As I sat down to write tonight, I couldn’t believe the last time I wrote a blog post was December. December?! I mean, if you know me at all, you know I tend to pour my heart out onto whatever I’m doing—for better or worse.
But then again, I know that the past 8 months have been full of a lot of change, some sadness and transitions. And there have been a lot of days that I found myself coasting along. Not full of inspirational words, having a hard time finding motivation, and even difficulty feeling confident in what I was creating.
I’m just gonna warn you here—I’m sharing ALLTHEFEELS in this post, so you’ve been warned.
This past winter & spring was a difficult one. I’ve always struggled with anxiety, but it seemed to get worse with the weather. And in the spring, my husband lost his mom. My mother-in-law, Libby, was a gem of a human and her smile was contagious and she had a heart that she wore on her sleeve. It was fairly sudden and watching my husband, his siblings, his father and all of her grandkids, family and friends mourn such an incredible loss was both heartbreaking and numbing. She was a light, a beacon and deeply loved by so many.
I found that I had to take a step back from what I was doing. I was depressed, over-scheduled, anxious, worried, overwhelmed and just had to press pause. I had to stop and breathe. And I had to admit to myself that it was OKAY that I was feeling all of these things. That it was OKAY to not be the smiley, positive person I thought I had to be all of the time. And that it was also OKAY to stop and take a step back.
I started looking at my phone less. I started to make sleep a priority. I made a point to reconnect with friends whom I may have pushed away during the difficult season I had found myself in. I made yoga a priority in the mornings. And mostly, I just spent all the time I could just enjoying life’s simple things with my husband and 3 boys. And I started to lean into joy (in the words of the wise Brene Brown). I remembered that it’s okay to be sad and still find joy in the day AT THE SAME TIME, guys—this is not easy to tell yourself FYI.
During this time, I found I had a hard time finding the motivation or that “umph” that I usually was able to muster in times before to get back to work. I found myself avoiding walking into my studio. I avoided my desk. My sketch pad. My pens. All in all, I found myself finding reasons to not get in my creative space/zone.
And I knew why.
It’s because I’m most vulnerable when I’m creating. When I’m painting, drawing, writing, working on something I’m inspired by—all of it is done best when I’m open to being vulnerable.
Because if you hold anything back, it will show.
If my heart isn’t in what I’m doing, then it will show.
And I was scared to be vulnerable. It seemed too risky. What if I fell apart again?? And if I’m not vulnerable, then I won’t find inspiration, and if I don’t find inspiration, then I won’t create anything “good enough”. This is what I thought. This is where I was at.
But then, about a month ago, I got a sweet message sent from a friend who I hadn’t talked with in a while. She knew I’d been struggling and felt stuck. She included a few inspirational quotes in her letter (because she KNOWS me, friends!). And one of them was this:
Rise Up. You are worth it.
I will be honest in saying it didn’t hit me right then. But after I taped it up on my wall, above my desk, it started to whisper encouragement to me. It gently nudged me to find inspiration. And eventually, it SHOUTED at me.
RISE UP, girl!
You are WORTH IT. You can do hard things. And you will be better FOR it.
I’m thankful for the many people who encourage me on a daily basis. Even when they have no idea they are doing it. The ones who make us laugh. And the ones who make us laugh at OURSELVES! The ones who text just to check in. The ones who stop by for coffee just because they were in the neighborhood. The ones who listen to the worries on our hearts and minds. The ones who offer hugs and support when words fail.
We are all sure to encounter challenges, obstacles, heartbreak, sadness and times that are beyond difficult in our lives. But what’s important, is that we lean on those around us when we need the gentle nudge, the encouraging whisper and yes, even the shouting words of motivation. And that we THANK THEM for it.
And may we keep telling those around us who we love, that they, too, can rise up. That they, too, are worth it. That they, too, deserve to lean into joy.
Thanks for sticking with me during this season, friends. Please know how much it warms my spirit and heart to know I have this space to share not only my creative side, but my heart-side.