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,