I thought I'd better name this post, Completely Unrelated To Crochet, to warn you in advance that there is nothing remotely woolly about the next few paragraphs. My narcissus photograph is deliberate too - you'll see why.
One of the main reasons I blog is for self-expression and, if you've been with me for a while, you'll know that every now and again I feel the need to spill.
I know I attract a lot of followers purely for my crochet, which I love, but my Instagram and Facebook experience to date has shown me that all it takes is one drunk selfie and they run for the hills! I admire hugely those bloggers who maintain an air of dignity by rarely eluding to anything remotely personal but I can't do it. I've tried but it's just not me. Fact.
Ok, you've had all the warnings, so if you're still here, you've only yourself to blame! ;-)
The truth is, I've been feeling very … ummm … Lost? Trapped? Whatever it is, it's been creeping up on me for quite some time and has reached a bit of a head in the last few weeks. I'm hoping that articulating it here and telling you will be a good thing. If it's not, it's too late now! Who knows, perhaps it might strike a chord with you? I'll try and be succinct.
I am 43 years old and have been married for seventeen years. I met my husband when I was 21. I had my first child at 26 and my second at 29. My husband and I jointly made the decision that I should stay at home to look after the children which is what I have done. It has afforded him the opportunity to work hard (and he does) and also the opportunity to go away from time for some R&R (skiing, golfing weekends, Le Mans), knowing that I'm at home keeping everything ticking over.
We haven't had the unconditional support of close family for a long time so help and babysitting etc. has been sporadic at best. Not helped by the fact that I'm rubbish at asking!
So, in a nutshell, my life for the last sixteen years has been about my children, my husband, his work and our home.
And, my god, it's been lonely at times but I've coped. I think.
Until now that is. Something strange has happened. Perhaps it's a mid-life crisis?!
I know I'm lucky in lots of ways. My husband adores me and my children seem to be happy and grounded. They are, however, teenagers and possibly because I have always been at home, do take a lot of things for granted. Including me. That said, they are gradually needing me less and less which is a very strange feeling.
The thing is, I'm not sure who I am anymore. Or what I want. I don't feel valued. The monotony of my life is choking me and I can't breathe. I have this overwhelming desire to kick out, break things and sod the lot of them! Don't get me wrong, I love my little family to bits but it's not enough anymore. Or perhaps it's too much? I think I now need a big injection of something that is absolutely nothing to do with them. I need some fun. I need to be me. Not the mother. Not the wife. Not the daughter or sister. Just me.
Out of desperation, I turned to a couple of treasured friends very recently and confided in them and I'm so glad I did. They each helped me more than they'll ever know.
I think I need to feel interesting, vibrant, attractive and more independent again. What is it they say? You need to value yourself before anyone else will. Or something like that anyway.
I hate the way my lack of sparkle is creeping in to my blog and other social networks. I want you to walk away from my posts with a spring in your step, not a heavy heart! I love my 'Pink Milk' identity - it's the one thing in my life that is wholly mine and I have no intention of changing it. I think I may well have had a meltdown before now if it wasn't for you. Sadly though, you're not there when I shut my laptop lid!
I'm not sure yet what the solution is but the first thing I have decided to do is go and get a job. The extra money will help of course but I need to be with people again. It frightens me a little because I'm not professionally qualified to do much and I've been at home for so long. Nothing ventured, nothing gained though and I can't do nothing.
I'm not going to apologise for the 'me, me, me' nature of this post. Surely blogs by their very nature are selfish to a certain extent? I am going to thank you for listening though. If you can identify with anything I've said or have any words of wisdom, as always, I'd absolutely love to hear from you.
Right, here goes, I'm now going to be brave and press 'publish'.
Edited to add : I can't thank you enough for your comments and emails. At the moment I'm just reading and absorbing them but I will be replying to each one individually. Please check back here at some point if you are a non-reply commenter. xxxxxx