This summer a dear friend recommended I read the book "Carry on Warrior: The Power of Embracing your Messy, Beautiful Life" by writer and blogger Glennon Doyle Melton.
I am about 3/4 through the book, and I cannot help but find myself laughing, connecting, understanding, sharing and wanting more the entire way through. The writing and life stories she shares are so real. She isn't afraid to give us as readers a true glimpse into her life (good, bad, all of it), and it is this brutal honesty that I appreciate most about her writing.
As I have been reading the text, I have been reflecting on my own blog writing. I started thinking about why I wanted to start this blog in the first place and my intentions for myself and my readers. I found myself rereading what I had written on the day I began this dear little blog of mine, and I was left with two overwhelming and simultaneously contrasting feelings: disappointment and inspiration.
Here is an excerpt of what I wrote in that very first post:
I love perusing blogs that inspire me to strengthen my faith and my character. I love finding project ideas that motivate me to be creative and recipes that encourage me to pretend I'm on Top Chef. I love learning ways to lead a healthier lifestyle both inside and out and ways in which I can enjoy and spread joy to those around me. Most of all, I love to hear about the stories and lives of others in this great big world of ours. We can all grow and learn so much from one another.
And this, my friends, is why I have decided to start this blog. I'm excited to have a place to share my story. My hope is that this blog is a space that does all of those things that I have listed above for those who chose to follow along with me.
So why the conflicting feelings of disappointment and inspiration upon reading this first post?
Disappointment because I know that I have not truly succeeded in achieving the purpose I had intended in beginning my blog in the first place. And inspiration because I do believe in this purpose I had set forth. It encourages and motivates me just like Glennon's writing and many of the other blogs and stories I read that pursue similar directions.
It has been awhile since I have written folks, and I know this. I could make an excuse in saying that I have been extremely busy with other things. I could say that I didn't feel like I truly had anything worthy to blog about. But these reasons, are what have led me to feel this disappointment within myself in the first place. Instead of "embracing my messy, beautiful life" as Glennon would call it, I fell into the trap of comparison and thinking that what I have to share a) does not measure up to what some of my other favorite, esteemed bloggers are writing about b) has to be impeccably written, photographed and put on display (which seems like a lot of work sometimes) and c) must fit in with the theme that everything in our lives is "happy" because that's in the title of my blog is it not?
What I have realized over this past lack-luster blogging year and in reading the words of whom I'd like to deem my dear friend, Glennon, is that the stories and blog posts I have read throughout the year that resonated with me most were often not the ones where everything looked like it had come from a Better Homes and Gardens magazine or where the family had come from Walgreen's "Land of Perfect", but where the writer was being brutally honest (good, bad and all of it). Now don't get me wrong, I love me my fair share of DIY ideas and recipes that I would never in a million years dream up on my own, but I also love when I can get a sneak peak into the "real" life of the author. Not only the parts that are beautiful, but the ones that are messy too. When I read these types of posts it makes me feel like I am listening to a friend; like I am not alone. It gives me an opportunity to connect with their joys and heartaches - many of which either I or someone I know has or is experiencing as well.
It is my goal to get back to where I began with this blog. It is my hope to let go of this idea of perfection and be brave and honest with myself and in my writing. I am inspired and looking forward to sharing my "real" life story and our "happy" as we truly know it.
Thank you Glennon and the rest of you who are the "warriors" doing this real life sharing thing each and every day. I look forward to joining your ranks.