It’s time to say good-bye to robustorbust. This has been a space some long abandoned (I haven’t posted in nearly a year and a half) and yet it’s also been a space that I fully occupied for four years before that. This blog grew my family up and launched us out into the world. This blog brought people into our lives–and kept others–that likely never would have gotten to know us on a deeper level. This blog kept family near and far in contact. This blog likely kept me sane and somewhat steadied. For years I had a place to say nearly anything I wanted. Only as I began to feel silenced by professional expectations and the ever-growing identities of my children did I begin to struggle with using this space. Even then, I talk often about it.
This space has been my safe haven and it’s time for me to say good-bye to it. It’s time to move on. It’s been time for awhile. If anyone out there still organically reads this, please consider connecting with me on Facebook or Instagram. Or follow along in my new space, a place still as under construction as I often feel–ashleylewiscarroll.com.
I will leave you with what should have been the next post here, a post that was too long coming to be so relevant anymore. Or is it? Or is it one of the most honest and true and long-standing things I’ve ever written. It may be. I can say that almost every one of my worries over a year ago have come to pass. I knew what was inside me. I knew what battles lie ahead. I knew even the importance of finding a place I could articulate it to myself. I just didn’t know what to do next. So I sat on it. I sat with it. I ran from it. I spun within it. I denied and distanced and, occasionally, faced head on.
I did that. That year of hellish breaking open and subsequent picking up of seemingly a million pieces. I did that. And it started here.
May 2015 – Beautifully Broken
I think we’re all cracked and scarred and some of us maybe even have a chasm or two or four. Some of us are more tuned into our landscape. Maybe a few have put together a road map of trauma and triggers. Days and distances and despair to be avoided.
I find myself tripping over the same cracks I identified over a decade ago. Are these the markings that create the unique current of my life? Is this a sign of hard-headedness, weakness, unresolved turmoil, emotional instability, and/or old habits dying hard? Is it something more clinical?
Is tripping even a problem? Is there a steady cadence in this life? And if so, what kind of life is that associated with? Would it leave me happy and fulfilled? Would it leave me looking for a little crazy?
I don’t mind the trips. I worry about a fall.
Fall from grace. (saving face)
I worry about making decisions based on appearance. I worry about losing credibility. I worry about living a lie. I worry about the consequences of the truth. I worry about faking perfect and I worry about false hope and expectations and I worry about finding comfort in the downfall. I worry about awakening the voices within that scream so loudly and so cruelly. I worry about once again relinquishing control and how to even begin to contemplate arriving at that place. I worry about addiction and depression and diagnosis. I worry about the mental health system and societal stigma and professional appropriateness. I worry about running. I worry about change. I worry about being back to that powerless place that I don’t think I have the strength to survive again. I worry about falling apart.
I worry. I worry when what I really want is to be free. What I really want is to be thoughtful, intentional, peaceful, and positive.
Pretending is a prison sentence to me. A chasm of mine that separates me from you and from [nearly?] everyone. I want to show you my cage. I want to show you my strength. I want to show you the depths of my denial, the cracks in my façade, the errors in my thinking, the sorrow and shame settled into my soul. I want to show you the million ways I’ve devised to make it work, to make it better, to be in the here and now and have the great privilege of presenting as normally as I elect on a given day or season.
I want to be free and I don’t know how to get there without being true. Without baring all. How can you accept what you do not know? I want to push back. I want to go all in.
I’m stopped by the sacrifice. The vulnerability. The critique and criticism. Misgivings.
But I can’t be still.
And so I spin a little. Circles. Cycles. I spin with my brokenness and my cracks and my sorrows and I hold them close. I don’t hide them but neither do I stop long enough for you to catch a good look. I talk openly, but it’s calculated. I assume my appropriate persona and occasionally allude to the depths below my surface.
It helps to be dizzy. It helps to stay busy. It helps to take a vacation. It helps to stay in crisis. It helps to place blame. It helps to sink into the drama. It helps to arm myself with excuses. It helps to look at the big picture.
But I’m still broken. And I don’t mind to be.
I just want you to see it too. We’re alone in this together.