My life has no purpose, no direction,
no aim, no meaning,
and yet I’m happy.
I can’t figure it out.
What am I doing right?
I swear, all it takes is starting something and the momentum sweeps you away.
After quite some time feeling lost, not knowing why I was writing anymore, what I should be writing about, I put on my big girl panties and decided to write anything, anything at all.
Just after I began writing again, shaking loose the uncertainty and my disappointment at how my stats had plunged (of course they had, I hadn’t written a thing of consequence in a year), I won a blog header design from Design Coyote through Green Eyed Monster, a website I had purchased a “Live Enviably” bag from as a surprise for my friend Danielle. (Karma in action, baby.)
I was super excited, but really had no idea what I wanted represented in this header. It’s the first impression you get of the blog, but I didn’t know where I wanted to go in the days ahead. I lack the niche that blog experts advise to carve out for yourself if you crave success.
I didn’t want to be a green news blog, there are too many that do that well enough. I don’t quite fit the mold of mommy blogger, and my kids are getting to be too old for that anyway. My photography is simply not good enough to carry the blog on its own.
I wanted to get back to my roots- but I didn’t really know what those were, anymore.
I gave the lovely Nikki of Design Coyote free rein but mentioned how I love bird sketches, the sort of thing Thoreau or Muir would have in their field journals.
And the resulting header is perfect and lovely in every way. Simple and whimsical and cheerful.
I feel inspired whenever I pull up my page to write something new, and that is how it should be. Success? Just being satisfied with what you are creating; yet yearning to create more.
A bird does not sing because it has an answer.
It sings because it has a song.
I’m singing, friends.
I’m twittering and warbling and scolding and jay-bird screeching, and it feels wonderful and wild and free. Some people will find it annoying noise. Some will wish I didn’t do it so often and not quite so early in the morning.
I hope some will smile and enjoy the music.
Oh, to be only half as wonderful
as my child thought I was when he was small,
and only half as stupid as my teenager now thinks I am.
– Rebecca Richards
The other night Jacob was laughing over something at the computer. He called Maverick over— “c’mere, come read this”— and the two of them were laughing together.
Not being born yesterday, and working full-time or thereabouts online, I am fully aware of the hidden dangers of the web.
Having 13 years of experience as a mother, and being an older sibling myself, I know that two normally squabbling kids laughing together is almost always a bad sign.
Being lazy, I didn’t bother getting up but rather asked, “What are you two reading?”
“Your blog,” Jacob said, and with a sinking heart I asked, “Why are you laughing?”
“Because you’re funny,” he returned, and I’ll be damned if that wasn’t the proudest moment of my life. Even better than the time my freshman year English teacher returned a story I had written with “Keep writing” scrawled across the top; the first time someone had suggested such a thing.
Writers write to write, but a little praise makes life so much nicer.
I tell my kids they can do whatever it is they want to do. If you can dream it, you can be it.
I want to write. I want to be a writer.
I want to change the world, in some small way. I have always wanted that. It always seemed so egotistical.
I want to make peace with my ego.
It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too.
As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives,
they are watching us to see what we do with ours.
I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun.
All I can do is reach for it, myself.”
Suddenly, I have more posts I need written than I have time to write them. I’ve given myself freedom to write what I want, with faith that my posts will somehow fall into place as being simple, green, organic, or happy. (Sometimes snarky, but what can I do.)
Design Coyote has helped make my writing space a comfortable and beautiful place to be in. Thank ye, darling, for that.
And for future motivation— well, I’ll just hold that moment in my heart when my kids read what I wrote (willingly!), shared it with each other, and thought I was funny. And didn’t mind telling me so.
P.S. If you’ve read this rambling, self-indulgent, navel-gazing post this far, I love you more than words can convey. What a good friend you are.
All the bloggy people in the house! Go check out Design Coyote. I was so, so happy when I won this particular giveaway because I didn’t want a design like every other mom blogger out there. Nikki’s designs are really clean and natural and she apparently has special deals for non-profit animal organizations, rescues & shelters, which is so beyond awesome that I want to bake homemade Twinkies and Hostess cupcakes and bring them to her house. She’s lovely to work with and was quite patient and nice to me in spite of my complete and utter lack of direction.
Green Eyed Monster has an awesome blog with an email newsletter delivering clever DIY projects and links to fantastic giveaways to your inbox daily. Bonus: it also introduces you to all the Etsy shops you need to know about. Go sign up.
(Disclosure recap: I won a Design Coyote custom blog header through a Green Eyed Monster giveaway. These words of support and free-form love were completely unsolicited and unabashedly deserved. When I luvs something people hear about it.)
Your turn! What has made you feel good about yourself lately?