Becoming a mother transformed me. It turned me into a more patient person. A selfless person.
Motherhood is the reason I left my marriage: I wanted to create a better life for my child than I had created for myself. She is a perfect, tiny little being, and she deserves nothing but the best of everything.
Divorce, too, has transformed me. Where I once was a public person, I am now relatively private. Some of this relates to motherhood—I don't want C reading the unraveling of her parents online—but it's also deeply personal.
Divorce has simultaneously made me unapologetic and sort of fragile. I no longer apologize for who I am and no longer feel guilt about my decisions (after all, I'm doing the very best that I can, truly). But I also feel like I've been through a war in the past year. I never used to be particularly kind to myself: I was my own harshest critic, and I spent a significant amount of my time picking apart my actions in the name of "becoming a better person."
I no longer do that. Of course I am introspective, always looking to improve. That's part of my nature, and it will never change. But I am done making my own life harder by constantly second-guessing myself. I am being kinder to myself, out of necessity. The truth is, I am a fragile being—we all are—and I am deserving of kindness. And part of that kindness meant being more private online and no longer putting myself in a position to receive others' judgment. While I know I can handle it—after all, I've been through far worse than a critical comment here or there—I don't want it.
I am lucky to have the community of readers and friends on this blog that I do. Since I quit Weddingbee, I haven't received a single harsh comment here. By contrast, there has been nothing but an outpouring of love and support at every turn. And for that, I am immensely thankful. I miss you guys, I really do.
I've been thinking a lot lately about where I see my life going. What the future of this blog and this business are. This was a cocoon of safety, friendship and self-esteem for more than five years. When my life exploded, I wasn't sure what role Stinkerpants would have in helping me rebuild. While the friendships and relationships I formed through the business were completely positive, the actual business of, well, running a business, was a source of extreme stress for me. This business was also an integral part of my marriage—the two felt tied together inextricably. After all, the business itself began with our Save the Dates. Where would it end? Does it have a place in the "new" life I have created for C and I?
The answer, I believe, is yes. But possibly in a different form.
Randomly, I came across something the other day:
Know the impact you want to have...Be the guy glowing with passion. Let the people around you feel your fire for the impact you want to have on the world. Prompt others to share what makes them come alive. Share in their excitement. There is no more empowering, genuine way to connect. If you don’t know the impact you dream of making, how will you know who you want in your corner to make it happen?
This spoke to me—not so much in the context of creating connections, but more in the existential-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life kind of way. In my quiet moments, I meditate on this question: what impact do I want to have on the world?
I am coming to some answers, but they're not fully formed yet. I know that they revolve around creating a better world for my daughter and children like her (more on that soon, I promise). As far as my business? I hope to use it as a catalyst for whatever the new-and-improved will be. My artistic style will evolve—I am moving away from my computer and more toward actual, real, tangible things. It may look different—in fact, it probably will—but I hope it will make people smile in the same way.
And I hope you will stick around as I re-enter this world, in whatever form I decide to. I am thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you for your patience, love and understanding.
August 24, 2012 in
Right after I left my married life, my friend Mandy told me to leave Facebook.
“QUIT FACEBOOK?!” I said. I knew I was addicted to it, and I knew it was unhealthy...but I didn’t know what I’d do without it. I truly didn’t. I scrolled through my newsfeed in any quiet moment. I think it kept me from thinking about the fact that my entire life was falling apart—or, during my marriage, that I was completely miserable.
I eventually did decide to quit Facebook. I was shocked to find that I actually did not miss it at all. I logged back in a couple of times, thinking “huh, maybe this isn’t so bad,” only to find myself feeling unhappy. For me, it wasn’t as much jealousy or sadness about my lack of a perfect life (which I know is the reason a lot of divorcees quit). It was more that I felt disconnected from people when I looked at my newsfeed. Here are all these people, living their lives, who I haven’t talked to—really talked to—in months...sometimes years. Looking at all these "friends" had me questioning who really cared about me, and who I really cared about.
When a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer, I thought even more about Facebook’s worth. She and I are going through really hard times in our lives right now, and really hard times have a way of showing you who (and what) is really important to you.
If you had cancer, who would you want to know? Or, better yet, who do you actually think would reach out and call you? It’s easy to leave a comment that says “OMG I am so sorry,” but it requires an actual friend to pick up the phone and call you. And beyond calling you, who is going to bring you a casserole? To me, quitting Facebook made it easy to see who my “comment” friends were and who my “casserole” friends were. And at the end of it all, I realized I have zero need for “comment” friends anymore. I feel much more fulfilled with a handful of casserole friends than 500 commenters. In fact, my life feels much more sane without that peanut gallery of 500 commenters, period. It's not that Facebook doesn't add anything to my life—it actually feels like it subtracts.
A few months ago, I sat and watched my daughter play in front of a group of people who were taking photos and videos with their phones. It was like she was on television. The whole purpose of it was to show what an awesome time they were having with their lives, with this adorable girl—but they weren’t actually interacting with her. And what must it feel like to be on the other side of that? To grow up in a world where you are constantly on display?
C is still too young to be “connecting” with her friends this way, but kids who are in their 20s now are used to connecting with people artificially. There’s a whole generation of children growing up connecting with people via various media outlets, but not actually able to live their lives.
I feel very strongly that Facebook does not connect people. That social media, in general, does not connect people. I think it gives people a false sense of friendship and creates laziness in relationships. Why bother actually connecting with a human being if you already know what is going on in their lives?
What do you think, dear friends? Could you ever see yourself “quitting” Facebook? Do you think it’s helping you connect with people, or hurting your real friendships?
May 29, 2012 in DIY and Crafts
Hello friends! I hope this Thursday is going well for you all. As you know, C and I have moved into an apartment by ourselves. Said apartment is very small. You know what's even smaller? The bathroom.
There's not even enough counter space for the soap! I found myself going insane with disorganized plastic tubs sitting on the back of the toilet for my makeup (and pretty much everything else).
When I saw a pin on Pinterest about a magnetic makeup solution, I knew I had to have it. Theirs was a little too crafty looking for me, though.
As you can see, the back of the makeup is not so pretty. I tried a lot of different types of glue, and finally settled on Gorilla Glue -- the other types of glue weren't strong enough long-term. The one drawback is that it oozes out from behind the magnet. Small price to pay, I say.
The StickOnPods are possibly my favorite part. To me, they really completed this setup. I've been storing my brushes in a glass jar for the past I-don't-know-how-many-years, and I didn't like it. This? I love.
Any other tips for a ridiculously small bathroom?Comment
May 6, 2012 in
Random thought for the day - you are the company you keep!
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