The other night I read my daughter a book that mentioned how lobsters hide under rocks while molting a new shell.
First of all: lobsters molt?! I I’m am showing my ignorance of the crustacean family here but I had no idea. Also, gross.
Second: friends, I think I might be a LOBSTER!
Let’s review the facts, shall we?
Sarah has been on a long-ass journey of releasing, healing, transmuting, discarding . . .one could say that she has molted more than a few shells.
She kept herself under a rock while molting because nobody wants to see a naked lobster!
She discovered one day that it seemed like there was nothing left to molt. Yep, done molting.
She realized that if she was done molting, maybe this meant she could come out from under the rock!
She then cried in the parking lot of a Publix grocery store when she realized that it is VERY SCARY TO SCURRY OUT FROM UNDER YOUR ROCK WITH A STILL-SOMEWHAT-SQUISHY SHELL. (Long story. Everything is ok. Sometimes you just gotta cry it out on the grocery run.)
I was going to draw a picture of myself as a lobster because everyone loves a visual, but I realized that I don’t have time to do that. But I DO have a lovely drawing of a ghost crab. I met him last summer in Cocoa Beach. Isn’t he just the cutest?
So, for the purposes of this blog post, I am metaphorically speaking a lobster GHOST CRAB. (Which I googled – and they do molt – so it works.) HERE I GO! It’s a little scary. My shell is still a little squishy. But no more hiding under a rock!! It’s time!
P.S. Do you think crabs are cute or totally gross? I vote cute! Cuter than lobsters for sure. By the way, do NOT google “lobsters molting” unless you want nightmares.
Why hello my friends and people of the internet! If you are reading this post you at some point clicked “FOLLOW”, maybe because you have known me since I was in diapers (though I no longer am, let me be clear), maybe because we went to school back in the days when I owned a Debbie Gibson-style hat (and wore it to school though sadly there are no photographs to document this), or maybe because you were sleep-scrolling on your phone and thought, sure, I’ll read the random ramblings of this lady and follow her blog and never think about it again.
Well I’m here today to talk about some ch-ch-changes. BIG CHANGES! To the blog yes but really more importantly to me. The lady behind the blow. The Oz behind the curtain if you will.
Let me cut to the chase. This BLOG IS CHANGING NAMES AND FOCUS. (Pause for dramatic gasps.)
That’s right. You probably don’t keep track of these things but my blog used to be called “Mourning Dove Motherhood.” I wrote about being a mom, losing my mom, some other sad stuff, then some happy stuff, then some angry–ARGHH FIGHT THE MAN! BRING DOWN THE PATRIARCHY!–stuff, then I kinda stopped writing. Then I popped my head out recently and gave you all a little teaser, like hey I’m coming back!
Well here I am! Back! Here is the deal. I realized that I am very much entering a new cycle. The blog and its name and jive doesn’t fit so much anymore. I’m still momming it up, yes, but I’m not thinking about grief or writing about grief or healing from giref or any of that jazz anymore. (HALLELUJAH!). At least it is not longer the main focus of my life. That is progress my friends. PHEW. Frankly, I’m impressed you came here to watch it all unfold. I mean, it is intense just thinking about it.
That brings me to the NOW. I’m retooling this blog to focus on where I’m at today, which is cultivating joy and bringing creations (art, writing, so much more!) into the world. I know you have questions so let’s do a pretend Q and A session alright?
Sarah’s imaginary q&a session with her readers:
Q: Blog lady, I don’t know you or care much about this, but I have questions. Lots of questions Like, what is the new name of the blog?
A: Random follower, I’m so glad you asked! It’s going to be called JUST FOLLOW THE JOY.
Q: Cool, cool. What’s the story behind the blog name?
A: I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED! It comes form something that came to me about a year ago. I was trying to figure out my life direction and was walking and asked the universe/higher self/great mother–what do I need to DO WITH MY LIFE ALREADY. And I heard “JUST FOLLOW THE JOY.” This phrase kept popping up again and again, every. single. damn. time. I aked for life assistance. Let’s just say I finally gave in and decided to heed the advice. FINE, I WILL HAVE FUN FOR ONCE. So yeah, that’s the new blog name right there! (Also, you could say Joy is my middle name. You could say that because my parents gave me that as my middle name for real. So, it’s like a play on words…Just Follow the (Sarah) Joy! HA! Ya dig me?)
Q: Listen, I signed up to read about your grief and miscarriage and infertilty which frankly is a lot more interesting that all this “follow the joy” business. Why the bait and switch?
A: Dearest follower reader (whoa hat was creepy – make me sound like a cult leader), I do apologize for any inconvenience due to the change in my life focus and blog direction. Please note that you may unsubscribe at any time! Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
Q: No really, why didn’t you just create a new blog?
A: I considered it, but I figured all of THAT STUFF (grief, healing, loss, healing, miscarriage, healing, infertility, healing) was what got me to HERE, and that people might like to see the full picture…the entire journey from soup to nuts if you will. You hung with me through the pain so I figure you are entitled to some joy, eh?
A: I want you to take a nice deep inhale. Hold your breath for three seconds. Good, good. Now exhale. Excellent. If you type in that old url you will be redirected to http://www.justfollowthejoy.com. It is that easy! All my old posts are still there for your sad/poignant reading pleasure.
Q: Let’s say I want to make a soup and start with chicken stock. But I don’t have any in my freezer. Can I make a quick stock today or am I screwed?
A: Oh, this isn’t a cooking blog. You are definitely in the wrong place. I once burned spaghetti that I was boiling in a pot of water.
Q: I think I’ll be ok with all of this. But is there anything I need to do, other than finish reading this ridiculous q and a?
A: SO GLAD YOU ASKED! I didn’t set you up for that question at all.
At some point this past year I decided I wanted my life to be about pursuit of joy rather than reduction of suffering. And to paraphrase Frost, it has made all the difference.
For me it looks like embracing my inner artist. I was born an artist but along the way morphed, conformed, forgot. It’s all good. The journey back to myself has been so sweet! I’m leaping into fear, taking an undergrad art class with students who are literally half my age. Fear and joy! Fear and joy! Even the smell of art supplies makes my heart sing.
Are there any small ways you can increase joy? Share you victories below!! I’m so happy to give virtual high fives to you brave souls.
I thought I had writer’s block. For three months (almost) I despaired that the writing gods had gone away and it was officially over. No more. All hope was lost.
What I did not see (or more accurately, did not want to see) was that I was avoiding my truth.
We write to expose the unexposed. If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. Otherwise, you’ll just be rearranging furniture in rooms you’ve already been in. Most human beings are dedicated to keeping that one door shut. But the writer’s job is to see what’s behind it, to see the bleak unspeakable stuff, and to turn the unspeakable into words–not just into any words but if we can, into rhythm and blues.
ANNE LAMOTT, Bird by Bird
I didn’t want to look behind the door. Behind the door was pain and despair, and only a writer would want to open that door!
I forgot that I write in order to know myself. It isn’t optional, this writing thing. It is core to my being and how I experience the world. I need to put words on the page–whether anyone sees them or not. I have over a hundred “draft” posts in my blog for that reason. The truth needs to be seen–even if only be me in the early light of the morning.
None of that can happen if I don’t sit in this chair. So sit in this chair I will, once again. Some days it will appear that I wasn’t writing, but those are days that I need to see my own truth before I can share it with the larger world. And then you too can have a glimpse into these rooms.
(Fresh Air Guest Host DAVIES):Coming back to when you were talking about how there came a point when you were bored. Can you take us back to that time? Do you remember when you felt bored – a role – what it felt like?
(Actor RICHARD JENKINS): I don’t remember the specific role, but I remember being outside of myself looking at me doing what I was doing. That’s the feeling I got. And I thought, you know, what am I doing? What’s the point of this profession to me? I mean, is this what it means to me just to do this thing night after night without feeling life?
And I went back to an old acting coach I had. Harold Guskin was his name. He wasn’t an old man. He was just a coach I had worked with for a year. And I went back to what he taught me. And I just said, OK. Let’s try this. And he basically said quit trying to hide who you are. You’re the only thing you have. And I just refused to believe that it was enough, that it was interesting enough, that I had anything to offer.
But the thing you come to – that I came to – is that whether you think that or not, that’s all you got. So you have to rely on that. Every experience has to come through a filter, through your experience. You know, you get angry. It’s – you’re getting angry, what makes you angry. So I was trying to copy others or be something else or be a character. It takes a long time to trust yourself enough to think that I have something to offer. And it’s – we still – I still don’t believe it. I still think I don’t. But, you know, you know that the only chance you have is to just kind of live your life and exist on the screen.