2018! Where did the year go? I have been reflecting a lot about where I was at the beginning of this year. I know I was in a completely different place. But where? I was scared for sure! Every new step I took, it felt like I was looking around me to see if anyone was going to tell me to stop. I had moments of deep insecurity, well maybe not moments, it was more like hours, days and weeks of deep insecurity about my writing and why I felt a need to put all my personal struggles and triumphs out on the internet for everyone to read. Every Saturday morning when I would hit the ‘publish’ button on WordPress my heart would skip a beat and I would feel sick to my stomach. Why was I doing this? And would anyone care? But, I had made a commitment to myself to write every Saturday no matter how I felt. No matter if I was sick, or traveling, or tired or bored with myself. It was non-negotiable! And as this year ends, I realize my blog has definitely made me a better, more confident writer. Also, I feel like I am better able to express myself, and have become more confident in my life overall.
I came to a point where I felt like my current life didn’t fit me anymore. I felt like a stranger in my own skin. I knew I had to make some changes but I had no idea where to start or where I was going. So day by day I just did the next thing that my heart wanted to do, even if it didn’t make sense to me at the time. It hasn’t been an easy path where doors open smoothly and there is immediate gratification. It is actually a path where the answers are not clear, and are seen only in hindsight.
For example, about a year and a half ago my sister and I had a disagreement and we have not communicated since. In my journey of self-discovery I had made the decision to stop trying to explain myself to people that didn’t get me. So, I felt that I could no longer keep using my energy trying to convince her that the choices I was making and the way I lived my life were worthwhile. Our differences became a black hole of frustration and bad energy when we would talk. So, I made the decision not to go there anymore. But the beauty of this is, as I said goodbye to her and followed my heart, I gained a new sister. My husband’s sister reached out to me after she read one of my first blog posts. She took the time and energy to send me Gabby Bernstein’s “The Universe has your back” inspirational cards, which I keep on my writing desk. And she continues to send me love and encouragement daily. She says that I inspire her, but I am the lucky one because I have a new sister. And even better, a sister that understands me and appreciates what I have to offer.
My husband and I used to be on different journeys, leaving it to chance if we would meet up again. We were both trying to find our way as people, as a couple, and as a family. Now it is hard to imagine that we were that distant from each other. This time last year he had gone to a concert with a friend, and I stayed home to write. He slept on the couch, and I remember getting up late at night because I thought he wasn’t home. More than anything else, I remember the feeling that I had when I woke up and he wasn’t beside me at 2AM. I felt sick, panicked, shaky but I put my ‘I don’t care’ mask on as I descended the stairs to see if his car was out front. And there he was on the couch. I think I pretended to get a glass of water, like I really wasn’t looking for him. But I was looking for him. More than any argument or situation that we were in last year, I remember that feeling of aloneness and being scared but trying to cover it up. I don’t have that feeling anymore because he has taken the time to show me how much he loves and supports me. On Saturday mornings when I write he gets me coffee and breakfast. He grocery shops, takes care of the cats, and cleans the house while I sit at my computer like a mad scientist. “You are going to be a famous author one day, aren’t you?” He likes to say to me. He believes in me, and I feel it. And I am so lucky and grateful to have him in my life.
It was from a young girl in Delhi India who has been reading my blog. She told me that my writings were good and that I inspired her! My heart felt so full and happy when I read that. The fact that my writing was able to speak to a young girl across the globe in a completely different country, made me realize that women’s struggles are universal. And even though she feels inspired, I feel that I am the one who is inspired by her. Her comment was a gift to me, and it motivates me to keep writing.
Now, I can’t even imagine my coworkers not knowing about my artistic side and my blog. But, at the beginning of this year I was terrified about them finding out. What was I so scared of? That they would know the true me, and not like me? That they would make fun of me, and reject me? Yes! But the truth is, when my coworkers discovered my Instagram account and blog, they approached me at work and told me that they appreciated me! They started following me, they signed up on my email list, they encouraged me, and I have received and continue to receive invaluable feedback from them.
If you are reading this now, you are also showing me your love by giving me your most valuable asset which is your time and focus. You are there for me, and not because I spent all my energy trying to convince you to see my worth. And not because I somehow ‘manipulated’ you into seeing that what I have to offer is not a threat, but a calling. But because you choose to be, and you want to be, and because you naturally find value in my words.
Things that I used to be so scared of, are now just a part of my life. And I will continue to take chances with my writing and in life because even though it is scary, it is addicting. And by scary, I don’t mean that I am a little nervous. By scary I mean that I am shaking, I can’t sleep, my thoughts are going a mile a minute and everything in my mind is telling me not to move forward, but I do it anyway! There are no drugs, alcohol, relationships, or careers that can take the place of pushing through my self imposed limiting beliefs and seeing the beauty and love on the other side. So, showing my true self, pushing boundaries and following my path even when my brain is predicting my certain failure has become my new addiction. And it is the best high I have ever had!