I was going to shut it down.
I spent several sweaty hours yesterday morning in a patch of sun working my way backwards, archiving each post manually. I'm a bit of a speed reader (okay, that's not true, I read extraordinarily fast and can basically glance at a few paragraphs and have them read), and I started to note that though a lot of the things I'm still struggling with are the same as they were when I began to write here, many are not...and more so, I began to see how clearly undefined this blog has been, and how that's not as much of a problem as I once thought.
More than anything, I started to notice how I wanted so badly to be perfect in the beginning of all of this. I had very little understanding of how I could be messy and vulnerable and painfully honest, and I kept it fairly well-masked in the beginning, with only the occasional post where you'd see a glimpse of who I truly was (then). I was desperate to be seen and to have a voice and to be heard, though I'd very little concept of who that was at all, and that now, I still want to have a voice, and be heard, but simply because I'm a writer and there is story to tell and I've begun to know and accept who I am evolving as. It's less of proving and more of being.
I wrote very little on things like motherhood, though that is so much of who I am and there's a reason for not writing about it and I'm waiting for those words to come, I've been waiting for years now...and when they come, it'll be exactly what I want to write, and the best writings on travel were the ones I wrote when in it, translated from a written page in a little notebook from my sister, not the ones I wrote to account it to take on the title of 'travel blogger'. I tried to pose for the curated sorts of shots but I fucking hate being in front of the camera and jut out my belly awkwardly and never know what to do with my hands when a lens is pointed my way, though I want my daughter and perhaps one day her children to see me when I was young and doing all of these wonderful and unconventional things. I gave too many shits about content that would please and fit into the parameters of the time, back when moccasins were being worn with maxi dresses.
I write, now, with blazingly truthful words that aren't typical of blogging, but really, what the fuck is blogging anymore anyway? It's less defined now to me, it's less defined and rigid. I remember wanting to have the right things, and to share the right things, and I did it. Those things grew my following and readership and got me interviews and features that grew my following and readership and it felt good. I wanted it. It gave me a sense of pride in myself and got me through and in some ways, that's okay, but in the grander bit of it, not so much.
I've settled into these bones and this softening skin and the way my life looks and is, that it's beautiful when I don't try so hard, even more so, because it's less about you and more about me and us and isn't that what matters? The light I find is still the light I find, the shadow is still the shadow, but I see more light than shadow now anyway.
What I know, after this weekend of reading back, is that deciding to travel had nothing to do with anyone, it was only later that it did, later when I started sharing and thought I had to keep up. Doing all we did to get there was the exact right thing to do, and though none of this looks the way I thought it would, and I didn't get the epic shots I thought I would-should-could or have the epic moments I thought we would-should-could because Instagram told me so all those years ago, I still had the privilege of being changed because of those first seven months on the road, and I've allowed it to slip in and weave its way through whatever it is that makes up my being and I'm better for it not because I did it, but because I allowed it, and it's part of me in a beating and pulsing way as I muddle my way through some of the hard places and the things that I don't yet know.