Forgiving me

Forgiving me

I can practically hear the intake of  breath that I may be about to expose some deep dark secret. Forget about it. I’m not that interesting. Really.

What did she do that she needs to forgive herself for?  I hope it’s juicy!

And that is one of the reasons I sat on this one.  I could write an entire blog on forgiving myself if I so choose seeing as I carry a lot on my shoulders whether I need to or not. I could write something regarding my addiction but that is in my book so I am keeping that one back. I could write about letting toxic people into my world when I was warned by so many people not to do so, but I have moved on and realize I have indeed already forgiven myself for that, too.

So what does she have to say? Tell me it isn’t about her bad 80’s perm!

There is something I have been holding on to. Something I have lost sleep over. Something I have shed tears over. Something I have turned to friends about in hopes they have the miracle words that would bring me my own forgiveness. But it still gnaws at me.

I have to forgive myself for stepping out of the blogging ring when I was at the top of my game and the top of the heap.

Seriously?! Lame!

You have to understand, I was blogging long before there was a flood of mommy bloggers. (Hell, I founded the site!) I was blogging before PR and marketing even glanced in the direction of bloggers– especially mom bloggers.  I was in on the ground floor of an amazing organization that has become a huge, worldwide site. I worked for them. I wrote for them. I helped launch an ad network with them.  I was courted by more than one organization to be a founding member of their community and networks.  People came to me and asked me to blog for them professionally for good money when that was really rather rare. I had television news crews come to my house to interview me about blogging and what it meant. I was asked to speak at conferences. I was a mom blogger before Dooce (our  media labeled “queen of the mom bloggers”) was even pregnant. I was at the top of my game and had ideas that had never been done before. Ideas that could have taken off and become huge. (I know this because I’ve seen others do it on a model I helped create.) I was approached to submit essays for anthologies. I was published and republished several times in parenting magazines both nationally and internationally. I had a few columns appear in the paper. I was a top mom blogger. I was good. I had it all in the palm of my hand.

And I stepped away from it.

And my heart shatters a bit every time I think about it.

I’ve tried to jump back in other ways. I worked with amazing women who started a new **community and it was great. I loved working with them. I helped with some amazing projects.  But again, I wasn’t ready to be back in the world of corporate loyalties  that were replacing community co-operation at that time and life hit me like a 2×4. And I stepped back. Again. I didn’t want to dig in and play the cut-throat game of corporation bottom lines. Not when I knew how “it used to be.”

Silently stepping back sounded like a thousand hoof beats in my heart. Felt like hot iron searing my soul.

One of the reasons I stepped back this last time was because I was getting my ass handed to me on a silver platter and I wasn’t able to deal with it. It was the year of being broken. I was ashamed to admit I was dealing with depression of a multitude of things and I couldn’t come online and write the fun, the funny or the every day when I was broken.

So I stepped away.

I have a book to finish. And I am so close. I want to shout, “The blog hasn’t been doing great, but HEY, look at the book I have been working on! Look at the skeleton of the second one I’m writing! I AM doing something! Doesn’t that count?”

It doesn’t. Not in the blogging world.

Twitter can overwhelm me. Goodness, with ADD you’d think I could keep up but the truth is, it makes me feel like I am so far out of the loop or out of the conversation because HOW DO YOU LISTEN TO 1500 PEOPLE AT ONE TIME?! (And that’s just people I follow.)

Facebook can be a good outlet, but even there I have to be “careful” and that is not who I am when it comes to writing.

So I stepped back.

And it broke my heart.

Broke it into a million little pieces.

Because I love to blog.

Because I loved being one of the bloggers on the cutting edge.

Because I loved being asked to go on junkets or work with amazing people.

Because I love to blog for the love of the blog.

And I stepped away.

Now? I don’t know if I can ever get back to close to where I was. I don’t know if I can get another chance with the first blogging company I worked with or if I can ever get a second chance with the amazing women who are really doing amazing things with their community. I don’t know how to go from top to gone to a blogger that can get back in the game.

Because? The game has changed. I have changed.

What do I have to forgive myself for?

I have to find a way to forgive myself for stepping back when I was at the top. I have to forgive myself.

Because it hurts so damn bad to think of the “what if”s…” the “should’ve been’s…” and  the “I could have…”

I have to forgive myself because it tears me up inside when I think about it.

I had legitimate reasons. I had real life that had to have me totally present. I didn’t step back because I was flaky but because I had to for my life.

And I really hope that one day…. some day…. I will forgive myself for stepping back.

Because it hurts too much not to forgive myself.

8 thoughts on “Forgiving me

  1. Jenn…I think it’s like the airplane oxygen mask–you’ve got to put yours on first if you’re going to do anything for anyone else. I’ve been thinking about you and your blog lately–missing seeing your writing–and was so happy to see this pop up in my feed reader. I’ve missed you 🙂

    And having read this, I must tell you–I can so very much relate to coming to terms with certain choices that I’ve made in the past. Choices that have clearly changed the trajectory of my life–and not for the better–but one thing is certain. I’ve learned from those choices: recognizing the lessons and integrating those experiences so that they now inform my current direction. I cringe less now when I think about those choices–it’s taken time and a concerted effort to forgive myself. Truth be told, I’m still working on it.

    No one can forgive you on this one but you–but doing so for you, and doing it on your terms? It’s priceless–huge hugs to you.


  2. Jenn, That was very lovely and heart felt. Who knows what would have happened if you hadn’t stepped out. If you didn’t take care of you first, it would have shown in your writing and efforts in the blog world. You may have made a mistake that could have ruined your career permanently. So now, you’re back and better than ever. Who wouldn’t want you working for them?

  3. I’m glad you’re back in it too. You’re part of the reason I got in the game to begin with!

    As far as the opportunities go, I’m sure they’ll come back. You’re too ‘known’ to be overlooked. My only advice would be to keep writing for the love of the blog and the other things will fall into place.

    Love you, Lady. xo

  4. Well, I don’t think you even need to look back. Like DaniGirl said, just keep looking ahead. Even though you chose to step back, you sorta had to in order to put your real life first. I think you would have MORE regrets if you didn’t, you know?

    Who cares if the game has changed? I’m just glad you’re back in it.

  5. Jenn, you were one of the first blogs I read, back when I joined the blog community in 2005. I was there, too, at the beginning, and I miss those days all.the.time.

    It’s not the same now. It will always be different. But it can be good, in a different sort of way.

    You inspired me then, and I see no reason why you wouldn’t do the same today. Forgive yourself, and look ahead instead of back. The view is better that way! 🙂

    1. Thank you. I mean that. Sometimes I question if it ever mattered. You remind me that it did…and DOES. Thanks!

  6. I have followed you for a long time, and missed you in your absence. As your reader, I’ve long accepted your reasons for stepping back. Yes, I’ve wondered many times where you were and how you’ve been, but true followers of your blog would understand even without you explaining. Of course, we all would have preferred you not going offline at all. 🙂 But you’re back now, right?

    1. Vera, I am back and I am back for ME this time. Which means it will stick. I’m excited. I am back to wanted to write. For love of the blog. Actually, shhhhh….I’m pretty excited about it!

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