A New Chapter

It has taken me nearly a year to figure out my writer’s block… for lack of a better term. I have remained committed to writing privately but writing freely in blog form has taken the backseat. I have 40 draft blogs I’ve written in the past two years. All of which were started and promptly left to sit in the digital closet.

After some soul searching I have come to realize this blog, We Built a Camper, feels like a giant metaphor for a much larger life lesson I have been slogging through for the past two years: searching for the boundary between my individual life and my life as a wife.

I often describe it to my clients as “me, we, family.” All of us have these overlapping identities, each with their own responsibilities make up life.  However, our culture typically conditions women to be more “family and we” as the “me” portion slowly gets chipped away at by the other two priorities.

As women, we are taught that we can be anything we want to be, that women have been liberated. But in actuality, we are just conditioned to do more. Have a career, have children, be a sweet wife, while also being assertive, maintain relationships, don’t make sacrifices but each of these identities requires sacrifice. From my work as a therapist, I know that I am not alone in feeling like the sacrifice that gets made is myself. Not in the martyr, look how great I am way. Rather in the slow, almost imperceivable silencing of my heart, choosing career or being a wife and feeling all these roles are somehow competing with each other.

In an effort to take a bold leap toward a larger “me” in the context of my career and relationships, I am moving my writing to JoellaLong.com. A new website devoted to my solo work as a writer, therapist, and lover of adventure.

Follow along if you’d like: joellalong.com

Life Now

“We are all here to start a journey. And that journey is fucking hard, if you choose the right journey. Most of us, we decide to take a different journey in life, it is the journey of least resistance….. Find the truth of who you are, go back to where you turned away because you weren’t good at it or you didn’t think you were smart enough, and choose the real journey. If you finish the real journey, and you don’t fear or go places because they are easy, you will find a peaceful place.”

David Goggins, Navy Seal & Ultra Runner

I find comfort in knowing I am on my true journey. Most of 2016 and some of 2017 were spent attempting to find what was easier. My mind tried to convince my heart that maybe it shouldn’t be so hard, maybe things should be a little easier. I started to confuse flow with comfort and rest with laziness.

In the past 4 months I have been through more than I thought I could handle.  And while I am tired and googling Hawaii vacations this morning instead of working… I have a deep sense of knowing that I have been hiding from my potential. That I stepped out on this journey in 2013 and lost some of my commitment in November 2015. I let myself build narratives that Asheville was a mistake or failure and those narratives only served to knock me off track.

2018 will be about leaning into the journey; accepting that the journey is difficult and letting the struggles be the reminders that I am living a full and meaningful life.