A dynamic shift has occurred in my life over the past year. In more than one way I have pressed the proverbial reset button resulting in Change--some ways small and subtle, and other mind-bogglingly impactful. Depending on your proximity to my life, these changes may not be obvious. My husband and I have felt it the deepest, and it has trickled down from there, to our children, to our extended family, friends, and so on. Last spring, I moved out for a period of two months. Deciding that our problems were unmountable, our relationship doomed to an unhealthy existance if we remained together, I left in a desperate effort to save my emotional well-being. In order to regain my most whole self, I needed to break free and and break it all down. It was an enormous leap and scary as hell. In the short-term, I felt that I was risking my relationship with my children, basically stomping all over my ideals, and writing a chapter I never in a million bajillion years would have thought I'd have the guts to write. I had to remove myself from the life I've built in order to gain clarity. This meant leaving our huge, difficult-to-operate home, and three home-schooled children in the primary care of my husband, who also works full-time. I had to trust that he would figure it out, that the kids would not hate me forever, and that what I was doing was essential to my development in the end. Holyfuckingshit, it was terrifying.
But even as I ventured out into this darkness, I was surprised by the guiding light I found. At the risk of sounding syrupy, my heart knew what was right. I found so much strength in knowing that in the long-term, it would get better, because I was was doing the work I needed to do to be happy and that would ultimately be better for my children. The results stunned me. My story can be visited in a number of ways, and many facets of the diamond it unearthed can be peered into. So I have to start simple, and I will start here, with the blog.
I could not, after this personal pilgrimage, go back to my old blog, Milk and Ink. After four years, it holds the dearest memories and deepest writings about my life as being Mama Nomad, the gardening, home-cooking and home-schooling, domestic queen of the outer southeast, and was very successful for me in a more than one way. It was my main outlet for creative writing, and connecting with other moms who led a similar life-style. It was an online scrapbook, our family's most comical, beautiful, and memorable moments for our relatives and community and complete strangers to share. Milk and Ink inspired me, got me excited, and did the same for others. While it could have certainly survived my transition, starting fresh feels better. I'm telling you, pressing the reset button has been my mantra.
I assure you, if you aren't hip to it already, I am still Mama Nomad. My ideals may have swung, waivered, been polished or been ditched altogether. In time, I'll lay it all out here, what other buttons I have pressed to create a life that keeps up with the modern me--the me with ten years of marriage and family life under my distressed leather Anthropologie-inspired belt.
The "milk" of Milk and Ink has always symbolized, in general, motherhood but more specifically my child-bearing and baby-rearing days. Another reassurance: three is a good number for me, and I will not be nursing anymore babes. I got my two girls, my boy (weaned well over a year ago) and my desired home birth--I'm all set. The "ink" has stood for two distinct things--our affiliation to the body modification industry, and my writing. My poor, neglected writing...it is a practice that regardless of being pushed and encouraged by every English teacher I've ever had from elementary school to college, I have mostly ignored. So it's with this newborn blog that I press another reset button, and navigate Beyond the Milk.