I was reminded today that if you want something you just have to go for it. It’s easy to sit and dream away the pounds, spend the money you will earn from all the success you are planning, hear the accolades in your head from those who are inspired by your work, imagine how your book will smell when you flip the pages, how the cover will emulate the amazing words on the inside, what kind of author picture you will take and how it will look sitting in the Barnes and Nobles….sorry, got distracted by my fantasy 😊
It’s important to dream, we need to dream, small, big, feasible and even what some may call impossible. Dreaming fuels us, it’s exciting, it drives us outside of our comfort zone toward where we are meant to be, but many times this is where we stay, in dreamland. We know what we have to do, we know that in order to run a marathon we must train, and yet as we dream of the finish line, the early mornings, the long miles and the sacrifices are just not as glamorous as the medal. We know that in order to have a successful business, we must build it from nothing, and it takes time, effort, blood, sweat and tears, and in order to publish a book, you must write one. We know this, and yet we sit in dreamland, frustrated our dream hasn’t happened yet and wondering why.
You may have figured out by now, this is really my personal pep talk. I need to replace all the we’s with I’s, but I feel better about myself if I’m not the only one getting lectured 😉The frustration I have for myself can sometimes be overwhelming because every time I think I’ve defeated that pesky fear, it shows up as procrastination, social media, Netflix binges, social media, cleaning out and organizing closets that have never bothered me until the moment I sit down to write, and social media. Man, I really need social media anonymous. Its just so easy to fall into the blackhole of pointless thought, cute dogs and funny cats. It’s like a vacation for the mind, but it can be so difficult to reign it in.
Fear masks itself in many tricky ways, but the worst is when it appears in its true form, and whispers, “you’re not good enough”. However, this post is my reminder, that the last time I looked fear in the face for the lie it really is, I wrote my first children’s book cover to cover 13k words in 10 days. I just did it and it felt amazing.
So today, after getting into the ring with fear once again I am reminding myself of that moment, and how I squeezed my dream tight, let it go and then chased it until it was mine. Our dreams are ours, in our hearts, on so many personal levels for so many reasons, but until we make up our minds to share it, that’s exactly where it will stay, but the moment we let go and begin to chase it, the more likely that dream will become our reality.
Keep dreaming, and just go for it!
Creating is an outlet for emotions unspoken, passion untapped, or stories untold.
Why do I write? Why do I spend countless hours spinning words and sentences into paragraphs attempting to make sense of whatever moment or idea has struck me that day? Why is it so important for me to express myself in a way I have never been able to do out loud to others or even to myself? Why is it when I unleash the pages of my truth do I feel fifty pounds lighter and as if I can conquer the world?
You ask any writer, musician, poet or artist for that matter why they do what they do, you will find that although each individual answer may sound different at the jump, as you peel back the layers, the foundation is usually the same. Creating is an outlet for emotions unspoken, passion untapped, or stories untold. It is a path to express oneself in a way that some may not be able to otherwise. Whether the reason stems from challenges to heartache or from excitement to success, the art of expressing oneself, in whatever manner it may be, is therapy for the soul.
For me, I write for me, it helps me to discover the truth about who I am and why I am here. I write words that sometimes are difficult to spell out and even more difficult to read; I write from a place that only I know is there until that moment my fingers dance across the keyboard; I write because the more I do, the more free I feel; and, I write for you, because even if it’s just one twisted tale or deep emotion shared, and a connection made, it is one less person believing they are alone in this journey of life.
There is no doubt I, along with my writing, has matured and shifted over the years, and while practice has helped, it is not where I place all the credit. In my growing up as a person and as a writer, I have found that the words are stronger and the meaning behind them deeper when they are honest, raw and real. I have learned this honesty by facing fears I didn’t even realize I had, extinguishing lies I have been telling myself, taking responsibility not for those around me, but for myself, and learning patience not just with others, but with me, and I have also found the more words I put out into the world (much like love, laughter, and kindness), the more I get back.
For me, writing is cleansing, challenging and can take me to places inside my head and my heart I never thought I would go, but has helped me carve my path to the real truth that lies within. Whatever your reason for creating, in whatever form that fits you best, do it for you. Write for you, paint for you, sing for you, and do it with raw honesty, that type of honesty that can be more difficult for you to admit than it is for people to hear. The fact is, the more honest you are with yourself, the more those around you will connect with your truth and the more you will realize you are not alone.
I had a different post in mind just a few minutes ago, but it’s funny how our paths sometime lead us in a way we don’t even realize. As you may already know, I have started a pretty exciting journey in the world of writing, specifically children’s books. This along with my subject of today, was something I never expected to step into, and while that is a story in itself, it is not the reason behind this post. This post is actually about how sometimes, even when we are confident in our walk, we tend to get distracted by the outside world that, at times, begs the question…Why Me?
This question can rear it’s ugly head in various chapters of our lives, especially during the hard times. We find ourselves asking out loud or in a whisper to our higher power, the universe as a whole or whoever will listen, Why Me? I won’t lie, I have had this question weigh on my heart many times, and in those thoughts the emotions that overtake me consist of mostly anger, the feelings of unjustness, and the repetitive notion that I need an answer.
Unfortunately, even in these low moments, the moments that can break us, the moments that can make us question our faith, our love and even contemplate the reasons behind it all, what we don’t realize, the answer to Why Me is always Why Not?
It feels so harsh, but it’s true, and while maybe I will post more elaborately about this side of things, the above serves as more of an introduction to a more positive point, give me just two more minutes…If this is true for all the times we feel we get the short of the stick, doesn’t that mean it can be flipped to answer the same question in a different context? The answer…Why Not?
That’s where I was tonight. I had typed in a title for a different post altogether when I got distracted (which happens often, ;)) and I found myself engrossed in yet another publisher’s website reading submission guidelines word for word and paging through the bios of author after author. Suddenly I felt myself slipping into that same mentality, “Look at all these crazy talented writers, they’ve been doing this forever, that’s not me, Why would they choose Me?”
I know I’m not alone with these thoughts. Have you ever seen a successful person, or a person doing exactly what you’ve only dreamed about doing, and think to yourself, “Wow, how nice for them, I’ll never see that kind of success, why would I ever think that could be me?” Don’t be shy, you can nod, it’s ok, we all do it. It’s self-doubt, or this insane idea that successful, in every definition of success, people are superhuman not of this earth. What we don’t realize is that the answer is always the same…WHY NOT?
If you really want to dive deep into this subject, I can go on and on about how we may not always be a direct cause for the negative or positive in our lives, but we are absolute contributors, that is not why I write this post. My point and my message to not just you, but to myself, is if we can ask ourselves the question, Why Me, why can’t the answer be the same for both scenarios. WHY NOT?
So next time you catch yourself daydreaming about that dream job, that mountain to climb, creating every day, loving, laughing, enjoying life to the fullest in whatever way is the most true for you, and you start to ask yourself , Why Me? Before you spiral into the ocean of self pity and excuses, respond with the only answer that can set you free from the envy and the anger…WHY NOT? The catch however, is once you answer this question within your heart, the true test is what you do next.
Why Me? Why You? Well, because Why Not? is only the first statement to the story of your dreams and when you believe it in you, what you once thought was impossible becomes more possible than you could have ever imagined.
Side note example: After I started this post I read an article about how a 25 year old became the first Asian Indiana State Representative when the odds were stacked against him. Why him? Well, Why Not! Believing in yourself, your mission and your heart is not just a meme we find on social media, but the real deal, and once you commit to those beliefs, you can achieve more than think you can 🙂
I’ve been somewhat MIA from my blog world lately, but for good reason. In my writing journey there have been many projects I have started, many projects that have inspired me, and many projects that rekindled my love of expressing myself through the written word. However, there has never been a writing project this big that I have started and finished, until now.
I have been knee deep in a collaborative project with a beautiful friend, creating a world of color, laughter, courage and dreams in a children’s book. I am so excited that I had to announce to everyone I know that after ten days and 12k words, early this morning I typed “The End” and we officially have our very first book!
This writing project has been the most inspiring and fulfilling I have ever done, and I am convinced it is because when you create with like-minded people with much different gifts to offer, it ignites a blinding light from inside. We are all blessed with a gift, unique to each of us, don’t wish for another’s, nourish your own and then work together to do amazing things!
Now on to the “fun” part of editing, querying and hoping this project finds its way into the hands of someone who sees what we do. To all the artists, writers and creators, believe in your gift, listen to your heart, keep writing, keep creating, as the world needs to hear your voice.
So after many years of boycotting short story contests due to constant perceived rejection, I submitted!! This is exciting because I truly was scarred from the past. While I look at my work from back then and can now see beyond my ego that the quality was not deserving of anything but rejection, and I know I have grown as a person and a writer, I still have butterflies 🙂 Wish me luck!!
Anyone else have this experience and have you submitted to any contests lately??
In contemplating my next post, I realized that through this journey so far of discussing honoring your story, love, forgiveness and finding your Truth, I never properly introduced myself. I find that to be a gigantic oversight, because how can you relate to someone who talks about having a story but never told it. While each of my posts give you a glimpse of who I am as a mom, a writer and that my path has not always been smooth sailing, I feel it’s time to give you a summary of me and how I got here.
While I could write a book about my life to this point (unpublished, but I actually have, which is how I found my love of writing), I feel a good summary of significant points in my journey would be enough to give you an idea of just who I am, and why my path has lead me to this blog and to the desire to write a book.
There is beauty and humility in imperfection. ~ Guillermo del Toro
As a Child –
As a younger version of me I grew up as the oldest of two. I’d like to think of myself as a good big sister, but I was far from it. The moment my brother came home, there was something really special about him, and I knew it, and was jealous enough to make his life miserable for a while. Eventually, we were able to heal our relationship, and presently, we are closer than we have been most of our lives.
However, this particular personality trait is what drove me a good portion of my life -jealous, angry and easily triggered. I felt I was constantly trying to prove something. I was the only girl on my mom’s side of five cousins and my brother, so needless to say, I was a tomboy always looking for my place. I was also an introvert who loved reading, quotes, poetry and art, and dabbled in a little of it all, but never felt I excelled at any, which led to much self-doubt.
Most of my life, I never understood what it meant to be empathic or highly sensitive. (This is a post I plan to cover later on). I never equated this trait to my anxiety. In a nutshell I could actually feel when someone was sad or disappointed, which made me very susceptible to worry, fear, anxiety and depression. I suffered from much of these growing up, never understanding where it came from and how to name it, let alone control it. I learned to hide it well, like I did many things. I felt if I was able to hide my true feelings, I could go through life just like everyone else. Not until later did I realize that facing these truths allowed me to understand them, and embrace them, which allowed me to truly live as me.
My stubborn ways stayed with me as I grew up, and if I set my mind to something or believed I was right, there was no convincing me otherwise. This is where my universal lessons came into play, specifically in my relationships. I chose partners that reflected who I wanted to be, not who I felt I was. I wanted to be confident, strong and know my place in this life, and chose people who I felt exhibited those traits. Unfortunately, these tended to be strong personalities that eventually did not mix well with my own, specifically when I was attempting to find my unique voice.
I was married and divorced twice with two kids before I was thirty years old. After these divorces, and still trying to find my place, feeling that maybe I had it all wrong, my next relationship was with my best friend, who was female and lasted eight years, but also ended due to my need to find out who I truly was in this world. While I now share my life with a wonderful man who is the reflection of my soul, and who walks with me down my true path (this is a story in itself I may write about one day), I have learned through this journey that I am forever grateful to those I’ve shared my life with, as they have shaped me and guided me to where I am today.
My kids are my heart, and I feel I learned a lot as a mom as we grew up together, but it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Due to my failed relationships, my daughter moved 10 times before she was 10, and my son suffered from night terrors, which I have carried guilt about for so very long. They are now 18 and 13 and we have wonderful relationships, but the stories in between could have lead us down much different paths. The biggest lessons I have learned about life have been through my kids, and I am blessed to be in the place I am with them today.
Growing up I never knew what I wanted to do with myself, and was guided in different directions, but ended up within the legal field where I spent most of my adult life. I earned my paralegal degree and worked within several different law firms over a 20 year period. I struggled with this for some time, especially because within that span I learned what writing truly meant to me. Needing a change, I am currently in school as a psychology major, and I found a place within real estate for a utility company. While my passion lies elsewhere, I love that I can support my family surrounded by wonderful people.
I grew up Catholic and for many years I resented the religion and much of what it stood for, never understanding that there is much more to faith than religion. I have found through the many lessons of life, including death, that there is much we can’t see, and much we don’t know, but something much greater exists. In my journey, I have found my faith again, and this has taken me to a new level of understanding and love.
In Life and Death-
My turning point came when I experienced death in a way I never thought I would experience it. While I had lost family growing up, never did I experience the depth of loss until I had to say goodbye to those who were younger than me or close to my age and heart. In a short period, I lost an 18 year old family member to a fire, a young cousin to addiction, my grandmother who I was very close to, way too soon, my three year old step-nephew to illness, almost lost my dad, and my daughter was gravely struggling in her world. These events rocked me to the core and changed my course.
Once I was able to comprehend what had happened in my life, I was determined to walk the path I was here for and live how I was supposed to live, in happiness and truth, instead of sadness, regret and anger, which took me to my WHY.
There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us. ~ Simon Sinek
I have so much to say about this, but will summarize because I plan to post about each stepping stone to my true Why as I continue to blog. My passion for writing started as a kid when I learned just how much quotes inspired me, and still do. I began writing my own from the heart, and at one time even submitted some for copyright. I also loved to draw and read, however, I never thought of myself as creative because my definition of creative was skewed, and felt I didn’t qualify since I wasn’t good at just making up stories on the fly, or a designer or painter.
As I dabbled in the written word through poetry and quotes, I didn’t find my true voice in writing until my second marriage. I was home with my son and struggling with being a mom again, figuring out who I was in the world, and my relationship as a whole. I decided one day to sit down at my old computer and start to type. As soon as I opened that door, the words began to pour out like they had been waiting all that time to be heard, and from then on I knew deep down this was what I was meant to do, it was the matter of figuring out in what capacity.
As I found my voice in writing, life got in the way and I began to work again, and while I temporarily buried this part of me to just do the day by day thing, other passions showed themselves, reminding me that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I volunteered at the dog shelter, feeling I needed to give back, and I ended up writing about the orphaned dogs. I found I loved to coach, started with volleyball and now coach beginner runners, which is where I found that inspiring those to live their best life is my calling, which I began to write about. I then started and stopped blogging over the years and finally I started this blog and just keep going. Feeling as if there was a hole in my heart, I was searching to fill it, and I ended up right back behind a keyboard.
While my WHY is to inspire through my own stories and lessons, my HOW is through this blog and eventually my many books 😉 I believe every one of us has a WHY and a HOW and it is up to us to find out what they are in order to live the very best versions of ourselves in this incredible life we have been given.
Our purpose is our reason, and living in that purpose is when you become who you are meant to be. I cannot thank each of you enough who take the time to read this blog and to follow my story, and my hope for you is that you find your purpose, and you share it with the world so you can live as the very best you.