I gave myself permission to take a month off blogging. I thought I needed it. Then, after a few days of suppressing the desire to scratch my itch. I sat and wrote. Freeing my soul, worshiping in a way I will never be able to express through words themselves. You’re my therapy. (And Lord knows I need more of it.)

I realize now, I didn’t need a break from blogging. I need a break from the way I’ve been blogging. A true split. Not that break-up and get back together roller-coaster stuff either. I’ve done this before and I’m doing it again; reminding myself that I started writing online to keep a digital “diary” more or less– not to build an audience or a platform or go viral.

So, here we are. (Long exhale.)

I want to ask everyone, “how are you?” I would give almost anything to be sitting across from each one of them at a cute table in a coffee shop or just to have them all over in my teeny, tiny apartment for a PJ party. (I’m the queen of corny, I know. But hey, there’d be wine. And doughnuts.)

I’ve been doing well. Sort of. Depends on the day. Sometimes even the hour. It’s embarrassing to admit because it sounds like I’m emotionally unstable. As much as I want to follow that up with “But I’m stable! I promise!” and jumble out a bunch of persuasive phrases to convince them all my poo doesn’t stink, I’m going to refrain. There’s no need anymore.

I wrote on Facebook just yesterday that the world has enough fluff and shared three real things I normally wouldn’t share, at least not online. I don’t want to be another clanging cymbal adding to the noise or another girl who posts only the best pictures to show off her awesome life, leaving everyone else feeling less than. My heart has always been with the people who don’t play games and stay true to who they are, regardless of the price. I want to get back to my heart.

Shauna Niequist’s words in her book, Present Over Perfect, on page 31 sum up where I’m at so well:

“I’ve been so committed to prove (as though anyone cares) that I can handle it all. And I’ve handled a whole lot of things. I’ve had babies and lost babies and written books and spoken at events and run races and hosted all manner of showers and dinners and parties. I’ve done so many things.
And I’m so tired. I miss my friends. I sleep terribly. I snap at my kids more than I want to, and then I lay in bed at night feeling guilty about it. I spend more time asking my husband for help with the dishes or the kids than I do asking him about his life and his dreams and ideas.Who wins, then? I handled it all! I showed them! But who is “them”? Who cares? Whose voice am I listening to? What am I trying to prove? What would happen, what would be lost, if I stopped, or if I slowed down to a pace that felt less like a high-speed chase all day, everyday? What if I trusted that there would be more time down the road, that if that book has to be read or that party has to thrown or that race has to be run or that trip has to be taken, there will be time to take it/do it/read it/write it later? Later. Later.
I don’t operate in later. I’ve always been proud of that. But look where it’s gotten me. Stuffed. Exhausted. Wrung out and over-scheduled to the point where even the things I love to do sound like obligations, and all my deepest desires and fantasies involve sleep and being left alone. My greatest dream is to be left alone? Things have gone terribly awry.
There has to be another way. And I’m going to find it…”

It is with tear-filled eyes and a weary heart that I write this to you, diary:
Although I’ve never had babies, everything else Shauna says is so spot on. When I finished reading that for the first time, I felt like maybe she’d been studying me and somehow wrote this as a direct observation. I know, an illogical thought, but justifiable nonetheless. Her words are a compilation of my most inner thoughts over many years. Anyone who knows me, I mean really knows me, knows that I am the girl on high-speed chase mode all day everyday. I’ve talked about it before.

The whole hustle trend is a constant struggle for me. Growing up in the early 90’s when kids’ sports schedules began dominating family calendars, I was a hustler before it became a catch-phrase. I affirmed my mom as we added one more extra-curricular schedule to my plate. I always asked for more. “I can handle it,” I persuaded and convinced everyone. This has been going on since I was 10, maybe younger.

At age 25 now, I hear so many people say, “You’re so wise. If only I knew that at your age!” But I’m not wise. I don’t know anything really earth-shattering. I think we all know more than we give ourselves credit for. Choosing to act on what we know, maybe that’s what wisdom is all about.

I’m on a journey to see for myself.

Love,
Manda

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2 comments

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It’s so easy among daily pageviews and pressures to lose the heart of blogging. I’m totally with ya! I’ve been following you on Instagram and popping by your site every now and then for the past month or so, and I just have to say I truly enjoy the vulnerability and openness with which you share your heart. When I read your posts, I already feel like I’m hearing from a friend. I’m thankful for your sharing heart and encouragement!

Reply

Kelsey, that means SO much to me! Thank you 🙂

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