Just Go Left

Tell Your Story: Shame and All

Choosing Joy, On My HeartAshtenComment
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I like to think of myself as a storyteller. 

I'm a speaker, a talker, a person who processes her thoughts by rambling on and on until you're begging for a nap (or a word in edgewise). My best friend Ashley always says she can tell something is wrong when I've gone silent. When I can't find the words to express my feelings out loud, I write. Writing, for me, has always been therapy; my way to make sense of the thoughts in my head that I'm not ready to say out loud just yet. 

When I started this blog I had a mission: choosing joy over everything, creating a world of happiness around me that could not be penetrated by the chaos, mess or the troubles of life. I thought I had beaten the stumbles, the falls and the tragedies that plagued me in 2014;. I thought I could teach others to do the same. I truly believed that by only writing about happiness and joy, I would have everyone fooled into thinking I was one of those people who have sunshine coming out of their ass and lives everyday like they just ate a cupcake with sprinkles. 

I forgot I was a storyteller who thrived in vulnerability and courage. 

(Did I sound like Brene Brown there? 'Cuz that's what I was going for.)

I haven't believed in "Just Go Left" as of late. I've lamented about it to anyone who will listen. I've tried diagnose my creative rut with "lack of inspiration", "maybe my writing just sucks" and "maybe blogging isn't my thing anymore". I've been secretly competing with my blogging friends, feeling left out when my traffic goes down and my comments don't live up to my expectations.

The truth is:  I was so pigeon-holed into this whole "joy" thing I forgot that, for me, joy comes from vulnerability, bravery and courage. And that the best part of that joy is BECAUSE it comes DESPITE the mess, chaos and tragedies of life. I forgot that there's nothing I love more than finding the lesson when I stumble and fall, and celebrating even when things get hard. I forgot why I started blogging in the first place: I have a story and I'm writing it down, for me. Having you read it is something extra I never expected.

I miss the mess, and I'm ready to jump back in the ring with you. 

This chapter of my life is different and ever-changing. In 2014, my identity was wrapped up in being Warner's caretaker: I was defined by his test results and his medication regime. My life revolved around his doctor's appointments and when he died I realized a part of me died with him. Now, I'm working on figuring out what happens next. There's a lot of transition in my life right now, and there's a lot I'm not ready to share, but know this: the winds of change are blowing in Atlanta and you'll be seeing a lot more of them around here as this blog FINALLY comes back to where it should have been all along: filled with vulnerability, courage and a whole lot of mess. 

I'm ready to dare greatly.