Wednesday, February 19, 2014

First Love Blogging

 Every now and then, I trudge downstairs, my heart somewhere down around my ankles, feeling a bit adrift. It usually happens when I've been in my writing cave. It's the nagging feeling that I can't capture what my mind is feeling, I can't find the right words. I grasp them like slippery river stones and wonder why they're unmoldable, why it's so impossible to turn them inside out and shape them into the exact right thing.

Sometimes, if I'm not careful, or even if I am, this frustration rises until it jumps the bank, flooding over into my blog, this place that is all mine. I forget it's a sanctuary, on those nights. I forget it's a safe place, a gift given to myself. I forget that I own it. I don't have bosses, no one dictating or demanding. I lose all those truths in this wide sky of perplexity, where people and friends come to read what I have to say, to my great, head-scratching wonderment.

Back when we had extra money lying around, we worried we would lose it. The more we had, the more we stewed, holding guard, obsessively checking balances and interest rates and making plans for the future that ultimately combusted, drifting away in a thin curl of smoke.

It can be the same with you guys. (And it's totally not your fault.)

I'm no stranger to the numbers. Beyond the sheer impossibility of pinning everything down on a tidy line, I have a decent grasp on what draws you here, and what makes you stay.

But there are factions, and they compete.

On those nights when I tell Cory through tired eyes that I'm having an identity crises, I allow myself to fall victim to the lie that my job is to make everyone happy, to keep this machine fed, the joints greased and limber.

But my husband, this dream of a partner who listens to me and cares about things I care about, tells me the truth again - You started blogging so we would remember all of this. 

How did I possibly forget?

I didn't start blogging because I had the urge to share the new throw pillows I bought at Target for 75% off. I didn't even start blogging because I was a writer. I started blogging because I want to remember the way Silas makes Olympic sport out of switching his nightlights from room to room, rewarding our good behavior with "the brightest one". I want to remember Ruby dressing herself for school in four kinds of stripes and the way Calvin's hair now requires its own zip code.

I don't want to forget the ways I felt when Robert was locked up, then moved in, then back out. I want to be reminded of how my love for my husband grew when he hung up his suits and ties, signing most of his paycheck away to work at the county jail.

This is my journal, a detailed account of many of my feelings across a continuum of deep personal growth and a time of whip-lashing change.

It's also where I delight my own soul with close-ups of every flower that graces the land and grainy shots of dinner, often after I've already taken the first bite.

I have opinions and ideas, yes, but I don't have many answers. I'm not wired to be relevant and I'm usually not interested in changing anyone's mind or being the loudest, snappiest voice in the room.

I'm a deep thinker, but I hold disproportionate care for celebrities.
I get lost inside my own head at least fifteen times a day, but I also like to pattern mix and plunk daisies in a can.

Maybe many of you connect with my family's journey out of security and into some grungy places and some risk. Or maybe you wait for my words on adoption or God. Some of you just happen to like my curtains and wish I'd stop talking and show you our new couch.

I've had folks tell me I've become too preachy, too weird about God. Others find my media preferences troubling and worry over my occasional margarita.

Some wish I'd share more about the little kids, more about the big kids, more about adoption or advocating for the poor. Some of you even wish I'd return to the days of yore when I detailed my entire grocery list, to the profound confusion of most of the people in all the land.

The good news is, with my wildly unpredictable carefree blogging style, I'm usually satisfying someone.

The better news is, I don't mind disappointing everyone, if it means I'm being authentic to myself and my family, holding whatever happens to be most dear, capturing a moment and preserving it behind glass.

I just needed to be reminded, that's all. After nearly 6 years, I needed to take a look back.

So, things aren't going to change around here. Not really.
As usual, any change has been set free in me. And as a writer is prone to do, I'm figuring it out as I tap these keys.

All I ever want is to be true to my creator and myself. I want to continue to write about the hard things with great sensitivity and conviction. I want to listen and be led.

More than anything, I want to remember - always - that small things are often the biggest things.

Ever yours,