My heart is beating hard as I sit down to write this. I don’t even know what exactly I am going to say yet! I recently listened to episode #186 of The Lively Show where Jess did a podcast about feeling disconnected from her community because she was holding things back. The podcast was actually a followup to a post she wrote in 2012 on the same topic that sparked a wave of similar posts in the blogging community. Jess’s post had me thinking because I have also felt less connected to you guys.
When I started blogging almost ten years ago I shared everything. Why wouldn’t I? You guys are my friends, and I didn’t see any reason to hide. But the older I’ve gotten, the more the internet has grown, and the more changes that have come and gone, the more I have pulled back. This post is an attempt to put it all out there, and I sure hope I feel relief at the end.
Here are things I am afraid to tell you…
Sometimes I don’t feel like a healthy living blogger anymore because my eating has gotten so normal. Normal in a good way because the focus is off the food and on life. Because I am eating when I’m hungry, enjoying myself when I am out, and generally feeling great. But normal in a less-good way because my diet isn’t as consistently plant-based, I am not eating as many huge-ass salads as I used to, and I definitely am not lighting a candle and putting out a placemat anymore. Some of my meals consist of chips and leftovers eaten standing at the counter. Normal. Obviously the meals you see on KERF are real, but in my professional opinion, I am not eating as healthy as I did five years ago. What I can’t decide is which way is “better.” Eating healthier but being way more aware or eating intuitively but a little less nutritious?
On that note, I have a feeling half of you would say I drink too much and half of you would say I barely drink at all, depending on your normal, but according to health standards and this post, I’m overdoing it. I don’t drink a lot at once, but last year I got in the routine of a glass of wine (or, um, two) almost every night. I am changing this habit though (because it’s a habit, not an addiction), and have already made positive changes this year. It took a week of mocktails (because it’s easier to add than subtract!) to get over the desire for a glass of wine, and now I’m feeling normal again and drinking only on the weekends or nights out. I am planning to do a follow-up post to Practice v. Preach soon.
When Matt and I first broke up, I had to convince myself that I might never get married again or have more children. I gave away or lent out a ton of my baby stuff, and I regret doing that now. At the time I convinced myself that having one precious child was enough, and holding onto my baby gear was making my heart heavy. I now know deep down that I want at least one more child, and I wish I still had all of Mazen’s things tucked safely into the attic. (However, I am happy that my friends have gotten good use out of them!)
Matt and I are on very good terms, and while 2016 was an awkward year, I think we have come out happily on the other side. I am afraid to talk about my new partner because I fear you guys will think anything positive I have to say about him is in direct contrast to Matt, and that is not the case at all. Matt is a wonderful guy, and I don’t regret the time we spent together. I would never say anything bad – directly or indirectly – about him on the internet.
Matt and I both started dating right away because part of the trouble in our marriage was that we felt we had missed out on our 20s. We met when we were 18, the first semester of college, and hadn’t looked back. Aziz Ansari, in his book Modern Romance, calls the stage of life we missed “emerging adulthood.” When we split, I let go of all expectations of finding another husband and just wanted to date around for the fun of it, knowing it could take me years to remarry, if at all. I dove into dating, and it was fun to meet new people! But I wasn’t in the dating pool for the years I had mentally prepared for because I met someone who stopped me in my tracks…
Which brings me to something I’ve been hinting at for months now – I am in looooooove! His name is Thomas, and I couldn’t have sketched a better partner if you’d given me a blank piece of paper and a Sharpie and said, “draw the man of your dreams.” While I could list the many reasons why Thomas is a great guy (he is very good looking and an impressive soccer player!), what I love most about him is how he makes me feel when we’re together: safe, secure, respected, loved. He is also crazy about Mazen, and Thomas’s family has been so wonderful and welcoming to Mazen and me.
What you haven’t seen online is that we’ve traveled together, we’ve shared countless fun date nights, and we’ve spent a long time getting to know one another. I didn’t know how or when to share that I had someone new in my life, and I still don’t know if or when he will become a part of the blog.
And lastly, I’m afraid to tell you how often I am covered in dog hair and drool and don’t seem to notice or care : )