I have spent all of my life writing stories in my head. Not the kind of stories I expected anyone to read, but stories nonetheless. It’s hard to explain this concept to an outsider, but writing is how I process life. How I cope with a traumatic experience or remember beautiful moments or convey the overwhelming emotions often trapped inside my heart. Even when I don’t put them onto paper, the words flow through my head like clothes in the spin cycle. Fast and furiously.
I never really said out loud that I wanted to write until recently, and I can only attribute this to my fear of failure. Actually, I take that back. It’s more likely because I have spent almost all of my life paralyzed by the potential judgment of others. Afraid to not be “enough.” If you know me – you are possibly reading this and are having a bit of a WTF moment. I get it! I come across as an extrovert, a people person, someone who shares every single intimate detail about myself to the most random stranger without hesitation. And that’s all true! But if you know me well, you know that these things are not related. In fact, the essence of me, or what I hope is the old me, is someone who so desperately wants to be liked.
This year I turned 40, and by the grace of God, I am finally emerging from the fog and coming into my own a little. I have started to feel at peace with the person I am, less intimidated by the person I am not, and little by little am letting go of people and circumstances that are, well…not healthy for me.
I have tried for months to think about how to start this journey, and it finally hit me. Imagine the scene from Finding Nemo where Darla is forcefully tapping on the fish tank wall, the fish are all under major duress, and the starfish yells out, “Find a happy place, find a happy place, find a happy place!” That starfish is me. For the last couple decades of my life, I have just been trying to find my way to a happy place.
I hope that my stories help you laugh after a shit day and give you permission to cry without judgment. I hope that they give you hope that it’s possible to love yourself after 40 years and to forgive yourself for some of the choices you have made. But more than anything…I hope they help you feel a little less alone in the world. If I can find my happy place, the world is your oyster.