in which i write about (and knock off) shawn smucker

I'm really behind on reading blogs. Like, a month behind. I'd be even further behind if Google Reader didn't automatically delete unread posts that are more than a month old. I've now managed to catch up to July 1, mostly through a liberal use of the "mark as read" button.

I've been a little busy lately, and my escape-consumptions of choice have looked more like York candies and the Property Brothers, less like actual words and thoughts. I have too many thoughts right now, racing in circles, laced with anxiety, bravado, and a shadow of self-loathing. It's hard to add anybody else to the mix.


Shawn Smucker has a can't-miss, must-read blog. This morning, I did some must-reading. I never regret reading Shawn.

We have some things in common, Shawn and I. We both have kids, faith in Christ, relatives in Amish country, PA, online careers with words. We've both grappled with mind-blowing, heart-shattering failures of the grown-up kind. We've both felt we were careening down a mountain, brakes failing, family along for the ride (though I don't have the bonus of having experienced this metaphorically and in real life). We're both currently living in a parent's spare rooms. We have at least a couple of struggles in common.


On July 2, Shawn talks about trust in God and needing emergency ramps. And I realized I need to reframe my situation in my own head. The scripts I've been running (many of which are to the effect of I'm a victim and I need to figure out how to overcome this thing of being abandoned by my husband and/or I am moving back to my mom's because I failed at being a grown-up and this is the "least bad" option) are not only not helpful, they're not true.

I am not a helpless victim. Yes, Brian made decisions about our marriage that I didn't want, and yes, I wish he had gone about it in a less hurtful and crazy-making way, and yes, this all went down in the weeks immediately before and after the birth of our first child, and it was all strange and weird and hard. But really, I am not so special. Marriages with kids bust up all the time. Single women raise babies all the time. Separating/divorcing while pregnant is maybe not the norm, but it happens. I'm certainly not the only one to go through this.


As a mom, it's my priority to be at home with my child(ren) while they're not in school. Hard to do as a suddenly-single parent, whether or not child support is a factor. Ideally, I would make enough through editing to support myself. Realistically, at this point in time. my choices were to find a "real job" and put Gabriel in daycare, or move in with my mom and her husband. In that (limited) light, moving back looked like the least bad option. And my mom is probably reading this and crying right now. But it's no secret to her that I prefer to be independent as much as possible, and that there's been some strain in our relationship for a long time, and that moving back home again did not make it onto my bucket list.

But I will do anything for my son. Even move back in with my mom.

Living at home (again) means that my plan for adulthood has failed (yet again) and that I am (still) not independent. I'm almost 30 and treading water in a sea of shame and self-doubt. I should be past this. I should have launched by now.

Living at home (again) also means that my family loves me and supports and trusts me - enough to buy a new house and build an apartment overtop the garage. They love Gabriel enough to uproot their lives to allow his mom to do what she thinks is best for him. That's a lot of love. They've done a huge thing.

They've been my emergency ramp.


The last time I moved away from home, I thought I would die of mortification before moving back. Only losers live at home at my age, I thought.

But that's not true. Just look at Shawn. He's pretty rad.

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