I had to get fingerprinted yesterday.
It was for my job, of course. I will be teaching at a new school this fall (my sixth in 11 years).
My two tag-alongs (new readers: I am Mommy to five-year-old Jackson and three-year-old Johanna) were also along for the ride, and they watched in awe as my fingers were scanned by a machine and magically appeared on a computer screen.
Fingerprints. One unique quality that makes me “me” and you “you.”
I have spent a lot of my summer “break” (break is in quotes because being a mom who is home full-time in the summer is harder than working a full-time job in a lot of ways…let’s be honest) thinking. And a lot of the unhealthy kind.
See, we who put ourselves out there on social media to attract a following (readers, potential customers, etc.) are always told don’t do this or try not to do that. I have spent a lot of time just sitting with floods of negative thoughts about what I’m not. But it is now time to pinpoint and focus on what and who I am. It’s time to put those blinders on and have tunnel vision.
Social media breeds unpleasantness if we let it, but the benefits of it are immeasurable, when used in a healthy way. And personally? My brain is so used to multi-tasking at a high-octane level for nine months out of the year, so unfortunately, when I’m bored in the summer, I check my social media accounts and see this person vacationing or that person with 40,000 followers. Why did I lose this many followers? Why don’t I have “Swipe Up” capabilities on Instagram? (HA HA. But why, though?) Totally ridiculous thoughts that do not matter in the big picture. It’s time for me to zoom out and actually live and see that bigger picture.
I have hesitated to go my own way with my blog or social media accounts in fear of losing readership, followers, and steam in my LuLaRoe business. But what’s worse? Living in this perpetual state of indecisiveness and inaction due to said indecisiveness.
So let me start fresh. HI. I’m Heather Lindenmeyer. I’m shedding the Rock, Style, Teach blog name because it was great for a season but doesn’t necessarily reflect all of who I am or what I’ve become. Let me share some facts about me that I don’t talk too much about.
1. My faith is important to me, and I have not written about it out of fear that I will come off as “preach-y” or even worse “judge-y.” But I want you to know that Jesus gives me strength to meet the demands of my everyday life (mothering two small children, working full-time, and owning a small business).
2. A lot of my life I have sought approval from others and have felt all out of whack when I wasn’t receiving it.
3. I really love fitness (especially running), but I don’t share too much about it on my blog or social media because I’m afraid of being annoying.
4. I have dated my husband Jordan for almost 17 years, and in early August, we are going on our first vacation (just the two of us) since 2006. ALL THE PRAISE HANDS.
5. I wrote a blog post at the beginning of the summer about teachers surviving the summer, and I mentioned fixing yourself up and why it’s good to do that (in some capacity) daily. The truth? I had good intentions in following that principle, but that all went downhill starting in about mid-June. HA. I can barely keep up in posting regularly on Instagram because my everyday summer look is way boring. And by boring, I mean workout clothes or sweatpants.
6. About three weeks ago, my best friend made me join the local YMCA because she knew what was best for me, and that alone time I have to exercise (especially when my husband works long hours – the YMCA provides child care) has radically improved my life. It was not a suggestion. It was a “you’re doing this,” and I thank her every day for it. Everyone needs a best friend like that.
7. I really want to be a vulnerable writer, but I think there is an extremely fine line between being vulnerable so others can connect with your authenticity and revealing too much at the expense of your heart AND the ones you love the most.
8. I actually believe LuLaRoe pairs beautifully with non-LulaRoe pieces. I also think LuLaRoe has made shopping approximately 1 billion times easier on moms because have you ever tried to take two small children to an actual store? (Never take them to Ulta. Just don’t.)
9. I make sure all of the minivans and SUVs are out of sight before I take my blog photos. One time, one of my neighbors walked his dog right in front of my house while I was mid-pose, and I was way embarrassed.
10. I don’t know why my kids don’t understand the concept of quiet time. But when I’m apart from them, all I can think about is their sweet little laughs.
What has been missing for me (for quite some time) on my blog is the freedom to write posts that feel right to me, that challenge me to grow as a writer and bare just enough of my soul that feels good to me. My life is much richer than being on trend and in style. My life is much richer than the number of followers I have on social media. I am grateful for each and every one. What is important to me is to be my authentic self and not so much about how many like my authentic self. Sounds like wisdom from a 17 year old, right? A little sad I’m admitting these things at age 34? Well, when you have lived a life where you have constantly sought approval from others, you may understand.
My competitive, go-for-broke, never-settle mindset has helped me and hindered me quite a bit. And right now, a refocus is needed. Let me leave you with something I’m mulling over and putting into practice: When you are so focused on the beauty in someone else’s existence, growth, success, whatever…you fail to see the beauty in your normal. The world needs what you have to give.