The 31 Day blogging challenge ends in two days.
The next two days are particularly busy for me. So, while I will still post (I am determined to complete this challenge), it might be quick.
This challenge has been very different than I imagined.
I've never written for 31 straight days. My previous record was probably more like 2 days, so it was much more challenging than I anticipated.
I originally planned to write mostly informational posts (like the ones about homeschooling, traditions, etc.). When I first started reading blogs, I was a newlywed and then shortly thereafter, pregnant with my first child. I really had no idea how to keep a home or raise children. I gleaned SO MUCH wisdom and ideas from blogs....without them, I think my life would be really different. The writers of those blogs fueled the passion I had for creating a home I love.
I married young and had children quick, so a lot of my friends are just starting their families. I planned to use these 31 days to share tools that have helped me along my journey. I did some of that. Those posts are easy for me to write. It's who I am, and I find it easy to write what I know.
What I did not expect was to delve into areas that I am passionate about but am still floundering through. I did not expect to be so vulnerable. I said this before I started the challenge, but I am actually a very private person. I overshare on Facebook, so it gives the illusion I divulge a lot. But, if you take a closer look, I actually never say anything personal.
I don't know if it's a personality trait, being a middle child and independent, or pride....but I just don't like to talk about areas of failure. I am WELL aware of them, believe me, but I would prefer just to deal with them alone.
So it was realllllly hard for me to write openly about my failures on a public forum.
Added to that.....I do not like to sit still. Even when I am doing something mindless like watching TV, I always do it while doing a chore (usually folding laundry). So sitting still long enough to write a blog for 31 days afforded me the opportunity to articulate ideas swirling around in my head. These ideas are actually not new to me. I've been thinking through them for quite some time.
Even so, I would not have expected it to be so hard to share my heart. I am very thankful to have received a lot of kind comments and encouragement. And I am very thankful no one criticized me (at least to my face).
But it was still really hard.
And it took me in a direction I could have never planned.
Being honest on my blog has opened the door for me to be more honest in real life.
I can't decide if I like this or not.
I love feeling liberated and even more love allowing others to feel normal and free.
But the cost it comes at is a lot (for me). Putting myself out there is not my comfort zone. I don't love attention. I don't love people knowing my shortcomings.
Yet I know freedom is worth it.
So that's where I land at the end of this 31 days. I feel like I've found my voice in my little corner of the world. By now we've established my dramatic side, but I honestly feel different than I did when I started. To the outside world, it's only words on the internet. But the process it's taken me through is much more profound.
I don't know where this will take me (possibly nowhere) or what will come of this challenge to blog (possibly nothing), but it has been a really hard but cool journey for me to realize that I am passionate about seeing people free to be who they're made to be.....and not feel guilty for where they fall short....and not apologize for areas where they succeed.
Thank you to all who have walked this journey with me. Your kindness and affirmation was much needed and appreciated. I know this has only been a month of blogging, and I act like I am retiring from a lifelong career....LOLOLOL....it is my gift to err on the side of dramatic :). But I am just so thankful that people actually read what I have to say. My blog readership is significantly smaller than most blogs, but I never desire to be known or go viral. I care about one person at a time finding hope and affirmation as they journey through life.
The last thing I did not expect to discover on this is that I don't think I am cut out to be a writer. I really enjoy blogging, but I've realized I only enjoy it when I have something to say. Discipling myself to write each day was a good practice, but it's not one that I think I can continue. I don't know. Maybe part of that is because it was a VERY busy month....but I don't expect my life to get less busy anytime soon.
Anyway, I am really glad I participated in this! It was long and hard but so, so good.