Second Chances


This blog originally started out as a personal blog that I used to document my adventures as a single mother who couldn't help but believe that she would find her 'Perfect Man' when pigs flew.

Eventually those little piggies suited up and took off on a brand new adventure when I met and married my husband.  Jason and I have been married since 2010.  The readers that had followed me along my journey as a single mother were so excited to see how life played out in this new chapter.  Adventure awaited, unfortunately, we were all very disappointed.  Following the wedding and those early months as newlyweds, my blogging all but stopped.

My writing was too real for some of my new family and friends; the way I displayed my imperfections and personality were not well received across the board.  I would get comments or Jason would get text messages.  I took many posts down in anger and hurt.  I was tempted to post many more in the cloud of those same emotions.  It got to the point that every post I made, I asked my husband to screen it for things that could possibly upset those individuals.  Some posts never made it past draft form, others underwent multiple revisions.  Despite the "all clear" I would get from Jason before posting, inevitably there would be ugliness.  The irony was that other people could write the same things on their blogs or express the same sentiments and it would be thoughtful or funny...but if it was me posting it, it was embarrassing, insulting, or unacceptable.

As an introvert, my social group lived inside my computer screen.  I was well-connected into several online communities, whether it was a private diary site, my blog, social media, instant messengers, or group emails.  I had friends that I shared life with continually.  And they shared life with me.  So when I stopped writing, I also stopped connecting.  And my circle was reduced to family, coworkers, and a very small dusting of "real life" friends.  The coworker situation was contemptuous from time to time.  I worked in more than one office where I had to set special audiences to prevent coworkers from seeing some of my updates.  The more they knew about you, the more they could use to hurt or manipulate you.  I had enough hurt without dealing with that.  So I set up limits there, too.

With this new marriage where two became one, the math didn't seem to be carrying over for me socially, I now had this huge social division:  people who accepted me and people who did not.  Never before had that latter group become so loud and so in-my-face.  Looking back, I don't know now that it was because they were really doing or saying as much as it felt that they were, but rather that the things they were saying and doing just hurt that deeply.

Over time my soul became too burdened by this.  When people decide they don't like you—for whatever reason—they will find fault in anything you do.  And boy did they!  So with time, I just stopped writing.  The joy was gone.  My readership had left because I didn't update anymore.  What was the point?

The problem was that when I stopped writing and sharing, I started to suffer because of it.  I became cynical and even more sarcastic.  I have since struggled with sleep issues and anxiety.  I've wandered deep into and gotten lost in Angry Mom/Angry Wife territory on more than one occasion.  I figured it was just a season I would need to get through.  

With time, some of the hurtful relationships that caused me to stop writing became less hurtful.  With more time, they've become almost friendly.  But every time I would think, "I need to start writing again," I would think of those individuals and know that those relationships might suffer or regress.  And that wasn't worth it.

Until I realized that I was more important to myself than that and I deserve better than that.  I was suffering mentally and emotionally because I had voluntarily given up on something healthy for me just because a handful of people didn't like it.  Who does that?  I wouldn't give up things that made my body health just because others were critical, so why was I giving up things that kept my inner me happy?  Why were they more important to me than was?  

And that was the catalyst.  

That sealed it.  

So, I'm back.  

Me and all of my over-sharing, sarcastic, too-much-information, too-little-filter, sometimes-you'll-laugh, sometimes-you'll-get-your-feelings-hurt, but-I'll-always-be-honest-with-you glory.  

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About The Author
Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a teenager, and a pre-schooler.