I spent most of 2016 with a nasty case of writer's block. I think I can blame part of that on the fact that I was learning how to be a mom. I didn't really have anything to write about other than all the amazing things my baby was doing. And while I'm sure some of my friends and family might have found that interesting, most people wouldn't. (But I promise she was super cute while she was sitting up/crawling. You can see all the evidence on my social media.)
I didn't really have the time or energy to write anything other than what people hired me to write. And at times, even that was a struggle.
But it's 2017. Taylor started Mother's Day Out last week so I'm consistently getting about 10 child-free hours a week - except when she's caught some cruddy bug, like today. But I'm finally coming out of my postpartum fog. And I'm going to pull a mother-freaking-Hamilton and start writing like I need it to survive.
Because I do.
I've always been a writer. I have notebooks full of stories and essays and poem, starting back in grade school. In second grade I wrote a short story about a high school girl who gets stalked and nearly murdered by her ex-boyfriend on prom night. (Appropriately titled Prom Night.) At the time I didn't know that doing that, as well as locking myself in my parent's office the summer after 5th grade to write my first "novel", wasn't normal.
Writing is how I process things. And I haven't been writing. So everything has been building and bubbling and growing, and I've had no outlet.
So here I am. Processing. Writing. Figuring it out as I go.
I'm tired of censoring myself in case I piss someone off. I'm tired of tiptoeing around how I really feel. I'm tired of trying to be everything to everyone. I'm tired of apologizing for my mess of a house, for the fact that I eat McDonald's multiple times a week, and for the fact that my daughter wears those precious cloth diapers maybe one day a week.
Maybe part of that is getting older. People say once you are in your 30s you start really coming into your own. Maybe it's also being a mom and realizing that there are a finite number of hours in the day, and most of them are already spoken for. So caring what other people think really isn't worth it anymore.
At one point I would've pulled out a Bible quote here (Galatians 1:10). Another time I would just quote Jo Dee Messina and make a joke about my give a damn being busted.
Because here's the thing: I'm both of those people. I remember Bible verses I learned years ago and still believe in them. But I also believe I can make a give a damn joke.
Things are tough right now. I have lots of questions but not many answers. I'm legitimately concerned for our country's future, for my family's future. But I'm trying to focus on what I can do. I can write. I can call my legislators. I can share stories and try to put a face on the issues. To that end I'm prepping a new series that will feature as many people as I can. People who deserve to have their story shared. People who immigrated here, or whose parents did. People who came here as refugees. People who work in healthcare and have been affected by ACA - and who will be affected if/when it is repealed. People who served our country in war. People who are Muslim. People who are serving in local, state, federal government.
If you or anyone else you know wants to share their story - and they can share with 100% anonymity if they prefer - please let me know. My goal isn't to push an agenda. I simply want to cast some light on the real people behind the issues. I want to help people understand why it is so important to stay involved.