Our house is for sale. We put an offer on another place and it’s contingent on us selling our current home; nothing makes one Marie Kondo the heck out a place like having to get your house on the market in 48 hours. It’s so clean and clutter-free; I wonder why we didn’t just do this ages ago.

I’ve been in a writing funk for about 3 months now. Just before Halloween, when all the things start happening: both kids’ birthdays, Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, travel. It hit me this afternoon while sitting in our surprisingly clean house: I’ve had too much mental clutter. Trying to navigate the holiday season is enough in itself, but I’ve also had doctor appointments to help navigate our sons’ autoimmune diseases, a new part-time job I started in September, 2 stomach bugs and bronchitis (and that was just me). And yet, I let my mind wander: is this it? Maybe I’m not a great writer after all. Maybe this is more of a random hobby. Someone else could do this better. But could they?

My story is my own. I think about things to write about ALL.THE.TIME. But I let that little voice in my mind hold me back. Does anyone want to read about that? Should I even try? Will they be offended? This week, however, I realized something: I’ve been writing my whole life. I found all of my old journals, starting from when I was 7 years old. Thankfully, my writing style has evolved a whole lot since then. There was a particular phase around the age of 12 when I started every journal entry as though writing to my best friend (who we’d just moved away from). I would address her as Frick (I was Frack, naturally, #BSBforever) and said ‘What’s up, what’s up?!’ If nothing else, at least we’ve moved beyond that.

Other than the poorly worded greetings, all of my writing centers around the same thing: everyday life. Who I liked, who I didn’t. Who did what at school, where we went over the weekend. How he proposed, what the dress looked like, learning how to fight for each other and not against, learning how to listen. First dates and first positive pregnancy test, learning how to be three, then four. Sleepless nights and scary unknowns. Cries for help and numbered gifts. The sacred everyday. Maybe no one else wants to read these things, but I’ve come to realize that I do. And even if I’m the only one who ever reads my words, I don’t want to stop recording, stop pressing pause, stop remembering.

So I’m going to keep writing on here, but without the pressure of a ‘theme’ or a list of what I can or can’t write on. I have lots of thoughts, and sometimes they are about motherhood, and sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they’re about cooking, or food allergies, or homemaking, or wanderlust, or politics or feminism or some weird combination of all of those things. So if you do happen to read this, just know that that may be what to expect: a weird combination of everything. Because really, that’s what life is, isn’t it?