Really??? Stretch Marks???

Yeah, really.

I write newsletters.

And I make videos.

I write books.

I record podcasts.

And sometimes, if America is lucky, I do TV.

But this! This that I am about to tell y’all about, I am EXCITED about this!

Let me explain…

In 2005 I was a stay-at-home mom with a 3 month old baby when I first heard the word “blog.” I had no idea what a blog even was, so I looked it up and instantly, I was hooked. I could read all about people’s lives and their favorite recipes and where they went on vacations and what their favorite Trader Joe’s products were. Blogs were heaven, and I decided if they could do it, then I could, too. And so I did. With absolutely no idea what I was doing, but with a desire to write and connect to people, I started a blog called Stretch Marks.

Why Stretch Marks? Well, because it was my way to make my mark, and I knew it was going to be a stretch to pull it off and even have one reader. But it also meant something else to me: Stretch Marks are these things we try to hide and yet, we ALL have them. Why is it that we try so desperately to hide the thing that we all have in common? Stretch Marks, the blog, became a place where I could talk about the things that I felt all alone in, only to find that readers (by the tens) came along to let me know how not alone I actually was.

Before you knew it, I had 200 readers. 200 hundred people that would check in every single day to see what words I would have written. I was blown away! David  - with his usual Attorney General charm  - put a counter on my blog so we could track who was reading. Within a few short months those 200 turned into 500 and before you knew it, that 500 turned into 1500+ readers every day.

And then the recession of 2008 hit. And everything in my world changed.

The biggest change to come during that time for us, was baby #2 and a move from Nashville, TN back to my hometown of Lufkin, TX. And when you pack up your family and move several states away, guess what gets lost in the shuffle? You guessed it. Your blog. Suddenly, you’re just trying to keep your head above water and make new friends and furnish rental houses. Suddenly, the words you wrote because they felt like therapy dwindled away so that real life could happen. Stretch Marks went away. I never wrote another blog post once I was in Texas. And those 1500+ people who had followed me so faithfully and had read about some of the most private thoughts and fears that plaugued this new momma, dwindled away.

UNTIL NOW!

Welcome to Stretch Marks. A column that I am so excited to share with you.

Look, I know that you can keep up with me on social media and I hope you continue to. But there is something about the written word that feels so personal to me. I can write my thoughts out in a personal and emotional way that I never could (and never would) on social media.

Stretch Marks is not my desire to “blog” again, but it is my desire to create a space where I can talk about the “Stretch Marks” (literally and metaphorically) that are happening in my own life. I am not a new momma anymore. I am, however, at a new place in my life and I want to talk about it – I neeeeed to talk about it. Stretch Marks is my intention to be a place where we find that the things we try to hide are most oftentimes the things that bind us together.

This column will at a minimum be once a week. Sometimes it will be twice a week. And if I’m on my thyroid medication, three times a week! We will discuss the things that we go through and can only discuss with our best girlfriends. Things like:

Weight Loss                Botox                           Hormones                    Hair Color               

Sex                            Intimacy                     Really Good Bras        Progesterone

Exercise                      Vaginal Dryness         Thinning Hair              Laser Hair Removal

And much much more! My goal is to see Stretch Marks be a bridge. I have followers from all around the world – but distance means nothing when it comes to the issues that all of us face. So, let’s talk about them!

I’ll be as vulnerable and as open and as honest as I can possibly be. And maybe, who knows, you’ll see yourself in some of my writings and wanings. And while Krista in Idaho relates to a topic, little does she know that Sharon in Wales and Bea in Germany and Hanna in San Bernardino, all relate to it as well. And what ties all of us together? A bridge. May this, may my words, be that.

So here we go! Make sure that my emails don’t go to your spam or junk folder so that you don’t miss a thing. And as always, I’m open to you. What do you want to hear about? Talk about? Know more about? Please know you can reach out to me at anytime through email, but you are also free to leave messages here so that we can all be a part of the discussion.

Thank you for hanging out with me.

Thank you for trusting me and my words.

And even more so, thank you for having Stretch Marks…just like me.

I love us,

Melissa

P.S. If, by any chance, you have a sister or an aunt or a bestie or a mom that you think might like to receive this column then please Please PLEASE send them this link and tell them to sign the heck up. Unless they look stunningly good in a bathing suit….then we’ll all vote on their participation. JK!