After a frustrating day with my toddlers, I began writing publicly in 2012. I figured I couldn't be the only mom of toddlers struggling to keep things together.
I wanted others to know that they were not alone.
Really, I think I wanted to know that I was not alone.
Since then, I've written about what I was learning as we worked to rescue victims of human trafficking.
And then I wrote about what it was like living on a farm in an intentional community with no idea as to how to raise animals and really, not having a clue as to what farming entailed.
And then I switched gears again as we packed our bags and became nomads. I wrote about what it was like, places we saw, things I was learning, and our adventures traveling all over Europe, the UK, and India as a family of six.
I then pivoted to writing about spiritual practices and what I was learning in seminary.
Then Covid hit, and I wrote about the pain.
The pain that comes with parenting teenagers and preteens through a pandemic and political upheaval, and personal grief, rejection, and loss.
As I reflect on my writing journey, I realize that even though the platforms I've used have changed, my "why" has stayed the same.
Really, I am writing for both of us.
And now I find myself sitting in this uncomfortable chair, unable to think about something profound to write.
And I wonder if my flailing heart will ever settle upon one coherent message to consistently write about.
And then I realize what holds all my writing together is the idea that we are all the same in that our stories are full of both pain and beauty.
I know that for me, writing vulnerably has a way of keeping me grounded in reality.
Reading stories of struggle and pain helps me to know that the common thread in all of our lives is that we are all human.
Yes, life is full of pain and mess.
It’s full of stuff we don't want to go through.
Stuff we don't want to see.
Stuff we're ashamed of.
Stuff we like to hide.
Life is also full of beauty.
Full of laughter, embarrassing moments we can laughter about later, friendships, births, parties, celebrations, and accomplishments.
Life is truly a paradox.
So, my dear reader, as life continues to reveal both the beautiful along with the painful, I will keep writing.
I will keep writing because we all need safe spaces in our lives to be genuine and honest.
We need to know that we are not alone in this big, huge world.
We need to know that no matter what, all of us has a story that is both messy and beautiful.
And sometimes, especially at our lowest, we need to be reminded that we are all human beings worthy of respect, love, and empathy just trying to figure out how to live our lives in a way that makes sense in a world that doesn’t.
Thank you for being here and for giving me hope that safe spaces are possible and honest vulnerability is indeed beautiful.