It's been almost one full year since I wrote a blog. One Year. I have been writing since I was very young- it's always been a passion of mine. Words flowing onto paper or otherwise because sometimes, life stifles your ability to speak the words that you need to share. So when I stopped writing, I was concerned. I thought a part of me had died, that I was losing something that I felt so deeply about. It turns out that nothing is lost but so very much has been found.
The Title The title I chose today was not to be dramatic or to be eye catching. It is truly based on what thoughts race and bounce inside of my head. Beautiful, chaotic noise that makes sense to me. I used to wake up every day with a song blasting inside of my head. Sometimes, it was the same song for days or weeks. Sometimes it was different or sometimes, it was just part of a song. But always a song. That also stopped about a year ago until this morning. I had not one but three songs reverberating and for the first time in over a year, I wanted to write. Which songs? Bye, Bye Miss American Pie (part of that song was used for a tv series years ago), Where Have All the Cowboys Gone and Jump Around (but just the lyrics Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin I came to win, battle me, that's a sin)... this odd mishmosh of songs blaring inside of my head on this beautiful, sunny morning. As I looked at my sleepy boyfriend, I just said "I need coffee and I need to write." The title popped into my head but I realized the meaning was not about death at all, but rebirth.
I have blogged since 2008- 15 years. I met so many amazing people in the food allergy world. So many were mothers, parents, advocates all with the same passion as I had- to help. We were the first group of food allergy bloggers and we slowly built a huge family that went beyond the US and included so many steps toward increased information to keep our family and everyone else's family safe(r). But I began to notice that after so many years, many of us had life changes. COVID, divorces, personal health issues and our food allergy children were no longer children but adults off living their own lives. After talking to so many others, the majority of us were left floating in an abyss. How do you reprogram your brain to find a new passion, a new mission when you are no longer the food allergy mom? Years of caring and dedication to make sure these little beings were safe suddenly stops. Maybe not stops but definitely changes. There are no more school field trips, no more yearly doctor visits to refill multiple life-saving medications just in case and those beings that were once so tiny, depending on you and your guardianship are all grown up. Still a mom but not that mom, just a mom. Just a wife or not a wife. Just a woman but unsure of what kind of woman. Suddenly, you are forced to think about yourself after years of ... well, not.Now What I have reflected for over a year. I thought I was lost. I thought I was not dealing with things, just pushing them aside. But it turns out, I needed this time for me. FOR ME. Imagine that. I am thankful that I realized that I needed this for me. I feel, that as a society, women are programmed from a very early age to be caregivers for everyone but themselves. We are taught that it is selfish to even consider self-care and if we do think about it, we should feel guilty. We are taught to be strong because often, we will need to be strong for others when they cannot be for themselves. And while I was more than willing to do that for my family, I did not take care of myself in the process. At the time, I didn't care. I put my family first and I would do it again. Then my world changed and while I was still strong, I didn't want to be that strong anymore. I wanted to be able to say I didn't want to be that strong without guilt. But with so much to figure out, I could not find my voice to say that until now.
Changes... so many changes. Nutrimom as a business is gone, my son is an adult, I saw my daughter also turn into an adult, I moved twice, I lost the only job that I could find during COVID when I was hurt at work and I had zero desire to write, share, advocate. Because I had to figure out me. I worried about what everyone else would think of me and my choices, how they would judge me. Until I realized that I don't require other people's opinions to be happy. Selfish- absolutely but now, I know it's necessary. With that realization came new things and a new life. A happy life, a calm life, a life that I feel like I am comfortable inside of my own skin and encouraged to be that way. A life I never thought I would feel but I am grateful every single day that I have found it.
Life is Beautiful I turned 50 this year (still 28 inside of my head). I am watching my daughter blossom into an amazing woman who is funny and kind and so many things that I wish I had been at her age. I am in an extremely loving, dedicated and passionate relationship with a man that brings all other men to shame. I work for Equal Eats at home (allergy translation cards started by Kyle Dine - yes that Kyle Dine!). Instead of waiting to be told what I should do, I decided what I should do. I eat too much, I take copious amounts of photos, I love my life incessantly, I wear clothes that are deemed unfit for a 50 year old woman, I love my larger curves and I do it without giving a crap of what other people think. I am inhaling my life fully. I am loving to the point of no return. I am dancing in the street. I am being me, completely. I am all or nothing. I will always be the person who wants to help others because it's a large part of my nature but I am helping myself now and that kind of energy bounces right out of your soul and vibrates to anyone around you. This is what life should be for everyone.
back during the shit I went through, to the food allergy community for allowing me to be a part of their circle and to my love, Sean, for doing nothing but loving me beyond what any words can even express.
Just like the lyrics, I hope you dance ~
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance... I hope you dance...