“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.” – Sheila Murray Bethel
I love this quote because for me it encompasses what it means to grow into yourself, to learn who you are and what drives you to be the best you can be. For a long time I have known that writing is my passion, in fact I can not recall myself ever not knowing. From a very young child I would sit and write stories, it was by far my favourite thing to do at school and at home. If I wasn’t writing stories I was creating them in my head. I didn’t need to be kept busy with games, or television because I had a world of adventure in my mind. I loved playing Barbie dolls because I could get them to act out the stories that were in my mind, and I would spend hours outside talking to the plants and telling them my stories. One of my childhood neighbours always brings up the story of how she loved to watch me through her bedroom window as I happily chattered away to myself. No there were no voices in my head, just so many stories to tell, lol.
As I grew I stopped writing, I guess I became too busy with friends, school, parties, boys, and eventually grown up things. To spend time writing seemed indulgent and silly, my mind and my time was consumed with a million other things to do! I guess ultimately I didn’t give myself permission to write, there were still ideas in my head and so much I wanted to say, I just didn’t have the courage to start any more. When I was a child I didn’t care whether my grammar was correct, or if my spelling was atrocious, let alone if the story even made any sense. As an adult I let the fear of looking silly, or failing, stop me from writing, only to realise I was letting myself down, I had this huge, amazing, bursting passion to write and I wasn’t writing! I spent years wondering what was missing in my life, searching for what career I needed to fulfil me and it was staring me in the face the whole time, actually it was shaking me by the shoulders and screaming at me to listen, but I wasn’t in a place where I could hear it!
I’m not really sure I am a believer in fate and all that, so whether it was fate, or whether I was just finally at a point in my life where I was open to receive the universes divine message, I met a lady through my son’s kindergarten who was a independent book review blogger, I had been interested in looking into blogging, but had never thought I would go through with it, however as she spoke to me about her blog she lit up, I could see that it was her passion, and how happy she was with the work she was doing. I told her how I was writing a novel and how I had thought about blogging and she encouraged me to go for it! I was still unsure, I was never much of a risk taker, but I knew deep inside that I wanted to do it, I just needed the courage! Courage came in the form of a fellow school mum who saw me writing one day and asked me what I was working on, I told her (which was brave for me as normally I hid my writing from, well everyone,) I went to order us coffee and by the time I came back she was looking up “how to start your own blog!” I laughed it off, but I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, and to cut a long story short that is how reflectionsfromme.com was born!
I think for me one of the things that drove me to make that final step was my children, I am always encouraging my children, especially my ten year old to find what she is passionate about and go for it, I want my children to grow up and live a full life, and yet I was denying myself this.
I had spent my time as a mother devoted to being the best mother I could be, everything was about my children, but I still felt like I was failing them because I wasn’t being an example to them. I wasn’t following my passion so how could I ever expect them to ever follow theirs?
When I first started developing my website and setting up Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr I was busier than ever, because my life didn’t stop, I just had to fit it in somewhere. But I was happier than ever because I finally had the courage to do what I’d wanted to do my whole life. I thought my ten year old would be happy that mummy was happy, but well it didn’t quite work like that.
One night during her lengthy bedtime routine of songs, chats, hugs, more chats, I told her that her daddy had made me a cup of tea, and as it was 9pm and I had been busy all day I needed some down time with daddy now. (I had spent a good 30 minutes with her prior to this!) She promptly asked me if a cup of tea was more important than her?!!!!! (Seriously!) I told her it was not, but I needed some time now to unwind. When hubby went to check on her around 20 minutes later he found this note written on toilet paper, (there is plenty of paper in our house believe me she didn’t have to choose toilet paper to write on!) Note below
I could not believe this, I went to her room and she was still awake, looking up at me with her sad puppy dog brown eyes. I explained to her just because mummy is busier that does not change how I feel about her. Nor has it in the past weeks stopped me from school runs every day, watching her dance class for hours on end, helping her with homework, or giving her cuddles!! Talk about Mummy Guilt!!!
I began doubting if I had made the right decision, maybe I shouldn’t be blogging? Luckily for me I have a best friend who is a therapist, (poor her,) she told me that what I was doing is teaching my children “delayed gratification,” an important life skill. They can’t have everything, (even their parents attention,) as soon as the want it every time! So I too learnt an important lesson, I can be there for my children and also be true to my own dreams, and at the end of the day I know that by following my dreams I am passing on the freedom to my children to do the same, even if I have to feel some mummy guilt along the way!