"She has a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach, like when you're swimming and you want to put your feet down on something solid, but the water's deeper than you think and there's nothing there."( Julia Gregson, East of the Sun)
We've all been there. Some of us are heading there. This is my current residence. My name is Blake Jenkins, and I am a mom of two boys, ages 1 and 2. This might be the only description I identify with at age 31. "Stay at home mom". It is checked on my charts at the Docs office just above "OCD, ADHD, Depression". I'd love nothing more than to plaster your newsfeed with photos of me and the Army of Adorable I created myself, but you see... I can't. I haven't taken a decent picture in 3 years that didn't involve two editing apps and a miracle. Those beautiful moments of pregnancy and labor and delivery... mine do not exist. When the cameras come out, I casually leave the room. Genuinely terrified that someone might capture the truth and expose me to a world full of critics. My New Year's Resolution was to take more pictures with my boys, and I've taken two. In 9 months I've taken two pictures with my kids.
So, you're probably wondering why then I would sign up for this. Blogging, Vlogging, tutorials, selfie madness in front of an audience of strangers? I asked myself the same question, along with at least ten other people. "Who should I be?" A Mom? Should I be witty? Do I try to look confident so people envy me? Professional and matter-of-fact? And then someone finally answered with "What does GMF Minerals want you to be?" I didn't know. I didn't know if it was ever really mentioned. With a strong sense of urgency, I messaged Shayla, who on behalf of GMF, asked me if I would want to do this. "What do you want me to do? What am I supposed to say? I'm freaking the hell out over here." Her response was anything other than what I expected, or for that matter, had even considered. Shayla replied "We asked you to do this because you're real. You say what everyone is thinking and can't put into words. We think you're beautiful."
There are brief moments in our lives in which someone's words trigger a shift in our direction. Things that stay with us, like a sticky note on your soul allowing you to relive the way you felt at that exact second. This was the timestamp of my moment. She said things I had forgotten about myself. When I look in a mirror, I see sweat pants and exhaustion. That's the thing about mirrors, though, isn't it? They will always be a reflection of how you feel about yourself. So, on a scale of 1-10, I fell somewhere around "Oh Look! Spaghetti O's." Yet, she just wanted Blake. Tattoos and Chucks. Raw, unfiltered, unsure yet unapologetic. Empathetic and honest to a fault.
So, here we are. This is my journey into remembering myself, before I casually left the room. Exposing my truth, but without the shame. After 3 years of a complete hot mess express, I'm going to be relearning beauty and sharing those moments with you. Building confidence and routines that will stick with me long after all of this. I hope, in return, you can rehab your soul with me and share those experiences so we know we are not alone. I welcome any questions or comments below. Share your own stories, ideas, pictures and advice. Challenge me with topics you would like to see touched on.
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Love Always, Blake