When I started this blog, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Not just with the blog itself, though that was definitely uncharted territory, but more generally too: over the previous couple of years everything I thought I knew about my life had changed. I liked where I was, most days, but I couldn’t help being curious about where I was headed.
The name of my little corner of the internet, ‘Sophie is…’, was the beginning of a sentence that I hoped I might be able to complete some time soon. With actions at first, and then, as time went on, with a label – something to replace the title of ‘teacher’ which I had worn with pride for the preceding decade.
There were obvious contenders – ‘a mum’ being the strongest one. I remember having a conversation with one of my oldest friends a few weeks after I’d entered the weird and wonderful world of blogging. Like me, she had recently celebrated the first birthday of her first child. Like me, she was struggling to come to terms with putting to one side the career she had worked so hard for. And also like me any regret or guilt she felt at that was still superseded by a strong sense of relief at being allowed, if she so chose, to be ‘just’ a mum.
We spoke about the power of that little qualifier, how hard it was for us – and for society – to accept that nurturing a child was a worthwhile use of our time. We discussed how there were days when being a mum felt more than we were capable of, even with all the time in the world, and others when we longed to be filling our time with something that reflected more of who we used to be, not just this new person we had become.
I think about this a lot, still.
I have not yet been able to relinquish my son to nursery or any other form of regular childcare. I worry that we would both miss too much. But at the same time I have not been able to entirely throw myself into being a mum.
I have needed something more.
And so, as well as ‘a mum’, Sophie is… ‘a writer’, ‘a school governor’, ‘a local councillor’, ‘an education consultant’. All of these things are exciting and fulfilling, and take an increasing amount of my time. Only the last is guaranteed to bring in any income, though I’m still holding out for those novels finding a publisher.
I know I am incredibly lucky to have the choices that I do.
But now I worry that I am spreading myself too thin. I still have not found a satisfying way to complete the unfinished sentence that began this blog.
And the blogging itself is confusing me recently – not the act of doing it, but what it’s all for. I found myself in a heated discussion about this a few weeks ago with someone who shall remain anonymous but whose opinion means an awful lot. The nature of the argument is too complicated and personal to go into here but it left me feeling a bit empty, a bit pointless.
Except I love this blog. I love how it jumps from one topic to another, piquing the interest of a wide range of people even though it never lures them in as deeply as it might if my writing was more focused. I know I don’t play by the rules, I know my target audience isn’t clearly enough defined to attract advertisers, I know that I’m not interested in making the blog in itself a commercial enterprise. I know I could channel my efforts much more effectively if I picked an area and stuck to it, but I don’t want to – not yet at least. And that is where this blog, still, is a mirror of my life.
It hasn’t yet decided where its priorities lie, it’s enjoying making the most of all the new opportunities that are presented to it, being able to say ‘yes’ to all the ones that look like they might be interesting or fun.
It’s hard, though, going from an existence where you think you have it all figured out into one where you’re not even sure what your goals are any more, let alone how to reach them. It’s particularly hard for a validation-seeking, confidence-lacking, perfectionist like me.
But I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge.
And so I think I’m going to have to put to one side this desire to figure out who I am and what I’m doing with my life. It may be hard to get my head round, but I think I’m going to have to accept that, for now, Sophie just is.
It must be so hard to jump straight from bovef career to motherhood, adjusting will naturally take that much longer. All I’d say is try not to over think things too much hon, also there is a lot said for just being…
I’m generally pretty good at just getting on with it… As usual though Sara’s prompt set me pondering! 😉 xx
This is just beautiful Sophie. I’ve always loved the name of your blog because it keeps open the possibility to do or be anything! I’m totally cool with blogs that mirror the life of the other rather than have a narrow focus. It is hard to know when and if blogging has run its course, what the point is, if it’s worth the time – all those questions run through my mind too. But I write because I must, it helps me sort out my life, and it gives me connection to people like you, across an ocean, who I otherwise would not know.
Thank you, Dana. It’s definitely the people I’ve met through blogging that keep me going I think. And it is wonderful to have a reason to write! X
Stand tall and proud shouting ‘Do not put me in a box!’. No one fits perfectly into one category and neither does your blog need to. How boring if we did! x
You’re very right. I think I just need reminding sometimes! X
I LOVE this post and your blog name is fantastic – it never occurred to me that you should try to complete that sentence (sophie is… ) because you are already complete – you have talents in so many areas. And it’s great the way your blog doesn’t tie itself down to one focus – unless you are specifically trying to make it a commercial enterprise (which you’re not) there’s no need to do this at all. I like reading your blog because it’s different. We’re trying to organise a #WhatImWriting meet up at the mo (in our FB group… which you don’t seem to be in! How did that happen?) It would be great to meet you – I’d love to have a big chat about all this stuff. #fridayfiction xx
Aw thanks Maddy. It would be great to meet you too! Not sure what happened with the FB group – I would love to join but the invite seems to have been lost in the ether! Hopefully we can work that out soon… Xx
I’m with Maddy in that I didn’t see your blog title as a sentence without an ending. It’s a great blog and I know what you mean about finding your way when you change paths. I think you have to try lots of things though, to see where you fit best and then write about them on a blog!
Lovely blog with a great title…
Who cares about categories? Be yourself. X
First of all, hello fellow validation-seeking, confidence-lacking, perfectionist 😉 Secondly, I have always loved the name of your blog, as to me it meant that Sophie Is… whatever you wanted to be, and I love how it lends itself to all your categories! I often think the same of my blog; family to photography to thoughts to poetry and prose. A bit of a mixed bag really! But, it’s what I enjoy, at the moment. Although, I expect it to change as I do… And, it would be awfully boring if we were all doing the same thing 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt, lovely to know that it got you pondering again!
I love the name of your blog, I’ve never really thought of it needing an ending, it leaves you open to explore your writing and other endless opportunities rather than boxing yourself into one category. Mines Diary of a Fat Bottomed Girl, it doesn’t really fit into any category either, which is probably why I miss out on quite a lot of readers. I keep plodding on though as I write for me and the odd friend tells me they like it too.
Sophie is…. anything she wants to be