For over two weeks I have been trying to write a new post for this, my monthly slot on HVFH, and it’s not been going well. Either I write a post and then the same blessed thing pops up on the site written by someone else, or when I go back to re-read a draft, what I’ve written feels surface-level and blah to me, which is not how I like to be. When all I get from myself or other people is the surface level, my skin starts to crawl and my heart hurts a little bit.
I crave going to a deeper, more authentic place, not only with my writing but in my friendships and connections with all others, because I know that there is so much more there than what we show each other on the surface level.
So here I am, offering a bit of my inner-self to the world in hopes that old adage is true – that what you send out is indeed what you receive in return.
Actually, I have already had great proof of that saying this year.
In January, I took a brave step forward and, with the support of a dear friend, set out to establish real, honest connections with some other women in my area. I knew all of them, at least in passing and from playgrounds, but what I wanted was something beyond the “Hi, how are you?” and chit-chat. In the conversations, messages, and gatherings that I have had with these women in the months since, I have learned about their hearts, fears, and loves, and shared with them my own triumphs and struggles.
I have also learned that they don’t care if my house isn’t Pinterest Perfect, if I’m in no-make-up mode, or if I get all weepy while talking when they come over. What counts is that I let them see me – the real me – and that is who/what they value and what matters most.
In reaching out and establishing these more authentic connections, I have been encouraged throughout the year to do the same with other people I know, both near and far, and the result continues to be the same. There really are people out there who will get you and love you for you, and that is beautiful knowledge to have, especially when you start to slide or doubt yourself.
And so back to the present predicament.
The trying to write. The feeling Less Than. The whole having a fourth baby less than a month after sending my oldest one off to Kindergarten thing. The good days/moments when I am totally winning this mom gig. And the moments when I’m not sure if screaming or crying or anything, really, could make me feel better because, holy moly cow, I’m giving a lot of myself away right now to care for all those who are literally dependent on my care to do so. Seriously – if I counted the number of times I wash my hands in a day because I am responsible for cleaning up after that my people’s bodily functions, I would probably question how I manage to get anything else done.
All of this leads me to believe that I have to go back to my own center, underneath my own surface, to reconnect. In the frantic (and wow, never ending) hubbub of diapers and snacks and nursing sessions and school pick-ups, I still need to not only exist but also matter. Directing what I see matters, too.
So here is my current view from a place in my home where I spend time every day: my kitchen sink. I love our old house and all its character, but since the whole sink-facing-the-wall design (why couldn’t it be a window?) has lately driven to me to start searching for YouTube videos on how to knock holes in lath and plaster (hubs not so much a fan of this plan), I decided to change what was in front of me. With some simple cork tiles and push pins, we created a place to remind me of my whole sweet family (kid art/pictures), as well as myself and what makes me tick (yoga/words of wisdom).
Even though the tiles are not full yet and it’s a little uneven and messy, I’m sharing it with you here because this is me. Still a work in progress, not perfect, but here and worthy of being seen, even when sleep deprivation and mommy brain begin to say otherwise.
So now I see this instead and remember some important mantras. Change your perspective. Go underneath the surface. Remember what matters, including yourself.