Starting Fresh

It’s difficult to know where to begin.

I’m a big believer in transparency. I know it’s not for everyone, but I don’t feel like myself unless I’m an open book. I have no need for everyone to know my business, but at the same time I don’t have any need to keep my life private either. I know that many people will disagree with that statement – that there is always a reason for privacy – and don’t get me wrong, there are a great many things that are kept tucked away. But the big stuff, the obvious stuff, the stuff that’s likely to be discovered or rumored about or assumed (possibly erroneously)… those are the things I prefer to put out there.

I have not blogged in over two years. My last post was about how my family and I were moving across the country from Ft. Lauderdale to Denver, and how excited I was for the new adventure in our lives. We moved, and I stopped blogging cold turkey. There were a few reasons for this, but before I get into those reasons I thought I’d break down the phases I’ve gone through on my blogging journey, for while thinking on my absence I realize that this blog has indeed gone through several distinct mindsets.

  • PHASE 1 – Newbie

I started out with the intent of documenting my thoughts for my daughters. I wanted them to have a window into their mommy’s mind should anything ever happen to me. I wanted them to know they were loved and adored and how much the little moments impacted and increased my joy. During this phase, the blog was private.

  • PHASE 2 – Experimental

At the encouragement of others, I decided to make it public. This involved a lot of research, pressure to use it to make money (a friend at the time was a successful blogger), and looking on Pinterest to see “how to do a blog right.” I really wanted to have an identity for my blog, but truthfully none of it really felt like me. I tried to have some direction, but my blog ended up being a mishmash of DIY, recipes, memories, travel/experience journaling, hobbies, and whatever else I thought might get me readers.

  • PHASE 3 – The Push

I began to get on a publishing schedule, as I had seen other successful bloggers do. I was seeing an increase in readers and followers, and I wanted MORE. I took part in a 30-day challenge, where I posted one thought a day on a topic for 30 days. It nearly killed me and my love for writing. I began to rethink things.

  • PHASE 4 – The Overlord and the Withdrawal

As our family began preparing for a move, I noticed my blog had become some sort of Evil Overlord in my brain. We had planned a cross-country road trip to take up to our new home, and before we left all that I could think about was what I would take photos of and say about our journey. It occurred to me that I wanted to enjoy the trip more than I wanted others to enjoy it through me, and I decided I wouldn’t blog a thing about it. Another huge factor was my growing daughters. I became increasingly aware that while they had been supportive of my blog and being a part of it, as they grew they might not appreciate their lives being put online for the world to examine. I wanted to be conscious of this, as it seemed cruel to begin the blog for them and then let it become something that could potentially embarrass them and result in them wanting nothing to do with it. I decided that I would take a year off from blogging, and instead focus on enjoying our new state and its offerings without the Overlord blogging in my brain the whole time.

Which brings me to now.

As I said I haven’t blogged in two years. Which means my voluntary one-year hiatus should have ended a year ago, even if I stopped writing about my girls. But life has a way of being consistent and predictable one day, and then the next it’s all backwards and upside-down.

And after nearly 15 years of marriage and just 8 months after moving across the country, my husband confessed that he wasn’t sure he wanted to stay married any longer.

Now, that’s a long story with a lot of feelings that may or may not come out over time here, but to put 2017 in a sentence, our marriage was an emotional roller coaster from January to Thanksgiving, when it was painfully evident that he was no longer invested in our relationship and very much wanted out. Our divorce was finalized this past May.

I am a transparent soul. And because of this, there are so many things I want to say and write and post and share. It’s been incredibly difficult to not write out my feelings on my blog, especially knowing how much comfort I’ve received through my heartache reading the thoughts and journeys of others in my situation. But it never felt right. It didn’t feel right to share things about him while he said he was trying to work on our marriage. It didn’t feel right to have my thoughts out there where my older daughter’s friends could potentially stumble across it and put her on the spot about it. It didn’t feel right because, until that Thanksgiving, in my mind there was still hope. And as long as that hope for reconciliation existed, there was no need to put my thoughts out there – if the marriage was repaired I knew I’d want to be able to move past that part of my life… forget the pain.

But now I find myself ready to write again. The marriage is officially over. Our daughters are adapting well (please don’t misunderstand, I know the divorce will have lasting effects), there has been no ugliness between he and I, and I’m ready to start moving forward. Not to say I haven’t been moving forward… perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I can finally see evidence that I’ve already come such a long way. And that leads me to what’s next for my blog.

  • PHASE 5 – New Beginnings

I want this blog to be a place for my thoughts. My healing. Anything that I’ve come across that has opened my eyes and my heart to a new and stronger version of me. I don’t want to post recipes, DIY, or hobbies any more – unless they directly relate to me being me and to me doing life my way. I’m giving this space a new look, a new tagline, and a new line of thinking.

Looking back I can see that even though I have always been authentically me here, it was the authentic me that wanted to make everyone else happy. And while I still want the world to be happy, I want to know that I’m not trying to fit some mold that Pinterest or anyone else tells me would make me more “successful.” I want to make ME happy. Aside from God, the only one to impress is me.

It’s time to start fresh.


24 thoughts on “Starting Fresh

  1. Keep being the beautiful real soul that we love so much. I miss you so much but will be able to see you and the girls and know that you are doing ok. Love you, Charlotte

  2. Love that you are transparent. I think we are truly sisters from different mothers! My life, too, is an open book. You are an inspiration! Looking forward to following your blog! Terri

  3. Oh, this is Wonderful! I’m so Happy to see you starting your blog up… I love the theme and feel of it. You are such an Amazing Woman and I am so blessed that you are my daughter. I love you more than you know and have so many wonderful and fond memories with you. I Love You, Sweetie ❤️

  4. One thought that came to mind is that maybe you could start a new, anonymous blog. In other words, don’t link it at all to this one and don’t mention any of your family by name. That way you can share all that you want and everything on your mind and maybe it can help others who are going through similar situations. Then you can still continue this one but not with any of the more private/personal information.

    1. I definitely thought about going that route, but in the end it just didn’t feel like me. I don’t want to completely start over, and I don’t want to view my life as “old life” or “new life” where one is completely over and another doesn’t resemble the old at all. It’s all just a part of my life. My previous posts are full of happy memories, and I don’t feel any need to separate from them. I very much intend to say what I want to and be fully me here, sharing anything that’s on my mind that feels worth sharing. I’m very grateful to have an amazing support system, and I definitely feel free to be myself here.
      Thank you so much for your thoughts though, it’s definitely something to consider should I feel the need in the future to branch out! 🙂

  5. As I read this, what’s neat is that I read it with your voice in my head. That way your always in the room witn me. 😁. I’m looking forward to reading your blogs again. Love you so much! Papa Bear

  6. You go girl! Do you always. You are such a wonderful person with a big heart. I know things have been hard and you are so strong and have accomplished so much since moving here. Keep living and loving. I know love will find you again when the time is right…

  7. I’m so happy to be reading your blog again! It’ll be so nice to read your thoughts especially since we don’t get to talk as much like we used to when you still lived here. Love you and miss you dearly. And I’m SO proud of you! XO

  8. Yay! Susie, I’m glad you will be blogging again. I know it’s hard to be transparent but I appreciate it so much. Love you.

  9. Congratulations, Susie, on restarting your Blog! I love the new, “fresh” look and content! I think it’s perfect! I remember calling and asking you about your blog over a year ago because I had missed reading your entries and always wondered if you’d ever start it up again! 🙂 So happy you have! I think it’s wonderfully therapeutic for you and will look forward to each new Blog entry! Best of wishes! XXOO

  10. Woo hoo! It’s so awesome to see you blogging again, Susie. I have missed your blog so much over the last two years. I had wondered what happened when so much time had lapsed since your last post about the family moving to Colorado. I had feared something bad may have happened and you were no longer wanting to do the blog. Now it all makes perfect sense, and I’m thrilled you are finding your voice once again. Your story is inspiring, your growth in the past two years is enormous and evident in your writing as well. I look forward to being a devoted follower of your blog once again, and hope that if even if you have given up some of your “old life”, you kept your love of putting together jigsaw puzzles. LOL Hugs, Penny

  11. Ms. Susie…Slepoy-Rock Island…oh how I’ve missed you! Thank you for coming back to us! I retired from Rock Island last year-we sold our home of 21 years and moved to Ocala this past August. I was feeling down-missing the classroom (retired due to health), when I saw YOUR email from “frozencokefridays! I was sorry to read about some of your changes-but I think of the lessons you are showing your daughters-life lessons in courage, perseverance, getting up with a smile-going about your day…when deep inside wanting to sit and cry…courage to get up each and every day saying Today is a new day…a new beginning. It has been given to me as a new gift. I can use it well or throw it away…Rock Island’s mantra…your courage is one of your greatest gifts-your smile feeds that gift! Welcome back and thank you for putting a smile on my face…

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