I’ve been doing a great deal of reflecting these few months as I approach my 30th birthday, taking a step back to evaluate where I am in my life and my business and putting some real thought into where I see myself in the coming years. Truth be told, I have felt a bit like I’m floundering for the last year or so; I have struggled to find my footing in my new role as a working mom, and with so many roles that need so much of me, I often feel as though I’m not doing a very good job at any of them because there is always something left to do!
Then, a year and a half later, my husband and I welcomed our first child! Suddenly, I had new waters to navigate as a work-at-home-mom. While I have loved being able to be there for all of my sweet boy's big moments and developmental milestones, it has been tough to find the right balance between both!
Meanwhile, I have struggled to find my identity as a new mom while also balancing a household, a marriage, and a business and not lose sight of who I am as a person. The change hasn’t been without growing pains, but recently, I’ve felt a bit like I’m emerging from the fog and starting see the path clearly once again.
This week, I received an email notification that unfortunately, my essay did not fit what they’re looking for right now. Truthfully, it was a bummer. I knew that the likelihood of my piece being selected was probably narrow, but of course I was hopeful, especially considering how much of my heart and soul I had put into it! And it truly was a labor of love — I wrote and revised, and wrote and revised again, and wrestled with the right words, and then wrote some more until I felt that I had something that was just right. (See? There’s that perfectionism...) The rejection wasn’t personal, but when you put that much of yourself into something, it still feels a little personal to learn that it didn’t check all the right boxes.
After the initial disappointment, I reminded myself how important writing the essay had been. Years ago, I would journal to help myself process things. In a similar way, writing that essay helped me work through some struggles I have been having in my journey of motherhood. It also surprised me in that it revealed ways in which my struggle with perfectionism has affected the way I have perceived and measured my success as a mother. Through writing, I was able to give a name to struggles I have been wrestling with under the surface for months, and now that they’re out there, I have really started to be able to work through them.
Taking the plunge and clicking “submit” on that essay was also a good exercise in “failure” because — even though I will admit that I had moments while I was writing where I wanted to give up — putting such a deeply personal essay out there for potential rejection was really, really hard! But I DID IT, and in doing so I did not allow myself to succumb to the fear of failure, and even though my piece was rejected, I survived.
I know that for me, the hardest part is often getting started, so here I am, taking my first step into this new venture. I hope you’ll join me for the ride!