I sat outside on my yoga mat with my eyes closed and just breathed. It was cold outside in south eastern Arizona, but the sun warmed my upturned face. The kids were off in the grasslands playing in their “fort” and I could hear them laughing in the distance. For a moment I was content to just be me.
For so long I’ve kept an unhealthy pace. Not content to simply write about our adventures and traveling from a journal perspective, this blogging adventure morphed into more of a business. In order to be a “blogger” I created a laundry list of items to check off my list. Work with brands. Acquire advertising revenue. Make money. Gain followers. Attend conferences. Grow my audience. Somewhere along the journey I lost track of our original goal: Help and inspire families through outdoor adventure and travel. Soon that goal was buried under a pile of “supposed to’s”.
“What if we are normal and quiet and happy? Does that count?” -Brené Brown
Page after page in my personal journal over the last year talks of unhappiness, discontentment, and an overwhelming feeling of not being good enough. I’m not a good enough blogger. I don’t have enough time to keep up with all the projects in my head. I’m a horrible wife. I’m not a good enough mother. I’m a terrible at traveling full time – I can’t even keep things together. I paid too much attention to social media and somehow the majority of my self worth was determined by how many followers I had, or how many likes a particular photo received.
Its not a healthy way to live.
Last December I decided I was done. Done with pretty much everything. I was upset, depressed, and really just couldn’t get things together. I desperately wanted things to change and I finally had the courage to start saying “No”.
Its amazing the peace that a little two letter word brought into my life. Facebook came off my phone (I can’t even begin to tell you how angry it makes me), I put one of my Instagram accounts on hold, I left a group the core group of amazing women working on the 365MileChallenge project. While I still have companies and brands I love and plan to work with, I stopped soliciting new ones and have been more selective of the projects we take on.
We invented a card game. I can’t tell you how ridiculously excited I am about that.
I decided to focus my blogging more on telling our story. I carry my Kindle with me everywhere in an effort to read good books instead of mindlessly scrolling on my phone. I’ve made an effort to exercise regularly again, eat healthy, and we’ve slowed our travel pace considerably. 18 days at McDowell Mountain in Arizona was a balm for my fracture soul.
“I give myself permission to slow down. I’m finally succumbing to the fact that I don’t have to DO and that I can just BE.” – Kelli France
Slowly but surely I feel myself pulling back from the black void I felt was imminent in my future. Looking back I feel that perhaps I overreacted. It really couldn’t have been that bad, could it? Its amazing how easily our mind adapts and glosses over the bleaker portions of our lives. It WAS that bad, but now instead of listening to my gremlins I take time to remember what I’m grateful for. When my inner demons tell me I’m not good enough I can respond with “Yes I am. I am enough. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone.”