Here I am...
Yesterday or 14 years ago, I was reading philosophy texts, drinking beer, chatting it up with girl friends, wondering if I would get married, hoping I would get a really good job offer and firmly believing that I would never move back to Omaha, Nebraska.
I used to make fun of the women that I babysat for...they wore sweater sets from Talbots, faded pleated pants, the same pearl earrings, and drove station wagons or mini vans. Most needed a highlight at best and some needed significant work like a lip wax or a personal trainer. Everyone of them were so thankful to see me pull up in the driveway and after a few brief reminders encouraged me to eat anything I wanted in the house...I think they just really wanted me to come back. They all seemed so old. I used to giggle with my girlfriends about who had cute husbands and who had fat ones. Which ones seemed really in love and which ones got the short-end of the stick. Either way, I couldn't imagine that one day, someone would call me, "Mrs. so and so" and tell me that the kids would be just fine while I pulled out of the driveway.
I think it's funny that I got my master's degree in Conflict Resolution. When I was actively practicing, I used to mediate other people's differences...i.e. Landlord/Tenant cases, Neighbor barking dog issues, Divorcing couples, Employer/Employee tensions...etc. Now, I just seem to mediate my own internal conflict...how do I evolve in this new season of my life and also retain that which I claim to be vital to my soul?
And because I've been writing in my head for the last fours year (ever since I became a full-time stay-at-home mom), I've decided to create this blog...primarily, as an outlet for me to reclaim my voice (outside of "use your inside voice") and also as an opportunity for me to connect with others who may relate. The truth is that the dynamic between like-minded individuals is what I missed the most about writing in my journal. And sometimes, the facebook fragments are just not enough. So, here I am.
I'm not sure how often I'll write. I'm not terribly concerned about being offensive or liked. I just want to hear my voice again as I hit the key strokes. I want to be reminded that I am here...all parts of me, not just those that care take for others.
I'm grateful for the hot mess that I find myself in most days because it reminds me that I am alive. I may be covered in puke, exhausted from an all-night marathon with a baby, or wearing a size that I reserved for a middle-aged woman...but I'm here. I'm doing it. And, honoring the journey...
I had no idea, really no idea, what it meant to author a blog. Since that decision, I've published 617 posts--most of which revolve around the crazy making of being a stay-at-home wife, mother, runner, writer, conflict resolutioner, f-bomb dropper, inappropriate content lover, coffee and wine drinker, podcast listener who is just trying to do the next right thing.
I've shared the deaths of my grandfather and taken much too soon cousin. I've hinted at masturbation in the sauna of a local gym. I've chronicled my 40-pound weight loss journey and transformation into a marathoner. I've plastered nearly every insane act that all three of my children have subjected me to from the time my oldest was six years old and my baby was 9-months old...she just went off to kindergarten.
I've talked about my deepest desire to become an author and shared pieces of my poetry and prose. I've centered quotes on inspiration, motivation, hope, power, triumphing over the unknown, fear, and belief in the impossible. I've showered pictures of my family, friends all while talking about the craziness of managing it all and trying to stay awake while having sex--the struggle is real.
I've shared painful posts about drunk driving, making peace with your body, learning to surrender and remembering that you're never alone.
And through all of it...you have been there.
Believing that sharing your voice and heart with the world matters.
At a time when I've wondered whether I should continue publishing the blog, my 41-year old self says to you, if I thanked you daily, it would not be enough.
Thank you for believing in me, for inspiring me, for teaching and stretching me...for disagreeing with me and for supporting me...for encouraging me to speak about the elephant in the room...for loving my family and for watching us grow...for calling me out when I haven't posted in a while...for letting me know that even though we may never see each other, that you're still there...in the ether, reading and connecting from afar.
Here's to five years of Kelly's Hot Mess...what a beautiful journey it's been.