Pesky, dynamic little speed bumps

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You know how sometimes you feel a little bit off? You were on a roll, feeling great. Then you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and don’t know how to shake it. Things that you were passionate about seem uninteresting. I am feeling that way to some extent as of late, and thus my writing & blog have suffered, in my opinion. Sunday rolls around and I cannot muster the effort to write new posts like I loved doing every week for the previous two months. Yes I am busy trying to pack in as much adventure and family time into each day, and be in the moment. But it feels like more than that has been to blame. So off and on I have been thinking about all of it in short spurts. Wondering what triggered this feeling and how to remedy it. Maybe I am extra premenstrual this month, but I can’t write another travel post before first getting all this out of my brain.

Starting a blog seems oddly like motherhood in some respects. Not that I know about motherhood firsthand, but just go with me on this one for a few minutes. Before this little blog went live, I thought about it for a good portion of each week. What do I want to call it? What do I want it to be about? What do I want it to look like? Is it going to be great or boring? The moments after the basic format was finished via WordPress and I published my first official post, I thought about it non-stop. Every little thing that crossed my mind was then followed by “how can I incorporate that into my blog,” or “I should write a post about that.” I wanted to care for it and nurture it every way possible in order for it to be my sweet little blog.

After one month post-employment, followed by two months on the road, I hit a small hump and started wondering why my passion has been muted lately. I find myself wondering if anyone even reads what I am writing? Do they enjoy it? Am I too wordy? Are the photos adding to the story? The original reason for starting this platform was so I can document this incredible opportunity, and so family and close friends can follow along with us. Plus it was one of those things that I always wanted to do for myself since I love to write. So why was I focused on what everyone else was thinking and doing or not doing, as it related to my blog? Because I care about it quite a bit and want it to be something that gives me satisfaction, and I want it to be filled with content people enjoy reading.

Leaving behind your life as you know it to embark on something new and adventurous is a gift. It is not easy, and there is a reason why everyone does not do it at some point in their life. There are things that are challenging to navigate while in the thick of it: like not feeling settled because you are jumping around from place to place so much; like not having much time to myself to just reflect and recharge; like the pressure I put on myself to make everyone around me happy and ensure my decisions are what they want me to do and not just what I truly want to do ((ugh I am such a pleaser, through and through)). Then there’s the communication thing. This type of life brings effective communication to a whole new level of necessity. Clear communication between Andrew and I as well as communication to whomever is hosting us is vital to a happy day/week/visit. Otherwise I usually end up feeling like poo, and that is not a fun way to spend temporary retirement.

Seven years is how long I have been mostly on my own, away from the majority of family and friends. Six and a half years of that time is how long Andrew has been in the equation. We are such a match, and so good together. Each of us genuinely likes the other, and likes spending time together. Andrew has the stronger personality and I am laid back and just go with the flow…yin and yang. But when friends started moving away, and we stopped going out, hanging out with people, trying to meet new friends; I am afraid our new life made it more difficult to get back into a social environment. We are very much used to and very comfortable doing everything by ourselves, just the two of us. Throw some family & friends into the mix, and it creates a dynamic that we haven’t encountered in any length of time for a while. Then there’s me who is trying to please everyone and make sure everyone is happy, except myself, and that sure is a definite recipe for failure.

With this adventure of travels and writing a blog, much like I imagine motherhood, you stumble, float around in this weird gray area for a bit, step back to evaluate, and make the conscious effort to try some small changes that should help get you back on track to your best self so you can care for your offspring ((the blog being the offspring, in my case. still with me??)). There is no blueprint or instruction manual to motherhood, writing a blog, or being a nomad couple for almost a year. You just write your own, and it becomes a part of the journey.

Things I know for sure…

    I will find my way back to feeling passionate about writing, and exuberantly reach my two posts per week target.
    I will succeed when I let the words flow freely, instead of filtering my thoughts and trying to write sentences and paragraphs that I think people want to read.
    I will take a little more time for me, even if it is just to get a bargain $8 manicure this morning ((NYC is expensive in so many ways, but this is not one of them, thankfully!)).
    I will focus on putting my needs first, being a more effective communicator, and sticking to my decisions.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Jess (Pye) Seraphin says:

    I totally understand how you feel about the being on your own/family dynamic. I have been living in Boston for 8 years now and while it’s not so far from home, I don’t see friends/family from there often and as the years have gone by, my social circle here in town has dwindled as friends move away and start new chapters of their lives. Like you, the last 6 years of my life here has been with an Andrew – and similarly he’s the strong personality and I’m the pleaser. I often struggle with maintaining a balance of making my family happy and making myself happy as we’ve grown very accustomed to doing things on our own. I too have to keep reminding myself that it is important to put my needs first and live the life that I want vs. the life everyone else wants for me and just try not to hurt anyone in the process. You’ve got one life – you need to make the most of it. You’re young and don’t have the responsibilities of a house or kids – I think what you guys are doing is great and something you’ll look back on when you’re older as one of the best times in your marriage. I think being adventure buddies is something that strengthens a relationship in a way those who haven’t experienced don’t always understand. Love the blog – looking forward to see what’s next!

    1. Mary says:

      Wow thank you Jess! Our stories sound so similar! I’m not sure why we put so much pressure on ourselves? Gets a little nutty, doesn’t it? Nobody’s issue but my own. I’m certain I will get over this hump, and it means a lot to me that you are following along 🙂

  2. Mary – I love your blog and totally enjoy reading it. I think that this adventure you guys are on is somehow very important. Keep on keeping on … I’m along for the ride.

    1. Mary says:

      Thank you! I felt better today, sometimes even just letting it spew out if my brain is so therapeutic. Your support of this adventure and blog is genuinely appreciated xo

  3. I read!! and am following you with great wishes of happiness that you will find…probably at the end of this ” little” adventure just what you were wanting to find. When I first arrived here I felt that we dove into something that was way over our heads…something that was not right 95% of the time. Almost that it was a mistake. I almost left a few times. Yet at the same time, it was something that was very important for us to do and go through. The first year was hell. We argued, we didn’t get along, we didn’t have that close feeling that we always had previously. We were surrounded by family, his family, which I had never experienced a large family before and it made me very uncomfortable. It took us about two years to get back into our groove…we got an apt, figured out how things worked in this country and, of course, we were fighting financially, we were fighting relationship wise…we were fighting other people who were trying to destroy us. It seemed we were fighting everything all at once. We also lost very close family members during this time and it just seemed like there was no hope in sight. Sometimes the most important thing to do is exactly what you just said. Stop and do things for yourself let others live their lives and never stop loving. When you are close to someone, you don’t have to always cater to them or do what they feel is the right thing to do because most people will love you at the end of everything no matter how lax you are! I would still read your blog even if you had said New Orleans was the worst place in the world haha! Most people do say that anyways (including my mom at times) 😛 take a break on the blog for a little bit if you need to. Post pictures with small blurbs if you need to. You will get back into finding what you really want to do as long as you don’t set goals for yourself that you really dislike anyways ( even temporarily). Or maybe when you start feeling more comfortable with the current life situation (that you can always ride out and then change!) Maybe your blog will turn into an videolog or a picture log? Plog? Either way you have fans who have experienced this same feeling and are urging you to cross that finish line however you’d like to cross it.

    1. Mary says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words of encouragement and support. I should have put a disclaimer that said of course I know Jill reads it! These are the times that shape us, eh? I know I will find my way back pretty soon, and lessen this silly pressure on myself. Just choosing an OPI color (‘Big Apple Red’ was fittingly chosen) for my $8 mani this morning next to rich old Upper East Side biddies put a smile on my face 😉

      1. Oh yes, coordinating an OPI is incredibly therapeutic lol. When I went to Seattle I wore “a taupe the space needle” and just giggled to myself for four days straight. Mom always said to me through my tough times “just think, some day this will actually be funny!” And then there’s the OPI from the British collection, “Lighten up you’re two pence” 😛

  4. Nanette Root says:

    I love reading about your adventures! You are a very good writer, maybe a new career in the works?? Life as you know is full of ups and downs. Stick to your plan or change it as only you can do. I look forward to hearing what you have to say and checking out the pictures you decide to share.

    1. Mary says:

      Thank you so very much! I was hoping it didn’t come across as anyone had done anything wrong. Just me, having some moments that I need to work through! See you soon xo 🙂

  5. Brandon Williams says:

    Ive been following. Yet getting more and more jealous by the day

  6. Donna Milsten says:

    Mary, we are living vicariously through you! Your writing is a gift that we enjoy sharing. I hope it stays fun for you and doesn’t become a chore. Write from your “heart space”, as Oprah calls it, only when you are inspired. We know that inspiration is not on a schedule. I hope it gets easier to really relax. You may have overdosed on family and commitments! We have experienced many of the same feelings you described, especially about being pleasers and on our own most of the time.

    1. Mary says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Donna! I feel better already – its amazing how just getting it all out of my head and onto “paper” feels like a weight has been lifted. We had such a great time with you, and I am still thinking of those delicious sweet wines!

  7. Pam says:

    Mary, I am always thrilled to read your writings. Fun, informative, honest and straight from your heart. Missing you every day…….

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