Tuesday, January 25, 2005

this time last year...

cheryl at octillo's desert asked me this question in response to my TGIF post last friday.

Hi Bobbie,
I haven't been reading your blog all that long so i was wondering what brought about the change from where you were a year ago? A particular event or a more gradual journey? I appreciate your blog.
first of all thank you cheryl, both for the kind words and the question - i LOVE questions! they take me in directions i haven't thought about. i'll do my best to answer it for you here.

this time last year i was voraciously reading this new medium called 'blogs' and my world busted wide open. i found a community of like-minded, challenging, intelligent, honest people who were saying the things i had been thinking and inkling about for years. it's difficult for me to explain, but it was like another dimension was added to my life. like things that were unseen somehow were now seen. i was no longer alone.

each area of my life that i was struggling with, self image, recovery, sexual abuse, addiction, church life, theology and being a woman were being written about on someone else's blog - i was hooked. i grew up thinking that very few of those things would resonate with anyone else, and it is a lonely, silent place to be. although i didn't know those bloggers personally i knew their hearts, and many of them were so much like mine.

i envied their candor, their courage and their medium. i thought that there would be no possible way i could have a voice like their's. it was okay though, at least i wasn't alone any more - it was like breathing clean air for the first time in my life, and really being able to get it all the way into your lungs - big, filling inhales and exhales. it brought much life to my aching soul.

commenting on other's blogs brought about email dialogs and eventually friendships, some stronger than i've ever had. deeper somehow because all of the pretense that comes with physical presence was taken away. it was through these friendships that i was encouraged to blog myself. because of my issues and my husband's employment at a church i had no intention of being dooced (fired for blogging), so i played with the idea of blogging anonymously. i wasn't trying to hide from blogdom, i was just trying to remain google free.

in memorial day weekend 2004 i began blogging. i can't remember what it was like 'before' - it seems like i've done this forever. it's been a wonderful tool, and outlet, it's given me a voice that i've longed for my whole life.

i had been growing and expanding and coming into myself for the past 8 years, but this somehow accelerated it. it pushed it forward somehow and tied much of the loose ends together for me. verbalizing my story allowed it to resonate with others in a way that was/is so validating and redemptive to me. it made the junk of my life useful. it wasn't wasted anymore. it didn't just happen to make my life harder - now it could be used for good somehow.

and the friendships, oh the friendships - they have strengthened and grown, and they challenge me, and speak truth into my life and inspire me and spank me when i need it - oh i LOVE these friendships. people from all over the world that i would have never known. i've even had some opportunities to put faces and hugs to these friendships (and look so forward to more of that this year) - and that has only strengthened and grown my love for each of them.

blogging has made me somehow accepted in a way i have always longed for. i know it probably sounds really insecure, but it meets a great need deep within me that i had only inklings of this time last year.

i know that when you asked that question you weren't asking specifically about blogging, but it's been a humongous part of how i've gotten to where i am today.

another piece of that puzzle has been what i think has gone on with me physically and mentally. i was unable to identify it's effects before the nurse called to tell me of my low thyroid, but i did know that i am much more easily overwhelmed and confused than i had been before my kids were born. it's been a subtle, slow digression that was hardly noticeable until something like this test result popped up and i began to look in retrospect at the time since my kids were born to realize how much has really changed.

i have (undiagnosed) dyscalculia and that mixed with the effect of having unbalanced hormones from my thyroid not functioning properly has forced me to slow WAY down, be much more organized and intentional and say NO to far more than i normally would have. it also forced me to own and accept my introverted nature (instead of the false extrovert that i assumed i needed to be) and spend quiet, still times with god instead of busily trying to prove my worth to him and earn his love.

all of these things have brought me a much simpler, grace-full life than i would have ever imagined possible. it has been a process. learning to be present, learning to accept and love myself for who i am and learning to feel, own and express my emotions and past have all been threads that have woven their way into this tapestry that is my life. oh what a journey! what a ride it's been. the good, the bad and the ugly, all of it is redeemable in the kingdom. i don't know what god has in store for tomorrow, but for today, today it is good. very good.

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