Sometimes, we must take a moment to figure out if what you are doing in this life aligns with what you want for this life. That moment for me has been these last few months. While my blog has been quiet, the ideas and the planning have been ongoing. There is so much I want to do that sometimes I overwhelm myself and I get burnt out. Before that happened with writing (again) I decided to take a break to decide what it was I was trying to accomplish. I am deeply grateful to those who have kept the FB Happiness Page going as I figured some stuff out. I love seeing the posts from everyone. They’re beautiful reminders for myself that the simplest words, in quotes, articles, sayings and even memes, can connect with people in ways you never imagined, which leads me to the meaning behind this post.
In taking that moment and contemplating my next steps, I realized that there was one underlying theme in this first half of the year. So far it has been filled with “firsts”. First trip to Alabama and Tennessee, first time eating crab claws, first Spartan race, first marathon relay, first kid graduating high school, first time walking a college campus with my daughter, first time to a chiropractor, first time experiencing goat yoga (this is Sunday), first time to a Writers Conference (this is Saturday)(busy weekend lol), and first time I’ve actually taken writing seriously. Understanding this theme and what it meant for me to step outside my comfort zone and how it worked into my next adventure, I realized that there are no coincidences, and we can learn from each of our “firsts”. That being said, I’ve decided to embark on another first. First time business owner.
As I was reminded by others, words are powerful, and while words come easy for me, that is not always the case for everyone. I have known many people who have the passion and the heart, but just can’t find the words, and I want to help, which is how Words on Tap was born. A freelance writing service and a future platform for words from around the Region, my hope for this business is to bring awareness to a silent art, and help you find the words and showcase exactly who you are, and what you or your business are about.
Presently you can find my information on my Facebook Page “Words on Tap”, Instagram “wordsontapwriting,” and Twitter “@WOTwriting”, as my website is under construction. Check it out, and I hope if you ever get stuck with not knowing what to say or how to say it, you look me up, I’m happy to help you find the “write” words.
P.S. I still intend to post here as often as time allows me, so stay tuned, as my mission is and always has been to spread as much positive love as I can in this world, and this platform is where I started and the place I will always return to. ❤
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.
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 andDeath-
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.
So I have a ton to write about, between walking through doors that continue to open revealing my true path in this life, and my experience at the Chicago Marathon as a volunteer, I am full of insane emotions and lots of thoughts and words in my head I want to get on paper. However, funny enough, I chose to write about my 4-1/2 hour drive to a work conference in the next state over. Not as exciting right? Well, while the scenery wasn’t breathtaking, I did have the company of my Audible app and I am over the moon inspired by my new find.
It’s my understanding that Brene Brown has been around for some time and I have had people recommend her books, but something always got in the way of me picking one up. Today the Universe worked in the wonderous way it does and I “stumbled” onto her live conference in Audible and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Even though I feel I’ve been on an incredible path toward my truth, I have definitely been tested along the way. Somehow when I feel this way – lost, impatient, confused or doubtful, I get a gentle reminder to stay the course. That reminder happened once again today with Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice. This is a book available as an Audible live interview where Brene discusses how spirituality continued to show up as an underlying theme within the research of her original book Rising Strong. Not only are the components of Brene Brown’s theory of Rising Strong — the Reckoning, the Rumble and the Revolution, research based for those who have the need to know the numbers, relatable to those who need down to earth explanation, she is also an entertaining and humorous storyteller.
She took the sometimes confusing and difficult subject of Spirituality and applied it to her research for Rising Strong, everyday life and how practicing can help us through. I highly recommend this book, particularly the Audible version in order to get the author’s personality behind the words, especially if you are seeking inspiration, motivation or a swift kick in the direction of your truth.
Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives. – Brene Brown
Before my son was born I knew he was bound to be a handful. My pregnancy was not exactly glowing and, due to his impatience, I was ordered on bedrest for three very long months. Needless to say, it was not a surprise when he came into the world full of energy, with vocal cords that put lead singers in heavy metal bands to shame with the same ability to party all night without sleep.
As difficult as the first two years were, it was still bittersweet when my son turned three. He was finally out of the all-night cry fests, and I was adjusting quite well to sleeping for more than a few hours at a time. On the other hand, my little bald-headed, baby-faced toddler with big blue eyes was slowly growing into a little man. Instead of wobbling while he walked, and falling down out of clumsiness, he was running full throttle, and literally crashing himself into whatever was in his way.
In this transition, potty training had begun, or at least the attempt to potty train. The concept did not completely sink in with my son until a couple months after his third birthday. It took a lot of patience and constant reinforcement, but when he finally got it, it stuck. Especially once he learned that he earned candy after each successful trip to the bathroom.
While this is one of many stories that have taught me to never underestimate the intelligence of a child, it was one of the first that made me question my own intelligence. It was the holiday season, and my kids and I were visiting with friends. After they had consumed a package of Pez each, and a few pieces of chocolate, I advised them that there would be no more candy. My son, being the sugar fiend he is, was displeased with my decision to cut him off. When the puppy dog eyes didn’t work, he resorted to attempting to break my friend, however, she, of course, backed me up. After an extended period of begging and pleading, his eyes suddenly got wide as saucers, and his face brightened, as if a light bulb went off in his head.
My friend and I stood waiting to see what would happen next and how far he would go to obtain his sugar fix. He rushed to the bathroom, and after he finished his business, he stood at my feet and as I looked down, he smiled and said, in his sweet, innocent but conniving voice, “Can I have candy now peez, I went potty”?
He used our very hard work against me, and I was outsmarted by a three-year old. He got his candy that day, not just for using the potty, but also for leaving two adults rendered speechless with no viable defense.
Wow that felt weird! Still finding my confidence in the writing world, that title was difficult to get out, and even harder to say out loud, but I saw this post today and I thought it was a great reminder to all who share their thoughts, ideas, stories and creativity by way of the written word. So to all you word magicians out there who don’t know what to call yourselves….YOU ARE A GREAT WRITER, period! 🧡 Much Love, Lisa J