My Journey to Blogging- Created to Glow
First, A Facebook Story
“I was in Dollar Tree last night and there was a lady with two kids behind me in the LONG line. One was a big kid, one was a toddler. The bigger one had a pack of glow sticks and the toddler was screaming for them, so the Mom opened the pack and gave him one, which stopped his tears. He walked around with it smiling, but then the bigger boy took it and the toddler started screaming again. Just as the Mom was about to fuss at the older child, he bent the glow stick and handed it back to the toddler. As we walked outside, the toddler noticed that the stick was glowing and his brother said “I had to break it so you could get the full effect of it.
“l could hear God saying to me, “I had to break you to show you why I created you. You had to go through everything in your path, so you could fulfill your purpose.”
That little toddler was happy just swinging that “unbroken” glow stick around in the air because he didn’t understand it was created to “glow”.
There are some people who will be content just “being”, but some of us that God has chosen, have to be “broken”. We have to get sick. We have to lose a job, or go through a divorce, or bury our spouse, or parent, or best friend, or child, because, in those moments of extreme desperation, God is breaking us, but when the breaking is done, we are truly able to see, and understand, the reason for which we were created. To glow!”
My Journey to Blogging
My journey to blogging was part of my process of being truly broken, so I could finally start to glow.
After 8 years of emotional abuse in my marriage I could barely whisper my dream; having a blog and sharing recipes making healthy cooking easy for moms. I went with fear and hesitation to speak to the teacher of a Blogging Bootcamp announced after a social media marketing conference I attended trying to work on my direct sales business. I wanted to do this, but was so lost on the tech. I told her how I had tried twice before and shut it down after barely signing in. I made sure no-one else was listening or around when I spoke to her so no-one saw me. I couldn’t let anyone see me or know my truth.
I did it scared and signed up anyway.
The same time I signed up, I moved 1800 miles away separating from my spouse. The one who told me every time there was a problem, or something didn’t work “Certainly, it’s you that’s the cause. It’s because you can’t do it.You didn’t do enough, try enough, work hard enough, plan enough. It’s your fault it happened this way.” And every mistake I made I would hear about for years whenever it suited his argument.
I moved into my friend’s basement with my kids just before Brenda Ster’s Blogging Bootcamp taught by her and Hope Hansen-Baker began. Week 1 I found an apartment and figured out signing my first lease. I had a mountain of strong women backing me knowing my journey saying “You got this.” It’s scary leaping lives, leaving with what’s in the trunk of your car and your kids and saying, we are starting over.
Then my direct sales company that was my extra income went into turmoil. Was it being bought? Sold? Going under? No one knew for weeks. Finally the dust settled and I had a conference to get to and rearrange and make hotel plans for only two weeks ahead of time. Since we didn’t know if there was a company, we didn’t know if there was a conference until the final moment.
Then three days before my soon to be ex was supposed to drive to conference to watch the kids, his car was totaled. Now we had five days to shop online with insurance money for a used car; there was certainly no money for car payments. When the only things you can afford are over 180,000 miles, it’s harrowing and time consuming shopping and praying that the car you buy won’t be a drain in repair bills. That was week 3 of Boot Camp.
Three days after the car was totaled, I found out I was pregnant. Scrambling for a midwife making interview appointments is time consuming being new to town, but I needed an ultrasound appointment. I found out I was 12 weeks pregnant; 8 weeks after separating from my spouse and moving half way across the country.
“It’s ok” I say. “I got this. I’ve been alone anyway. It’s ok. I still have two weeks the kids are signed up for camp. I’ve got two hours a day uninterrupted for homework for two weeks. I can focus and get my work done.”
Then, my computer died! The final week of camp before submissions. The same week all three of us got sick and I lost four solids days to do my homework for camp; right at the end when the hardest and most intensive work was to be done.
Even after the kids were done with being sick, pregnancy let mine linger. I woke up in the early hours nightly being sick for hours before making it back to sleep for a bit before the kids woke up. And then still dragged my behind to the library surviving on 4 slices of bread and some water and broth each day. The drive in me to finish, finally finish something for me, was strong. So many classes and programs I never finished because I kept giving up on myself.
Because I still needed to be with my kids at the library per the rules, I used the library computers to finish my homework. I sat in the kid’s chairs in the kid’s section with the computer blaring “10 more min” every hour. I had ninety min at a time to work on the computer which included two fifteen min extensions before the whole computer restarted and I had to start again.
I submitted the work I had gotten together by the first review date. My review came back: you don’t have enough to be reviewed. Take more time since you aren’t understanding. I wanted to cry. I did cry. My son hugged me and told me; “You spend all your time caring for me. I want to spend my time caring for you.” He brought over a blanket for us to snuggle under together. He creates forts when he is feeling strong feelings and he invited me in with him to help me feel better.
I find my grit. I realize that the review is right. I’m holding back. I’m staying little and small and scared. My battle buddies remind me; you paid for this. For them to tell you the truth because you didn’t want to put out shit work and they are doing just that. Camp’s not over yet.
I write down the critiques. I head to the library and try again; because damn’t I didn’t fight this hard to give up at the end. I have had storm after storm come to take me off track, all while just a basic storm of living in my friend’s basement for two months waiting for an apartment, sharing 2 twin beds with my kids, and being a 100% single mom, no breaks, helping my kids and I settle in a new town with all the exhaustion of early pregnancy.
I have a voice. I may have been told for years my voice was dumb, spent, echos of other ideas, too hard, neurotic, unimportant, but I’m here.
I spent years in isolation researching and studying and doing my best for my kids in shitty circumstances. It was the only power I had left in the toxic emotional environment I was in; the power of protecting and caring for my kids. I learned a lot about cooking and food because I enjoyed it, found it fascinating, and was the only skill I found myself to have. It was a passion that I could talk about for hours on end. I want to share what I’ve learned with other mothers doing their best in whatever circumstances they have, so that they don’t have to work as hard, as long, and know they aren’t alone.
Every time I wanted to give up, I had battle buddies that told me I got this. I had friends to turn to telling me: don’t give up, look how far you’ve come. I’m already starting to glow.
I did it scared. You can do it scared. Follow your dream even when you don’t believe in yourself to do it. Because others believe in you. You were created to glow.
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