Thursday, January 31, 2013

dark / light.



(No idea what's going on in that photo of me, but it seems fitting. Also - will I ever stop wearing stripes?)

On the last day of January, about a month too late, some reflections that have been on my mind:

I turned 28 in December — a birthday and then right afterwards, a new year. To be honest last year was one of the hardest years I've had. I feel weird and slightly guilty admitting that, considering I had a baby and she's the best thing in the world. But even with that constant joy the reality is there were days (weeks, months) of tears, exhaustion, frustration, darkness. Lessons of patience and selflessness. Trying to balance my desire for creativity and adventure with the responsibility of being a parent. Fitting in work while paying adequate attention to my little family and home. Things not going as expected time after time. So many extremes, so many changes, so many struggles I never knew there would be. And while all of this sounds dramatic now, it was very real at the time. The ups and downs took their toll on me and I had been feeling the weight of it all.

And then January came. I was trying to determine my new focus or goals and nothing seemed to sit right. Suddenly one morning as I pulled open the curtains in our bedroom, it came with the sun pouring in. Light.

Light. My word for this year is a welcome contrast to what was. It has meaning on so many levels for me, and it's already made a difference.

26 comments:

  1. you put it so beautifully and i agree with every word. I struggled with those exact same things and felt that same guilt at admitting it. it's really hard to adjust life so severely after having a baby and the creative juggle especially so... 1.5years on and I think i've almost got my mind around it! keep glowing :)

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  2. I think every mother reading this (especially creative minds) are nodding their heads. I continually feel myself growing and changing and sometimes its a painful pruning.
    The art and design side of a mind never turns off and is always calling...and your heart is wrapped around your children. Its a learning process to intertwine the good and let go of the unnecessary.
    Thanks for writing and cheers to your 28th year!
    Anna

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  3. while, i don't have a child, and can't even begin to know what kind of work that is, i also was ready for 2012 to be over. we all go through struggles and rough patches and as long as we can see the light at the end of the tunnel...we'll all be okay.

    beautifully written post, angela.

    i love your blog.

    xo eden

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  4. Beautiful, and so honestly heartfelt. I like that you don't sugar coat everything.

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  5. Know exactly what you mean Angela. Motherhood for me has been such a mix of darkness and light, struggle and joy. And of course it's all worth it. But it's nice to be able to talk about it without worrying that you'll be perceived as ungrateful or unhappy. I have great hopes for this year too!

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  6. This describes motherhood perfectly. It's hard, exhausting, and intensely rewarding. You seem like such a wonderful mom who loves unconditionally.

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  7. I just have to say how gorgeous your outfit is :)

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  8. Your words resonate with me as I'm sure they do many other young mothers. Just know you're not alone. We could all use the reminder to allow more light into our lives.

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  9. Thank you for your honesty on how motherhood isn't glamorous 100% of the time but, is downright struggling! I too wrestled with juggling a baby and work around the home. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this journey : )

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  10. Oh I hear you. How do you explain that you love your baby more than anything but that you crave the time to be creative, to be yourself.

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  11. Beautiful. Isn't light amazing? I often marvel at the parallel between the joy that light brings and the feelings of terror and fear that come from the dark (a huge fear of mine) and how that relates to spiritual darkness. Being light in heart and spirit is such a reflection of the way we live our day to day lives. I think you're doing a pretty swell job. Concentrating on the good things in life and trying your best every day is all that matters.

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  12. I think we should talk about my observations of light and the symbolism I see in it ALL THE TIME.

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  13. This is beautiful, Angela. I love you.

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  14. So glad to see you are back! Your feelings resonate with me as my first year of motherhood was a mixed bag of extreme emotions- being incredibly overjoyed, yet overwhelmed and sad at the same time. It took time to find peace in a brand new reality. Your blog is an inspiration and I find joy in reading. Here's to a new year filled with light.

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  15. I don't know you personally, Angela, but you constantly inspire me with your effortless grace, sincere voice, and timeless creativity. I hope 2013 brings you so much joy! you deserve it. Thank you for your example, even through these simple blog posts!

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  16. thank you thank you thank you for being so honest. I feel so much better when mothers speak out on this subject. I too had so many assumptions about how I would feel raising my newborn. She is my world but all the other parts of my life feel cheated. I think this is the most challenging time and strength comes from sharing in it!

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  17. Oh man I am learning some of the same lessons. Letting go of things I love to do can be so frustrating, but I am SO glad Lucy is here and needs me. I'm hoping someday I can add back some of the things I'm missing out on now.

    Also... YES. Stripes! Always stripes. :) It's a good thing.

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  18. This almost had me in tears! What a beautiful post. One that truly spoke to where I am at the moment. I had forgotten how hard it is to adjust to a new little one. It took so long to figure it all out with Rowan and then I become comfortable, she got older and I was able to have more of "my time" back. Time I got to use blogging and being creative in my studio downstairs. Rowan was at an age where she could either join in or be beside me entertaining herself. Then Finely arrived. I have not had a moment to myself since. It has been hard to say the least. There is literally no time with 2. I knew it would happen but its hard to swallow on days when the creative side is calling stronger than the mom side. I love both Rowan and Finley with all of my being and know being their mother is more fulfilling and rewarding then anything I want to create but it is still a struggle on certain days. Much love sweet girl!
    xoxo

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  19. You rarely give yourself adequate credit for being such a good writer.

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  20. Anonymous2/05/2013

    Love your post. I don't have children of my own (going on 5 years of marriage, but still not ready yet). And although I look forward to it someday, the thought kind of scares me... So many women want nothing more than to have children the second they're married, and then paint such a rose colored picture of motherhood. It makes me begin to wonder if I'm a bad person. Love your honesty that although motherhood may be one of the most amazing things a woman can do, it's also one of the hardest.
    xoxo

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  21. Happy [way belated] birthday, Angela! Every season of life has its struggles, that's for sure. But I love your theme for this year, and really appreciate your being so honest & genuine in this post. I don't doubt 2013 will be an amazing year for you!

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  22. Anonymous2/08/2013

    Thank you for the well written and thoughtful post. My daughter just turned one and I can relate to your words. She was two months early, but thankfully very healthy. It was a rough year indeed, but it could have been so much harder. I'm not sure how one year can be the hardest, yet best year of your life. Here's to a wonderful year ahead!

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  23. Love this honesty.. Can't imagine having kids is just sunshine and rainbows all the time !

    Jessica
    www.littlemapleleaf.blogspot.com

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  24. You are a wonderful mother, and a wonderful person! I have come to learn that it is normal and what was expected of our life to have moments of darkness and trials. I know that is not that profound or helpful, but when life is at its hardest, its at least helpful for me not to be angry that it is hard, but remember, "I was sent here to feel all emotions, its ok that this is awful, soon it will pass". Even though I have 6 kids, and that has brought all kinds of challenges, I remember so well how hard the transition was from 0 kids to 1. It was SO hard! I wanted a baby so bad, and noone could have prepared me for all the emotions I felt.
    Before I had children I really thought I was a good person, I walked to church by myself, read my scriptures, helped others. Then I had children. And it was so humbling, I never felt as good as I wanted to be.... that feeling inside that I was as good as I needed to be, seemed to leave me forever. I can never do enough and be enough now. What a life changing transition.
    Even having said that though, I am thankful for motherhood. I am a better person in so many ways than I ever could have become on my own.
    I don't know why I just told you all of that. Reading your post just made me remember how hard that transition to motherhood was. Whenever I feel like the worst mother ever, I remember people at Wal Mart, ha ha, then it puts in to perspective that I am definitely not the worst mother ever. ha ha.
    I am sure you are doing wonderful! What a lucky lucky baby to be sent to you as a mother!

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  25. love this striped top and also your blog! It's so nice!!! I follow you!
    Pass to my blog and if it likes you follow me too, I will be so glad :D
    Kisses
    http://francescagiusti.blogspot.it/

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