So many things have changed since I first began blogging in this space. In five years, I have really grown and changed as a woman and not only has my life changed, but all of our lives have changed over the years.
When I first started out blogging in 2010, I was twenty-one years old and just coming into my own. I was giving birth to myself, navigating and tasting the waters of life, and I was also a fairly new mother. Five years later, at age of twenty-six, heading into my thirties, a mother of three, and having a daughter going on eleven, I feel like I have changed in a lot of ways. I still feel like I am passionate about many things, but now that I have found out more about who I am and what I believe in, I feel less obligation to affirm to myself what I believe is true in my writings or seek others approval. I feel more confident in myself and what I believe and I feel I have really grown into a wonderful mother who always strives to put her children first, not only in physical reality and in deeds, but in thoughts also.
When I began blogging, I was also trying to find my way spiritually though life and figure out what I believe is true and what I don’t. I feel like I have come full circle in my beliefs, tasting from and appreciating many spiritual philosophies and religions and coming back to Christ and Christianity in a whole new light and with new fervor, having the knowledge and appreciation for other religions, gods, goddesses and deities, and knowing that appreciating them and enjoying them does not make me “bad”, or “wrong” as most widespread Christianity believes. Realizing the connectedness and purpose in all things spiritual gives me a sense of peace and acceptance. Reincarnation and Karma are also apart of my beliefs and something that I have always felt to be real. After studying many spiritual texts and coming to anthroposophy and spiritual science, I have found what makes sense for me and what I believe.
We also now have a daughter with autism and our diet has changed too. I feel awkward in life right now, as I am a vegan and striving to eat organic and my family is not. Craig has decided that he likes to eat a bit of meat now (mostly salmon and chicken), as well as milk, eggs, and cheese and the girls also eat dairy products (organic), and some meat sometimes too. I don’t cook meat because I really don’t feel right about it and I still try to buy as much organic as possible, but sometimes I feel down about this because I feel like I am on my own in wanting to raise our family in a healthy, natural way, when Craig is not as enthusiastic as me about buying organic or eliminating animal products and being conscious anymore of what he puts in his body. I feel like I am cooking for me and Autumn only, since Kesa and Serafina are such picky eaters, and it can feel depressing because I do love to cook and come up with recipes and I wish I had more people in this house who cared about it like I do. It was easier when the girls were young and I was making my book and they liked to try anything I made.
To be honest, this made me really sad for a long while. I know it started when I fell away from cooking and began to eat meat too last summer when I was confused about Serafina and just wanting to make life easier. I think I was also kind of depressed then too (or at least confused) and was feeling down and not keeping so on top of my food and the sources of it. I stopped blogging as much too because I felt afraid to write some of the things that I was feeling about all of the changes I was going through in my spirituality, role as a mother and wife, and with my diet. I also felt like I needed time to just process things internally for a while. I didn’t really know how I felt and how to put much of what I could acknowledge into writing. At one point, I wanted to run away from it all. I felt like such a bad mother when so many things were changing about my little girl and she began losing words and regressing, instead of developing. I blamed myself for a long time and wondered what I did or didn’t do. I also stopped doing much of what I loved and keeping on top of my creative outlets.
While all of this was happening with Serafina, I was studying anthroposophy like mad behind the scenes of family life. I felt a pull from spirit to be still and draw near. I read (and listened to) more books last year than I probably had in all of my life. I learned so much about who I was in a spiritual sense and how children develop. I learned about the evolution of humanity and came to understand the bible and the gospels better with Steiner’s deeper clairvoyant explanations. Spiritually, I was in a very good place and life was coming together better than it had ever been.
Throughout the long winter of 2013-2014 our marriage also grew. Craig and I made more time for each other and it made such a difference. I have always struggled with insecurity and a lack of self-confidence (especially about my body image and appearance) and having Craig give me that much more attention and put that much more effort into our relationship was really healing for me. We actually got to know each other and fall in love all over again, as though we were new people (at least I was anyway).
Having such an age difference between us (twenty-four years) is now starting to become more apparent as I am now just over halfway through my twenties and Craig turned fifty last December. I am still growing and changing all of the time and he is not changing so rapidly. He is who he is and has gone through all of his years of really coming into his own and discovering himself. He has had life many experiences. I am not done yet. It can be frustrating for me when I am so enthusiastic and full of life sometimes and he is not. He is just content to be and I wonder if this is because of our age difference. I learn a lot from him and he really does help to balance me out when I am feeling discontent or needing to be doing or being more. I went through a weird time period last spring where life just seemed all so overwhelming and I struggled with wondering if this is what I really wanted and chose. I wondered what choices were ever mine in life.
My mom and dad lost a baby (my younger brother) when I was two years old and never really had an intimate and loving marriage when I was growing up. Both of my parents have struggled with depression and my dad always over-worked. I never really realized how much those things affected me until now, being in my twenties. I never knew this when I was a girl because I just assumed that what I grew up in was normal. It was normal for our family. It wasn’t like I had a “bad” upbringing and from all outward appearances, things looked really good. The problem was that underlying loveless marriage and depression that lived and breathed in our home. Although my parents tried to give my brothers and I the best possible life, I wonder if sticking together all of those years was the right thing to do. Seeing this in my parents marriage has made me feel afraid of that same thing happening in mine. I fear so badly depression, or a loveless marriage because it makes me think back to what I was brought up in, which is not what I want for my children.
I got pregnant at fourteen years old with Autumn because of the confusion in my adolescence. Watching my mother struggle with depression all of my life because of the loss of her son (my baby brother) and an unhappy relationship with my dad always weighed heavy on me. I always felt sorry for my mother and wanted to make her happy (I still do). I think I was born for that purpose, to be the sunshine in her life. Now, looking back, I think that in some unconscious way, my reason for getting pregnant so young was because I wanted to have that baby for her and cure her depression. I wanted her to be happy. I also had very low self-esteem and was insecure, so I went for the first boyfriend who noticed me (and high school boys are not that careful when it comes to sex). I didn’t know how to say no, or be confident enough to stand up for myself and my body. I feel a lot of sadness at the way my first relationship and sexual experiences went, but I see that the bigger purpose in it was for Autumn to be born into this world and I (as well as everyone who knows her) would never want to have to go through life not having her in it.
I also got married young (at nineteen). After things went sour with Autumn’s dad, I was single and lonely. I was finishing up high school and now felt really out of place there, since I was a mother, while everyone else was going through their teen years, partying, dating, exploring life and making plans for secondary education. Autumn would go to daycare and I would go to school. I met Craig during the summer when I took a job at our local grocery store in town at sixteen. We knew each other for a few years before we actually got together. I was also still very insecure at that time (maybe even more so after having been through a bad teenage relationship and having had a baby so young). Ending up with Craig was something that just kind of happened. We were drawn together by something deeper. Everyone thought that it was insane (and some still do), but it just made sense. The decision to be with him is one of the only ones I felt that I ever consciously made for myself. Even though our being together seemed crazy, we both stuck it out because we really did love each other and sensed a deeper purpose in it. I don’t think we would have made it though so many years together in spite of our huge age difference, if we both didn’t deeply care about each other.
I have looked back often over my life and sometimes want to feel regret for the past. I sometimes feel ashamed of it. I sometimes hate it. I sometimes wish I could go back and change things or I wonder why I was born into a life so full of hurt, sadness, guilt, fear, abuse, self-loathing, depression, anxiety, insecurity, confusion, and growth, but then I also see where it has led me today.
Today I am a strong young woman with one heck of a story. Having gone through what I have in my young years has made me have a hugely compassionate heart and an extra sensitive, emotionally intuitive nature. I have three beautiful daughters and a loving, caring husband who has stuck with me through all of my years of confusion and healing from my past, as well as the continual growth into becoming myself. We have a beautiful old character home that we get to rent for a very inexpensive price. I get to stay home with my girls and homeschool them. We live close enough to town that we can walk to wherever we need to get and only need to use our vehicle every few weeks, or at the most every week. We always have enough money to meet our needs and then some. Our fridge and cupboards are packed with food. We have a healthy, loving relationship and can communicate fairly openly with each other (at least I always can and have a man who is willing to always listen to me). I have the freedom to write and pursue my hobbies and interests and he has the freedom to record his music, which is his passion.
I have all of these wonderful blessings and so much to be grateful for, yet still I struggle with allowing myself to have that. To let go of my past and all of the fear, guilt, and regret I want to still hold onto to instead embrace what is. My mind still has me living as that little girl in fear of a lack of love, replaying scenes of depression in my mind. I live there sometimes as that little girl so desiring to fix my parents unhappiness and have them live lives that they love in peace and happiness. I still try and play cupid and help them. I so desire them to find love and freedom, but I am realizing that I can’t live there anymore. I can’t continue to be that fearful little girl because I have a family of my own to raise. I have know this for a long while now, and the stress of it all is just too much.
It has always been hard for me to let go of my mother. I love her more than anything and have only always wanted to see her happy. We talk together every day and are like best friends. I know that I can never undue the past and she tells me so also. I let her into parts of my heavy heart and she eases my burdens. I try so hard to be open and honest and to heal slowly from the past as we talk and she does likewise with me. Our relationship has not always been a healthy one or a typical one. We have always more been like best friends and at times I have felt that I, in some ways have had to be more of a mother to her, but I believe that God works that way. I believe that I was sent with this as my purpose, to help her to heal.
At twenty-six years old, with all of this life behind me, I feel ready to move forward. There is so much in my life that I carry, not only of things within my immediate family, but in this world. I know that I was born an empath and am very sensitive to cruelty, injustice, deception, physical, mental and spiritual pollutants, and other people’s thoughts and emotions. Understanding this as my nature has helped me immensely. I have read more spiritual material on psychic intuition and clairvoyance and have come to understand more about why I am the way I am. Taking the spiritual reality into account makes so much sense of everything I have ever been through.
So nowadays, I struggle with what to do with my writing. It has been my struggle for a while now. I wonder whether or not to keep this space, or to move on. There are so many memories in this space, so much that I don’t want to let go of and move on from, but so much that I also just feel is not me. I wonder if our life has changed so much that I should start over in a new place and share some of the other things I have my mind on nowadays, mainly my family life, homeschooling and spirituality. I know that it seems silly to not be able to decide this, but I think about it so often. I guess mostly it is the letting go of the past to come into the new. Leaving the past behind is never easy. Past is something that I constantly struggle with. I want to let it go and grow from it, but it is also so hard to say good-bye to.
I feel hypocritical now having my blog get so many visitors coming for vegan recipes for families when things have changed so much for us in that way. I know that the recipes are part of who I am and my compassionate way of eating is what I believe in, but in some way it just feels like so long ago that all of that part of my life happened. I still enjoy cooking and baking, but I feel like I do it more on my own now as Autumn has grown up and feels no interest in imitating me and being so involved in the kitchen and Kesa now imitates Autumn and her hobbies and interests, and Serafina is more off in her own world much of the time (though she does like to lick the spoons from time to time).
These are my evening contemplations. It feels good to sort out my head, release, and learn more from my writings.
As always, if you feel inspired to leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you!
It wasn’t until I was 30 that I finally felt “grown up.” We married when I was 19. And I had a daughter when I was 22. But all that time, I was still – growing up. So, what I’m trying to say is I understand.
You do what your heart tells you to do.
I’m so sorry you’re alone as a vegan in your own home. That’s hard. I’m not alone, but my husband is not fully on board. It’s tough.
I’m also empathic. That alone is a weight to bear!
You’re right, I came because I found a vegan family. But I didn’t have to read your blog. I could have just grabbed what I wanted and left. You as a person, drew me in. So, I care. And if you decide to start a new site, please allow me to follow you.
❤ Thank you Jill. Can't wait until I am thirty then because so many people tell me it is much different then. I guess the difference for me in travelling through life is that I had my kids so young and so it is harder to just find out who I am, while I am also raising a family. I also think that having my children is who I am though and this is what was destined for me. Wouldn’t want it any other way.
That was quite a post. I have been reading your blog for awhile now and after today’s entry, I feel like we are kindred spirits (hope that doesn’t sound too weird). Many of the life events you have shared, we have in common. I really empathize with your struggle to move on from the past, as well as the need to follow your vegan beliefs even though you are on your own. I don’t know that my comment will help you at all, but please know you have been a light for me. I appreciate so much your heartfelt honesty. It’s so comforting to know I’m not the only one struggling with these things. Your family and your girls especially are blessed to have you guiding them. Thank you for sharing with me and all your readers a little piece of your world. You have made it a better place with your thoughtfulness, kindness, and honesty.
Thank you so much Val! I really appreciate your comment! It means a lot to know that my life has touched yours. Comment anytime! 🙂
Touched, yet again by your honesty and courage.
I take life as a chapter of a book. There are many chapters, sometimes they don’t follow as the reader anticipated. We change the way we look as we grow so does our mind. Our stories do not conclude till we depart. Our photographs/writings/emails to friends are just some things that we can look back in time and feel proud of how far we have come.
I was looking at one of my school pictures and felt a bit embarrassed of how I looked then. I still cherish it though.
When we move ahead we need not close a chapter but take it as an experience to guide others who might want to have it.
We eat both organic and non-organic vegetarian food in my house. I would prefer all organic but sometimes I just can’t get it or it is very expensive (especially imported ones). It’s okay! I am doing the best I can in the boundaries I have. Each individual in the family has their own choices we can’t all be the same. These days my kids are going crazy for store bought cookies. They don’t want the ones I bake at home (breaks my heart). I need to give them the option to explore before they can finally decide which one is better. Thankfully it is just the cookie so far 😊.
Thank you Ritu! I agree completely! It is tough when you want to be an authority and teach your children good morals, values, and habits, but they also want to explore and find their own way through life. I think at a young age we do still need to protect and guide them while gradually allowing them to make their own choices and see the consequences of them. There are such fine lines! I know most mothers that I talk to these days with pre-teen children are feeling the same. It is such a different feeling once they move from that imitation stage at age seven. I miss when Autumn was younger and more innocent. These are totally new waters!
It has been awhile since I have left a comment, yet I have read every post religiously 🙂 I have said this soo many times before, but it really is like we are kindred sistas 🙂
Our pasts our present is so much the same.
The part about Craig I can sooooo relate to lol and jon and I are the same age. Maybe it’s a guy thing. Women are much more passionate. Thank God for that because life would be quite one dimensional if it wasn’t for us 🙂
Our family has doubled since the last time we talked. My 17 year old nephew came to stay with us because of troubles in he big city (Toronto) and we got two foster girls ages 3 and 4. So now we have 2 3 year olds, 4 year old, 5 year old, 8 year old and a 17 year old. Life is crazy, yet so full! Full of love and life.
I can relate so much to the struggles/convictions you have. Yet I am not ashamed to say that I have let go of a lot of my old idealisms in order to make life more simple and to make room for new growth. Living healthy body and mind is still very important to me.
No question about it. You will make the right decision about this space. Your very aware of your limitations and boundaries.
Keep doing your writing though. It’s so beautiful!
Thank you Steph! It is nice to hear from you and what you have been up to. Sounds like you have a lot to juggle! I appreciate your words of encouragement!☺
What a beautiful post. You do have an amazing life story, and you’re only 26! I love your recipes (and refer may people to them) but it’s your spirit, generosity and talented writing that shine through xxx
Do what is right for you during this next chapter of your life. It’s good to take inventory of your life, what you want to keep, what you want to let go, what you want for your future. This is healthy human growth, better than being stuck in a rut, and will give new meaning to your life. Have a happy transformation time, Spring has arrived.
Pingback: My Passion | Live. Learn. Love. Eat.