That time I thought I was a blogger…

During our time in Saudi, I had these grand visions in my head of travelling around Jeddah, taking pictures all along the way, and sharing everything with everyone.  And then, as per usual, life stepped in.

Saudi Arabia is a very, very, very hard place for an American woman, accustomed to being fairly independent, to adapt to.  Although American Husband has been the primary (and usually only) breadwinner in the home, I have always been able to come and go as I pleased.  If I needed a gallon of milk from the store, I just drove.  If I needed an hour away from the kids, we all hopped in the car, I dropped them off at a drop-in childcare center, and I went about my merry way.  Need some girl talk with a friend?  Jump in the car and meet at Chick-fil-a…no big.  But, in Saudi, it is illegal for women to drive.  And taking a taxi there can be fairly dangerous for a single woman sometimes.  Not to mention the staring, good Lord THE STARING!

With my son being too young to go to school, and my daughter’s learning disabilities keeping her from being able to get into the private school that we were allowed to use, this all equated to the kids and I spending pretty much all day, everyday stuck at home, or somewhere on the compound trying to waste time.  While I am thankful for the pool that we had 24 hour a day access to, the water gets hotter than comfortable…think a very large bathtub in 100+ degree weather.  Add in there being no other kids to play with until about 4pm, and you get a fairly miserable time.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my kids, and they are best friends.  But, when the only people they have to play with all day are each other, lots of squabbling happens, lots of frazzled nerves, lots of “NO!” being heard from all corners of the house.

This all led to a huge amount of depression for me.  I have been dealing with depression since about the time American Daughter was born, eight years ago, but only had the bravery to talk to someone about it last year.  Although I was on an anti-depressant and American Husband was very understanding, I was really having a hard time adjusting to life in KSA.  Between staying at home way more than I was used to, and being forced to wear an abaya, I gained about 30 pounds in my seven month stay there.  Trust me, that didn’t help the depression.

So yeah, all that got in the way of me blogging like I wanted to, and honestly that made me feel like a failure.  Another drop in the depression bucket, if you will.  Whenever I did get around to posting something, I felt like I had to talk about Saudi in a positive light, put on a brave face and try to make the whole thing look way better than it really was.

Here’s the thing, I want to be a successful blogger.  For me this doesn’t mean having hundreds of readers, having a name that people recognize, or even make a single dollar off of it.  I want to share my entire life, not just my travels, not just my artwork, not just my kids’ adventures.  I don’t want to be pegged as a particular type of blogger, I just want to share my life, and hopefully there is someone out there who will get something out of it.

So, that’s that.  No more guilt about not posting regularly, or trying to fit myself into some preconceived blogger title.  I will post when I want to, and be happy about that.

Love and peace,
American Kat

About americankat

I am an American expat living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Most of my time is spent creating, trying to keep my two kids occupied, and trying to satiate my wanderlust. Americankat.com is where I (sporadically) share these adventures.
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11 Responses to That time I thought I was a blogger…

  1. Brittany says:

    Very well put! I thought about you many days wondering how hard it was. I am glad you are speaking up and I believe that helps you and others! Be true you
    And forget “blogger” expectations! I never do it regularly either 🙂

    • americankat says:

      Thank you, Brittany! Although I will always be thankful for the experience, I’m so glad we’re done with that phase!
      Expectations forgotten! I pledge not to feel any more blogger guilt 😀

  2. Alicia S. says:

    YOU ROCK! I have never personally met you but you are your own person and that is refreshing! I love that you are exposing what some may consider the “ugly truth” about life in general. I too have suffered from depression for years and never really thought it was something I needed to talk about. Because I am a loner, it really never got in the way with “friends” etc. because I had none, LOL. I finally got help (antidepressants) and I am quite happy. I smile a lot and talk to strangers…something I never use to do. I know it has to be hard in a place where women are less than equal when we are use to being able to come and go as we please. I hate that things got worse for you when you got there but the bright side to this is that you broke down a barrier and voiced what you have been going through. Thank you for that! I hope blogging will somehow give you an outlet. For me, sewing has been my outlet. I love it and it helps me to stay centered. Much love!! LOVE the blog! ❤

    • americankat says:

      That’s awesome for you, Alicia! I’ve always been a bit of a loner myself, so it didn’t really get in the way of my relationships either. Thank you so much for your beautiful appreciation 🙂

  3. Megan says:

    I always follow your blogs, and as a mother of 4, I completely understand how life can totally get in the way at times! Don’t feel bad! Just know that your “devoted fans” are patiently, and let me emphasize PATIENTLY, waiting for your next submission. ❤

  4. thank God you are in a place you can be yourself.we are 2 peas in a pod with depression but we don’t let it control our lives.I love my family more than words could describe.Knowing that my children and grand children are happy and well helps me deal with missing you all. lots of hugs and lots of kisses from your momma.

  5. for those who don’t know my daughter personally I want you to know she is a free spirit.

  6. Brad says:

    This post is a game changer. Thanks for sharing!

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