I’m Still Me

Hey there, I’m back! 

…and with a few life updates.

Last year, when I was 36 years old, I had my first child! She’s smart, sweet, and may occasionally make her way into my writing. 

But fear not! I will not explode into (advanced maternal age) mom-blog mode. I will continue to speak to women who are single and who may not have children, because that period of my life was defining. 

I will also continue to encourage individuals to stop chasing societal milestones, or to ditch what I call The Toxic Milestone Mentality. Life is full of peaks and pitfalls, and the messy parts of life are crucial for our growth. Walking away from an unhealthy relationship is as important as walking down the aisle. 

Why don’t we celebrate these moments, too?

I previously detailed my anxiety with feeling “behind in life” in my book, How to Survive a Breakup: When all of your friends are birthing their second child. I ultimately learned how to love myself – and then get over myself.

I’m Still Me

Over the past year, I struggled with one question: How do I share updates about my life?

In November, I decided to share that I got married and had a baby. I was mostly met with support, but also with some hateful comments about my “humble brags” and was attacked for my marriage. I never intended to come off that way, and deleted those hateful comments and stayed quiet…until now. 

If you follow my writing, you know that I have always wanted kids. Yes, I am grateful for where I am in life. I got married at 35. Had my first child at 36. 

I am, however, equally as grateful for all seasons of my life. 

For that reason, my message remains the same: Society should never assume that marriage and children equate happiness – or, importantly, a woman’s worth – even if you’re happily married with kids. That toxic assumption infers independent women without children are unhappy, and I beg to differ. I have and will always define my own version of happiness at my own pace, because life is unpredictable and wonderful. 

What now?

I plan to expand some of my writing into parenthood, like with my article for TODAY, and look forward to the release of my next project – a children’s book, Missy: A Dog’s Tale, that I co-authored with my mom, Barbara Cleary. My messages for children will follow my ongoing themes of self-acceptance, diversity, and inclusion. 

I’ll continue to freelance as well as blog here on my website. You can also follow me on Instagram or Facebook, or sign up for my newsletter – my inaugural issue will be released soon. 

Maybe your version of happiness is four rescue dogs. Maybe it isn’t a Pinterest-perfect kitchen – it’s paying off your debt for financial freedom. Whatever it is, that’s perfect, and I’ll help you navigate life’s pitfalls and peaks along the way. 

So, whaddya say?

These days, I have many different identities, but a writer will always be one of them. Let’s dig in deep and laugh along the way.

Desiree Ortman Photography
- Lisa Cleary