The happiest people I know live out of who they truly are, not who they think they should be or, who they think others want them to be.Those who understand that the only thing they need strive to ‘be’ is be the very best version of themselves. I figure that having people like that on the earth will make the world the beautiful and diverse place it was meant to be. And I want to be like that when I grow up.
e e cummings said, ‘It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.’ …correct. And may I add, challenge accepted. Who’s in?
It’s not comfortable growing up. It’s also painful and embarrassing at times. And let’s face it, we all love a comfort zone, because it’s, well, comfortable. But my comfort zone is not going to get me anywhere other than my comfort zone.
I’m convinced that when we do that; when we don’t go freely and adventurously into the world beyond the limitations we place on ourselves, then really, we are only living half a life. The other half is waiting for us outside of our comfort zones… if we can muster up the courage to step out and be who we are, really.
And there are always things – people, situations, setbacks – that draw us back in to ourselves and make us believe that we belong there. How dare we venture outside? Dare to believe in our dreams? Who do we think we are?
I dare you. In the best possible way. Or, in the words of one of the best:
Early on in my adulthood, when I first became a ‘single mother’ (bleh to labels!), I felt a sort of limiting stigma all around me – a piteous glance, the big red invisible ‘A’ on my forehead without one question asked as to whether or not it belonged there, or even sometimes, the avoidance from people who knew better. I felt like screaming “This is not what I signed up for, either!” And we don’t. We don’t ask for situations that tear us apart; pulling that well-worn rug out from under our feet. But they happen, despite our best efforts. It’s what we do next that makes all the difference.
Courage, dear heart.
Three and a half years ago, I forcibly ‘took’ some courage. Literally. Like medicine. Down the proverbial hatch and straight into my heart and soul. I dusted off an old dream that until then had been one I had played with for… I guess my whole life. One that had never let me go. And I started to write again.
I have always kept the fact that I was a writer relatively close to my chest. Never did I share any of it with anyone unless I thought they were a safe place. I don’t find sharing personal ‘stuff’ easy; feelings, faith, dreams – none of it. But this year, I am shaking things up; coming out of my comfort zone, stretching out my neck and running my race.
Why am I telling you this? It’s a good question.
BECAUSE, For every single woman (or man) who has conjured up the strength it takes: stepping out of a bad decision and finding the bravery you absolutely needed to do it; for your courage to stand up against control, violence, infidelity, verbal abuse… the courage to stand (sometimes, pouring concrete over your feet) when the one dear person that promised to cherish and protect your heart always has abandoned you, your children, or both…For the courage to walk out into the open and not feel ashamed. To tell yourself every day, “Courage dear heart.” And for the strength you need to be both mother and father to your children; to provide a roof over their heads as just a starting place. I see you. I know you.
And then, the courage to take that step forward, uncompromisingly, whatever it is. Run, walk, crawl if you must, but take it nonetheless.
I tell you my story for one reason; to encourage, if I can, those who are enduring those unexpected detours on the road to a better place; all whilst hanging on for dear life with their last ounce of strength. I tell you it because if I, in all my failings can do it, so can anyone.
So, knowing that I will probably faint after hitting the publish button, here I am, sharing it with the world…
Hello world, I am, among other things, as you might be able to tell, a writer. And, after many hours of hard work and deciding in each day to actually BE that… my first novel is about to be published and will be on shelves somewhere sometime soon. There, I said it.
This is not a shameless plug – hence why I share no detail of my book. The real, heart of the matter reason I decided to write this is that my heart wants to encourage yours. To tell you that it’s never too late. To tell you to TAKE COURAGE. IT’S Worth every drop.
There is no magic, perfect time to pursue your dreams. I have written in the early hours after sleepless nights, during baby naps and late into the night, on weekends and during holidays. You just have to decide.
Be who YOU are… the world might just need you to do that.
And then, if you will indulge this simple idealist for a mini second… imagine with me… if the world was a place where our God-given personalities, differences and giftings were allowed to shine without a dig from someone else who is too small-minded to accept the wider landscape of humanity… Wouldn’t that be an awesome place to live? Just a thought.