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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

FORTYtude: a Force to be reckoned with


For quite some time now, I have had the "Behold, here come the 40's!" mentality. If you've followed me at all on facebook this past week prior to my turning 40, you would have seen all of my FORTYtude posts and reflections. They are real, folks. They are not some contrived and altar-ego attempt to embrace the aging process or some meek and weak denial game. It's the real thing.

I'm not certain at what point I began to feel this awakening and gentleness toward turning 40, but I do know that it has been a genuine piece of my repertoire for some time. Now, don't get me wrong. These things I know: I am aging. I have far more wrinkles and wears than my younger 30 year-old self. I am graying. I look at pictures of the now me and can feel her life experiences and empathize at how she's faded in some ways because of them. I have physical reminders that I'm 40(I will graciously keep those from you here), oh do I ever and did they EVER step up the week leading up to my birthday and say "HA~ Here we are ya old bag!"

But I also know a few more things I hadn't quite grasped in my younger adult life. Things you can't know or be told or learn about but to experience them through true joy, suffering, tragedy, loss, celebration, bliss, love, laughter and frankly, longevity... See in becoming 40, you take with you something golden and that is WISDOM. You begin to actually appreciate mistakes and misfortune of the past WITHOUT regret because you now have a sense of compassion and gratitude toward them. They have shaped you; molded you into your truer self with curves and shape and beauty and art that you couldn't see when you were 22 or even 32. These mistakes and mishaps have become as I said in one post, the historical landmarks that have guided and brought me to a destination called my life. I am able to say that I am proud of them.

In turning 40, I am embracing a newer sense of self, an authentic one. With authenticity comes a knowing of who you are and of what you are worth. It's a beacon to draw you close to what lights you from the inside, regardless of the spinning and sparkling disco lights of insecurity, jealousy, competition, self-degradation (ETC.) that distract you on the outside. It's a feeling...a gut feeling that you have become and are continuing to evolve into the person you were put on this Earth to be. It's when you can look in the mirror without that shame or lie next to your lover and be...just be...with wholeness and appeal because you don't need the lights off. It's that depth of acceptance.

I have literally been excited to ring in the "new year"! My husband lovingly and supportively threw me a party which was wrapped in everything I had hoped and wanted the night to be about: LIGHT, LAUGHTER and LOVE. I guess you could say that is my Mantra now....

LIGHT: (literally speaking) I've always enjoyed and marveled at the beauty of candles and anything illuminating a soft and warm glow. I think that's why I love the holiday season so much because I get to delve into that side of me and share it with the world! In darkness, that soft reminder that there is glimmer and shine and tenderness around is comforting and peaceful to me. We had paper lanterns aglow, candles and tiki torches lit, christmas lights hanging for ambiance....it was beautiful.

(figuratively speaking) In many goals I'm setting and promises I'm making to myself in FORTYtude, I'm learning to let go and LIGHTen up. Surround thyself with the positive and the peace. the prayer and the profound. Let go of the negative for it doesn't have a place here anymore. Be positive for myself and I'll be able to be positive for others. SEE THE LIGHT in myself. Look in the mirror with grace, dignity and pride with what I see and fight the urge to go dark...dark with thought, dark with attitude, dark with loathing, dark with words and dark with cynicism. It doesn't have a place here anymore.

How are you going to do it, you ask? Honestly, I haven't a clue. I am riding the waves of a better attitude with a lot of risk, fear, unknown and inexperience, because the first person to tell you she's insecure, a people pleaser, a worry wart, a judgemental Judy... is me. I have no misguided or naive misconceptions that it will be easy, but I'm OPEN to it. I WANT this change and therefore feel that the want and te need is half the battle. We shall see.

LAUGHTER: (literally speaking)The old cliche..."laughter is the best medicine" resonates loudly this year. The party certainly had its fill of that sound...the kind that just by sitting back and listening, you know your posse is having a good time. That's what I wanted and that is what was delivered and received....good, quality, healing, fun laughter. For that kind of laughter I believe DOES heal. Whatever pain or circumstance blocking that euphoric thrill is released and let go when you laugh so hard you cry...tears are healing no matter the source. They are God's way of allowing the built up inside us to find its way to a stream of freedom and release...a way for our spirits and souls to touch others and show themselves to the world for validation of what is felt. It is cathartic. It is contagious. It is beautiful...to cry...to laugh...to feel. Entering with FORTYtude, I shall put laughter in its place: the forefront of my life and of my being; where it belongs. Laughter will become my legacy.... for my children, for my HERstory, for myself. Go forth and LAUGH...whether in shrieks, snorts, giggles or in the gutteral...shed thy skin with laughter and live!

(figuratively speaking) In authenticity, you have to have that reality check. She needs to whisper to me that I am not perfect, always poised, or ever-present. She needs to remind the ME in me with gentleness and ease that I am flawed and in those flaws and frailties, I am awesome. So I will LAUGH at myself... a lot. And in balance, laugh at the ridiculousness around me so that instead of making me crazed with bitterness or negativity, I will laugh at its resolve and perhaps think less of it as an evil or burden and let the laughter ease its harsh presence. In the IT I'm speaking of politics, imperfections, problems, pride, people. Yep, people piss me off sometimes.

And then there is LOVE.... I just melt and ease and rellish in that word. Used lightly, it can lose its beauty, but when felt to the depths of your core and profoundly and passionately nurtured and shared, it is the most powerful of all gifts; one to be touched, shared, held, affirmed, received and reciprocated. In moments of my party, I was blanketed in a spiritual high while looking out into the faces of the people I love. With my parents, my sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews, neighbors and friends all present and palpable, I felt LOVED....truly and deeply loved. There is such a comfort in a visual reminder sometimes. We need that. I needed that. The tangible often sustains our beliefs and holds us in moments of weakness when faith is just not enough.

With FORTYtude, I will love some more. There are prizes and treasures in my life who do not receive my love enough. To you (you know who you are), I am sorry. I resolve to work harder at reminding you that I love you and relinguish all of the reasons why I don't have time. You have made time for me. You have remained despite my apathy and I will love you back better. I promise.

With FORTYude, I will love myself some more. It is so very diffiult for women especially, to replace the image of perceptions and public scrutiny and self-loathing and childhood and young adult insecurities with simple and unabiding, unconditional love and acceptance of our beautiful selves. Hug yourself...your dear authentic self sweetly and caress her hair with love as you would your own child. Tell her she is perfect and beautiful and loved in her uniqueness and individuality and I promise I'll do the same. Deal?

With FORTYtude, I will love what I have trouble loving, some more. Instead of inserting harsh words, complaints, poison or just plain and simple adding to the already existing world of negativity and hate around us, I vow with the energy and commitment of fortytude to try to be the love in the room. Replace ridicule with respect... judgement with acceptance,and name-calling and pointed fingers with a quiet tongue and hands that won't point, but rather reach out in kindness. My children deserve THAT woman as their Mother. My husband deserves THAT woman as his Wife. My authentic self deserves THAT woman as her being.


...

FORTYtude requires a conscious effort, presence and state of being and mind. But it doesn't have to be a battle and it shouldn't be difficult. I have felt something shift in me for a while...a calling to be better...to be bolder and to be more brave and with that comes such strength and excitement..a paradigm shift that has actually shifted my core a bit. I think it's a sign of sorts...a renewal and a redefinement of my self to tap into the parts of me that I've always wanted to share and shape but never had the courage or knowing how.

I am excited about the possibilities of becoming a better me! I am excited about paths I may cross and chapters I may read that will tell a story of a better, brighter and bolder woman! Because in the end, the truer I am to who God made me to be...the swifter I am in embracing the change I've come to accept, the gentler I am in letting go and letting God, and the braver I am in lifting the shelters parts of me have hid in for so long, the lighter my life will shine, the louder the laughter will boom and the lovelier this life I live, will be.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Another superhero....


As you may already know, I am a mother to a superhero. My son Jackson, was diagnosed in the fall of 2009 with a rare form of juevnille scoliosis called Progressive Infantile Scoliosis. Upon hearing the news, our world shifted, our hearts cracked and our lives changed. No parent wants to hear that their child is nothing less than pefectly healthy or "normal". It is frightening and altering to not have control in the path of your young child and realizing the journey they'll have before them will be a rough and tumble with risks and fear.

From day one, upon having to watch the MRI techs and nurses wheel away our screaming son after they couldn't get the IV in his arm for his test, Jackson earned his title: Superhero Jackson. It was on that heartwrenching day his cape was symbollically draped upon his shoulders and his flight to conquer began.

Three years later, Jackson, still a superhero, stands straight in a brace reveling in his Superhero glory of success in beating the villain, Scoliosis. He is brave. He is strong. He is mighty.


...
But today, there is another superhero weighing heavy and everpresent in my thoughts and in my heart and in my mind. His name is Max... Mighty Max, that is.



Max is a brave little 3 year old boy in my neighborhood battling a rare form of liver cancer called hepatoblastoma. I do not know Max and have never had the pleasure of meeting him or his parents. My connection to this boy is simply being part of his neighborhood community rallying for his fight. My husband knows his father and has played poker with him, and I have seen and heard his mother speak ever-so-bravely on his behalf, but I am a stranger to this family.

But I am not a stranger to being a Mom of a boy who wears a cape.

***

Today is Max's surgery. The team of doctors will be removing his tumor and all signs of cancer in his littly body. The surgery started two hours ago. And so did the prayers. My mind has been distracted this morning with a constant pull in the direction of the hearts of those stoic parents. I wish today that I wasn't a stranger...for so many reasons.

I want to call them up or text them and find out how they're doing. I want to sit beside them while they painstakingly wait to hear news of how their superhero is doing and hold their hand and pray with them. I want to selfishly be a part of the information scoop so that I can breathe a little easier knowing he's okay. I want to look at Bea and tell her how proud I am of her for wearing the warrior paint of a Mom advocating and standing tall fighting for her baby when all she wants to really do is crawl up in a ball and cry for months...to realease all the bitterness or anger or fear she's held inside.

I have known dark days with Jackson's fight. But in recent months of being a part of the rally for Max...attending the St. Baldrick's event to support his family, in witnessing his friends and community pull together to throw him a HUGE carnival to raise funds to support his family, I have seen the darkest days we had with Jackson fade to gray.

It's humbling and almost unforgiving to have thought that my world was bleak and dark in the face of something not life-threatening my baby boy had to battle. Today I relish and marvel and praise God that it was ONLY Scoliosis. I have never dared to utter that thought on our journey and would have been appalled at anyone else for thinking it...until today.

Because today there is a little superhero, Mightier than all the rare villain diseases put together, I think, fighting for his life on a table in a hospital. There are two parents with unspeakable horror and fear praying so deeply to their core, with unimaginable thoughts and feelings I won't dare try to describe, waiting to hear how their baby is doing.

My thoughts continue to wander off to them....my heart is holding theirs in spirit and in friendship...with love they'll never know from this stranger who lives the next street over. I wonder how they're surviving this. I wonder if they have coffee. I wonder if they can breathe. I wonder if they feel the love...the prayers...the power of the pull their community is sending and lifting up to the heavens for their superhero.

If you are reading this now, please...pause...stop. Take a silent moment and do this right now:

Say a prayer to whomever you pray to that something miraculous and magical happen on that table today.

Send love...love...love..and positive energy and light to Max and to his beautiful parents.

Go find something green (his fight color) and hold it or wear it with pride and power and presence.


Max, You are a superhero. You are Mighty and you are wrapped in love. We are lifting you up, buddy. And I can't wait to meet you soon and marvel at your beauty and your strength and witness you soar above the clouds with YOUR cape billowing behind you as you conquer YOUR villain.











Friday, April 27, 2012

Pain Pain Go Away...

...Come again another day.


April has a way of cleansing the earth and the spirit. With every rain drop, a speck of something tainted in dirt or dreariness from winter's path is washed away. With the nurturing ways Spring's showers have to offer, the spirit of the new season blossoms and shows itself through beautiful colors, scents and song. Life is like that too.


On Wednesday, I would have celebrated a child's 10th birthday. Like many women, I lost a precious miracle and have had to say goodbye to a piece of me I'd never know, but always remember.


I have not given much thought over the last handful of years about my loss. With any pain, it does eventually subside or at least it hides in a corner placing little emphasis on itself defering attention to something greater or worse as it comes. I am grateful for this. It has many a day protected my spirit and mood from danger and has averted what could have been catastrophe.


For the last four years in particular, I was exceptionally focused on trying to live up to being the Mommy of twin boys and a four year-old at the time, that I thought I should be. I had little down time to reflect, retreat or remember. Certainly the date was always in the forefront of my existence come April, but it would come and go with a quiet and still I could gently and ever-so-genuinely appreciate and move on from.


The other day was different. While cleaning out an abandoned closet in the spirit of spring cleaning, I was suddenly and harshly interrupted by a fall of a bag from the top shelf. Frustrated at the additonal mess it had made, I soon went to clean it up. It was then I realized upon seeing some written greeting cards and a hospital release form that I was staring my past in the face. I dropped to me knees.


What darkness to evoke the soul and take her back to shattering times of heartache and sadness!


I am uncertain what urged me to pull out the contents from the bag and continue the plunge into a past pain,but I did. It was at that moment the date of April 25th snapped a synapse in my brain causing me to unleash years of built-up and hushed grief.... tears. TEARS.


Like those annoying bystanders and accident stalkers I begrudge on the highway who have to slow down to be part of the scene of the drama unfolding on their route, I too, had to rush to lock the door and have my drama. My cleansing. Why this particular day, this particular year, this particular moment? I'll never know, or at least I can't quite decipher today, but perhaps in time, I might be able to see it as some sort of sign or whisper from above. (I often do take those subtle hints from God as such signs).


Regardless, I had my April showers. I read through the emails and heart-felt cards sent to me during that sad and dark time. I touched my hospital admittance bracelet between my fingers with a longing for something gone. I dug and crawled and let go to the tunnel of despair I remember trudging through so many years ago as if the loss had happened just this year. I let myself just be. I texted my sister for reassurance and validation that I wasn't alone in needing to recall something so raw. I let myself go...back to feeling sorry for this incredible miracle gone....back to mourning a face I would never exchange soul glances with....back to that Labor day (yes, it's ironic and sick, isn't it.) I had my cleansing.


A few days later, I'm here wondering what great message God has for me. I have many theories; the start to cleansing my spirit as I enter into my forties is the first. Perhaps He is reminding me that like any garden or newly planted seed or the aged and vast fields and meadowlands, it takes the trickle of gentle showers and gushing rainstorms, sunshine, time and nature's blanket of love for growth to occur.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Birthday Gifts and Cake Wishes... part 1


It is time...

I decided long ago that the year of my 40th I was going to embrace the transition. I was going to behold the transformation...accept the decade...wrap my heart and spirit around it and welcome it with open arms. I am bound and determined to keep that promise to myself, but I am not still in my conviction.

I keep teetering that one of the few gifts I would like to give myself is that of a visit to a therapist. I do not feel I am emotionally unwell, nor do I think that I am mentally in need of a diagnosis of any kind. I simply want to allow my spirit to sing, and I think sometimes the noise of life keeps our spirit in a hush. I would like to give her a place where she can release all of the old cobwebs of regret, disappointment, sadness, fear, bitterness and send it off into a big birthday balloon, that inevitably will also cost an arm and a leg. Oh well.

What would I say?

I would speak of the fears that I have as I say goodbye to the thirties. I would share the secrets of the flaws and frailities I don't want anyone to know exist. I would unleash all of the dreams, pipe or not, that are bound up inside, so fragile and meek unable to fly.

Dreams...

They are beautiful things. You allow yourself to make them and some, though unrealistic, keep you young at heart and guided. Some, simply add to your already self-loathing and self-deprication because they haven't been reached...year after year. I have them both.

I have reached many: graduation from college, becoming the teacher I dreamt and aspired to be since childhood and traveling to Ireland. I found the love of my life, had my most fairy-tale-esque and magical wedding, received my masters in education and finally, became a mother...thrice. I have a dream-built-from-scratch- home and a yummy life in that home. All this...before the ripe ol' age of 30. I am blessed indeed and to those doubters, I'd say Yes, dreams do come true!

But what of the old ones? ...the quiet, dusty and hidden-away dreams that tend to get lost in the shuffle? What to do with these when life presents the realities that come with your blessings? Tangled in the chaos and noise of life are these little sweet and saddened voices that find their way to my heart and whisper to my soul... "what about me?" and religiously and habitually year after year, I gaze lovingly at them, silence them, give them a gentle pat on the head and whisper back, "not now, dear...not now."

I must not be alone in this debacle, right? Surely every person has found it inconvenient to make a dream come true? Surely each and every one of us balances the weight of regret taking a path this way rather than that way because of....fear? timing? insecurity? lack of confidence? lack of funds? responsibility? impracticalities? etc. etc. etc.

ETC.

Insert response to therapist: these are only excuses, i am not brave. i have little willpower and i am afraid.

It comes down to that. I am about to check off the 40 and up box and I am still wallowing in the insecurities and self-abrasions of a young girl who is afraid. THAT, is what is holding me back. I could spew a hundred reasons why I should'nt go follow my first dream: there is no time, I have to work, who would watch the kids, how would we swing it financially, when would I have time when his work schedule is so screwy... blah blah blah. But what it comes down to on that dream is plain and as old as dirt: fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of letting myself down. Fear of fear.

Happy Birthday.

So the grown up course of action here would be to say, screw fear and just try it! That's what I would say to my children. "You are larger than your fear. Fear cannot keep you from becoming who you are suppose to be. Fear is smaller and weaker than you. Fear is a door keeping you from entering into your true self..." ETC.

To begin my commitment to myself and my spirit...is to begin to let go of fear. THIS is a very difficult step, one I will willfully choose to try, but won't guarantee I'll be successful at. But I think I owe it to myself to not only recognize the whispers and unyielding yearning present, but the power it would be to leave this legacy of following a dream on to my children.

Birthday Wish #1: follow my dream.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Evolution of a "Twi-Mom"

As a young girl, I never had that rush of a crush that others seem to fondly recall. You know what I'm talking about, right? Let's see...there was David Cassidy, The Hardy Boys, and my sister even got dreamy over Ralph Macchio, from the Karate Kid. I'm sure I delighted in seeing them on the screen, but don't have memories of feeling giddy or titilated at the mere mention of their name. I think I missed out, and actually, there is some little girl sadness in that. Isn't that a part of growing up? Isn't that some sort of rite of passage? No band, no character in a book, nor actor on screen or bubetube ever held me or had me at hello. Until now.

*******

Hello, my name is Chrissy and I'm a Twilightaholic. It is my addiction. It is my rush and my adrenaline high. It is what got me to read four books the weight and size of Mt. Everest in less than two months (and I don't read). It is what got my daughter who is 8, saying things like, "Mom, I've never seen you like this!" or "I didn't know someone could read that much in one day!" It is what got my husband to endearingly refer to my distraction as my "date with the Cullens". (I'm so grateful to him for his understanding. Thanks, honey).

I now have a complete and empathetic understanding of those afore mentioned crushes I couldn't relate to. When I see one...a vampire that is, (I'm laughing outloud at myself right now) I have to catch my breath. My heart goes a flutter and honest to God, I feel giddy. This...addiction, is comparable to nothing else. I have nothing with which to say, 'it's like this..' or even with which to underscore it. And before I completely gross you out further, let me make it clear that this pull is not to one particular vampire. I am not giddy about Edward (Robert Pattinson to those virgin Twi-lighters who from now on I will fondly call Twi-virgins) or Jacob (Taylor Lautner)necessarily, or even with the Cullen clan as a whole unit, though it is impalpable the obsession I have with them. My attraction that enduces the Cullen Coma is to the undeniable love story of it all. What can I say? I am a sucker for the romantic...for "chick flicks", and no one can argue that the Twilight Saga altogether encompasses the modern day Romeo and Juliet and is, without a doubt, the epitome and end- all-be-all of chick flicks.

The evolution of the Twi-Mom in me is the fault of my besties~ you know who you are. At 39 years of age, I was introduced to the phenomenon...to this fantasy world of vampires, with their plea and urging to read the books so that I may be caught up before seeing Breaking Dawn wih them on an upcoming Moms retreat in Indiana. I literally laughed in their face. "Do you not know me? I do not read books..." I had hoped I could get the Twilight for Dummies, but no such luck.

Instead, my beloved husband found Eclipse (book #3, Twi-virgins) on direct tv about a week before so that I could pseudo be acquainted with this now four-year epidemic. Watching it, I had mere recollections...bits and pieces of New Moon(#2) that I had not remembered watching a few years back. But that was all I could find in my subconscious; fragments....slight variations in my mind of who Bella and Edward were.

I am not ashamed to say it, I was drawn in. It captivated me. With no prior history or connection to these beautiful characters (insert your gag here) the pull had begun. The dust drizzled on me with some spell left in its wake. They had me at hello. Reeling in the entanglement the emotions and facets of this powerful love story have, I was hooked. No one was more surprised by its magnetism than me.

And so it began... just days later, I heard on the radio Christina Perri's "Thousand Years", and it wasn't until recently that I found out it had been written as an omage to Edward and Bella with her own fascination in their love story guiding her years ago. I literally quaked in the goose bumps that flowed through me as if I myself had been captivated and conquered by Edward's intense love. And yes, I cried. Hearing the lyrics and thinking of my own soulmate and Bella's, validated my own obsession and my need for more. It was then my excitement for the movie catapulted in mere seconds.

November 19, 2011. Indiana. Mom's retreat. Breaking Dawn. Spellbound. Ecstatic. Captivated. Electrified. Solidified. The turning point on my road toward Twi-momhood. Before returning home from the retreat, bestie #2 handed me the first three books. I remember thinking it would take me about a year to read these just in time for Part 2. Two days later, in awe of the attraction and completion, I finished. "Twilight"...where it all began, and by "IT" I of course mean the saga and its courtship with me, imprinted.

Chaos ensued and before long, I had completed the rest of the loaners, enthrawled my 8 year old with the vampire world (don't worry, I have not let her watch or read them ), sought out every possible youtube trailer of all four movies and added "Breaking Dawn" to my Christmas wish list. To my delight, my daughter delivered and I am now the proud owner of the final book and a Twilight 2012 calendar to boot. Who could ask for more?

As if the other three books weren't addicting and powerfully enticing enough, I literally could not put down Breaking Dawn. The naysayers of books-gone-Hollywood are spot on and I couldn'tve imagined being more delighted in the juiciness of literature than while sinking my teeth into this book! For two days after Christmas, Mommy was MIA. Tucked away in blankets, hiding in the solitude of the bathroom, and hip-glued to this massive text, I was nowhere if I wasn't with my Cullens. Again, I here insert gratitude to my family for their patience and tolerance of my addictive behavior and absence.

If you're still reading this and not disgusted, here it is...my humble explanation and theory behind this addiction I and so many others, share in crazed corners of the world.

I am a girl. I am a girl who believes in love and who looooves fairytales mixed beautifully with a soiree of sadism in the dark undertones of a good "good vs. evil" plot. I am a hopeless romantic with little girl dreams that still pop up now and again about a boy swooping in and saving me. Every feminist on the Earth hates me right now, but it's true. I've wanted nothing more than to have that boy look at me the way Edward looks at Bella. And listen, I have that man. I married him. No, he's not a vampire, but he looks through me into my soul the way our beloved vamp guy sees Bella. Maybe I can relate. Okay, not to her absolute sacrifice to give up her soul to become like him and be with him forever, but I can understand it. If you have the feeling inside like I do, and you have that person you want to spend the rest of your life with, isn't there some small piece of you that wishes you too, could have eternity with him at no expense?

There is power in what Edward and Bella share. There is power in what Bella and Jacob share. Mix that with the drama of villains, lust, loyalty, fantasy, special effects and Hollywood and you've created something that won't go away. At least not for the next 10 months. And let me tell you, for that I am thankful.

And so I, like millions of Twijunkies, sit and wait with anxious anticipation and delirium for our beloved characters to resume their position on the big screen and share with us the unfolding of Hollywood's version of the conclusion to Breaking Dawn. I will effortlessly dream about what it might entail, maticulously research its trailer debut, and laugh at myself for this incredulous and ridiculous behavior. In the meantime, I will admit this: I miss my Cullens and I have nothing else left than to delve deeper into my addiction by finding endless Twilight Saga shit on youtube and tucking myself away with the movies and books just to be close to them once again.

Having written that last line, I am certain of two things. I am a Twi-Mom and I need a Twilightvention. Fast.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Just the Beginning

I am a writer. I have not published a book, nor gained any monetary reward for anything I've written, but it is who I am. For as long as I can remember, I have written. What I wouldn't give to get back inside the head of that young pre-pubescent girl who wrote rhyming poems back in the fourth and fifth grade. That's where it all started, I suppose. That deep yearning, longing, desire and need to express myself through words. Maybe some day I'll have the courage to make that immature and yet sweet collection public. We'll see.

For now, I've come to realize that it is who I am. I am many other things of course; wife, mommy, daughter, sister, teacher, friend... but in all of those other roles I live, I am able to act on them, live them and celebrate them daily, except for the writer. Until today.

So as I enter into two extravagent new histories; a new year and a new decade(soon), I decided it was time to take advantage of technology, my increasing experience with the blogging phenomenon and venture with open mind, spirit, courage and attitude into my journey.

It is time to open my window to clear out what's been in my mind for well over 3 decades...unleash my spirit into the wind to see where she'll go...let the magic of a breath of fresh air fill my lungs so that I may sing something that needs to be sung or just take a deep, long, overdue breath when it's nonsense, necessary or perhaps even urgent.

You are welcome to see this through with me or just peek in every now and again. I don't promise you the Twilight Saga or another J.K. Rowling and certainly not an Emily Bronte or Dickinson. I just promise you truth in spirit, heart and emotion, and well...me.