I thought about jumping out of an airplane or designing henna tattoos, but…I was too shit scared and too completely artistically stunted.
My husband loves cycling (and might I stress the word LOVES…as in ‘lives and breathes’ it).
My mum likes calligraphy and sewing (I failed to inherit these ‘nifty’ skills).
My gorgeous friend takes photos and is incredibly talented (now this makes me insanely jealous).
Heck; even my son is heavily into TMNT (this month, anyway).
I went through a big stage where I felt like I had nothing of my own.
Painting? (sooo wanted to be good at this, but…think my abstract work was perhaps a little too, unintentionally abstract for interpretation.)
Metafit? Running? Exercise? (Why could I have not fallen passionately head over arse with this stuff? I just cannot fathom when this happens for people. I love food and wine and everything in between waaaay too much to commit.)
So there I was…floating about with no hobby; just two kids attached to me for what felt like 24/7. Nothing just for me. No way to express who I was now and what I was feeling.
Becoming a mum can be isolating.
Whilst you are NEVER alone anymore, it can be desperately lonely. I left my job as a teacher in order to stay at home with my son. Less than two years later I had my daughter, but all of a sudden I realised that all my Mothers’ Group gang were back at work, most of my other girlfriends were busy rolling onwards and upwards in their careers, and I regularly battled with our decision for me to stay at home with the kids. I was grappling with my need to be at home, whilst desperately wanting to get back to work and use my brain and earn money. I felt people judged me as lazy, inadequate or even a bit small minded for ‘still’ being at home. Sometimes I was my own worst enemy. I judged myself, and despite my education and previous workplace achievements, I compared myself to other women (why, oh why, do we do this to ourselves??!!). I regularly felt that I was no longer relevant or worthy of an opinion outside of my own four walls. But I battled with this for a long time, because I know that I am so much more than just a mum to my kids.
I needed an outlet.
I have always LOVED writing. I am a qualified secondary school English teacher, but I had forgotten my passion for getting something solid down in words; for expressing how I was feeling about something; for ‘talking’ to others, when I was drowning in nappies and washing piles and wet wipes. Suddenly, with my discovery of social media, I had a new world of mummy bloggers alongside me sharing their joys, their struggles and their mummy hacks.
I could do this.
I was a little disillusioned with all the online chat about recipes and craft, but I could certainly discuss the other parts. The sleepless nights, the public meltdowns, the difficulties of adjusting to my new little ‘classroom’ of two. So I started writing. I purged my brain and my milk stained soul of my struggles, with the hope that someone would listen and say, “ME TOO!!” And slowly, they did.
And I found my place. I found a tribe. I rediscovered something that I had once loved and forgotten.
I cannot tell you what it feels like when someone messages to say that I made them laugh out loud, or that my simple words resonated with them.
So for now, my hobby has become my passion and for now, it is also my job. I am working along doing a spot of freelancing, reviews and other forms of business collaborations in order to justify my ‘hobby’, but still…how lucky am I?
But for all the exciting business emails and various opportunities and published work, possibly my most fabulous moment by far happened last Friday. I had been a bit down and a bit lonesome for my home town, so I wrote a blog about it. A few days later, the doorbell rang with a delivery. Lyndell (yep; Lyndell from ‘T’ town for those that know her) had read between my lines and jumped at the chance to cheer someone up. A bottle of wine with a gorgeous card that oh so nearly brought me to tears.
So you see, it is you, the readers, who are making this ride all worthwhile, and I am hugely grateful to you all.
It is absolutely worth it.
And just for the record, writing is SO much cooler than cycling.