if you haven’t noticed, i’ve been getting a lot more personal around here these days (one, two and three). the reasoning is two pronged; one: i didn’t want my blog to be all about scrapbooking (though there is of course nothing wrong with blogs that are, but BCQ is a lifestyle blog), and two: i have all of these thoughts/concerns/ideas in my head and i thought that maybe, just maybe, other people out there are going through the same thing.
boy was i right.
i’m blown away by the feedback from my personal posts. comments on the blog, comments on instagram and even emails. emails from strangers, someone who happened upon my blog, read it, and connected and my god! i feel so blessed that so many of you felt the need to reach out and tell me that you have been feeling the same way, or needed to read my words to know you’re not alone. i am so thankful for each and every one of you.
i did have one person reach out, someone who knows me a little more personally, and ask if i thought it was smart to be so personal on my blog. “isn’t that stuff you should keep to yourself? just write in your journal for only you to see?”
and i thought: why? i’m not sharing anything that i’m uncomfortable with. i don’t write anything that offends people (hopefully!). what i do is open up. i’m real. i’m honest. i write about the tough side of parenting. i write about tough relationships and bad days. these days who wants to read a blog that is so perfectly photographed, curated and edited that you can’t see the author in all of it?
the blogs that i love are all written by people who are real and honest, and that’s what keeps me coming back.
so to all of you who keep coming back, who comment and reach out: thank you. i hope that you continue to find someone you like here in my little space.
i want to read great books that make me feel alive.
i want to wash my face at the end of every day.
i want to successfully plant and keep a garden alive in my backyard.
i want to never speak ill of anyone.
i want to spend more time in coffee shops, writing, reading, or just sitting there thinking. what’s important is that it is time to myself, alone, out of the house and (hopefully) out of my head.
i want to wear red lipstick more often, because it makes me feel beautiful.
i want to never be too lazy to straighten my hair.
i want to inspire creativity in those around me.
i want to be someone that my friends and family can always count on.
i want to be more diligent about tweezing my eyebrows.
i want to have endless things to scribble in my moleskins. oh, and start a moleskin collection.
i want to never be too tired or lazy to cook a healthy dinner for my family.
i want to always say yes when my son wants me to play with or hold him.
i want to make money doing something that i love, surrounded by people that i respect and admire, in an environment that encourages friendship and creativity alongside hard work.
i want to write more handwritten letters.
i want to find balance between “rachel the mom” and “rachel the woman”.
i want to drink more tea and less coffee.
i want to always grow and learn to understand myself more.
i want to always write lists, simply because i find them comforting.
and above all else, i want to be true to myself.
these days it’s a safe bet that the baby will wake up around six thirty, meaning that if i am successful in waking as the clock turns from 5:59 to 6:00, i can creep downstairs into the dark kitchen, put on a pot of coffee and enjoy thirty minutes of blissful peace and quiet before the hustle and bustle of my day begins. (sometimes i wonder how working mothers do it, and then i remind myself that that will be me soon. what an adjustment it is sure to be).
those first thirty minutes are glorious. the sun has not yet risen and the house is dark and silent, save for the sputtering of the coffee maker.
coffee is my savior these days. i used to laugh at a good friend of mine back in canada who, as she brought her first coffee of the day to her lips, would say: “hold on, let me drink my personality.” but she was on to something.
on those quiet mornings that i’m able to wake before the baby, i keep the lights low. sometimes i log on to my computer and check my favorite blogs. sometimes i sit at the kitchen table with my journal, or a book. sometimes i simply sit – with coffee in hand – on the couch in silence, my thoughts swirling around me.
those first thirty minutes are a reminder that every day is a gift, and that maybe, just maybe, there is a lot more to be thankful for than I thought.
i was terrible at dating. it most likely stemmed from my shyness, and my lack of faith in myself and my looks. sometimes, when sitting in a coffee shop or out at a movie theatre and a good looking guy walked by, making me nudge my girlfriend, while we both looked on in awe, i would stop and wonder if i ever had that effect on a guy. was i the type of woman that men looked at? once, twice?
i’ve always been terribly self-concious about the way i look. i was a late bloomer, teased mercilessly by all the boys at school, except for my high school sweetheart, tim (thank goodness for him looking beyond my flat chest and short hair). i never though i was anything special. truth is, i still don’t think i am. i may be at a point in my life where i’m finally becoming comfortable with the way i look, but that’s not the point.
the point is, i was terrible at dating. i’ve never been good at small talk, and the first few dates with a new person are just that. i probably asked too many personal questions too early, wanting to get down to the nitty gritty right away so as not to waste my time. i was never a serial dater. i never dated anyone i didn’t see a future with. i never dated just for the sake of dating.
i made sure to walk into first dates with low expectations, so as not to be disappointed, which i almost always was. i met a lot of those good-on-paper men; the ones with good jobs, a place of their own, close to their family, etc, but there was no attraction. no spark.
i always knew what i wanted in a partner. i wanted someone who would challenge me, who would make me laugh and make me feel special. someone who would tell me how much i mean to them, who would appreciate all the little things i did for them. someone who wanted kids and a good head on his shoulders.
i did date, though. before my husband, i had four long-term boyfriends. each of them had their positives and negatives, and each took part in helping me discover myself and become the woman that i am today.
without josh, i wouldn’t have known that it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of the kind of person you should be with. from him, i would learn how to scare the shit out of my mother.
without tim, my high school sweetheart of four years, i wouldn’t know that there are people out there who can look past your outer layer and really know who you are inside.
without nate, i wouldn’t know how easy it is to mistake love for lust. i wouldn’t know that there are certain ways that relationships can begin, and the way ours did was not one of them. no good could have come out of us being together.
without scott, my most serious relationship, i wouldn’t have figured out that there are certain things that i can’t – and shouldn’t have to – live without. from him, i learned not to settle, and so did he.
it’s funny how things work out.
when my husband and i first started the dating dance, i had gotten to a point where i was convinced that i wouldn’t find anyone who equally interested, challenged and loved me. our dance was different. first, it was long distance, with him in las vegas and myself in ontario, canada. and second, because of the distance, we built a foundation based on mutual interests and respect, long before the physical side entered the equation. so, we danced, and danced, and here we are today, coming up on our third wedding anniversary, an almost one year old boy at home.
i guess what i’m trying to say is that life has a way of working out. love has a way of working out. you just have to let it.
i firmly believe that you have a whole new lease on life by the time you reach the bottom of the coffee cup.
food for thought, friends.