But, it’s always been something I did.
Motherhood came with so many stories, and I felt like I needed to birth them and send them out into the world.
But lately, after years of writing about this intersection of life in the mamahood, more and more often, I’ve found myself falling silent. I found myself not knowing what to say or how to say it.
I guess sometimes, the words you need to write can be too raw and too personal to share. Plus, there are people's feelings to consider. I'm not quite sure how David Sedaris manages to get away with the stories he tells and to still have family who invite him over for holidays? The same with Erma Bombeck and Anne Lamott.
So, my files are clogged with partially written blog posts and essays I abandoned because it was hard to find the line between attempts at telling my truth and sharing TMI, let alone to avoid crossing that line.
I know that sometimes we need to cocoon if we’re going to work on big things, and I’m the first to admit that I’ve had lots of personal work to do. I’m just grateful I’ve had the flexibility and freedom to do it.
I realize that if I were dependent on the money I’ve made from writing lately, we would have either starved, or I would’ve had to get my act together and find stories to tell that didn’t rip open fresh scabs rather than just retreating to filling journals. But since I had another job and was able to feed my children through it, I cocooned.
And I’m grateful for that because while writing stories that I’m still living may help me process what’s happening, if I still haven’t figured out what the point is, how can I expect a reader to?
It’s not as though I never share skeletons in my closet, because I do it all the time. But, by the time I do, they’ve usually been there long enough to lose their flesh and stinkyness. Some people can share fresh corpses, but I don’t think I’m ready to be one of them.
I prefer to get to know my piles of bones a little better before I bring them out to dance.
Even in a time where people instantly share pictures of what their dinner looks like with the world before they’ve even eaten it, I feel like written words are not the same as photos.
Words take more time to find the right filter for... at least for me.
Still, as I’ve recently been witnessing and supporting a beloved friend going through hard times, I find myself often reminding them that their words matter, that their stories need to be told.
I know that applies to me too.
And I suppose if I am to continue calling myself a writer, I need to write for more than my own therapy, and to put that writing out in the world.
I’m curious for other people, how do you find the line between sharing and oversharing? How soon is too soon to talk?
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