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Recently, I have posted, what some would consider “vulnerable” posts.  Baring my soul, if you will.

I have no issue with the posts I make.  I have no problem sharing who I am, or what I have been through.

Many people have told me that I am brave.  And I can’t lie… this confused me a bit.

I’m so thankful to ANYONE who takes the time to read what I put out.  I don’t make money on this ‘stuff’, I just write from my soul, when I’m compelled.

I have never been one to hide who I am; if you know any part of me, you pretty much know all of me.  I got that from my dad.  He didn’t live a false day in all his life.  Apparently I followed suit.

For better or worse, I can’t lie about who I am or what I think.   I can only pray on a good day that my filter is a little longer than it truly is…

In my years of writing my random posts, I have had the blessing of chatting with people who related to what I have written on many levels.   Mostly, I’m connected on the back side, meaning, people will private message me to discuss how my blogs have touched them.  I cannot tell you how this tickles me to the core.

When I sit down to write, it’s usually because something is tugging at my soul and won’t let me rest until I write.

And when I write, it’s complete stream of consciousness, in and out and done.

I don’t put much thought into it; I just …. write… almost as if an out of body experience.

I know for a fact that many of us are guided by our filters, or social graces or even fears.  We put in front of others what we think they want to see.   I’d be lying if I said I never did the same.  We’ve all been there.

But somehow, over the years, my cares what others think have shrunk, and my desire to spill my words has increased.  And I’m so glad.  But in recent weeks, when people have called me brave, I won’t lie; it’s a bit disconcerting.

Why is it brave for me to write about my life and what I have been through?  Why is it brave for me to express my fears and my biggest challenges?

I don’t consider it bravery at all.  I consider it human nature.

My goal in writing is to let others know one thing… and that is WE ARE NOT ALONE IN HOW WE THINK, OR WHAT WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH IN OUR LIVES!!!

No matter our circumstances, SOMEONE has been through EXACTLY what you are going through!!  We are NEVER alone in this world.

I have two teenagers, and let me tell you…my eyes are wide open on the days of feeling self conscious.  I HATED the teen years.  And to see my kids go through what I went through?? OH MY GOODNESS, get me a therapist on call!!

The sad thing is, when I see my kids going through stuff, or hear about their friends and the social issues, I realized something that broke my heart…

IT DOESN’T END IN HIGH SCHOOL!!!

God, I wish it did.  I wish you could be assured that all the crap you went through as a teen just disappears when you are an adult.  But alas, it’s not true.

Life continues and the struggles continue in a different way, all the rest of your days….

Thankfully, when you reach your forty’s you start caring less and asserting more.  (If you tackle this before your forties GOD BLESS YOU!)

At the time of this writing, I’m fifty years old.  And let me tell you what I have realized in my life span to date….

  1. The days are long but the years go fast
  2. You have skills within you, you just need to figure out what they are.
  3. if you sit back and study something, you will learn a lot more than sitting back and judging it.
  4. hurt people hurt people, no matter the age
  5. You can build people up, or you can break them down
  6. When you are feeling destructive…do something constructive (My fav advice from my dad)
  7. The grass may be greener on the other side, but it all needs to be mowed! (thank you Erma Bombeck)
  8. You get out of something the amount that you put into it.
  9. Whether you think you can or think you can’t… you are right (Henry Ford)
  10. When you feel you have nothing in this world…. you have your breath… (Oprah Winfrey)
  11. You are not the inventor of your feelings.  No matter what you feel…someone has been there before.
  12. If you want to feel better, find your like people.
  13. People either blame OUT or blame IN! (Dr. David Viscott)
  14. If you find people that blame OUT…. RUN!
  15. Your world is as big as you let it be!
  16. There are different ways people learn.  (I’m a visual learner and found out in my 20s)
  17. I have ADD and found my own remedies in chewing gum, listening to repetitive music when I study and I can’t sit still in any class.
  18. I found that when I was in a photo lab, developing film into prints, that the world stood still, and my ADD mind quieted.
  19. No matter your lot in life, you can rise above if you have determination and drive.
  20. Your life goal is in your soul, you just need to be quiet to listen and find it.
  21. The village you build will pull you through anything.
  22. If you trust in who you are, you can live your life to its potential .
  23. Fear will kill your every dream
  24. You can challenge your fears.
  25. Your fears do NOT define you.
  26. Everything you want is on the other side of fear! (stole this quote, don’t own it).
  27. A little compassion goes a long way
  28. Saying “Hi” with a smile to ANYONE can brighten both your days.
  29. We don’t deserve the compassion that animals give us.
  30. Our lives are as big as the limits we impose….

Now…I know there are a TON more….but I am just gonna leave it here.

To my amazing friends who think I am BRAVE because the words I write… I’m not. I’m not better than you, living the best life you can live.

My greatest fear in life is that people feel they are alone in their lives, their fears, their pain.   And I’m here to tell you… YOU.ARE.NEVER.ALONE!!!

I am fortunate that I care LESS than some people.  I owe that privilege to my dad who showed me his genuine self every damn day of his life!  For better or worse, he was who he was.  And he was my role model.  I’m gonna roll with that.

But please know, no matter your struggle, you are not the first, nor will you be the last to go through what you are going through.

Please know, as a human being, you are NEVER alone.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you when you are feeling weak.  You might be surprised to see there are more in your court than you thought possible!!!