Lately, I have been feeling like a wanderer. I know that not all who wander are lost, according to J.R.R. Tolkien, and a little wandering can be good for the soul. In my quest to uncover my purpose at this stage in my life, however, I feel like I have been everywhere and nowhere. But this much I know: writing is an integral part of it.
I wish I could adequately explain how I know that when I have struggled to nail down the reason behind this little blog of mine. I explore that idea in more depth here, but I know for certain this online space is a vital step in my personal journey, as well as a labor of love.
In my post last week, I asked this question: is blogging dead?
It does feel that way as the online world evolves and more bloggers head in the direction of podcasting and video. But my rhetorical question struck a chord. A series of encouraging comments and emails reached my ears and my inbox, including these:
“I’m so glad you still blog, I love reading what you have to say!”
“I would rather read your ‘real life’ blog than the many that are always promoting things! Hope you continue!”
“I love your posts. They are so uplifting to me!! Thank you!”
“I don’t know if blogs are waning, but if I want anyone to keep blogging, it’s YOU! Your posts are always interesting, real, and helpful! You’re doing such important work on so many levels. God bless you.”
“I love your posts because they make me feel so normal.”
My heart is full. Thank you, friends, for believing in me, even when I sometimes struggle to believe in myself. Your comments were uplifting and insightful, causing me to think deeply about why I do what I do, and what I hope to accomplish in the process.
The result of that introspection can be summed up in one sentence that defines my purpose as a writer:
I normalize struggle and imperfection in family life while encouraging women to parent with purpose, faith, and humor.
Though it has not always been quite so clear in my mind, almost every post I have written in the past four years fits beautifully into that mold. Life is messy, beautiful, and downright hilarious. But sometimes, especially in our world of highlight reels and feigned perfection, it feels like I am the ONLY one who is wading through knee-deep mud on my quest to live and parent well.
I have talked to enough women in my time, however, to know that we are ALL in the mud to one extent or another. Walking alongside someone who is willing to be vulnerable and real is my saving grace because it makes me feel like I am OK instead of crazy. (Though there are days when I am DEFINITELY crazy!)
Knowing that others are traveling similar paths helps me see joy amidst the chaos of life. It helps me remain optimistic rather than getting bogged down by challenges.
I created Simply for Real because of a deep-seeded desire to show the world that it is possible to find joy, peace, and contentment in the middle of life’s imperfections. I want women to know that they are not alone in their struggles, and that curated Instagram feeds are not the substance of reality.
I want to be the friend who can say, “You are normal because you struggle. Your kids are normal because they are not perfect. And you’re going to be OK because I am right there with you. We are in this together.”
There is no denying that life is hard, no matter how you toss the dice. Throwing children into the mix will result in a series of one roller-coaster ride after another that will undoubtedly leave your head spinning. The trick is to raise your hands in the air, feel the rush of the wind on your face, lose yourself in the moment, and be grateful for the ride.
I hope I can help you do that. I will not be leaving blogging behind anytime soon. I feel so blessed to be on this journey with you. Thanks for following along.