I’ve really been working on myself for the past four years or so. I was desperately unhappy with my life, my job, and my marriage. I knew that, if I wanted anything to get better, I had to start with myself. So, I began to go to therapy to see if I could figure out why I engaged in behaviors that were, at best, detrimental to my happiness and, at worst, destructive and harmful to myself and my relationships. I decided that each year I would make one goal to work on – because Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.
Three years ago, I decided that I wanted to make my marriage better. My husband had moved his parents to town and they seemed to be so unhappy living with one another…I didn’t want to end up like them. So, shortly after the first of the year, I worked up my courage and told my husband that I wanted to work on the marriage. He seemed willing, so we went to marriage counseling – for a time. However, he was convinced the problems in our relationship lay entirely with me – that I was the “sick one” and when I “got better” then things would be better in the marriage. Soon, he started to “forget” our appointments…and I finally quit reminding him. He felt that my therapist was biased against him and he promised, and failed, to get counseling on his own. I continued to go to therapy, because while I knew that our problems were not entirely my fault, I wanted to be able to work on those things I needed to work on, be able to ask for the things I needed, to love and accept myself more, and to have better interpersonal skills—not only with my husband, but with others.
Two years ago, my goal was to make my work less hideous – whether that meant finding a new job or finding a way to change my interactions with my coworkers so that they were more positive (or at least so that I did not react so negatively when the drama would start). This came after a long depression and mental breakdown that scared the shit out of me, as I was contemplating suicide. I ended up taking six weeks off of work to give myself time and distance from the work situation (and to continue to work on my marriage), and I found a psychiatrist to treat my depression, as my primary care provider did not seem to understand or care about my needs and concerns. During the time off, I read a lot, went to visit and had some hard conversations with family members, and was able to return to work with a new perspective and some new skills. I was much better able to not take things so personally, to discuss things diplomatically, and to distance myself from drama – of course, it didn’t hurt that the Arch-Bitch quit the job after several months.
Last year, my goal was to take myself out of my comfort zone. I didn’t have many friends, hobbies, or interests outside of my rather insulated world with my family. I had learned that I was responsible for my own happiness. If I was lonely, bored, or unchallenged, then I needed to do something about that. So, I began to take classes in cooking and jewelry making, I joined a book club, and – one year ago today – I started this blog.
I had no idea what I was doing – hell, I still don’t really know what I’m doing. All I knew was that I loved to write, adored telling stories, and I wanted to be able to recount my sometimes traumatic life experiences in a way that would take away their power. I intended for most of the stories to be humorous…but life sometimes has other ideas.
My blog is tiny compared to others. As I’ve read other blogiversary posts, the authors may discuss the 50,000 or 75,000 views on their blog in the past year – and I’ve had less than 5,000. Some of my favorite blogs, that are even younger than mine, routinely have 200-300 comments with every post – and I’ve had less than 700 comments total during the past year. I could focus on the seeming lack of success of my blog – but instead I choose to focus on wonderful things: the many friends I’ve found, the support I’ve received from my readers, the fact that I’ve found a passion for writing, and that telling my stories has helped me process old and new hurts, talk about my dreams, and actually feel emotions freely for the first time in my life. For that, I’m so grateful!
Thanks for going on this journey with me, for letting me know that you understand and accept me, and for sharing your experiences with me. As long as you keep reading (hell, even if you don’t), I’ll keep writing. Every day that goes by gives me another story to tell.