Jodi, a woman whose lovely blog is always an inspiration, has spent the last year posting a photo a week of each of her children to document their growth. She invited her readers to participate with her as she begins her next year's chronicling and I can't wait to participate during 2013. My own photos will be focused on our surroundings and on Kyle.
For seven years I wrote words and accompanied them with photographs, putting those feelings on the Internet. When I found myself hand in hand with the man who would become my husband, my life reaching new heights of meaningfulness and my inner self altering in ways I had never known to expect, I felt the need to walk away. So I did. I walked away from the practice of sharing my life with others.
In my life away from a computer's lighted screen, I also retreated. I found myself craving privacy and I nurtured this new relationship with myself, with the woman I was destined to become, in quiet. I learned to live more slowly, deliberately. I spent my days sorting through the mess and the muck that had been my previous, young and jumbled self. I spent them with dirt under my fingernails and yeasty bread rising on the countertops. I married my best friend in the mountains that we now call our home. We said our vows alone and later celebrated with three parents and one brother.
I was not hiding, but I was not seeking the company of the people I had known or the places I had been, save for such a small few. I put hundreds of miles of distance between myself and those parts of me that I had once been so ashamed of. They became fuzzy and unfamiliar shadows of a vague life that had lacked the purpose I now felt. In private, I exposed the ugliness of my worst traits and worked through them every day to become a more enlightened being, one I felt content with at the end of each day.
I valued the anonymity. I needed to be, without eyes from my past looking in on me. The greatest thing I have ever done for my soul was to take the hand of my lover and quietly slip away from a life I was barely living.
Two years after this first seed of change was planted, I am pulling open the curtains with a centered soul and a heart that is strong. I feel ready to say hello.
Hello, there. I think I have a story to tell, if you'd like to stay for a while.