It’s just come to my mind that this year marks ten years since the inception – or conception, depending on how you look at it, cos seriously, I was fucked in more ways than one – of my website, Real Mums.
I can’t specify a date, really, because there is no real date with which to relate to.
The 28th of March rings a bell; whether that was when I thought of the idea, when I first, officially spoke with a web designer about it, or when site first when ‘live’, I can’t recall.
Even that Live state was really a holding page that was all white, with the words:
adorning the screen.
The next loooooots of months were fraught with much in the way of learning. Not least, of course, was the intense learning curve that came with having no clue at all about anything web based, and becoming more aware of it.
It took about 11 months for the site to come to actual life, and resemble that which I had intended for it.
My then web designer had a way of communicating with the graphic designer all things that I didn’t want. The more feedback I provided, the further away from what I wanted was what I got. Also, I actually had no clue what a logo was … so that was new.
My next graphic designer was freaking awesome. As she set about creating my logo, the web designer set about having an affair with a fellow colleague’s husband, she effectively vanished off the face of the earth, I found myself picking up the emotional pieces of colleague who lost her husband and best friend (my web designer was her friend), and still having no idea what I was doing.
In my spare time, I was also studying a degree and enjoying the experience of living with a four year old and a two year old (*sob*).
I changed designer, got stuff together and launched an online forum with a couple of articles. Oh, and this little blog, my Diary of a Mad Cow was simply a small component of it.
A really badly written piece in a Melbourne newspaper and I was suddenly inundated with a whole bunch of women experiencing variations of parenthood that were similar to what I was experiencing.
Ten years on, some of these women are my very best friends, and although the forums and online community are no longer there, I speak to these women daily. I can’t imagine my life without them, and we’ve been through some good times and bad together.
There has been SO MUCH MORE between then and now.
There have been tantrums, and tears, and tears, and tantrums. Plans going so far not to plan that it’s not even funny nor even suitable to use the word ‘plan’ in the vicinity of the fucked-upedness of what went on.
I have been used, abused, screwed over and more.
I have failed So. Many. Times.
Yet I persist. Sometimes I wonder why, but I do.
There have been some really awesome moments, too. I have appeared on every free to air TV channel in Melbourne, I have co-produced a national TV show, I have spoken at events, and met and worked with so many inspiring people.
I was asked to be a Live Positively Ambassador for a ginormous, international company – because I’m doing what I love – so that was pretty awesome. Not to mention the experiences I had as a result.
I’ve had so many more amazing opportunities and experiences, too.
I learnt who I was – or who I am – and that I am actually a writer (that was a wet fish slap Epiphany – the best sort, really, even if you do have some moments of denial) and where my passions and care lie.
I know who I am and what I stand for.
This does not stop me having tantrums though. They’re just fewer and further between.
The last twelve months have encouraged me to take a stock of all of these things.
It has been an amazing twelve months, and I have done a considerable amount of reflecting and re-planning.
Although I don’t like to say that second bit too loud, cos it inevitably screws up at some point.
It lead me to not only comfortably accept the role I have taken on and have been working in for the last 3-ish months, too. I would not only have never thought myself good enough to even apply … and the opportunities I have had there have been amazing.
I have loved every minute of it, and I never thought I would enjoy “working in an office” as I have.
It has also forced me to really take action on the reflection and replanning I had been faffing about with prior to this.
Whilst I talked (to myself, mostly) about removing a whole bunch of stuff from my life, I’ve been forced to actually do something about it.
My DropBox limit is coming to an end, I have such little time to focus on all the stuff that was dragging me down, taking up my time, and draining my energy that I had to do something about those things, and my office was becoming cluttered.
I culled. I deleted files and social media accounts that no longer served my purpose. I stopped doing things that, although I had thoroughly enjoyed doing them, were no longer serving a purpose for me. I simply shut down accounts, deleted email addresses and am selling domain names.
It’s not all been easy. Some of it has been very, very sad and distressing. Some, it’s been difficult to take the steps required, and others it has been heart wrenching and tear inducing.
Others, of course, should have been done years ago, or months ago.
And the epiphany – or