The Impact I Want to Have
Becoming a mother transformed me. It turned me into a more patient person. A selfless person.
Motherhood is the reason I left my marriage: I wanted to create a better life for my child than I had created for myself. She is a perfect, tiny little being, and she deserves nothing but the best of everything.
Divorce, too, has transformed me. Where I once was a public person, I am now relatively private. Some of this relates to motherhood—I don’t want C reading the unraveling of her parents online—but it’s also deeply personal.
Divorce has simultaneously made me unapologetic and sort of fragile. I no longer apologize for who I am and no longer feel guilt about my decisions (after all, I’m doing the very best that I can, truly). But I also feel like I’ve been through a war in the past year. I never used to be particularly kind to myself: I was my own harshest critic, and I spent a significant amount of my time picking apart my actions in the name of "becoming a better person."
I no longer do that. Of course I am introspective, always looking to improve. That’s part of my nature, and it will never change. But I am done making my own life harder by constantly second-guessing myself. I am being kinder to myself, out of necessity. The truth is, I am a fragile being—we all are—and I am deserving of kindness. And part of that kindness meant being more private online and no longer putting myself in a position to receive others’ judgment. While I know I can handle it—after all, I’ve been through far worse than a critical comment here or there—I don’t want it.
I am lucky to have the community of readers and friends on this blog that I do. Since I quit Weddingbee, I haven’t received a single harsh comment here. By contrast, there has been nothing but an outpouring of love and support at every turn. And for that, I am immensely thankful. I miss you guys, I really do.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where I see my life going. What the future of this blog and this business are. This was a cocoon of safety, friendship and self-esteem for more than five years. When my life exploded, I wasn’t sure what role Stinkerpants would have in helping me rebuild. While the friendships and relationships I formed through the business were completely positive, the actual business of, well, running a business, was a source of extreme stress for me. This business was also an integral part of my marriage—the two felt tied together inextricably. After all, the business itself began with our Save the Dates. Where would it end? Does it have a place in the "new" life I have created for C and I?
The answer, I believe, is yes. But possibly in a different form.
Randomly, I came across something the other day:
Know the impact you want to have…Be the guy glowing with passion. Let the people around you feel your fire for the impact you want to have on the world. Prompt others to share what makes them come alive. Share in their excitement. There is no more empowering, genuine way to connect. If you don’t know the impact you dream of making, how will you know who you want in your corner to make it happen?
This spoke to me—not so much in the context of creating connections, but more in the existential-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life kind of way. In my quiet moments, I meditate on this question: what impact do I want to have on the world?
I am coming to some answers, but they’re not fully formed yet. I know that they revolve around creating a better world for my daughter and children like her (more on that soon, I promise). As far as my business? I hope to use it as a catalyst for whatever the new-and-improved will be. My artistic style will evolve—I am moving away from my computer and more toward actual, real, tangible things. It may look different—in fact, it probably will—but I hope it will make people smile in the same way.
And I hope you will stick around as I re-enter this world, in whatever form I decide to. I am thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you for your patience, love and understanding.