A friend told me a few years ago that a blog would be a great creative discipline for me. She had known me for many years and I know now that she could see something needed to come out of me . Something, anything. There was a door shut that needed to be opened.
I wasn't afraid to be seen by others. I was terrified. Or so did I convince myself. I wouldn't talk much about me but I was a great listener. I was the friend you'd come to when you needed to speak, the one that would comfort you before comforting herself, the one that would never judge, always be by your side and keep her mouth shut. I'm making myself sound like a pretty cool friend (did I mention I like whisky?). Well guess what, I am still that friend. The difference now is that I learned to speak up for myself, I learned that I don't have to please each and everyone, I learned to follow my instinct, to say no when I think no (there may be a yes escaping here and there but I am doing much better), I am in the process of learning that it is okay to receive as opposed to give always, I might even one day have the desire to celebrate my birthday and blow candles with friends clapping their hands and cheering me up...I might!
Believe me it isn't an easy process. I sometimes didn't know how to say no and got mad when a simple no would have worked wonder. I've had to learn to control the anger that would come when I wanted to speak up for myself but couldn't figure out the right words to do so. I am still learning. Most friends laughed when they found out I was getting into Muay Thai boxing seven years ago, then they were surprised when they found out how serious I was about it. I had found a way to express my emotions without feeling judged. I was learning to let go of my fears and boxing was my best companion on that journey (all the while shaping my body with pretty sweet muscles. #Lifebeforebabies.)
So the day the thought of having a blog came back , I decided to just do it. I was a mom now and not only was I learning to speak up for myself, I was also learning to speak up for my baby who couldn't speak yet. I was learning to make the best decisions for him, I was learning to say no to someone who really wanted to hold him when clearly he did not want to be held by that someone. I never doubted my instinct as a mom and it empowered the woman I was becoming. I wasn't terrified anymore, I was slightly afraid.
Of course I did not have much ideas on what I was going to blog about. Sure I had looked at tons of other blogs out there and thought I could become a great inspirational blogger, telling people what's cool and what's not. Well this never really happened. I'm not good at telling people what they should do and buy and what cream* will do miracles for their poshy eyes. I might share a wishlist here and there but that's really just so my family (and hubby hellooooo) know what to get me for christmas without having to ask for it (totally sneaky). I leave the do/dont to other talented bloggers out there (they are talented, they actually make money off of their blogs, dammit girl!).
No, I soon found myself sharing stories about...myself! How narcissistic** can one become? (And why isn't anyone paying me to do so?)
The truth is that we had just gone through so much, from becoming a family of three to moving from one side of the world to another side to another side and back to the side we had left a year before (follow here?), no more jobs and three suitcases for a fresh new start (talked a bit about it here and here). Putting words on the chaos that our life seemed to be at that moment -just a little over one year ago- helped me move forward. With the migrants disaster happening all over the world right now, I didn't want to complain about my first world problems, complaining wasn't the point. Reflecting, letting go of the past, moving on and embracing life with all of its beauty and challenges..this is what this blog has helped me with. It's made me take time to sit down and focus. To look at me, my family in the moment to better visualize our future. It's helped me realize all that we have achieved. It helped me question our parenthood journey. I've even learned to thread words together in a foreign language! It helped me acknowledge our strengths and work on our weaknesses but most important and this is what has surprised me the most is that it's helped me connect with people. In a beautiful way. There's a tribe out there that has been making time over and over again to reach out to me via emails, messages, to let me know they liked what I was doing/writing, to tell me about their own stories and most surprisingly (from my point of view) : to thank me for sharing my stories, my thoughts...for speaking up. I have connected with women I didn't know before, I have strengthened already existing friendships, I even had a few men positively comment this little corner of the internet (men, you're weird).
My take-away here is that it took me years to create this space for myself because I was so afraid to be judged, to be told it wasn't any good, but the day I let go of fears and decided that I didn't care what people may say, I got closer to my tribe, closer to my people and most importantly (narcissistic**, remember?) closer to my true-self. I should have known better. It's not much different than the day I decided I was good enough to ride bigger waves windsurfing (there too, it took me a while to let go of my fear of being seen..in the ocean...pathetic). I am not making up some fake great-story, I am not saying thousands of people will read this and think I'm awesome, I am not even saying this is any good but this is me and I am thankful for the love each and everyone of you have given me. It has nurtured my soul much more than you'll ever know.
This Happy-Bandits thing helps me navigate challenges when they come and celebrate when they go.
It might be a virtual world, I might be speaking to the unknown, but the voices are real.
I did not have much ideas on what I was going to blog about.
Sharing from my heart, exploring life and motherhood through photography and connecting with you turned out to be what I didn't know I would do. And love doing.
* by the way, I don’t use a single cream, not that my skin is perfection but because the dozen of chemicals listed on the said creams freaks the hell out of me - do you know how little organic ingredients a cream needs to have the organic label..? Very little. (I don't use shampoo either but I'll keep my hippie secrets for another post!).
** I am sending birth announcement out, people think they'll get a photo of our baby? They should think twice, I managed to print myself up and make it look like a birth announcement....narcissistic to the top.