Over the last few weeks, as we've followed a slow and gentle pace of life round these parts, I've felt the haze of the last year really start to lift. I've written before of how last year was a period of quiet and healing and I feel as though, as March begins and spring is creeping in, I'm finding my rhythm again. Little things like doing the housework (which, lets face it, is always the first thing to get ignored!) are finally getting done and the more I clean and tidy the more I want to go that one step further and really sort out this little house of ours.
Three days after I had Coralie I turned 30, and in the midst of grief and late pregnancy, birth and those newborn days, the rite of passage that often comes with this 'milestone' got overlooked, lost in the craziness. I'm not really talking about the age thing, as such, more of the realisation of hitting that period in your life where you're meant to understand yourself more; what you like and dislike, your tastes, your style, what you really want from your time here.
I am so thankful, and so blessed, to turn thirty married to my boy and with two beautiful, healthy children. To live in a sweet little flat in a sweet part of town. To be able to stay at home with our babies, as I always wanted, to have good food on the table and warm (pretty!) clothes on our backs. And, to be at the beginning of what I hope will be a successful future in photography and my own business.
At the top of my to-do list for weeks now has been contacting some local magazines with the hope of getting my business promoted - getting my name out there. But, something's holding me back. I've sat at the laptop at naptime or in the evening and found myself blogging (or getting lost in Pinterest) rather than type that simple email.
I've never really dealt with a lack of self-confidence. I've always been sure of what I wanted, pretty much always gone and got it, and had the guts to put myself out there - perhaps it's a being the eldest thing. But with this new venture I'm still wondering if I'm good enough, and it's stopping me in my tracks. The feedback I've been getting from families and from all of you has been so encouraging and amazing, but still I doubt myself. And it's got me thinking about influences in my life and the effect they're having.
And by influences I mean the world of all things online. Things that were once inspiring have started stunting my own imagination and confidence, I think. I often spend my time online envying so many things; people's houses or belongings, clothes, figures, lifestyles, talents. Wishing I had more money to spend on this and that. Wishing I could redecorate our own home in this style, then the next day in that style. It's information overload in my head right now and I am taking a stand to simplify.
My friend Lou has made the word Bloom her motivation for this year, and I think she's chosen so well. What a positive, beautiful, encouraging idea, and I've been thinking a lot about it recently. I want to bloom this year, to find my feet and find the confidence again to be more myself. I think that can sometimes get lost in the midst of all things Mamahood.
I'm going to write more about this (I've loved posting something beyond what we've been up to - I've missed finding the time to sit, think and write about the bigger picture) more, about how I'm going to apply it to all aspects of my life. Starting with a social media cull, I've stopped following shops on IG. Sure their beautiful pieces are lovely to look at, but ultimately I end up feeling down about the fact I can't afford those things. It's the same with lifestyle feeds and following so many Pinterest boards. I'm sticking with the couple I love and deleting the rest. It's just not something I need in my life right now.
I feel like I've got the time now to think about what I like and want, and with everything that's happened in the last 14 months I know that's not about possessions and money; it's about life and seizing it for myself and my family. About appreciating what I have now, not feeling sad about what I don't and can't have.
This week I'm going to write those emails, and I hope I find the confidence to press send and put myself out there. I'll keep you informed...
[Photo by the wonderful Tori Hancock. Oh, I can't wait for summertime and sandals and floral skirts...]