History and Truth

My first blog post; I wrote it 4 years before I actually created a blog. Six years ago I had this intense gnawing in my soul and writing was the only cure. I devoted many early morning hours writing letters to God to help me through the dark days of deployment. I read a lot too. And I fell in love with a few female bloggers that made writing publicly seem attractive and attainable. After reading about how one of my favorite bloggers fell into blogging by posting a list of 25 things about herself on Facebook, I created my own list. Like her I tried to avoid writing glossy tidbits, and instead tried to share real truths about myself.

Over the years I have revisited this file on my computer and read through my list of 18 things. I have no idea why I never wrote down 25 things, my only guess is someone needed me for a diaper change or a snack. I’ve considered adding to the list to make it to 25, but that just didn’t feel right. Who said I had to write 25 anyway?

Making the decision this year to be a “real writer” has been a bit unnerving and required many conversations with my people and way too many pros and cons lists. So today it feels right that I share my very first blog post; my list of 18 truths that I wrote before I knew what the word vulnerable really meant.

June 13, 2013

                        As I sit here on the proverbial eve of homecoming I have a heightened sense of fear. I am shockingly afraid to get too excited about homecoming, we still have too many days for my liking of him being in the “sandbox.” Besides that gnawing fear of the unknowns of life in the desert, I have a fear of what will happen when he comes home. It became extra clear this morning in an email I received from him about his fears of coming home as well. The bottom line is this deployment changed both of us, and in a marriage and a family as young as ours that totally freaks me out. We’ve been through hard stuff, BIG hard stuff, but this is different. I have spent the greater portion of the last year in fear that someone was going to knock on my door. And on the flip side I have also spent the rest of the time working on me, finding out who I am. I have lots of definers: B and L’s mom, M’s wife, Navy wife, dependent, but none of those totally tell my story, and to be quite honest I didn’t know why. I have spent the last year writing letters to God and searching for the thing that made me, me. I have made lists, lots of lists, of goals to accomplish during deployment everything from organize and upload photos (still unchecked) to run a race (check). It became painfully obvious to me about a month before deployment that I was pissed, all the time, and I didn’t know why. I now know that it stems a bit from jealousy and a lot from not knowing what my “thing” is. So I’ve spent this last year cultivating it…spending quiet time with myself and my Higher Power…that in itself is a difficult task.

25 Things about me:

  1. I have “fat girl” mentality. Being a former fat girl, I am always afraid of going there again. For the most part I watch what I eat, and when I don’t I beat myself up for it.

  2. I love the beach. Today I realized that prior to this year with scheduled quiet time, the beach is the only place I have ever sat all day with no agenda. My whole purpose for going to the beach is to sit still and enjoy doing nothing.

  3. I am an avid reader. I especially love historical fiction. But I read everything from celebrity magazines to daily devotionals.

  4. I want to write. No scratch that I want to write stuff that inspires people. I have a lot of story that I think is worth telling.

  5. Aside from the fear associated with deployments, I love being a Milspouse. Having only been one for 4 years, I am excited to see where M’s career will take us and who we will meet. It’s been a helluva 4 years, but I wouldn’t trade the friends I’ve made and the stuff I’ve learned.

  6. Sometimes I really hate being a SAHM. I long for hours with other adults, doing adult things, like eating without cutting someone else’s food.

  7. Fear is my biggest defeater. I have spent a lot of my life in fear…of not being good enough, pretty enough, mommy enough, crafty enough, wealthy enough…

  8. I have learned I actually like to run. I ran 3 miles yesterday and felt like a runner. It felt good to run those miles instead of sucking wind and feeling like I was going to die.

  9. I enjoy getting dressed up when I go out in public. I like doing my hair and makeup. It’s not about you; it’s about me. It makes me feel good and girly.

  10. I hope I’m not totally screwing up this parenting thing, by sometimes making the day about me…meaning, I need my quiet time and I need to work out. Sometimes my kids go along for the ride.

  11. There is something about being a boy mom that I really enjoy and never thought I would. I really don’t miss the Barbies and the babies. I do sometimes miss the frilly socks and hair bows though.

  12. I could live at Walt Disney World. There has never been a less complicated time in my life than the 8 months I spent working for Disney. It is my happy place, because it really is “the happiest place on earth.”

  13. I love being Southern. Though I am fiercely a Virginian, I sometimes wish I was from deeper in the south because I hate always having to explain that, yes, Virginia really is in the South. I look forward to moving to Yankee territory and spreading my southerness, like I spread pimento cheese on cracker.

  14. I am terrified of “severe weather.” Driving in driving rain or being home alone when watches and warnings have been issued send me into panic mode. I can’t sit still. I constantly check my phone. I simultaneously want to wrap up in a blanket or sweat profusely.

  15. I think everyone needs a 12-step program. It would make life a lot smoother.

  16. I continue to work on being a truth teller. Being direct has never come easy for me, so I have to work at it Every. Single. Day. I have gotten better about truth telling when telling my story when it is relevant. I struggle to be a whole truth teller with my closest family members.

  17. I am jealous of my husband’s abilities. He is a great photographer. He has worked his ass off to be great in his career field. When he is home alone with the boys, he is Superdad: cleaner of dishes, clothes, and everything else, while keeping children entertained and happy. He is serene during life’s chaotic moments. He always has faith in me even when I lack it in myself.

  18. I used to thrive on chaos. I am the queen of creating crises so that I don’t have to be alone with myself. I’m working on this.

 

I love revisiting this list because I can see how much of it reflects who I have always been: beach lover, avid reader, Disney enthusiast. I like the confirmation that though my life has taken many twists and turns in the 6 years since I penned it, there are parts of me that are steadfast.

But it’s the truths I penned that were mere dreams or outstanding fears that have come to fruition or dissipated as I have grown and become healthier that really makes me smile. To see the growth is a gift this list gives me each time I visit it and today I am glad to bring it into the light.

 

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Standing in the light.  Photo by Matthew Stroup of Ad Hoc Fotography

 

 

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