If you know me in real life, you know that I am honest. To the point of weird. I can't keep a secret to save my life. I can't hide my opinions or emotions. And more often than not, I stick my foot all the way in my mouth because I have no filter.
I just word vomit. Constantly.
Being online is completely different.
I get to hide behind some anonymity. I get to write the perception of myself and update all my million statuses with whatever I want you to see. There's a backspace. And an edit button.
I can read it and reread it and reread it before I ever push publish.
I can filter and crop my pictures and choose which images of me you all get to see.
I can delete any unkind sentiments or ignore the things I don't like.
In like the really horrible, awful, exhausting kind of way.
Right? Am I alone with this???
Maybe it's the fact that I've had a massive cold/virus thing for OVER A MONTH. Maybe it's the fact that this plague is now pushing into my sinuses and I am positive that tomorrow I will wake up with a sinus infection. Maybe it's the fact that there is some hard stuff happening in my personal life right now. Stuff I'm not ready to talk about yet. Stuff that needs a couple more days, but honestly, these next few days are going to be some of the hardest I've faced until I have answers.
Maybe it's that I'm behind. With all my deadlines. And social media. And the house. And the laundry. And just in general... with life.
Maybe it's the fact that this last weekend I had the most amazing time at Women of Faith. I took in good teaching that came straight from the Bible and spoke to my soul and spirit. I spent time with some of my dear friends that spoke truth to me, that listened to my story and gave me peace. Maybe it's that yesterday I took the day off. Off. All the way off. I read a good book and spent time with my husband and made sure my kids were well fed and ready for the crazy week ahead of us. I ignored the Internet and my daunting work load and I put my feet up and relaxed. And breathed.
Maybe it's all of this. Maybe it's that these things have become a spinning vortex of anxiety in my life and I can feel the pull and suction sweeping up from the bottom. It wants to pull me in and send me into chaos and confusion. And never let me go.
But I'm not going to let it.
I have a lot on my plate. But you know what?? We. All. Do.
There is not one person, not one woman, who is not out there right now juggling a thousand different things while doubts and fears and anxiety and her To Do list assaults her violently and relentlessly.
We are all going through something. Something big. Something that is exhausting and draining and tires out our very soul.
And so I don't want you to look at me and think that I'm complaining or whining or making excuses. I'm not.
Really, I'm not.
At least not at this particular moment.
Don't stick around for too long though because that might change. :)
Right now I'm just trying to accept this crazy life for what it is and get some work done. Any amount of work. Ten words on a page or one status update.
I had a friend say something so true to me last Thursday and I have been saying it like a mantra in my head since last week.
She asked, "How's the writing going?"
And immediately guilt and doubt and anxiety plagued me because I'm behind with TRP and I need to get the mash-up all finished. And I need to start on The Heart so it's not late. And I hadn't blogged in forever. And I have edits of L&D just WAITING for me to get to but I've been too behind with everything else to get them done and uploaded. Plus, I've got all these minor tasks that need to be done. And then there's my non-working life with all its demands. And I feel guilty. And unprepared. And unqualified. And STRESSED OUT.
So, I groaned and said, "UGH. Don't ask!"
She laughed and said, "Are you behind again?"
And I said, "So. Very. Behind."
She laughed again. Because she is a wonderful, amazing woman with four kids and a husband with incredible, mind-boggling aspirations and she homeschools and has a puppy and takes care of her mother, and all these other people. And she is the woman I want to be.
But she laughed and said, "Rachel, you have four kids! I would be more concerned if you were not behind with every single thing!"
See? I told you she was amazing.
Because at that moment I felt the truth of her words. I have a crazy life. And right now it's a little crazier than usual. I don't want to be behind with deadlines. I don't want to have to fight tooth and nail just to carve out space during my day to write. I don't want to have a brain that sometimes refuses to work properly because there are a million things packed inside of it and someone forgot to send me my upgrade.
Well, I say I don't want to. But... really I wouldn't change this for the world. I love the chaos of my world because I get to be a mom and have my dream job. I get to have a career but still be the woman of the house and feel feminine and important to my family, to feel necessary. I get to create and daydream and push myself in ways I never thought I would go and still be an active participant in life so that my creativity keeps coming, so my ideas never stop.
And the best part? I'm not alone.
We're all going through this, right? We're all silently wishing for a Xanax prescription while we juggle all the different hats we wear and struggle to just remember the correct name of the child we're speaking to. We're cursing dinner because who can honestly think of something for dinner every freaking night??? While we're helping with homework and ironing our husband's shirts and breaking up sibling fights and comforting tiny broken hearts and being everything to everybody.
It's a curse.
And it's a blessing.
We are in it. We are in life and we are fighting to survive it.
To simply survive it.
But there is joy in survival and bigger blessings than we knew existed, than we knew were even possible!
So thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for not hating me because I have this horrific disease in which I can't be on time for a single thing in my life. Thank you for reading this and empathizing with me.
I just want to say that this blog post is coming from me. Nobody has said anything to me or written me one word that wasn't absolutely encouraging and understanding.
But I feel the guilt. I feel it heavily. And I hate it. So this is all from me.
One last thought. I just want to encourage you. If you're in it with me. If you're juggling and sprinting from event to event. If your house is in disorder and your laundry pile the size of Mount Everest. If you have little kids who need your attention for every second of every day or older kids who won't give you their attention because they're way too cool for that. If you are longing for kids but that hasn't happened yet or think I'm crazy for ever thinking the idea of procreating was not the dumbest idea ever. If you're working through your career day by day, minute by minute or if you're managing a household and everything that goes along with that. You just need to know that you are not alone. We are all here. In this place. This hard place with hard expectations and hard circumstances.
And you will survive it. It might not be pretty, but it can definitely be happy.
Forgive yourself first. That's what Shauna's comment helped me do. Forgive myself first. And then seek out hope beyond that moment.
Juggle. Struggle. Fight. And forgive. That's what I'm trying to do. And I hope that you're trying it too.
Let's be Honest
Who is Rachel?!?
Rachel Higginson is the author of The Five Stages of Falling in Love, Every Wrong Reason, The Star-Crossed Series, Love & Decay Novella Series and much more! She was born and raised in Nebraska, and spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, but came back home to marry her high school sweetheart. Now she spends her days writing stories and raising four amazing kids.
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