Sunday, November 9, 2014

I have decided to no longer publish public posts.

I am instead opting to send out email newsletters as I am a bit more of an introvert and an email, at least for me, feels more private, more intimate.

I do hope that you choose to receive my weekly communiqué, but if you choose not to join me in this manner, I understand


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Showing up

I am seeking my edges, my boundaries, my comfort zone.
I am seeking the parts that need to be changed, stopped, altered.

You see, words fail me when I am looking at a blank screen. I am myself with a pen in my hand, or a photograph in front of me. I want to write, but every thought in my head seems to run away whenever I open the editor to begin a new post.

Maybe I suffer from too much white space and not enough color. Or maybe, I am too afraid of my words hanging out here for the world to be able to find. Maybe I just have few words to truly say and I feel that I am wasting a post to say them.

Whatever the reason, I know that I wanted to show up here today, to inhabit and claim this small space. To allow myself, and the world to know that there are words bottled up, but they just seem to not come out the way that I want them to.

I am showing up, even if it isn't what I want to come out, and that is the first step in being present, and owning who I am.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I am (Part II)

"Who am I" is a question that we all ask ourselves at some point in our lives. It may come in our teens or twenties, but I am heartbroken to admit that it has came at the end of my thirties.

I have struggled to discover who that I am. I have allowed the silencing voices of others to stop me from discovering for myself, who I was when the day was done, who I am when I get up in the morning.

It takes finally silencing the critics. You can only become yourself when you finally listen to that voice, the one deep inside, that has been saying all along who you are. That voice that knows you better than anyone else does. The voice that asks you to remember the things that you love, and to begin your life, as best you can, from that point.

I have allowed the voices of parents, teachers, and "friends" to silence that voice. The voice that leads me back to words, the voice that lead me to begin photography with a very cheep digital camera, the voice that reminds me constantly about the utter joy of having paint and ink on my hands. 

When all is said and done, I am the culmination of other's voices and my own. I, however am the only one who will know if I have chosen wisely or poorly.

 I have began to search for people who believe in me and who echo the voice of my soul, the voice that knows if I am on the path I am supposed to be on. The voice that reminds me that digging deep and asking the hard questions will benefit me more than thousands of online courses will.

My soul's voice has been saying that I am an artist and a creative for many years. I have just been too afraid of it, and other's voices telling me that I am wasting my time, or reminding me of the photography show disaster several years ago. 

Through all of this, I know that when I become quiet, and listen that the voice reminds me of who I truly am. I am an artist. I am a woman who is allowing her voice to speak through mixed media art, photography, and words. I am a woman who is finding a circle of supporters who realize when my aim is off target. I am a woman in the process of becoming deeply and truly my own greatest supporter. I am a woman who is a believer in my own value and worth. 

I am now becoming myself to the deepest possible depths. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I am

I am....
First thoughts written on a page
List made and forgotten
A collector of books and art supplies

I am
The person hiding behind the camera
Adorer of charm bracelets
A feminine tomboy

I am....
A chaser of old cars
Lover of pirates
Closet artist

I am....
Dessert for breakfast
Dessert before dinner
A chocoholic

I am....
A secret giver
A recovering shoe and purse-aholic
Proud West Virginian

I am...
A scared writer
Car photographer
A sometime poetess
         {this counts, right?}

I am....
A birthday forgetter
Candle hoarder
Quirky decorator

I am so much and more
Things that I never give myself credit for

I am the good
I am the bad
And sometimes even
The ugly
        {To steal a phrase}

***Today, I am just "letting it rip" as the old saying goes. I am allowing my writing to take over no matter how good, bad, or ugly it may be.  I am discovering, through writing, who I truly am and I am allowing myself to share it here on the page.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Hope is more than a friend that I have met online
It is more than just a tattoo on my shoulder
It is a work in progress, a goal, a stumbling block
a soul aching chasm that I am afraid that I can’t cross.

It is our future.
It is believing that our past will make sense
Hope is everywhere, and it is nowhere.
It is falling down and believing that you can get back up
It is also falling down and staying down, all the while believing, that the tears will subside, and strength will return.

Hope is a cousin to faith
A distant dream coming true
A belief in the unseen
Hope is my deepest most private dreams coming true
Hope is in one day He will return, and I will be ready

Hope is having “that” dream come true {you KNOW which one}
It is a belief that the new year will be kind
That the oceans will never run dry
That the sun will rise and set
That the moon and stars will continue to shine

Hope is a fight to continue
It is the belief that the times after the struggle will be the sweetest
Hope is everything that I wish for coming true

Hope is secretly wanting to be loved
That birthdays and holidays will be loving celebrations and not times of feeling alone and isolated
Hope is a constant struggle
Hope is a feeling of optimism that things will be better
Hope is something that I fight with daily
But slowly it is beginning to teach me it’s ways
The ways of faith, of believing, of dreaming
But mostly of trying
Of reaching out and doing the work inside

Hope is not hiding my talents in the ground
Hope is not born out of fear, but of faith, and courage

{Today I am planting a small seed of hope, and I pray to see it sprout into a dandelion that populates the entire “grass” of my life.}

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Removing the labels

We are all labelled in some way. Mother, daughter, brother, father, cousin, grandchild, smart, stupid, slut, hippie, weird....and the list goes on.

I have spent years standing there sticking the "hello my name is" stickers all over myself: smartest in Sunday School, helper (I never minded that one) good girl, bossy, knows all of the answers, Preacher's daughter. Okay so that one is the worst. Because we all know the stereotype, she's wild, slutty, and into everything. I was never like that, it just wasn't who I was. 

I have spent the last 13 years in my life still sticking some of the same damned stickers all over myself. I feel weighted down and unable to move because of these things, there are so many layers and with each new one that is stuck to me I can't seem to get them off. And I fear the pain involved in the ones at the skin, and part of me fears that by removing them all that I will be left with nothing, or that people will think that I am a horrible person because no one has labelled me as a good person. Another sticker to remove. 

The truth is, I just don't fit into pretty little stickers now, I prefer more gritty and rough things, more like an old battered suitcase covered in experiences, but not labels, because in my heart I know who I am, or on my way to becoming, and I don't need labels to define my worth or style. I am just me. 

It is a good thing that I am in the middle of a fire of change right now, because maybe I can remove the years worth of labeling and see where my new unlabeled skin begins. 

***I am taking part in The Rebel Diaries by Brandy Elora***

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I fear your knowing my story
I fear the thoughts of people thinking that I don't have everything together
I hate the thoughts of being Martha Stewart or Donna Reed
I am no those two women
I will NEVER be those women
I strived for more and was told NO
I had to be like my mother was
And her mother
And her mother

I refused
I got a job
I moved away
I got married
I kept my job, even though I have hated it
But your stupid voices still ring in my ears
Telling me no
Telling me what to do

I think of your post and it burns me
You blame him
I blame you
I blame you for what you've done
Even though you weren't the one
I burn in rage from your words
call it what you want
but you could have said no
No No NO

I am sick of hearing no
No you can't go here
No you can't do that
No you will never be talented enough, pretty enough smart enough
Your voices are killing me

You keep changing and morphing into something new
something that I wont recognize
And I haven't until today
and I realized that
YES I can do these things
And I do not care any longer what you say
I know the truth
I will burn your words into the page as a reminder
I will write them on my walls so that I can see

You have lied to me
You have joined with so many others and lied to ME
I am tired of the lies and betrayals
I am ready to swim in the depths of truth
I will pirate this vessel if I have to
Because I am tired of hiding
I am tired of the dark pit of your lies
I am ready to hear the voice of truth saying YES.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

It is difficult for me to let people see the various sides of who I am. It feels more like being in a contest than being open. Then the fear is, did they like it, was it as good as another's work, etc. The voices and fears strangle me until I cannot speak. 

Years ago I began photography, and I was showing my parents some of my work. Neither seemed to care. I later had 3 photograph in 2 magazines (the magazine ended shortly afterward) and THEN it was good enough. And so all of my life, I have been looking for the approval of others. People believe that peer pressure ends in high school, but I believe that as long as we are alive, it never ends. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others, and becoming more miserable in the process. 

And so now, I hide. I hide from the eyes of people who KNOW how to make me crave their attention, their permission. They know how to tell me "no" in subtle ways and I listen to their voices instead of my own. I feel suffocated. I hide my blog, I hide my Instagram, I try to hide on Facebook, and because my Dad is now on there, I don't share as much, especially if it is personal, or would make me have to listen to a lecture. I'm 38 and I still get lectured from time to time, it feels as though I am stupid and do not know how to make my own choices.

But I know that I can make my own choices, but I look for validation from everyone, but myself. My husband has kindly mentioned this to me, more often than he ever should. He believes in me, he supports me, but when it comes down to it, I become afraid, and jump ship. Kind of like Peter I guess. Jesus told him to come out onto the water, and he was fine at first, and then, he noticed the water and became afraid. 

I notice the water and begin to sink. I notice the lack of readers, the lack of thumbs up, the lack of hearts, and re-tweets and I become afraid. I begin to sink into the 'it's not good enough, it's no good, etc." I have the courage to begin, but rarely do I have the courage to continue, and I'm not sure how to find it. I truly want to find it. To walk on without fear swirling around like a hurricane.

I am tired of being afraid. I want to have the courage to walk on the water.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Just Me and My Voice

I am feeling behind. As if I can't get myself focused on being everything that I need to be right now. A recent 12 hour shift stint and lack of sleep is extracting all of my energy, all of my focus, all of my life. Having to make decisions every day that seem as though they are depleting my life instead of enriching it.

I want to quit. I want to escape. I want to run away.

I have so many dreams that I just can't seem to reach. I question if I have the drive, the talent, the_________. I don't know what goes into that blank. I don't even know what I really want to become anymore. It seems to change with each answer of the word "no."

You see in my family once the word "no" was answered, you did not dare to ask the question again, and you didn't, or at least I didn't, try to rephrase it, or even wait several months later to ask again. It was like a judge hammering out a verdict that would not ever be reversed. Now, I see "no" as a definite end, and then, I move on to the next blank to fill in.

You see I have become a master at learning something new every few years. Once I believe that there is no further hope of continuance, then I change, I look for the next challenge, and seemingly, the next "No."

Several years ago I dreamed of becoming self supportive as a photographer. I went so far as to start shooting portraits, even doing all of them for free, in the hopes that I could find someone willing to pay me $50 for a one hour session that included a jump drive with their session photographs. It all ended when I couldn't even get people to allow me to give them free portrait sessions.

Two years ago I began to make paper products based on affirmations. They sold very well, but the owner of the business would not tell me the truth about whether she wanted to continue them or not, and after seeing them hiding in the back of the store for a couple of months, I went and brought what was left home. I gave them to a local coffee shop to give away and they can't keep them in stock. Again, something that I was willing to do for free. Recently I went in the store where I had been selling them and I saw that they were giving away similar ones that weren't as nice as mine, and I was shocked, and sickened. After thinking for a few minutes, I realized that it was still doing what I intended to do in the first place, to encourage others.

Sometime in the last two years I also wanted to make art, paintings that would have encouraging quotes on them. I was told by the store owner that she could get art prints very easily. None of which were encouraging.

So here I am at writing. I am seeking permission, yet again. but the problem is that I am afraid of the words. I am afraid of the stories that are asking to be dealt with, to come out from my past and be given as a gift to help and encourage people. Which when all is said and done, all that I really want to be able to do.

I want to be able to give, I want to help, I want to be able to mix all of the bits and fragments of talents into something useful, that maybe would allow me to have a creative based job and support myself without the constraints of a full time job. I continue, day after day trying something new, and looking for somewhere to fit in, to help, to truly encourage others. But the fears of the words "no" haunt me to my very core.

And I am tired of being afraid and of running to the next thing. I wish I would become wise enough to see where I am headed and where I can truly be of use on this earth.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Learning to allow the mess

words don't flow for me like they seem to for others.
they feel like mollases, slow, stciky, and not what you want.
I see honey, honey everywhere.
These beautiful free flowing words that break me in two every time that I see them.

My words don't flow from a keyboard.
it requires too much thought.
i go back and correct misspelled words
rearrange lines and completely change the meaning of what I write
I don't feel comforatble.
I feel fake.
I don't belong and the words don't beliog.
and the words that come out in my jounrals, they feel deep.
theyfeel right. they don't feel jumbled and wasted.

i keep asking myself, why am I in this class?
why am I spending money that i could have saved when my words will never be good enough
I won't embarass myslef
i won't have to fear what other people say
why couldn't i just be safe
why can't i find a way to do this where it isn't so open, so out there

i read and i cry
nd i read others words and i cry
and i want to quit.
i stop, even though Natalie says not to
i try to compose my thoughts
i try to make sense of the jumble of words that are betraying me
they won't come out

the voice that comes out on my vintage typweriter is one that i am comfortable with
why doesnt it show up to save me now?
why doesn't the pen save me?
why have I wirtten this much?
why haven't i corrected my spelling, my lack of punctuation?
why have i put this all into single lines?
i'm not a poet
I am not very descriptive in words
i am descriptive in images
but i am afraid to share even those

fear, fear, fear
it hounds me
it screams and cries at me
what are you doing?!
why don't you quit?!
don't hit publish!
don't you know that they will see this as a messy waste of time?
as i cry for help?
as a why did she waste her money,kind of thing?
clean it up, put it together, stop!

no matter what you think,
I am doing this for
I am telling the censor to go to hell,
and I am not going to allow myself to delete this until after my coyrse is over.

this is a learning curve
MY learning to allow the mess, kicking fear, opening up

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I struggle with opening up. With allowing myself to truly talk about what wants to come out.

I battle with maintaining my anonymity, With exposing flaws, weakness, scars. And I have a lot of scars. Scars that are part of fighting depression, of being the "good" girl. Anguish from writing posts and sharing photos, then, deleting them. I become vulnerable, and then, take it back. I struggle to hit send. I question whether I will allow a post to remain, if I revealed too much, if I am just "seeking attention." 

I go back and remove as much as possible, but sometimes it is too late. I am attempting to open, to be honest and real, to give myself the freedom and grace to share. But in the end, fear and discomfort come out, and I make things disappear. And I do not possess enough magic to make them reappear.

I see these admissions and I cringe. I cringe because this isn't writing. This isn't good enough. This isn't worth reading. I am used to being unread, but I feel foolish in sharing who I am and "where" I am because now, I have given you the opportunity to see the "wizard" behind the curtain. And now you will doubt my power. Because, I doubt my power. And if I doubt the power of my words, you will too.

Because in the back of my mind, no matter how true this is for me, no matter how honest and raw I have just now written,  I wonder if you are calling these words "streaking" and I want to put them all somewhere that you will never have a chance to read them. To protect them and never give anyone the opportunity to question me, my creativity, and my intentions. 

I feel these words coming out and they have no place to call home other than in my written journals. There they are safe. There I am not being judged. 

This is why I hide.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Finally Speaking Up

There is a stigma to telling the truth.  Even in a calm, honest manner.

We stifle our voices often due to upbringing. In order to be nice people, or to avoid making scenes. 

When out voice finally breaks through we are usually chastised for the possibility of bringing shame to ourselves and our family.

I was struggling with a decision tonight.  I always struggle with them. I try to make the safest choice, the one that keeps me from having to listen to other people's voices. I could remain quiet and allow the situation, and my coworkers years of a single complaint to remain unheard, or I could speak up and we all can face the fallout. I chose to finally speak.

I do not know what future frustration I may have caused us all, and I have beaten myself up over it, but I know now, that in this moment I have learned to speak up, regardless of the outcome.