With the exception of a few posts…I’ve basically taken the summer off from blogging…mostly because of my health, but also because I’ve felt my words weren’t important anymore. I wasn’t sure why I was writing…who I was writing for…and whether or not I wanted to continue to tell my story.
It’s not the first time in nine years of blogging that I’ve felt this way…but definitely the first time I’ve felt it to this degree.
I started as a “mommy blogger,” writing about my kids and what we were up to…morphing the blog into a “lifestyle blog” where I wrote about the world around me, my adventures and the way I saw things. For quite sometime now…I haven’t felt like I “fit” in the “influencer world” the way I believe that others do and therefore, I end up judging myself harshly and feeling like I’m not quite good enough. I try to keep up with the millennials who take to social media like a duck to water and end up feeling like I’m not being myself…and don’t like who I’m trying to be.
The “cookie cutter” categories of blogging don’t fit me. I’m definitely not a “food blogger” as I’m not a big fan of the kitchen although I don’t mind sharing a recipe from time to time. I certainly don’t fit into the “fashion blogger” category as I’m really not one for style though I’m happy to show my converse in various locations! I take on projects around the house so I can sort of fall into the “DIY Blogger” role but I’m not like the REAL DIY’ers who are constantly changing their homes and looking for new projects that include power saws and construction plans. The kids grew up…so “mommy blogging” has bit the dust and I don’t really have the extra funds for travelling at the moment which pretty much throws “travel blogging” out the window.
So who am I? What’s this blog about and what exactly do I have to offer by sharing my stories? Who’s really reading? Or…am I just contributing to all of the content noise that’s out there on the internet?
I took the summer off and instead of speaking…I listened.
At a wedding, I was told I had the “coolest job ever.” At a friend’s 50th, I was introduced to a woman who stopped the introduction and stated “I feel like I already know you as I read all of your posts.” Out for drinks with friends, I was told by someone I hardly know that she “loved my writing and looked forward to every post.” After I wrote about my mental health, I had private emails from many who shared their personal stories with me…and asked me to keep the conversation going. After writing about downtown patios…I had a number of people thank me for the recommendations as they tried a few new places! When I wrote about watching porn…it was read by hundreds of people, many who said I made them laugh. And, when I wrote about my insomnia…I received a ton of amazing advice.
Despite my reservations about my story telling and my limited writing this summer…you guys made me feel fantastic!
I’ve felt like a bag of rocks for the last few months. I’m waiting to get into three different specialists. Menopause has completely shaken me and turned me into a neurotic mess. Insomnia has added to an already precarious situation and there are days I’m barely functioning. Add to all of that…the heat of the summer while I’m dealing with breathing and sinus issues not to mention hot-flashes…is about all I can handle! Basically, so far…”50″ isn’t shaping up to be the most fantastic decade I’d hoped it would be.
While I’ve been nursing my wounds and taking a little time off…I’ve listened…and I’ve come to realize it’s not just me. I’m not the only one who feels completely off kilter and for the odd times I’ve written, folks are still reading and cheering me on despite me sounding blah and humdrum. This blog of mine…me sharing my stories…makes others feel less alone and a little more normal (if you consider me normal!)
We live in this world of social media where everyone’s lives look so perfect and put together when the reality is…we are sometimes a wreck.
I walked into the doctor’s office last week and said “I’ve seen you more in the last few months than I’ve seen you in ten years” and he responded with “that’s just how it goes sometimes.”
And maybe that’s just it…that’s just how it goes sometimes.
I really don’t have any answers and I’m not completely sure where I’m going with this post but based on the messages I’ve received asking how I’m doing…I know that there are people out there who are waiting for the next blog post. For whatever reason I’m writing…you’re reading. As blah as I feel I sound at the moment…apparently that’s allowed.
YOU have given me permission to not feel like I have to make it all look perfect…because at the moment, it’s not.
We’re heading into the final days of summer and as the humidity heads out and the days get brisker…I’m going to continue along this road of recovery and discovery and as I tip-toe ahead…I’m hauling you along with me.
While I took a little time away from blogging…my greatest discovery has been that I miss you…and it’s nicer to have you here with me, than to be doing this all alone.
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If you’re wondering how you can help…I’m always encouraged by your positive messages and comments! OR…tell me a topic or place you think I should write about and I’ll see if I’m up for the adventure!
Just keep being you. Your truthful voice will continue to resonate with your readers.
Thank you Gina…what a lovely thing to say.
When your children were younger and their activities were a huge part of your world, you wrote about that and probably people who had children in sports and school responded and read because they could relate. Right now, you are going through the unmitigated joy of peri- or menopause. Being 50 is different for everybody, but guaranteed there will be a whole whack of women who can relate to what you are going through (I can!!). Write about what you are living at the moment. Glad you posted! -Jenn
Ahhhh Jenn…you were one of the first blogs I started following so many years ago now that I feel as if we’re friends. It’s nice to hear from you.
Colleen, I love your writing. It’s very refreshing and real. Remain open to the universe my dear, positive things will inevitably come ?
I will open myself to the universe!! Thanks Reg xo
Hope you will feel well soon Colleen. Keep writing and read your own words . They will help you.They help others. I like the way you spin a story around almost any topic. Keep up the good work Love Aunt BettyP
Thanks Aunt Betty! You’ve been one of my greatest supporters for as long as I can remember. I love you. xo
That’s why people love you because you are who you are and not try to be otherwise. Age and wisdom of coming through the other side! keep on keeping on! 🙂
Age and wisdom!!! 🙂 Thanks for always being such an amazing blogging friend. xo
From the day I met you(and bought your book), I have loved your ability to tell a story. You have a unique gift…never stop using it! What stands out most for me is the humour you find in dark moments. Your voice is rare and I so look forward to the tales you will tell as you enter this next phase of life. Be funny, don’t be funny…just tell your stories!