I got a message the other day from a mom. A woman who had just lost a baby. And as you know if you’ve lost a pregnancy, the word lost is so weird. Like lost, as I mentioned when I experienced a loss makes you feel like you physically misplaced something. Like there’s blame to the word. But I didn’t lose the pregnancy. It left me. And I still remember that feeling. I had never known how hard your heart could hurt when something you never even knew or actually felt left you. And so I wrote about it.
I wrote to heal me.
And in writing, I found others who had been there. Who showed me that life would find a new normal again.
After I had the Oldest, I was lost. This time, I actually lost myself. My sanity. Looking back at some of my posts now, I can see how overwhelmed and sad and lonely I felt with this baby that was tinier than I anticipated. That wasn’t growing like a “normal” baby. A baby who cried. A lot. A lot. A lot.
I was lost then. And I found comfort from other mamas and papas and parents who could tell me that this had happened to them. And that at some point, it would get better. Even if they couldn’t tell me how. They could tell me that eventually, it would.
When my second child kept screaming through his 18th month. And he couldn’t communicate the way I needed him to… for my own sanity… I wrote about it. I shared about our struggles. And a community came to me with suggestions and help. And we got him incredible early intervention that helped him function more happily.
I had high risk pregnancies that I documented here. I have talked about my marriage. I have written about clothing. And friendship. And traveling. I have sang — even though I’m not a singer. I have shared my real thoughts on these little men that I get to mother. I have gushed about them. And about life. About God. And race. And politics, even.
And then, cancer. And oh.my.gosh. was I ever so happy to have this space?! A huge part of my healing has come from writing through the pain. The triumphs. The treatments. The surgeries. I have shared what’s off my chest. What’s on my chest. What’s beneath my chest. I’ve shared my heart here.
And I’ve gotten messages. And a lot of them share this sentiment: Thank you for showing me that life can go on.
I’ve wondered for a long time… what is my purpose here on this blog? What is my personal goal — financial gain, collaborations, a book? And I realized the other day as I emailed with this woman who lost her pregnancy. This woman who said to me, “I searched miscarriage and have read post after post and yours was the first to help me feel like it’s okay that this is hard and that eventually, some day, I will feel like me again.” I realized as I met the kindest woman who lost her husband to cancer and said, “Your words. They matter.” I’ve realized when other moms say, “Thank you for being honest about potty training…”
My purpose? It’s hope.
When I put it all together… when I survey it in retrospect… every bit I’ve decided to “over share” here has led to a message of hope.
I am going to write about all the real stuff. I’ve been doing that since my “signing on” post. And I am going to be honest. Probably “too” honest for some… heck sometimes I’m too honest for me… but I still click publish because I feel like if it’s a part of life for me, maybe it’s a part for someone else. But I am also going to tell you that I legitimately love this life. Annoyingly so, perhaps. I love that I get to be here in this place. This world. With You humans. I know without a doubt that I am a lucky girl. And I believe that maybe I get to share all this in this way so I can help you know that there is often hope.
Thank you to each of you who has shared your heart with me. I am not always the best at responding. But it’s hard to explain what it means when a stranger takes time to say that something I wrote mattered. And it’s hard not to be shy and taken aback when people are praising me for being the only thing I know how to be: real. I don’t re read my words over and over before I publish them… which can sometimes be a problem. Instead, I write and push “publish” and feel a freedom like I just got rid of baggage or ideas or fears or joy and gave it a life of its own. I could probably find better words so often if I took time and edited and really put it together the way others would but then, I fear, it would no longer represent the real life that weaves through my phrasing, my thoughts, and the true feelings coming from the inside out.
But words do not get a life if no one reads them. And as I work on a collection of my thoughts, I think about how lucky I am that anyone has read anything I put out there. And it gives me hope right back that my words will continue to reach those who need them. At just the times they are looking for them.
So thank you for reading. Thank you for giving me eyes to share my heart with. And thank you for helping me figure out that whether it’s here or on social media or through a book, I get to give just a little bit of hope to people who are looking for just that.