Being Strong

There is a vulnerability that comes with being strong; it stems from an expectation (likely of ourselves) that we don’t need anyone’s help. That we can walk away from everyone and anyone at any time without consequence. Yes, we can make a choice to change our lives, but its never easy. Change is wrought with emotions and often we carry that burden alone.

In my life, I suspect there will never be a harder decision to make than the day I told my ex-husband that I couldn’t do it anymore, that I couldn’t be his wife, that I simply couldn’t be this person that I was ‘supposed’ to be anymore. And with love and support from the people in my life, I stood tall and I stood strong as I walked away from everything I had known and took a chance on me.

After that, life should be easy.

But its never that simple. Being confident, being strong and being me feels so good, but there will always be casualties of change. People, places and things in my life may shift but I’m learning to let those things go, because being strong doesn’t mean that I need to have everything figured out.

Being strong means staying true to my heart, to my values and to my soul.
Being strong means knowing my own priorities and not being led astray.
Being strong means being brave enough to dream and a willingness to sacrifice to get there.
Being strong means knowing when I can’t do it alone and asking for help.
But most of all, being strong means knowing when to let go.

Say Yes

It’s been a while since I’ve felt inspired; I’ve been caught up in the whirlwind of life, running here, running there, always running somewhere. Despite the chaos, I’m still doing things differently, I’m still doing things for ME. First and foremost, I am taking care of myself. One of the things I’ve been working on, is connecting, in minimal ways, with people that I feel an affinity for.

There are only a few people in my life that I’ve known since high school and still consider a friend; these people are sacred to my heart because they’ve always accepted me just as I am, never with judgement and only with love. I was speaking with one such friend yesterday and when I made a lighthearted comment about being a lesbian, her response was perfect.

Doesn’t it feel great to shout that out?
Because you ARE shouting it out now aren’t you?
And all I could say was YES.

YES, THIS girl is GAY!
YES, it is empowering to finally stop hiding (from myself).
YES, my skin finally feels like it fits.
YES, I am happy, so very happy.

I finally started saying YES to myself and in turn the universe started saying yes to me too. My life is ripe with opportunity, love, light and happiness; all those years I tried to create the ‘perfect life’, but all I had to do was say yes to me and everything began falling into place.

Dream Bigger

Like everything else in life, dreams are not constant, they are subject to our moods, our circumstances and if we’re lucky they are constantly evolving as our goalposts change not because we can’t meet them, but because we have.

I used to dream of a life that gave me joy and refreshed me; a life that didn’t feel like groundhog day but instead empowered me to be me, where I laughed and loved more than I simply survived and most importantly, I dreamt of a life that allowed me to wake up, each and every morning, eager to greet the day.

18 months ago, that life and that dream felt out of reach and completely unattainable; but I walked away from the life I had built, stepped into the unknown and today and I’m living my dream.

If you too are stuck on the merry go round of an unsatisfied life, I assure you that although the road may be difficult, it is nothing compared to living a life that drains your soul and robs you of your happiness.

Good enough should never be enough; strive for more, strive for love, light and happiness (or whatever makes YOUR heart sing). Believe you are worth it, because when you believe, doors have a way of opening and all you have to do is be brave enough to walk over that threshold.

And when you do, you may find yourself in a whole new world, one where yesterdays dreams are your reality and there’s only one this left to do, dream bigger.

Change is the Only Constant

When I started my journey I had a hard time responding to my counselor’s simple inquiry, ‘what are you doing for you?’ I had spent the better part of the last decade being everything for everyone and wearing every hat on the rack except for the one that defined me. I was so raw, uncertain who I was if I wasn’t a mother and a wife first; I couldn’t remember what it felt like to hear my heart sing, but I desperately wanted to find my voice.

What started as small cautious steps a year ago, turned into a full blown run and I almost can’t remember what’s on the other side of the mountains that I’ve climbed and descended. However, I must never forget where I’ve come from and everything that I’ve learned on this journey; because I’m never going back there.

My path may waver but I refuse to double back and so I remain conscious. I listen, actively, to me, to what I want, and I let my priorities be only my own. And honestly, those priorities change each and every day as I navigate the world, my relationships and my reality trying to find a balance that satisfies my soul.

We all deserve that, the freedom to change; to change our mind, to change our priorities, to change our practices and most of all the freedom to change our lives. Change is the only constant in life and yet there’s the push to meet expectations, to want what society wants and to conform. I had this belief once that getting married to a man and having babies was THE DREAM and I was subconsciously terrified to admit that I wanted, no needed, my life to drastically change directions if I was to find happiness.

Changing my life has been both the most difficult and the most rewarding experience; true transformation wasn’t possible for me until I asked myself who I wanted to be and actually began to question everything that I had previously known to be true.

After months of tears, confusion and overwhelming emotions what emerged was the most beautiful, true version of me. I am a strong, confident, gay mom that is living her truth, creating her own happiness and doing whatever the fuck feels right in the moment and THAT is what I’m doing for me.

I want to remember…

I’m constantly surprised by the intensity of my emotions, the depth of my feeling and the comfort I find in my new reality. Every day, I feel increasingly confident and proud of the choices I make, the life I lead and the people I choose to have in my life.

I am so proud, to be me.

I desperately want to find a way to capture these feelings; the glow, the warmth and the energy that surrounds me so that one day, when I inevitably need it, I can remember.

I want to remember the confidence I feel to speak my mind, to let the truth tumble from my lips without pause, and the pride I feel when I do just that. I want to remember smiles that spread so much further than the corners of my mouth and I want to remember what it feels like to giggle, to laugh and to simply surrender to the joy of the moment.

I want to remember the brightness I feel every single time I talk  to someone new about being gay; how incredible it feels be so matter of fact about a piece of me I refused to acknowledge for so long. And how strong and sure I feel when I choose not to validate people’s stares by changing my behavior.

I want to remember the lightness in my chest when she smiles at me, the sigh that escapes my parted lips when she holds me and the way we create our own safe space every time that we’re together.

These days, I feel a strength, a confidence and a joy like I’ve never known and its the most beautiful feeling in the world. I know, that life is full of challenges and although hard times are inevitable, they also help us appreciate the good times all the more.

I’ve struggled a lot over the past year and I am so thankful for all the amazing in my current reality. I can only hope, that when the next roadblock emerges, I will remember everything that I feel now and bravely blaze a new trail.

More Than Silver Linings

I have always considered myself an optimist, I see the glass as half full and I’ve always looked for the silver linings, but there was a time, not that long ago, that I forgot how much more there was to live for.

I forgot, about laughter, that refuses to be contained and spills forth with reckless abandon. I forgot, that the best smiles are the ones that shine and sparkle from within and cannot ever truly be hidden. I forgot, that I am, and always have been, enough. And I forgot, that the fire within me burns strong, I can be anything and anyone that I want to be; only I have that power.

And I’ll never give it away again. I’m discovering and uncovering a whole new way of life, one where I am unstoppable, strong and true.

I’ve discovered the freedom that comes when you truly accept yourself, wholly and entirely. I’ve discovered that kisses can be like souls intertwining, drawing people together as their breath becomes one. I’ve discovered that there is great beauty in slowing down, immersing myself in feelings and being truly present in the moment.

But most importantly, I’ve discovered a happiness like I’ve never known; I feel overcome with love and light and happiness each and every day.

My life is so much more than silver linings.

My Words Found Me

I’ve always loved to write, I remember having notebooks, papers and journals scattered everywhere, all filled with feelings, emotions and secrets. As I grew I found I had an affinity for thick paper and smooth pens, the means to my release in a world where I felt unheard. When pen met paper, the words could flow freely and honestly and that was enough.

But when life started to get challenging, when I should have been questioning who I wanted to be, what was important to me and the life that I wanted to lead, I did not find solace in my paper and pen. Instead I tucked my trusty companions away, painted a smile upon my face, held my head up high and continued moving forward.

When I was finally ready to write again, it was as if I had forgotten how to tap into the energy that pulsed within me. Deep in my heart and in my soul, I could feel the need, but I had forgotten the way. Something that had come so naturally to me, had been suppressed and pushed so deep that I could barely find the words to express myself. When I did finally manage to write something, it felt so raw and so vulnerable.

But as I’ve found myself this past year, so too have my words found me. These days, I frequently feel the urge to write, to release, to set my emotions free and when I read the words in front of me, they feel magical, beautiful, honest and free.

And I do too.