|THANK YOU FOR VOTING ME #6. IN TYPICAL UNDERACHIEVER FASHION, I'D NEVER DREAM TO BE #1 - I WAS JUST HOPING TO BE #6. ;)|
I hate contests.
I never win anything - not a thing - not any-thing.
I buy raffle tickets at every turn to support every cause.
I enter sweepstakes and complete surveys...it's all bullshit.
This is one contest that got to me. Maybe, if I got in the Top 25, it would mean I mattered. It would mean that the hours of writing weren't for nothing. It would mean that I was actually succeeding at what I set out to do: make people laugh, make people feel like they aren't crazy, make this world a little less scary. I think it might be working - but it's a collaborative effort of many great bloggers.
|Ahhh yes - laughter - the great equalizer. It knows no race, color, religion - it brings people together.|
Somehow I got to the top 10. Perhaps my self-esteem is just too warped to understand this madness. It's like Sally Field, as brilliant and as deserving she was of an Academy Award, she was baffled and humbled when she said in her acceptance speech, "you like me...you REALLY like me." I get it. Sometimes you can get smacked right in the face with something wonderful, and you still can't imagine you're worthy of the love and admiration of complete strangers.
I began writing my blog right after I had my third child and my husband went back to work (but never published any of it). I had Facebook, which helped me get through the long days with 2 babies under 2, and one in elementary school, but it still wasn't enough. Besides, all I ever saw on Facebook were perfectly dressed babies, and moms in glamorous poses and perfect cookies and dinners and birthday parties. It was making me think I wasn't good enough. I don't have any family around so the days were long and lonely, I was frustrated and tired, sleep deprived and isolated. I chose to write. I found humor in everything I possibly could, and laughter rescued me from the post-partum depression I was slowly trying to pull myself out of. I don't care who you are, what age you have children, what it took to have children, it is NOT all happy happy joy joy...it is difficult, draining and exhausting (and yes, the greatest gift in the world). PPD, no matter how light or extreme, is an awful joke to pull on women after they've already been through 40 weeks of pregnancy.
In December of this past year, I read Elf on the Shelf by People I Want to Punch in the Throat. I howled. I cackled. I belly laughed. I pulled a muscle in my neck from throwing my head back and laughing so hard. I cried from laughing. (I have to thank one of my sorority sisters, Dawn at Sugarchic cookies (one of the most beautiful people and cookie makers in the US! You've never seen such amazing cookies - and she posts funny stuff about trying to parent AND be a cookie maker - reminding me that no one is perfect!) for posting this brilliantly funny link on Facebook.) I remember the day I read that. It was an AHA! moment. I feel like Punchy (Professor Punch, the Jeneral, Jen, Throat Lady, etc) gave me permission to not be perfect - to get out of the shadows of the Pottery Barn Perfect Posers and the Martha Stewart Posse. It finally hit me that there was NO way I was alone in thinking that this Parenting stuff is hard effing work and it is impossible to pretend like we have it all together. It was all about acting skills - and some people were just better performers than others. I finally gave myself the ok to be imperfect and laugh about it, and finally publish the stories I was writing. I admired the fact that Punchy was not afraid to admit she's less than perfect, and with such humor and brilliance at the same time, and I thought, what a great way to help someone, anyone, like me to feel like they are NOT alone than to make people laugh at my expense. That was one bill I was willing to foot. Making fun of myself and watching others laugh with me, at me, whatever - as long as they laughed, it didn't matter to me. I also felt like, even if someone isn't a mom, or a wife, or a woman - anyone, anyone, could use a little help getting through these days of what I like to refer to as the Even Greater Depression. This world is crazy - times are really tough - and I just wanted to create a place where people could escape reality a little and just laugh.
|The BEST feeling in the world - the uncontrollable belly laugh.|
I look at this honor of making it to the Top 25 and I shake my head in disbelief. I look back on my life and remember that there was a time where my it was dark and sad and hopeless during a painful and loveless marriage and I would pray to God and say, if you get me out of this awful mess, I will live my life without regret, I will live each day to its fullest, I will appreciate everything that comes my way. I finally made a decision to leave and though it was humiliating to admit that I failed at marriage, that I married the wrong person, that I was 'unlovable,' I marched forward, slowly, one step at a time to a better life. This hardship is why I am now able to share my happiness with the rest of the world. Every wrong move, every mistake, every good or bad decision in my life was a brick in the pathway to my beautiful life, and I am grateful. I am now married to the man of my dreams, who from day one put me on a pedestal and has kept me there ever since. To repay that blessing, I have committed to making people laugh, to make someone feel special, to help out a friend in need, to touch the life of a stranger. Each and every one of you reading has made me a happier, richer person, just by welcoming me into your home. I thank you.
|This is me but I am sharing the spotlight with the spectacular Sangria my friend is drinking. Many lemons were harmed during this photo. I feel terrible about that, but not really. Regardless, it is me, saying Cheers to YOU for your kindness.|
Am I a writer? No. I'm just a girl. I'm flawed, I'm a little silly, I'm human...but I'm here, and I am loving this gig. Will I ever get rich off of it - not unless I start getting paid in giggles - and if that's the case - I'm already a millionaire. Thank you.
I would like to congratulate all of the brilliantly funny women who were in this contest with me. It is not easy to put yourself out there, be ridiculed, be criticized, all for the sake of a laugh - but they do it anyways. I am thankful for all of you. (I would love to name all 175 of them personally, but that's just obnoxious, so I'll encourage you to look at these bloggers not just the top 25, but as many as you can because they are all funny in their own way).
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this incredible honor..