thank you :)

leibster-blog-award

I am hiding.

That was the opening line of one of the most recent blog posts I started. I was in a whimsical, carefree mood but I knew he truth of those three words went far beyond what I meant at the time.

The truth is, I have been hiding. Sure, there is the valid business of being the mom of three boys. Of having my husband gone more this last semester. Of having my commitments stack on top of one another in a way I hadn’t anticipated.

But then there is the more real reason.

I’ve been avoiding a truth. I have a block. A writing block.

I know what it is. My voice is a signature issue in my life. There are emotions involved. Old patterns. A voice other than my own that likes to sneak into my head and make me question all of who I think I am. And shake me.

But with the new year and a new laptop I have received just enough encouragement to help me make a go of it anyway. Push through. Keep trying.

And I’m starting by tying up loose ends from last year. I went through Harley (old faithful laptop) and transferred all of my unfinished blog posts to Charlie (new hopeful laptop….and she’s pink). And top of the list is to address the thank you I was avoiding at the end of last year.

I don’t know why I find it so hard to receive a compliment. Maybe it’s because I am usually the compliment giver. So much so that in high school and college I coached most of my friends on how to graciously receive a compliment.

I suppose I got tired of that interesting moment when someone receives a compliment and doesn’t know how to respond. The awkward silence. The down-play. The self-deprecating come back.

So when I sense the other person is flattered, grateful, and awkwardly at a loss of what to say or do in return, I come back with my usual in an attempt to put the other person back at ease.

It’s okay…just smile and say thank you.”

Apparently I should have been listening to myself.

But today, in honor of facing that which I have been avoiding, I say thank you to hiddinsight.

The writer of this blog nominated me for a Leibster award. I have not entirely figured out these blogging awards, but they seem to be given by other bloggers to honor one another and connect us to each other.

I cannot tell you hiddinsight‘s name. All I know is that she is an incredibly honest soul who writes about the process of her marriage recovering from an affair she had. She is brave and beautiful. I highly encourage you to check out her blog. I am honored to be honored by her.

Thank you, hiddinsight. 🙂

Tune in again tomorrow to read my answers to hiddinsight’s 11 questions to her award nominees.

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beauty in the attempt

I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to write what I want to write. I am tired and empty and spent from all of the relational and emotional work I have been doing and I want so badly to pour out what is inside of me onto this screen, but it’s not working today.

I think I have something important to say. A reminder that we all struggle, a declaration to the world, but more importantly to me, that none of us is as alone as we think.

But the words are not coming out right. My passion and vision and desperation are all tripping over each other and I think, “I can’t do it.”  “Why am I trying?” “What difference can one person make?”

But then I collide head first into my conviction.

And my conviction tells me if I want the world to be a more authentic place, then I need to be authentic. If I want the world to be an understanding place, then I need to offer myself understanding. If I want the world to be safe – to value process over performance or perfection – then I must first become safe for myself and give myself freedom to be in process and not perform for others (or myself), requiring perfection at every turn.

“So try,” I tell myself.

Because I am a writer. Writing has become more than a hobby or something I do on the side. Writing is a part of my life. Writing does not define who I am but I cannot be me without it. No matter if anyone reads it or not, I am a writer.  (http://youareawriter.com)

And the kind of writing I offer the world is honest and it comes out of the very things I am struggling with right now. I could write all about how I think everyone else should be better human beings, how the world needs to change and be a better place than it is.

But I don’t.

I write about my own honest and arduous transformational journey in letting love in. Which I believe changes a person from the inside out. However, I also believe allowing myself to receive love that I don’t think I deserve or have somehow earned is much, MUCH harder than it sounds.

So today’s struggle is letting myself be a writer even when I am not perfect at writing. When the words do not flow the way I want them to. When I walk away with still so much trapped inside of me that I wanted to get out.

But I tried. And sometimes that’s all I’ve got.

THANK YOU!!!

New Orleans: Thank you message in the grotto o...

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Who do I want to throw a party for? YOU, of course! (And maybe a little bit me, too.) I am going to break itsakoolife tradition of soul searching and asking deep questions I can’t answer and give a little “holla!” out to all of you wonderful readers.

First of all, I am so humbly and profoundly grateful for all of you who have supported this blog endeavor by actually reading my writing. For some bizarre reason, I am compelled to write down pieces of myself and share them with the world. Which really works best when other people are interested in reading what I have to say.

So thank you, thank you, thank you. I could not do this without you.

WordPress (my blog-supplier) recently added a feature that allows bloggers to see how many hits we get in which countries. They show you a map with sections colored in and everything. Super cool.

I was amazed and ecstatic to discover that in the last thirty days my blog has been looked at in 37 different countries around the world! We are global, people!!!

Seriously, I am over the moon. And I know that all comes from you, reading and sharing my writing. So I wanted to take a moment and say thank you for helping me do what I love to do.

In honor of this fun global-ness, (and because it was time) I re-vampted the who is itsakoolife? page. You might want to take a gander. I even put up some new photos.

I would also like to say a huge shout out to my sister, Karen Koch. She has been a faithful supporter and believer in me and I am so grateful. Everyone should be so lucky to have a sister like her. I am pretty sure I get more hits when she shares my posts on her facebook page than when I share them on mine!

And in the spirit of celebrating, I would like to acknowledge two fun friends I have made in this crazy blogging-cyber world. Francesca Zelnick and Kate McClafferty – I adore your writing and am continually inspired by you.

And while I am at it, I would like to send a huge hug of gratitude to Jeff Goins who is an established writer who helps other writers along the way with his great blog, goinswriter.com. He even sometimes allows others to post links on his site (which I did and I am pretty sure that is where we got ½ the 37 country’s hits from).

So thank you. Each and every one of you.

my treasure hunt

Her words saved me. I woke up after that naked day still in a fog from life. Since I spent the day before naked, today I was going to dig around inside of me to see if I could muster an ounce or two of umph.

But on the way home from the gym I started thinking about some sad realities I am facing. Realities that have nothing to do with writing but are all to do with more important parts of life. Relationships and people. Broken people I cannot help fix. Finding some umph was looking pretty dismal.

But then I began checking the blogs I follow. I read the words of my new favorite writer and I practically cried right then and there in front of my laptop. There is something incredibly moving when receiving words made just for you in that moment, offering you hope when you were beginning to wonder if such a thing existed anymore.

Keep searching. There is treasure to be found in this life. Beauty is all around and gives us life. It is worth the effort to keep your eyes open and look for it. Even when the energy required for doing so seems impossible.

So I took the child with the soul of an artist with me and we headed to a park we visited a few weeks ago with friends. The place is full of textures and sculptures and flowers and space and I have wanted to get back there with a camera ever since.

The fresh air soothed my raw soul. Being with only one child soothed my raw nerves. My pictures did not do justice to what I saw with my eyes, but the fact that I was there and attempting was a miracle.

I was not completely healed in that one outing, but I got just enough to carry me through to the next moment. And that is when I realized the words of Francesca Zelnick had saved me.