Eight years ago, I was not yet pregnant with LMNOB, and just about to turn 21.

I thought I had my future all mapped out. I had the hubs, had gotten some great “real-world” experience working at CSU’s Financial Aid office through school, and had only to get thru summer school and the next fall semester before I would be the first in my family to graduate with a college degree. The icing on that cake was that I was looking into and preparing to appy for graduate programs. I was gonna BE someone, damn it!

On July 3, 2000 – that all changed.

At a time in my life where everyone else was so proud to flash their ID in a public place, to be able to drink and live it up, the only ale I was drinking was ginger – kept the morning sickness at bay.

Most women I know talk wistfully about their pregnancies like they were their personal “best of times, and the worst of times,” with all the awe-struck, romantic notions of motherhood and physical discomforts.

It was a time that was lonely as hell for me.

My peers did not remotely have the same reference as I suddenly faced. I had no friends from high-school, having been “the new kid” that didn’t fit the mold.

I was scared witless about our financial future. This baby had not been in the cards, man – I was supposed to have graduated, gotten further education, and landed a healthy salary as a psychologist before we even thought about having kids. Ha! The joke was on me…

So I ventured into the still young, mysterious space known as the world wide web, and found a niche. Ivillage had a message board for women who were expecting babies due in March, 2001. I was the next-to-youngest girl on the board, but these women took me in and rode the turbulent sea of hormones that is pregnancy with me.

After the babies were all born, some of us descended into the depths of post-partum depression, we all stuggled with the transition of adding a new family member. Some of us experienced the hell of divorce; others felt achingly empty after their new babies, that they’d grown with us, closed their eyes for the last time, never to be held by their mamas again. Some of us mourned the loss of our dreams of their baby’s “normal” life when the word “Autism” escaped the doctors’ lips. We proudly relayed each milestone, worried together, and just were there for each other like friends are. Many of us went on to have subsequent babies, and have said that other boards, “weren’t quite the same.”

Eight years later, we’ve dropped the “IRL” friends distinction, and call a spade a spade. We’re truly sisters, related through motherhood. Some of us are closer than others. Some have disappeared. But we’re all still in this together. Because of and through the internet, I have a set of friends who’ve known me longer than anyone else excepting my family has. Who’d have thunk it?

But even so……

My marriage is so not perfect. (It has since improved, however). I don’t know anyone’s whose is, but when yours is in constant upheaval and others are just so….”normal?” a message board just doesn’t seem to be the suitable place to process it.

…and….

I still haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up, or who God wants me to be, and just how to reconcile those two yet. Those are conversations that don’t juxtapose with ease right next to discussions about sippy cups, Pull-ups, and time-outs.

…and….

I am prone to depression – a perfect nature and nurture cocktail of family heredity plus family history makes me a certifiable loon from time to time. And while mental health has its place on a parenting board, it isn’t always a fit, ya know? Two years ago, I hit the hardest depression I’ve experienced thus far in life – and I’ve had some doozies – and I decided I needed an outlet.

Not a journal – journaling for me has always been one-dimensional. I’m a pretty self-aware person, and to write down on paper what I already know and leave it at that….well, it’s always fallen a bit flat for me.

I visited an ivillage friend’s blog, and fell in love with this new medium where others can validate, debate, and just acknowledge your thoughts.

And thus, here I am.

Shallow or deep.

Sane or insane.

Secular or Spiritual.

Parenting or Seeking Myself.

Happy or Sad.

Fair or Unfair.

One-Sided or Balanced.

Plain Jane Writing or Aspiring Novelist.

Just a Person or I’m Going to Be Someone Damn It!

Take Me As I AM or Trying on Some New Friends.

And here are all of you.

Just like my March 01 Mommies, I have my Bloggies, and you ARE important…You keep me sane, buoyed, encouraged, entertained, informed, and so much more!

I’m wishing myself a happy 2nd Bloggiversary, ya’ll. C’mon in and join the party.

© 2008 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

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