Becoming Real

#The Velveteen Rabbit and A Horseman's Wife

**Warning** Mushy post ahead. I haven’t done many of these up until now. Just thought I’d give you a heads up before you get into it…mushy.

So, remember The Velveteen Rabbit ? (I’m hoping you’re remembering the book, not the movie. If you haven’t read the book, you must, you simply must, my friends.)

“What is Real?” asked the Velveteen Rabbit.

Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time…once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

A couple of months ago, I went to an event that made me feel like I was closer to becoming Real.

*Let me back track for a moment.*

Now, my journey to becoming Real began when I married my husband and became A Horseman’s Wife. I took steps towards Real when I became a mother to each of my three daughters. And though these roles filled me up and gave me purpose, there seemed to be a piece missing for me. A piece that was less about doing and more about being. (I’m guessing I’m not the only wife and mom who has felt like this at some point. “Where am I in all this?”)

Until a weekend in September in Northwest Arkansas.

That weekend I attended my first blogging conference. My first blogging anything, really.

For the past year, I’ve been blogging off and on. Writing early in the morning before my family is even awake. Writing quietly, by myself, on the side of a mountain in the Nevada High Desert.

It never really occurred to me that there were communities of bloggers. That bloggers became friends outside the digi-world. I haven’t spent much time with other bloggers or talked writing with other writers much.

But at the Megaphone Summit in Fayetteville, Arkansas, I found this whole group of women. Women like me. Moms and wives. Writers and photographers. Chefs, speakers, entrepreneurs.

At first, I answered quietly when someone asked what my blog was called. “A Horseman’s Wife”, I’d answer in a small, unsure voice (almost stuttering just to get the words out.) The more I heard others proudly stating their blog’s name over and over, the more confidence I got. The easier it was to pronounce those words, “A Horseman’s Wife”.

This collection of women were there to learn and to build each other up. So many of them answered my painfully basic questions and took time to give me genuine feedback.

And over the course of three days of sitting in classes, listening to speakers and talking to so many different women about what they were doing; something interesting happened.

I felt Real.

The kind of Real you feel when you find something that sets your soul on fire. That lights you up inside. That gives you new purpose.

I think women, particularly, get lost at times in their lives. Lost in taking care of others, of getting their to-do list done, of raising children. I’m not sure how it happens. I know it happens slowly. Sometimes you don’t even notice yourself slipping away until one day you look up and wonder, “Where did I go?” “How did this happen?”

I’ve been there for a while now. Wondering what happened to me? In all the moves, the new horse jobs, having babies and trips to Walmart, I was slowly pushing myself aside. Not intentionally. No, more like those tiny plants that slowly, quietly, inconspicuously, worm their way into cracks in the sidewalk. You didn’t notice it while it was happening but now you have a full blown weed that has to be pried out.

I still don’t know much about SEO or have a huge readership on this blog or lots of followers on social media. I don’t know what will become of my writing or A Horseman’s Wife. But that’s okay.

Because when I write I feel Real.

Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time…once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

For Always.

 

**Don’t know much about Arkansas? Neither did I, but I was taken in by the scenery, the food, the shops and the history…such a charming place. I’m already looking forward to my next visit.**

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