2013 | the year i grew up


2013 was an impossibly difficult year for me. i am not asking for a pity party. i don't want nor do i need one.

in fact, i want the opposite.

i want you to leave reading this and feel inspired.

i want you to be inspired to do better. 

inspired to be better.

to be inspired to know that it's never too late to be who you want to be and that your mistakes don't define you.

not so long ago, julie told me that you should never feel the need to prove anything to anyone and the second that you do feel that need or someone makes you feel that you have something to prove to simply be in their life, that's the exact moment that you should run away from that person.

unfortunately, i also write a blog- a blog that i try to keep as transparent as possible. i have let people in on my day to day life, including my struggles. and while i will never feel the need to prove anything to any one of my readers, it would be unauthentic of me to mislead you to think that my life is something that it isn't.

which is why i'm going to tell you what i'm about to tell you.

i felt defeated most of 2013. i was clinically depressed, suffering from severe paralyzing anxiety, and living in a new city away from everyone that i knew and loved. i was not always the best wife or mother. i was disengaged most of the time. i didn't want to be touched by anyone (including my husband) because i didn't feel good or like myself. i said very unkind things to joe. i took a lot of my frustration out on him and out on myself. i was self-destructive. i drank a lot. too much, in fact. i didn't eat enough. i lost too much weight. i gained it back and then lost it again. i didn't take care of myself.

some days i would look at marlo and joe as though they were strangers because i didn't recognize myself for what i was: i was his wife and her mother. truthfully, i didn't know how to do either job very well and i had no one to turn to. i also had no identity outside of those two roles and i struggled with that greatly. occasionally, i still do.

as heartbreaking as it is to admit, i could've done a lot better.

i can't recall the exact moment that it clicked for me but the important thing is that it did.

maybe it was forming close bonds with women who didn't use my mistakes against me. rather, they felt compassion for me. they continued to believe in me and my abilities as a human being and saw the potential. they helped me forgive myself for what i wasn't. they held my hand and listened to me cry and didn't judge me or use my insecurities against me. they wanted the best for me and for my family. and they still do. (you women know who you are and i love you all deeply. i will never be able to thank you enough for pulling me out of that hole.)

maybe it was finding an identity outside of my home. maybe it was becoming a writer. there is something so very satisfying in receiving an email and it being from an editor asking me to share my words.

maybe it was also just realizing that the person i found to share my life with, no matter how long it took for our rocky paths to align, deserved more from me because i was capable of more. and he chose me. our love is a great one and it's far from perfect. however, i'd never have it any other way and i wouldn't trade our pasts for anything.

maybe it was looking at my beautiful baby girl and realizing that SHE is the legacy that our love will leave. the way that we treat each other, the way that we respect each other, and the way that we love her will be a large part of who she becomes and how she treats other people. i also want very badly for her to be proud of me and her father for always trying to be better. 

more than anything, though, i know that most of it was simply growing up. growing up meant realizing that being softer isn't such a bad thing. being softer means i've let the weight of grudges and the mistakes that other people have made go. if my mistakes don't define me, don't i owe that same courtesy to others? especially people who i once cared very deeply about? yes. i absolutely do.

growing up meant accepting my past for what it is: the past. i can't change it and i don't want to. 

growing up meant letting go of whatever was holding me back and letting that negative shit go because what was holding me back is absolutely no match to what i'm capable of.

all i can do is move on and do better.

i just want to do better. 

and to be better. 

and inspire others to do the same. 

happy new year, friends.

i hope your 2014 is full of possibility, hope, mad love, and sincere kindness.


Karolina said...

Just choosing is the first step. Love to you friend <3

Alicia said...

This is beautiful and inspirational. Truly brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, for this, for your honesty, for your blog.

Aimee Mars said...

Amazing! This post leaves me feeling encouraged because I too have felt this way and have been going through similar experiences over the course of the last 5 months.

Fontaine said...

i love you christine. seriously.

With Love, By Nic said...

Christine, I have just found your blog through an Instagram hashtag #mywestelm and have fallen in love with your endless photos of your sweet little girl, your humor, and what shows to be an amazing | honest read. I have honestly been reading your stories for the past 2 1/5 hours. I started from your first post, to get an idea about who you are, and then.. skipped ahead to read on your pregnancy stories (i found myself laughing - A LOT), and lastly found this read.

I am just so happy to read some same feelings, thoughts, and emotions as you have written here. It takes a lot of courage to admit to having these 'faults' but even more so to want to change them - and make us that have these same feelings, want to change as well. I hope your New Year brings new changes for you - brings back that person that seemed so happy in the first few blog posts. (Maybe do a re-read? They're pretty great!)

-- Just a little pick me up from California! You've got this, Mama! ;)

Christine said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words. What's life without growth?

Nic, thank you so much for reading! Sometimes, I find myself going back to a couple of years ago and cringing because I'm so, so very far from the person who was writing those posts at that time and I can't say that I like that person very much. So, it's really nice to see that I have actually grown and I have actual evidence of it. To spend 2.5 hours of your time reading? Wow. All I can say is thank you. It means a lot.

OH! And if you haven't already, I would suggest you read my birth story. I think you'll find it funny. Not, funny haha, rather, funny appalling and insane. Cheers! xx.


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