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Friday, May 3, 2013

Saying Goodbye For Now

I sort of feel like I've been standing far off watching my life lately. Like an out of body experience, I'm just standing there (or floating there?) watching myself do and say and live in the way I've done it for years. My life has been busy and I don't really mean physically, although that is certainly part of it. You can't really expect less with a family, but what I mean is I can't really remember what it was like for my mind and my mental and emotional state to not always be going and moving and doing. I remember life without the internet and kids, but when I try to think back I start to wonder, what on earth did I do before? The internet and having children  definitely has the capacity to keep you moving, in one way or another. Do you like how I clumped the internet in with my family? Sad, isn't it?
 For as long as I can remember I have always been a people pleaser. I do and I give and I  love, hoping desperately for people to like me and approve of me in return. Part of this is human nature, and I think part of this is having been raised in a preachers home and always wanting to be sure I didn't say or do anything to present a bad image for my parents. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing and I am certainly very loyal, but what I am saying is that is all I've ever known was to try to do things for other people, so in turn people would approve of me.

This drive turned insecurity has most definitely carried me through my adult life. There is a part of me that has always wanted to prove to people I am good and honest and genuine, somehow guessing that if I didn't keeping talking and trying to prove myself, they would think less of me (see? insecure). There is a part of me that is always subtly trying to find ways to get people to just like the person I am...either by being the happy one, funny one, the encouraging one, the helpful one, the selfless one, the smiley one, the friendly one, maybe even the helpless  or needy one, etc  It's not so much a cry for attention, but a fear of loneliness and being rejected.  And I think these qualities are all  parts of who I am, yet most times subconsciously I needed that love and acceptance in exchange. I needed to be needed.  My inward desperate plea is for people to validate me in one form or another.
 I see that as a weakness in myself.  Pure honesty here, folks.
And with that, I have spent the majority of my life being busy, mentally trying so hard...and I absolutely hate the feeling of wondering if people are thinking negatively of me in any way.
It literally scares me.
 I've sort of been watching myself, the things I've said, written and acted upon over time...the extremely uncomfortable lengths I have tried at times to avoid rejection...and I start wondering why I do that. What is this obsessive need for people to approve? Yes it's human, but mostly it's fear. And spending every moment of your life trying so hard to say or give or fix or do or beg or please or help so that you can feel love in return,
it gets exhausting. And I am sure it's unnecessary.

This blog...sigh, oh this little blog of mine has been on sort of teeter totter the past few months. I've sort of been on auto pilot mode with it so that my numbers didn't drop (see what I mean? fear), but not really having a lot to say.  I was talking to (actually crying to) my husband about this and how I am grateful I started this blog. Not only did I somehow find myself again in my love for creativity and art and writing, but it helped me sort of navigate my way through  an extremely sad part of my life.  And as wonderful as the blog community is and the friends are that I have met and love, blogging so far has been sort of a temporary fix for this frightened existence I've unknowingly lived. And it's kept me busy, so I don't have to think about it.  In the beginning I thought it was healing, but now  I 'm seeing  it's kept my mind off the fear of loneliness I didn't want to face.  I kept so busy in my writing trying to help, relate to and be there for people so I wouldn't have to think about myself and what could happen to me if I stop moving and thinking  and talking for a minute.
It's an unhealthy pattern for me, and I feel crushed if it doesn't work like I hoped. My heart is let down.
And I allow it to make me feel smaller than I should, I think.

 Not being busy is what scares me. Because that means life will be too quiet and I will have nothing to drown out that silence, which to me, embodies loneliness.  I realize that although I've tried,  I cannot change or control what others do or the way they see me, but what I can do is change and control the way I live and see myself and the rest will fall in place.  And I've never taken the time to just sit still, to let my mind rest and not always frustrate myself in my efforts and pleas.  I am convinced that I just need to be quiet for once and find a way to really love myself and believe in myself....and let God love me.

The internet in general has been a huge distraction for me over the past decade. Mainly the social media aspect of it. It has added a level of drama and excitement and  anticipation and torment to life that sort of blankets that fear of being bored  or unloved. It has covered it so eloquently that I forgot it was there. Just like a workaholic or alcoholic or drug addict or sports addict, social media and all the relationships I have managed to build within it have kept me preoccupied  in various ways. If you're a blogger or really anyone that has a relationship with technology, I'm sure you know what I mean. Especially in this smart phone era where the clamor is constantly begging our attention and it very literally makes my head spin some days.  It has been a band-aid and I have used it to an extent to hide behind. I think it's a good thing that I realize this and that I know now that I need to just hush the buzz of this techno paced world for awhile. Silence may the solace I need to recover from this disease of insecurity and to discover who I am without all the noise I've been constantly carrying in my mind. I want to know what it is like to live a quiet life and not be afraid of it. I want simply to embrace the sweetness of it.
Like any habit, I am aware of the pain and withdrawal it may first seem to cause , this quiet, but in the end it will help me be stronger and believe in myself and do more for myself, which in turn will help me love for bigger reasons than me.  I believe this is just one step of my 'big picture' and it will help my writing in the future... which I never plan to give up, even if it's just for me.

And it will give God one more opportunity each day to show me who He is to me.
My source of strength, comfort, confidence and peace will be in Him alone. It has to be.

Thank you to all of you who have read through my tumulus and thought processing blog and facebook posts and offered your generous words these past 16 months. Really, you are all very precious to me because you make up a part of my story, some in a little way, others in a bigger way. But either way,  you were there.... And if you were one of those who sort of stumbled across my scattered path of wanderings (and this may only make sense if you actually know me), either blindly or on purpose, I am sorry.  I think some people in my life understood me more than I understood myself at times.  This blog means a lot to me and it hasn't been an easy decision to sort of "officially" state that this particular season of this blog is over for me and I'm not sure how long this lull will last. Because of course it scared me to maybe lose readers and friends. But it is the best thing for me in this moment. I need for my confidence to be outside of people. A season of growth...
  I'm not sure right now what the future holds. I really can't say when I will be back here on From Awkward To Art, but I hope you are still here if/when I do make my way back. I suppose it will be at least as long as it takes for me to get used to my thoughts in silence and realize nothing has to be said of them. I don't always have to talk and do. I hope that's ok.

To hear only the voice of God and His assurance of who I am, no strings attached,
is what I am longing for.

So for now, I am saying goodbye.

Psalm 46:10-Be still and know that I am God...


Shelly Kamp said...

Good for you. Take care.

Sue said...

I will miss you! xo

Joy Foucault said...

Your blog will be missed by me, but I will miss you even more! Now you are off FB and blogging..... how will I hear about all the exciting projects you serve? LMK a way to reach you even if you just inbox my FB account. xoxo!

Hanna said...

I will miss you but I completely understand this! I struggle with the same things all the time!!!
Take good care of yourself and your family! I hope to see you again soon my friend:)

Kristine Foley said...

I will miss you. I think its so brave of you to realize and actually listen and do what your soul needs from you. You are beautiful inside and out and i feel blessed to have met u thru the www :) Much love to you and your fam Julie!!

TicoTina said...

Dear friend, you know I will still be here =) And hopefully we'll hang out later this year and you can tell me about what you've been learning in person! though either way, I may bug you on email. I'm excited for what God's going to do in you!

Kelly said...

I will miss your blog but i completely completely understand. I am soooo soooo grateful for our blogs and our chance to meet in this blogworld. I will miss your beautiful stories and your heartfelt words. You are such a light to me my friend. Keep shining for Him in all the raw realness that is you. You are a special woman my friend. Love you!

Renee C. said...

I think many bloggers (myself included) can really relate to so much of what you are saying. I totally understand your decision - take care! :)

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I'm going to really miss you! But I understand why you need this for yourself right now.

AbsoluteMommy said...

I will be here. I love you something fierce. But I totally get this post. I'll be taking a small break soon too, but not for the same reasons. Just promise that you will continue to write. You are a wonderfully talented writer. Don't forget that just because you aren't hitting the publish button. Go forth and live, but also go forth and write. And keep in touch. You know where to find me.

Tatiana said...

good luck and take care <3 I wish you great success!

& I love the photos you posted :) you both look adorable!

beforeverlovely said...

so proud of you for knowing and understanding what you need right now. of course whomever knows and reads your blogs will want the best for you, and please know that i hope the peace and quiet you seek is exactly what you are longing for (obviously a stronger connection to Him too). loved these words friend. if you have some extra peace, send it my way, okay? take care, and i'll be here, or on email or wherever if you need anyone.

kate said...

I only just found you a couple of months ago and I will really miss you! Praying for you and may you find the strength and peace you need as you embark on this new phase of your journey.. blessings my new friend. xx

Shannon @Imperfectly Perfect Grace said...

I think it's amazing that you are able to realize so clearly what's going on inside of you...and also that you are taking the steps you feel are right to fill the holes in your heart. I think so many people can't identify what's truly going on in their hearts and if they do, they shy away from fixing it in the true and lasting way..I'm proud of you friend and I identify with much of what you said and feel. Let's stay in touch through email whenever you might have a chance. I'd like to hear how things are going for you!

Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire said...

I send you comfort and peace, Julie. Enjoy your time wading in the silence and finding happiness in time spent on the things that matter the most.

Alissa said...

So true and relatable. Pastors daughter or not--just remember you don't have anything to "prove." You just being...and going through this dry spell of technology will only give you freedom from a superficial existence. I struggle with a feeling, which is a habit of being self critical and judgmental. It has led me into some very low ("valley of the shadow of death") places. Just remember also: God's grace, love, and forgiveness never waver for you and he is always happy to see you for you...through the ups & downs. :) I would share further insight with you on this topic if you want...getting over such similar things myself

brittany t said...

oh dear Julie, I completely understand your reasoning and think you are brave and wonderful. I will miss you blogging/writing such thoughtful, encouraging things, but i hope it's ok with you if I drop you an email once in a while? :) I still want to send you those cd's! take all the time you will have your cheerleaders with you all the way, and God being #1 :)

Meg said...

You wrote every single word and described me to a T. I don't know what it's like to stop and rest because I take on too much, as a people pleaser, as someone who just tries to succeed in all. The busyness makes me anxious, but so does fear of failure and rejection. It's an ugly cycle. Good luck on your quiet journey. Truthfully, I bookmarked your blog sometime in February and clicked on it for the second time today, such a God thing :)

Meg said...

You wrote every single word and described me to a T. I don't know what it's like to stop and rest because I take on too much, as a people pleaser, as someone who just tries to succeed in all. The busyness makes me anxious, but so does fear of failure and rejection. It's an ugly cycle. Good luck on your quiet journey. Truthfully, I bookmarked your blog sometime in February and clicked on it for the second time today, such a God thing :)

Queen calypso said...

I’m totally going to miss you but I can understand the situation. I wish you are bright future and god bless you.

Vicki Sturgiss said...

I totally get it. I myself have pulled back a lot on my blog, I realized it was just taking up too much of time. Time I should be spending serving God and loving my family. I will miss reading your posts....take care x

Brooke @ Covered in Grace said...

I'm following my own ways...which is part of the reason why I am just now reading this. Ha! I'm gonna miss reading your beautiful, introspective posts, but I totally support you, and I hope you'll keep in touch. You are an amazing soul Julie Marie!!! Love yer face!! Xxo

78678cb4-692f-11e0-9030-000f20980440 said...

It makes me sad that it took you this long to make this realization. It's an addiction to attention that needs to be broken. It's in the silence and solitude that we have to face all those things about us that we don't like, but when we do face them and shout them down, good things happen.

Mirror television said...

I’m happy for you. Take care always..

Janna Renee said...

I'm taking a little break too, and LOVING it. I'm hoping that I don't end up "saying goodbye", but if it comes down to it...I totally will. Our blogs CANNOT get in the way of our lives and our families. It is meant to be an outlet and not a chore. I actually stopped worrying about sponsorship and numbers a few months back and that really helped. I love meeting new bloggers and growing, but I want to make sure that I never lose myself.

I actually wanted to get some videos edited and thought of your amazing editing skills, but you are probably trying to avoid things like that. No pressure, but if you would be interested in editing a few videos for some cash, lemme know!

Just know, that you have created some awesome friendships and made a great impression on a lot of us. You are beautiful, spiritual, intelligent, and incredibly talented/inspiring. Just holla if and when you come back to blogging, and we will all be here ;)

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