I started this sight four months ago when I posted No Longer Asleep at the Wheel – a quick message of intent. An announcement. An invitation. The beginning of what I suspected would be a journey of self-discovery. I had no plan; my sole purpose, to silence my inner-critic by crushing my comfort zones. I sat there silently at my kitchen table, desperate to write, swimming in a collection of worthless excuses. This wasn’t the first time I’d approached the idea of a blog, and it wasn’t the second. The first, a brilliant idea hatched upon purchasing my first computer – circa 1998. Sadly, even the big yellow manuals For Dummies couldn’t help.
I Left My Dream in a Cardboard Box
I left my dream sitting there, in a cardboard box, next to the other self-help books I never read. Then two years ago, I found myself sharing bits and pieces of my story, and people started saying I should write. A notion I shrugged off decades ago. I appreciated the sentiment, but I always imagined that dream died. The truth is, the dream is alive and well, it’s simply being held captive by fear and shame. Fear of being judged. Fear of not making sense. Fear of saying too much or not enough. Shame of never being enough. My story isn’t bad enough, but it’s not good enough. As a Scottish/Irish hillbilly from Ohio, my ancestry and ethnicity leave little to be desired. As a heterosexual white female whose been married for 25 years, I’m rather vanilla.
I’ve just realized my biggest shame, and my worst fear, is that I don’t measure up somehow. I fight and fight, and no matter how I spin it, I know I care too much what other people think. What the world thinks. I’ve always felt like a prisoner of the middle. I feel like I missed the train somewhere along the way. Twenty years ago, I wasn’t normal enough, and now I feel like I’m too normal. What a thing to consider – is being normal bad? What is normal? At this point, I am fully aware that normal is a matter of perception – inside and out. Normal is deceptive.
Crushing Comfort Zones
So, I started a blog with the sole intent of crushing comfort zones. The act itself, a feat of conquering strength. Blog after blog started in the months prior, and not one launched for fear I would do something wrong. With my first post, I hit the publish button, looked over at my husband, and said “well that’s it, I’ve done it.” A sense of calming accomplishment washed over me. Not for what I had written, but for releasing it into the world – without thought of consequence. Glorious freedom! In the months since, I’ve written 52 posts – over 42,000 words, and I can finally see the beauty of what I’m doing.
What started out as a simple moment of fear-conquering, has grown into so much more. With no plan or purpose, I have discovered how much I enjoy free-writing. The simple freedom of sitting down armed with only intent, without constraint of topic or outline. Particles of ideas triggering thoughts and emotions I’m not always aware I need to deal with. I spent the last 20 years writing academically, and as much as I crave the structure, I’m enjoying this season of my life. There’s something empowering about embracing one’s imperfections. See, this is me, unedited! This is the girl who spellchecks her text messages, and corrects herself – post-text, post-post, post everything, because she cannot stand to be perceived as less than. This is me allowing myself to simply BE.
A Warrior’s Spirit
My goal is to spend as much time as I need in this space, allowing it to develop into what it will. I imagine allowing myself to sit comfortably in the ease of this year, writing with no specific agenda, other than sharing a piece of myself. Allowing God to take me where He pleases. Meeting likeminded, kind, and gentle souls along the way. I dream of connecting and conversing with others who may relate in some way to my story. My energy. My heart. I want to love and be grateful. I want to share honestly and openly. No shading. No editing. I will struggle, I have no doubt. But then I will flourish, growing stronger every step of the way. Because that’s what I do!
I dream of sharing it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. How can we appreciate our triumphs if we only tell half the story? The bible leaves nothing out – why should we? I want to leave a legacy of where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. I want to set an example for my son. I want to teach him that fear is powerless against a warrior’s heart. Shame has no place in a warrior’s spirit. I want to show him that you can overcome anything the enemy throws your way. It may be painful, and it will be a struggle, but you will survive – by choice!
See, we may not choose where we’re initially planted in life, but we do choose where to root ourselves. I want to be rooted in love and gentle understanding. I’m eager to reside among the beautiful things; taking in all that is precious and good. Stripping myself of the filth and residue of shame. Freeing myself of criticism and judgment. Accepting that we are all broken. We all struggle. We all need to be loved. No one is less than, or more than. We all are, who we are. Not one of us is free from the pain of life. The goal is not to avoid the pain, because in doing so you circumvent life. No, the goal is to acknowledge the pain – face it, embrace it (for a moment), and then let it go. Life is about learning to live with and through the pain, without fear of death. A life surrendered to the will of God.
Through it all, I hope to be here, sharing the magnificent exquisiteness of life. The dark beauty of difficult lessons, and hard-fought wars. The delicate ease of a surrendered life, and learning to breathe. I hope to let it all flow without fear.
For those who have been here, patiently perusing my innermost thoughts, I say “Thank You.” My goal was never to gain and audience; only to share my words with the universe. Now I find myself eager to see whose visited my page and where they’re visiting from. I love the idea that friends and strangers alike, can click a link and interact with me (in a way). I prefer face-to-face conversation, but I will take what I can get. Just knowing that someone has read my work, gives me a sense of purpose. This is so much more rewarding than the algorithmic bias of social media. This, to me, is like releasing a gift with no expectation of gratitude or reparation.
In time, I hope to learn more about WordPress, so I can create a better page experience. Now, this is an obstacle for me, because anxiety. Anytime I sit down to learn something knew or do something out of the ordinary, my anxiety consumes me. I know I’m in control, and I know I can manage the anxiety if I must, but I choose to “pick my battles.” Anxiety, the symptoms, and the aftermath are painfully exhausting. But anyway… I hope to improve my page presentation, and eventually become more structured with my writing and posting. Until then, I’ll continue to celebrate my journey to freedom. I hope to see you along the way.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Photo by Jack Merlin