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.
You have to understand, I was blogging long before there was a flood of mommy bloggers. (Hell, I founded the site mommybloggers.com!) 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.