This is the foundation upon which I raise my children. This is the mantra I repeat in my head. And this week, where one of the most important milestones of my family’s life took place, and where I haven’t, until now, been able to work or blog, barely tweet or Facebook, I have had to exhale in release of the stress from the pressure that I place on myself for being “quiet” and “absent” and remind myself, “family first”. It’s interesting how we often talk about the freedom that blogging and social media has provided so many of us. The freedom to create our own businesses and carve our own name and reputation in this space, and yet, I have found, so many of us trapped. Trapped in the expectations we feel others have of us, to the extent that this so-called freedom we claim to have becomes a lie.
I have been with those who take a photograph that moves them or make them feel a special way, yet pause and hesitate to share this emotion or thought on Instagram or anywhere else because it “goes against brand” or would “upset their followers”. I have had heart-to-heart conversations with people who have something to say, an opinion to express, yet silence themselves because it isn’t what a “potential client” would want or may cause them to “lose readers or followers”.
I have found myself, even during this week of celebration and great change in my life and family dynamic, pausing to worry about the fact that I haven’t blogged in a week or more.
But then I realize that though it’s true that I haven’t shared all the stories that I have to share, and though there are people waiting to see what I will produce from work we have done together (all of whom know about what is happening in my home now), the “risk” is worth it. Because my silence here, on my blog, is due to my doing exactly what I always encourage others to do, which is to get out there and live. Live to the fullest. Be in the moment, taking nothing for granted.
And so, this is a reminder not just to myself but also to you, my darling readers and friends. Please take my silence as a sign that I am out there, living life, experiencing it to the fullest, respecting my personal belief that family is everything…because they are everything to me.
Yesterday, while I wasn’t blogging or tweeting, I was with my closest friends and most beloved family members celebrating a new chapter in our lives. It was rainy and a bit cold, but our home was full of laughter and love and friendship and warmth. I realized that my inability to sit and write had everything to do with my choice to be in the moment, both feet in.
I left a lifestyle where corporate bosses dictated who I should value more in my life and at times forced me to chose work over family, even in moments when my children needed me the most, all for the promise of a paycheck and the potential of professional reward – which would never feel like enough. This is not a place I want to ever return to.
So, for me, the choice is clear…or at least has become more so over the years and though I have so much more to write about, I thought it important to write about this first. For me, family is everything, and though I suspect that this may not align with the ideals of others looking to work with bloggers, it’s one that I am confident will lead to the right opportunities in the future.
While this blog has been quiet, my life has been anything but.
To me, that is the true freedom in what I do, and I am grateful to everyone who stands by my side, whether in real life or online, as I live through it. I think it makes me a more complete person and a better storyteller too, which I hope you all appreciate in the end.
Thank you for your support, your understanding, and your patience.
If you want a glimpse of what I have been up to, check out my Instagram at @GirlGoneTravel.