So Much I Love

Posted On: 11.30.12

Okay, so I am writing this at midnight, in the very first moments of this day and I have no business doing this because I should be asleep. I should be asleep because my girls will be up soon and because I am so wildly tired I can barely see straight. But here’s the thing, the wonderful and amazing thing: I don’t care. I don’t care that I am exhausted because I am happy and inspired and I have something to say, words to write. This is the best feeling in the world for me, this feeling of bursting with feelings, with ideas, with answers.

And so. Here I am. Writing. Smiling.

You see the picture above? In it, there is so much I love. I love that it is my oldest girl and my youngest girl sitting together reading a book. I love that they are sitting in the yellow shamrock glider where I sat with all three of my babes night after night, nursing, rocking, dreaming, evolving. I love that my baby is wearing the striped Gap pajamas both her big sisters wore. I love that my biggest girl is wearing her Phineas & Ferb socks and that her baby sister is barefoot; a chubby baby foot is among my very favorite things. I love that they are near the wooden boat we gave my firstborn for her first birthday. All three of my creatures have rocked in this boat. I love that they are immersed in story, in pictures, in words. I love that there is saying and listening going on.

Stories. Pictures. Words. Saying. Listening. Being heard.

You see this blog right here? The one you are reading. In it, there is so much I love. I love that it is my place, that I can come here at midnight and against a background of carols, cobble together words in an effort to capture something complex and ineffable and true, something big, small, simple, profound, real. I love that I can come here in my pajamas and glasses and and shake off the world outside my windows, the world I revere and also fear. I love that you are here, real people with real desires and real doubts, and that you are reading my words and this messy story I am living and writing and that you are feeling it, whatever it is. I love that you care, that you say things, that you write me notes and make me think in new ways and that you tell me to keep going.

At the beginning of this week, I was seriously considering closing up shop. I was feeling stretched and overwhelmed and confused and so many of you said that you’d be sad if I stopped. So many of you said that my words mean something to you. And then the universe did its thing and reminded me over and over why I am here, being my messy self. This week has been big, full of new conversations and connections and conclusions. And I know. I know that this is right. This place.

Stories. Pictures. Words. Saying. Listening. Being heard.

That’s what this picture of my girls is all about. That’s what this place is all about. That’s what this life is all about it. And here I am living it. What a wild privilege.

And now? I will do something I’m not good at. I will publish without editing. I will allow for the typos, the mistakes, the evidence of the hour. Because imperfections can be okay sometimes. I’m really beginning to realize this.

Thank you, guys. So so much. For being here. For encouraging me to be here, and stay here.

(Don’t worry if you are a Friday Loves Fan… I will post a few today but I needed to write this more serious bit first. I trust you understand.)

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10 Comments for: "So Much I Love"
  1. Emily

    I love this bit about love. I am one of the ones that would also be sad if you closed up shop. Where else in this world can we read the words of someone across the country with a life wildly different from our own other than cyberspace and still say, “this woman? She gets it.”? Life is a universal experience. As much as your readership challenges your way of thinking, I love this blog because you, Aidan, may challenge all of ours on a daily basis. Your thoughts are real and deep and honest and that’s what makes ADR/ILI one of my first stops every morning. So thank you for that!

  2. Real and honest are the only way. Thank you for showing up.

  3. So much love! I feel it, and that’s what I love about your blog. I also enjoy dissecting a picture and appreciating every little aspect. It’s the small things..

  4. Aidan Donnelley Rowley

    I am tired this morning, drinking my first cup of coffee (in the cat mug the girls gave me), but the exhaustion is okay. Middle Girl sits next to me slurping oatmeal with rainbow sprinkles and decorating cards for her teachers. Husband putters around us making a smoothie he will share with our girl. My Big Girl and Little Girl, the ones in the picture above? They are both still sleeping. Anyway, I am so happy I wrote these words last night, or really this morning. The way I felt writing them was much the way I felt when I first started blogging almost 4 years ago – energized, aware, alive. I’m so happy to be back there.

    I just clicked through to one of my archived posts and I smile because I wrote it months before Little Girl was born, but in it, I am saying so many of the same things… That it is okay to be less than perfectly strong, to question and feel things deeply. Anyway, here’s the link:

    I read it now and wonder if there were hints of the anxiety that would grip me after my baby was born already there, ready to go. Or maybe, really, this is just who I am – someone who struggles mightily with big questions, who dances between profound strength and deep vulnerability all the time. Anyway, I am realizing that it would be cool and interesting and probably very revealing on some level to sift back through my old posts and see what I was thinking about and maybe re-publish some. I might brainstorm a way to do this because I so love the idea of going back, of parsing my own words, of seeing who I was weeks ago, months ago, years ago.

    Alas, a pretty typical ADR ramble. But THANK YOU, guys. If I didn’t sense a substantial level of interest and care from you guys, I would have been outta here long ago. But I am realizing this place has become part of me, a part of me that I must continue to reimagine, but a part of me all the same.

    Happy Friday, all!


  5. I am happy for you. And I’m happy for me (and the rest of us) to be able to be on this journey with you. I know there are still loads of deep thoughts still bubbling, still simmering in there, about all you have struggled with these past weeks, the uncertain feelings of what you are doing here, if you should be doing it.

    And re-reading that post earlier about change…I’m wondering if, through all of this struggle, it is to breakthrough, get to that renewed sense of purpose, that you have shifted, changed, come back around to that picture above and all that it means with a fresh, yet familiar, new, yet old, revelation of that sense of your center.

    I know you didn’t watch Lost, but in the TV show, there is a whole element of knowing who your “constant” is. That person who keeps you connected to yourself. Sometimes we realize who it is, sometimes it isn’t known, or may be the person you may not think it is…you know your constants, A. That is huge. You are changing, this blog is changing, the world is, the creatures are, but you know your constants. Getting back in tune with that while changing — through all of the fog of anxiety, Life, busyness, worries, big thoughts — is tough and sometimes hard and freaky, but maybe that is where you are now, re-energized and full (and not just with coffee and peppermint bark).

    And your words are that constant for many. Or at least reminds many of theirs.

    Smiling for you today, you.

  6. Meg

    “I will allow for the typos, the mistakes, the evidence of the hour. Because imperfections can be okay sometimes.”

    Love this, and it’s so true! I find that I try to present a picture-perfect view of myself at points — especially through my writing. And though it’s good in a professional capacity, that level of “perfect” can be dull elsewhere. We are all human. Thank you for the reminder, and happy Friday, Aidan!

  7. Always happy to read your words, but these from-the-gut, unedited ones are often my favorites. xo

  8. This post reminds me of some really good advice I was given when training for a marathon. The advice was, when you’re feeling tired and you think you need to stop, speed up instead. It forces you to change your posture and your gait. It might be just the thing to re-energize your body to run further. And worst case scenario is you really do need to stop, so you do so just up the road instead. I think a little change in your approach to blogging will serve you well … and worst case scenario, you can still choose to close up shop, just a bit further up the road.

  9. AG

    Just sending a simple I love ADR and I am so glad you are just evolving but not closing up shop! I’d love to see some of your old posts too…I think it’s interesting to read old blog posts and see how different life was or how much it is similar to the way it is now. Glad you are feeling wrapped up in love today!

    Now I am clicking on to read Friday Loves…!

  10. Leslie

    Aidan, this is lovely. One of my favorite posts.

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