Living My Life & Finding The Words

life update

I click over to the back end of my blog at least once a week, sometimes more. I know it doesn’t look like it… the blog looks deserted and a little bit dusty. I’m still here, dear reader, living my life, trying to find peace and happiness in all the little things around me, and I have a deep down urge to tell you all about the good and the bad.

I just can’t seem to find the words anymore.

There are too many stories that are not mine to tell anymore, even though I am going through them too. If the blog were a bit more anonymous, then I would probably feel more able to share, but that ship sailed many years ago.

My blog has evolved a dozen or more times over the 15 years that I have been here, and most of those evolutions have involved a long period of quiet while I sorted out whatever was going on in my life. I like to think this is just one of those times, and I will be back.

I just have to figure out how to come back… what I have to offer.

I don’t want to alienate those who found me through the baby loss communities when I share stories and pictures of our rainbow baby, though that may be inevitable. I treasure each of you with whom I share a mutual loss. I am still one of you, but the wound is not as fresh as it once was, and that is partly due to the passage of time, and partly due to those whom I met when I was writing my way through my grief on this blog.

I have met many readers who identified with my struggles with my oldest daughter’s mental health issues. I am still there, and I am sorry to say that, if anything, those struggles are more intense than ever before, but I am not comfortable voicing those things to the internet at large anymore. My daughter is almost 15, so as much as I would sometimes like to be selfish and tell you all about how I feel about her issues… I won’t. She deserves her privacy.

While I’m still sorting out what I have to say, and how to go about saying it, I do continue to post pictures on Instagram (username: thedestinymanifest). Please do come by and say hi there!


I’m Back, Baby! {Returning From A Blog Hiatus}

It’s been 7 months since I took a blog hiatus, and almost a year since I blogged on a regular basis. I had gotten bored with it, to a degree, and I was feeling confused about the direction my blog was headed.

I enjoy writing sponsored posts that tell a story that is relevant to my family, but I do not enjoy feeling like a sell-out, or like I’m just doing it for the money. I like writing about my kids, but I do not like their punk classmates using my stories to tease and bully. I like being honest about the mental health challenges my daughter and I face, but I don’t want to compromise her privacy either. I wanted to share my pregnancy and write about the anxiety and fear I felt, carrying a baby after Clara died, but I had too much anxiety to even write those fears down.

Basically, I just felt paralyzed when it came to blogging, and my short break turned into a long hiatus. After I while, I didn’t even miss it anymore… too busy with the new baby to have time for anything “extra”.

Well, fast forward to this week… I sat down at the computer to do some basic maintenance on the blog. I kept getting weird messages that my blog went down for 2 minutes at a time, and I figured I’d better check it out and see if something needed updating. It turns out that my theme was outdated, and I needed to fix a few things, clean up the dust of abandonment… and somewhere in there, the writing bug bit me, once again.

I’m still not 100% sure of how I’m going to handle all of the things I mentioned above, but I’m working on it.

So…  I’m back, baby, as much as I can be with a 7 month old and the tweens’ schedules to juggle. I can’t promise there won’t be quiet weeks, but I can promise that I won’t disappear for months on end again.

I love this place too much to stay away.

Returning From A Blog Hiatus

Their Stories Are Not Mine To Tell

Their Stories Are Not Mine To Tell

You may have noticed that there are a lot less blog posts on The Destiny Manifest today. I’ve left the more popular posts on crafty stuff, recipes, as well as many of the posts I’ve written about my journey through grief and loss… but I’ve removed nearly all of the personal family posts about my children.

This change has been a long time coming. I didn’t realize how public I’d actually made my children’s pictures and stories, and when it finally occurred to me, I still didn’t do anything about it immediately. I have decided to stop writing about the girls from now on, because they are older now, and their stories are not mine to tell.

That wasn’t enough though, and that became apparent when a group of tween misfits decided to cyber bully one of my daughters via social media. They created a false account and posted her picture, and then later, created an impersonation account in her name, using another stolen picture of her. It took us many days (and a police report) to have those pictures removed, and it really illustrated for me how much I have underestimated my family’s presence on the internet.

I’ve spent days making my public social media outlets as private as possible, setting thousands of pictures to private on Flickr, and removing blog posts that I now feel are too personal about my children. I’ll still blog, I think. But I’ll be a lot more mindful about what I post from now on. I love saving beautiful stories about experiences for my daughters to remember, but now I will save them only for my children, instead of the internet at large.

Old School Blogging – Pop Culture

Old School Blogging
Today I’m linking up with Elaine (Miss Elaine-ous) for some old school blogging. This month’s topic is pop culture! Join in (please!) and link up so we can all read and laugh and smile at your answers!

1.  What was one of your favorite shows as a kid?  Why?

When I think about being a kid, I think about cartoons. My brother and I watched a lot of Disney channel (of course this was old school Disney channel, so no midriff tops or tween attitude). We watched Mousterpiece Theater, Good Morning, Mickey and Mickey Mousercise. We also watched a fair amount of He-Man and She-Ra, Smurfs, The Get-Along Gang, and Care Bears. They were simple, fun… they made us laugh. I wish there were more cartoons on like those nowadays.

When I was a bit older, I really got into watching Party of Five and My So-Called Life. So many cute guys… so little time.

2. Which actress(es) do you see on the red carpet and kinda wish you could be for a day (or three)?

I honestly can’t think of a single celebrity or actress that I would want to be for a day. I mean, I’ll take their paychecks in a heartbeat, but I’m happy with who I am. Really!

3.  Which actor do you wish you could, um… hang out with? 😉

Josh Holloway. You know, Sawyer? James Ford from LOST? Oh yes, he and I can… hang out… anytime. Fun fact… he’s the purse thief from the Aerosmith video of “Cryin'”, and he was gorgeous then too.

Old School Blogging - Pop Culture - Sawyer from LOST

4. What is one (or two or some) of your favorite movies that you have seen in the last few years?

I really like the new(er) Star Trek movie. I was not a Star Trek fan prior to this movie, had not watched the old TV episodes or any of the old movies — facts which make my Trekkie husband cringe — but I did really enjoy the new one, and I’m looking forward to seeing the next one, which comes out at the end of this month.

Other than that… X-men Origins: Wolverine is a favorite. If I hadn’t answered “Josh Holloway” to question #3, I would have said “Liev Schreiber”, especially with the teeth bared and the sharp pointy claws of Sabretooth. Mmm.

Old School Blogging - Pop Culture - Sabretooth from X-Men Wolverine

5. Who is one celebrity out there now that you could totally do without? That you wish would just disappear?

Any of the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, or any of that crowd that seems to be famous just for… being famous.

6. Have you ever met a celebrity? If so, who? What did you say/do when you met them?

I’ve never met a celebrity… I don’t hang out in places where celebrities are likely to gather. 😉

7.  Which shows do you look forward to watching every week?

We tend to watch TV shows that are already on Netflix, for the most part. We do keep up with The Walking Dead and Once Upon a Time. We used to watch Doctor Who as it came on, but neither of us are big fans of the Eleventh Doctor, so now we just watch them after the fact. We’re currently watching LOST again, this time with the girls, who are pretty fascinated with the Island.

Just Writing, Just Being Me…

I’ve done a lot of soul searching lately, because I feel like my blog has changed in ways that I’m not happy with.

I used to just write, just blab whatever was on my mind, whether it be happy or sad or ugly or whatever. Now I find myself blogging in my head, but then I worry about whether I have an appropriate picture to go with the post that I haven’t even written yet, and what would be the best title, and how best to format the post, and wondering if I should add text to the picture to make it “pinterest-ready” and… and I feel overwhelmed, so I never end up writing the damn post at all. I feel like I’m writing less and less, when I’m actually wanting to be writing more and more.

I’m still struggling a lot with the loss of Clara. I’m dealing with depression and sadness and frustration and worry. I’m struggling with coping with tween daughters and their ever-changing attitudes. I’m struggling with a bipolar and now-hormonal child who balks at absolutely every turn. I’m always afraid that the collective “you” don’t want to read about that – that I’m talking about Clara too much, that I should “get over it” (as I’ve been told more times than I can count), or that I shouldn’t be putting my daughter’s mental issues “on display” (as I have also been accused of). The thing is, this is my blog, and it’s what is going on my life. These are the things that I want to (need to) write about.

I have an inbox full of sponsored posts to write over the course of the next month or so, and that’s fine… I mean, my family has to eat, and we have rent to pay, and any money that I can bring in helps. I just don’t want The Destiny Manifest to evolve into a sponsored, perfectly search engine optimized, pinterest-ready shadow of what it used to be. I can balance both… I just have to figure out how.

I’ve been blogging for almost a dozen years, since July 2001. I’ve changed a lot since then, in a million infinitesimal ways, and most of my changes have been good ones. I’m a better writer than I was at 21 years old, for one thing, and one only needs to click back through the archives to those ancient posts to confirm that. I’ve recovered (and continue to recover) from a lot of ugly shit — addictions, depression and grief, just for starters.

I’ve lived out bad relationships and a divorce on these pages. I’ve raised two children with this blog. I feel like it’s as much a part of me as anything, and I want to get back to writing from my heart, without care for whether the title is a good long tail keyword or whether the post has been amplified the proper number of times (and at the most opportune times of day) via social media.

It’s a hard cycle to get out of, the worrying and endless optimizing, but I am going to try and get back to just writing, just being me, letting it all hang out, so to speak. I hope you’ll stick around, because I think I’m a much more interesting person than I may have been letting on. I hope you will think so too.

The Destiny Manifest: Sometimes I Have to Remind Myself...
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