Earlier this week I posted this on Instagram,
" A day has always felt incomplete to me if I have not created something with my hands. I have a deep yearning and desire in my soul to make beautiful things. As my body continues to get worse, my need and desire to create never changes. I rarely have the strength or energy or lack of pain to create and make like I once could. A tiny project is now enough to send me to bed. I mourned this yesterday.. the loss of something deep within me. But then my creator gently nudged me and reminded me that I am never too sick or weak to take part in His creation. He is continually wooing me with his beauty. And one day all things will be made new and I will be able to take part in creating alongside Him in His perfect Kingdom."
If you have been around here for long, you have most likely noticed that I have not been around much this past month. There's a good reason for it. Things have been stirring in my heart and mind that I have needed to process away from this space. I needed to give myself the mental clarity to make decisions about where things should go from here.
Most of you know a bit about my story, and lots of parts of my story I haven't shared on this space.. maybe because I don't want to be THAT person who complains, or who talks only about myself.. or who doesn't bring joy and light into your life. I want to inspire. Maybe what I'm walking through is inspiring, maybe not.. but never the less, it's what is happening. My health isn't really getting any better, and my bad days most of the time outweigh my good days.
About a month ago I was in bed for three days with a huge flare up of fibro pain and chronic fatigue. While I was there I kept beating myself up for not creating something for this space, for not "checking into work" and for letting you guys down. It was really absurd how much I was beating myself up. Like anyone really cares! I'm always my own worst critic and my first born type-A personality has gotten me into trouble a lot because I put so much pressure on myself to succeed and be the best in everything I do. And that includes what I've done with eat.live.make. And while I was laying there I let myself dive deep into the rabbit hole that I have been diving into WAY too much lately.. "they are going to be upset with me because I haven't given them a recipe lately (but I can't because I can't walk).. and if I DON'T post then my readership will go down and then I won't be able to offer anything to advertisers.. and THAT blogger does such a good job.. why can't I be as pretty as her and as creative as her and have the energy to make all those pretty projects.. and why do THEY get paying advertisers and how does she make those perfectly styled recipes EVERY DAY!".. and on and on and on it would go.
Your most likely laughing because you see how ridiculous this train of thought is. And yes, writing it down (and even as I was thinking it) I realized how terrible it was for myself. Here I am supposed to be resting and getting better and all I was doing was beating myself up. NOT the best formula for getting better.
Then it hit me. I don't have to check in here. I don't have to be the best. I don't even have to blog! WHAT?! So much grace was received in that moment of clarity. Which got me going down a whole different train of thought.. which leads me to where I am today.
When I started this space it was all I had. It was at a time when my health had started (to be honest, I prob. started this space about four years after it started getting worse) declining, but I wanted to be able to share my recipes with people who might have needed them. I wanted to share my story and document it. I wanted people to be inspired by how I was treading the waters of the unknown and to hopefully gain some friends along the way (which I have and I love you!). I think over the years I got away from that as I started learning more about the blogging culture. I started to compete with myself and with others and check my stats daily and beat myself up if I didn't reach a certain number by the end of a quarter. I started to get away from my original purposes of this space. AND, my energy has started to get less and less and less. At the same time, my photography business has grown and has required more and more of my energy. It has required me to have set deadlines, set dates for weddings and shoots and has taken up a lot of my mental and physical energy. Which isn't a BAD thing, it's just something that has happened over the past three years.
A HUGE component of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and ehlers-danlos syndrome is learning how to balance my time and energy. Honestly, I haven't done a very good job at that. I will overwork myself (because remember, I'm a complete perfectionist) and then would crash and end up in bed for several days or weeks at a time. Which isn't good for anyone involved. I would feel great one day and do all the cooking for this space and make projects and take outfit photos.. and then we (david and i) were left picking up the string and the pieces of those projects and the pieces of my fatigued and painful body for the next several days. I kept telling myself that this was good because I was heading somewhere and I had a creative and mental outlet and I was making good friends and I was helping contribute to our little family financially… but when I stopped and realized the TRUTH of the situation, eat.live.make was more of an energy sucker than life giver. It was sucking my mental energy, my physical energy and I was allowing myself to think more negative thoughts than wholesome and true thoughts.. which is detrimental to any healing process.
When I stepped back and thought about things logistically (which is hard for me to do because I'm such an emotional thinker) I was not earning money from this space, and the space that I WAS earning money from (my photography) wasn't top on my priority list.. energy I could have been spending there was spent here. I would be too driven to complete projects for this space instead of resting and allowing my body to heal and recover for my next photography gig. My photography business is life giving to me, and eat.live.make has turned into more of a chore.
So, with all that rambling what does it mean? It means I am saying goodbye. It's been real. I've loved sharing with you, and learning from you and creating for you. But I need to focus my energies elsewhere (like resting and getting better!!). I have started to dive into researching EDS more, I have been seeing an O.T. who is helping me adapt to my changing body, I am searching HARD for doctors who can help me and am reading books while I rest.. I'm plugging into EDS support groups and am even attending a conference about it in July. I am making dinners that are less work, and am giving myself more grace on days when I just can't take the first step out of bed. And I've been taking lots and lots of pictures and am meeting beautiful families and people in my community. I have started working with a wonderful magazine called Shattered (you should totally check them out! I will be sharing my story there soon!).. and I have been resting and trying to learn how to budget my energy better.
But for real, it's not REALLY goodbye. I'll still be around. You can find me on Instagram and on my photog blog. I plan on writing more there and sharing more on that space in the future. I'll continue to share my travel photos there and snippets of our life. And you know you can always find me via e mail and snail mail:) You, dear reader, have made this all worthwhile and I cannot thank you enough for the way you have supported me through this journey of blogging. I have made some friends through this that I know I will have for the rest of my life (you girls know who you are and I cannot thank the sweet Lord for the grace and gift that He has given me in each of you). It's hard for me to let go, but I know it's the right thing. I have so much peace as I type this, and am thankful for the ability to say, " I gave it my best shot and am proud of what I have accomplished."