Authenticity is a HUGE deal for me. It was, in fact, the inspiration behind this blog. I wanted to create a space for women to gather, leave behind perfection and pretentiousness, and be real.
So I’m going to be real with you right now, even though it is a bit difficult to do so. Please indulge me for a moment as I take you back to my childhood, for therein lies a discovery that is relevant to the future of this blog.
As a kid, I had great energy and passion for life. My mom would probably say that I was stubborn (she may have told me that a time or two), but I like to say determined.
If I wanted something, I went after it with all the intensity that I could muster. When I was eight years old and fascinated with gymnastics, I spent hours teaching myself how to do cartwheels, round-offs, backbends, back walkovers, and splits. I fell on my head more times than I could count but that did not deter me. I was sure that I was going to be the next Nadia Comăneci, even though formal lessons were not an option for me. (Too bad my 5’9” frame and size 12 feet later squashed my dream.)
Around that same time, I impulsively decided to do a backflip off the high dive at the community pool, even though I had no idea how to do it and had only ever jumped from that tall place a couple of times. I was not scared; I was resolute. I am pretty sure it ended in a belly flop, but that is beside the point. I was confident and sure of my ability to accomplish things, despite my inexperience. Nothing was going to get in my way, especially not fear.
The one phrase that I remember hearing over and over again in my early years was, “Slow down!” I was always in a hurry to accomplish something, always moving and pushing forward with passion and drive, and usually not willing to accept the word “No” if I had already decided on a course of action. My gut instinct was to think, “I’ll show you,” when somebody tried to discourage me; and show them I often did.
I realized very recently that somewhere along the path of growing into adulthood, I lost touch with a big part of myself. Rather than honoring the courage and fortitude that accompanied me into this world, I have spent years allowing fear to keep me from doing or saying the things that are in my heart.
Not only that, but I have rather successfully convinced myself that slowing down is the key to a fulfilling and purposeful life. But, as illustrated by my natural movement in the years before I knew any different, at my core I have never been truly satisfied with slow anything. I even struggle when I get stuck behind people who move slowly, whether on foot or in a car. I innately want to tackle life with speed and fiery determination, just like the little girl who would not give up her dream of being a gymnast, even when she had to teach herself how to get there.
For months now, I have felt persistently restless. I have not been able to explain why the stillness that used to be refreshing has felt suffocating. I have felt a deep and pressing need to understand myself because I could not explain why I felt discontent in my own skin; until now.
After much introspection and a few aha moments, I believe I have discovered the root of my uneasiness, and it stems from heeding the phrase, “Slow down!” that I have heard over and over for as long as I can remember. I have realized that slowing down goes against my innate tendency to think big, move quickly into action and passionately tackle life.
The restlessness now makes perfect sense. How could I not feel that way while attempting to turn my natural larger than life energy and determination into contentment with stillness, purposeful reflection, and slow living?
I have spent years trying to contain my hastiness because living a slow life sounds so beautiful and idyllic. But what if it is not entirely right for everybody? What if it is not right for me, at least not in the way that I have been approaching it?
What if I am feeling more off-balance than ever because I have not been living true to myself?
What if the gifts of rapid and bold persistence and fearlessness that came with me to Earth are the very things that God needs me to develop if I am to accomplish my purpose here? What if attempting to subdue that part of myself is stunting my progression rather than facilitating it?
I’m not sure that I know the answers to those questions, but it is time to give myself permission to explore them and live authentically in that space. I need to allow myself to be the person I have always been underneath the layers of slow, proper, and poised that I have been trying to feel at home in for most of my life. In the process, I have actually only succeeded in feeling vaguely unsettled, having no words to articulate why.
I am still trying to decide where that leaves me, and where it leaves this blog that has had a strong focus on simple and deliberate living from its inception. I am not thinking about walking away from it altogether, but I need to decide where I want to take it from here.
My friends, I need some time to figure this out. I need to step back and allow myself to reconnect with the part of me that I have tried to temper for so many years. I need to figure out which direction my heart is taking me and how to best follow its lead. I need a break from the pressure to create content and from the expectations of others until I determine what I expect of myself in this new space.
Consequently, I will be taking a sabbatical for a month. That means there will be no new content on the blog and no activity on any of my social media pages for that time (except perhaps Instagram).
Sometimes clarity comes in moments of separation, and that is what I am hoping for by distancing myself for a time from the constant pull of this site. Thank you for reading and especially for understanding. I will see you soon.