I’ve been thinking  a lot about who I used to be.

From a personal perspective, I’ve felt a lot of anger and frustration about not being able to be the girl to do it all. I feel bad when I have to say no to people, to potential clients. I feel bad when I can’t whip out a developmental edit in two weeks. I feel bad that I can’t work sixteen hour days, or that I don’t spend all my time on other people’s work. But in doing this I’ve forgotten who I am, who I wanted to be, and what I love.

So this week is all about returning to what I love.

Tomorrow I’ll be starting riding lessons again with my original trainer. I’ll be going back to a barn that felt like home when I first went there over ten years ago and working with someone who is interested in my goals as a rider and who doesn’t care if I want to compete or not. She’s looking to help me get the most out of my time in the saddle and, in my area, that’s something that feels incredibly rare.

Later this week I’ll also be returning to Seattle. Anyone who knows me know how much I love this city. But why so soon after returning from L.A.? Why so soon after I’m not still healed (as in, I can’t work more than a few hours a day)? Because I know I need the distance, the space from myself. I need t stand on the bow of a ferry and breathe in fresh air, and feel grounded. I need to see mountains, to see the Sound, to see seagulls swooping around Ivar’s, to see trees bigger than I’d ever though I’d see.

What I need most is perspective. I haven’t been dealing well with my injury this past week.  I’ve been hard on myself for having to ask for help, for asking school and clients for extra time. I know I need this time to breathe. To not worry about missing out on panels, on events at home, on potential clients, on potential work.

But the biggest thing I’ve returned to is writing. Riding, Seattle — they are parts of who I am, just as reading is. Just as writing is. I’ve neglected writing over the past few years and I’ve finally made a return to it. I found my voice. I found an outlet who loves my voice.

I can honestly say I didn’t think that this is where I would be if you asked what my one-year plan was last April. I’d thought I’d had a book out, that I’d be querying Without Benefits, that I’d maybe be working more with freelance clients on the side, that I’d be hoping to find a nice job with a nice small press that I cared about.

I never though I’d be riding again. That I’d be making my second Seattle trip in six months. That Without Benefits would be coming out in two months.

That I’d be the newest HelloGiggles contributor.

The point of all this really is that I should’ve returned to my roots sooner. I should’ve had the strength, the confidence, to know that I was capable of doing the things that I love. I shouldn’t have felt guilty about even thinking about takin more time for me. There are many points throughout the day that I get frustrated, that I hate myself for the side effects of my injury. But now, more than I ever, I’m happy.

I’m riding again. I’m writing again. I’m rebuilding myself into a better, stronger version of me that makes the time for myself. That practices self love and self care and doesn’t feel guilty about it. Who doesn’t answer e-mails on her days off. Who doesn’t feel guilty about taking time for me.

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