Confession time. I’m a bit of a loner. I do not mean by this that I spend a lot of time alone. I have seven kids, people. I don't even go the bathroom alone. The kids come and go. I plan, I schedule, I coordinate. I cook, I clean. I cook again. I spend an insane amount of time at the grocery store. Or thinking about going to the grocery store. When the day is done, I don’t have much of a social life. Are you nodding your head? Yep, I'm pretty sure my situation is not so unique.
When I started this blog three months ago, it was for myself. A creative outlet. An excuse to learn more about my camera. An excuse to write. An excuse for quiet. A more personal motivation to continue the non-stop meal planning, prepping, and cooking. But I got caught up in the blogosphere. I got caught up in the idea that my blog might be noticed, that someone might find my little slice of domesticity and maybe, just maybe, that might create an opening for me to get out of it. Doesn’t everyone at some point dream of doing more than what they are doing today? Isn’t that why we keep going to Disney movies?
The truth is, I was (and still am) hoping to find a community of people like me. People who spend a crazy amount of time in their kitchens but aren’t chefs. People who actually like to make things but aren’t Martha Stewart. People who used to have careers and friends and millions of interests and who now find that most of their conversations are with their husbands, their moms, or their kids’ teachers/babysitters/coaches. I suppose this is parenting. And this is middle age. And I really like my husband and my mom and our babysitter. But I’d like to have a few conversations a week that aren’t about my kids. That aren’t about what there is to eat in the house or scheduling or what it’s like to have a blended family. I’m finding that this middle age thing would be a lot more fun with the company of other women to balance it out.
I mentioned last week that I am going to Alt Summit tomorrow. A sea of designers, foodies, party-planners, photographers, and fashionistas. People who love paper and color and paint as much as I do. And there will be moms. Lots of them. Moms that, at least online, aren’t letting their time in the kitchen or their time at the soccer pitch be the only thing defining their lives. Last week, I was feeling really confident about going to this conference. I could envision myself fitting into this group of creative, positive, and successful women. Today, I am not quite so confident. But I am hopeful. I am hoping that I will meet at least one person who I can look in the eye and know understands what I am about. And I will understand what she is about. And that will be a beginning.
At nap time yesterday, we read “The Carrot Seed” for about the millionth time. And it hit me. I just need to keep pulling up the weeds and watering the ground. And my blog will grow. And with it, so will my community.