In pursuit of Joy

I came away on this 3 month adventure with a desire to unearth the person that I am now. To rediscover some of the old. To polish up the new parts. To find a little more peace and more of the whole of me.

I love my life. I truly do. And my biggest fear with writing out loud is that I will be misunderstood. That I sound ungrateful, privileged. Guilt and shame are a big part of this and it’s something I’m working on daily.

But, I guess the bravery is in writing the words that are burning, regardless. That’s the vulnerability I so often read about, advise about, but don’t put my own nerves behind.

Part of the process involves nurturing my own mental health. In fact a very big part. Mental health alongside embracing and allowing my creativity to grow. Post Partum Depression is real and hand in hand with anxiety, they are friends I know well. It’s sort of liberating to admit that. I honestly do see the magic in my daily life, in the world, in the minutae of motherhood and marriage and all that growing as a human entails. But I do also struggle with very dark days, with fluctuations in mood and fog, with fear, doubt. Sometimes I feel a bit crazy. I’ve found the last 5 years sometimes a really big struggle. There are mountains climbed that have had a huge impact on who I am and how I relate as a mother and a wife. And generally how I relate to myself and the rest of the world.

I wanted this journey away to be an uncovering. A re-discovery of joy that has fizzled out with spreading too thin, with supporting and guiding my babies, with running too hard for too long and carrying a lot of emotional weight around. There’s baggage to lose and things to embrace and old ideas to slake away. There’s gold to unearth and new thoughts and ideas desperate to be given attention.

The biggest part of recent times, when the going has got really tough, is the totally un-radical notion of self care. Lack of any sort of link back to self has made this pyramid collapse on more than one occasion and I’m too long now in the shade of grey that was left behind. I want to feel energised and motivated and loving and kind-hearted, and full. And just not so flaming tired of it all.

There is so much light leaking out that this shell is ready to be cracked, and I need to write about that process. I’m scared of what those close to me will think with all the honesty. It’s not really the done thing hey? But it’s turning me inside out keeping it inside. So I guess it needs to be said.

Sometimes motherhood and partnership and love and everything else is a beautiful monster that swallows me whole. I want to reclaim the part of that circle that is me. All of those other parts are the most beautiful of pieces, but when the piece of me is missing, the bigger picture can be a really empty place to be. And I start to lose the connection to purpose or the strength to make it out the other side when the hard stuff arrives again.

I don’t know what will happen. I’m not really searching for anything in particular. There is no grand golden dream. More a sense that I truly believe in the magic of feeling alive. I extoll this idea to everyone else around me, yet spend much of each day frustrated…far too angry and quick to explode. I have huge thoughts and notions of calm and loving guidance and nurturing, yet it only takes one thing to set off a cascade that does non of my family any good.

I write half hearted notes on here about revelling in little arms and the here and now and being present. But it’s not enough. So this is going to get a little deep. If I can squeeze past the embarrassment barricade at the door…..

It’s going to be #inpursuitofjoy. In the small moments. In the quiet times. In the hard and uncomfortable and mundane. I would love it so much if you would travel alongside me. To point out signposts on the way or tend to each other when we feel wounded or scared. To cheerlead along. To be positive but also hold space for the crappy feelings too.

I know its going to be a thousand small changes and steps. That’s one of the biggest hurdles, trying not to race to the finish line. There is no finish line. This is a lifelong thread.

And so to document those tiny baby bits. I don’t want to curate a life online that’s reaching out for help and support but half heartedly with a few words that are screaming for connection but never actually lay the door open to do that.

I’ve sort of gone off on a ramble here, but I suppose that’s how it’s going to go. I hope we can take a ride on this road together for a while.

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