Monday, February 6, 2017

My Story, My blog-Smiling's my Favorite

I moved to San Antonio when I was in 4th grade. Many of these friendships I still have today and thankfully we never moved too far so I was able to grow up with many of them and collect more great friendships over the years. Thanks to social media I've been able to cheer them on in all their endeavors over the years. I've seen some of them be married, some divorced and so many babies born. One starting and thriving in her own business as a lady boss, one working for NASA and one opened a school in Africa for special needs children. Some chasing HUGE dreams, traveling the world, a professional fighter and an exotic dancer. So many serving our country, pastoring churches, becoming incredible musicians, the list goes on and on. I've read a lot about creating a great life story and what is your purpose in life and what kind of effect are you leaving in the world, but I think there's more than that. As incredible as all of these things are my friends have accomplished and dreams they're chasing, there is still so much more to each of them and still so much division between people. We all have stories of heartache and triumph, family ache, religion ache, physical and emotional ache. I feel like if we were all more honest about these aches, we will learn to be more compassionate with each other, and realize were all a lot more alike than we think.

Its no secret that I'm in the online dating world. It's terrible and hilarious and exhausting-but it is what it is. I have to have to give my story over and over, a quick synopsis- grew up in San Antonio, was married about fiveish years, divorced now 2. I have two babes and they're with me majority of the time. I have a great job, I'm very close with my friends and my family. I like to run, read and write although I don't give myself enough time for any of them. I like getting out when I can but home life is my jam." I basically say different versions of this same paragraph over and over. Those are the basics, but THERES SO MUCH MORE. We all have so much to our stories, the question is how much to we tell, when, and what parts do we keep to ourselves and which parts have we never told a soul? This surface level stuff doesn't make me vulnerable, sharing these details aren't scary. The people I connect with better and tend to end up talking with longer, eventually meeting are the ones that I get vulnerable with.  The ones that ask about my kids and their personalities or they ask about my marriage, my family, my dreams and goals. That's when a connection starts to occur, when I allow them into my life, I give them a peak at some of the more tender parts of my heart rather than just 'how's the week going?"...or other ridiculous and inappropriate things they've said...that's a whole other post that's in the works.

There is so much power in telling your story. It breaks walls between people, it breaks walls within ourselves. Freedom occurs as we share our hearts cries. Each word we speak it's another blow to the concrete wall we've barricaded behind until eventually there's nothing but dust in the air and as it settles we get to experience so much more, all the things that were on the other side of the wall that we weren't able to see with it in tact-usually its love.

The most common response in my previous writing is how vulnerable I am, how much I expose myself, and I've received an insane amount of feedback that it's encouraging to others that I bare my nakedness so freely. I just don't feel like I have an option. When I write it's to tell my story, its in attempt to not allow my past to control me, to not keep my life a secret. I want more than anything to be in relationship with people, but I can't do that if I keep myself behind walls. I have to accept my past in order to step into the future. Donald Miller wrote "sometimes our identities get distorted because people lie about us and scare us, and sometimes our identities get distorted because of things we've actually done. The result is the same, though. Isolation." And I refuse to stay in isolation. Yes, I'm an introvert, but total solitude and lack of relationships is something total different. I believe we're created to be in relationship with each other which comes with the risk of being turned away, judged, labled and discarded. It also comes with a lot of love, relief to some that they aren't alone, and deep relationships with real people who get it or are challenged with a new way of thinking if they haven't walked in these worn down shoes that I have.

Brenè Brown is a genius when it comes to vulnerability and she said "I believe that vulnerability-the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome-is the only path to more love, belonging, and joy....the downside? You're going to stumble, fall and get your ass kicked."

When I was first coming back to life, and really trying to figure out who I was and take control of things of my past I wrote "It's Time."  Sharing that was a wrecking ball to the Trump sized walls I'd built around my heart, sure to keep everyone out at a safe distance, ensuring no one knew shameful details and damage that had been done over the years prior. After I clicked 'publish' I felt completely naked and terrified as those walls were destroyed (queue Miley cirus.) The result? The boy I'd gone on a few dates with said he didn't feel we could see each other anymore. This was when I knew I was on the right track. He was kind and hilarious and probably the best first date I've ever been on to this day, but he couldn't see past my past and removed himself from any future. I'd love to say I wasn't phased and was onto the next but it did come with the feelings of being too damaged, shamed, and 'will anyone want to be with me?"

But then I realized the fact that this is me. I cant be anything less, I cannot change my past, and I cannot pretend that these things didn't happen. There's that scene from The Notebook when Allie shows up and Noah's house with her suitcases(baggage), lookin' a hot mess from all the tears and heartache and he sees her from the window and she just shrugs her shoulders, like "welp, here I am. I know I've made bad, hard choices, but here I am, choosing love."

This is a reintroduction to my blog. I'm not going to remove any of my previous posts because all of it, especially my writing the last 2 years, is part of my story(baggage) that's brought me to this point.

So this is my blog, Smiling is My Favorite. I promise to be nothing but honest and open. I promise to never be malicious, but I promise to be true and own my story. I can guarantee I'll be wrong sometimes and I promise to change my mind sometimes. I promise to be vulnerable, and I will support anyone who wants to take baby steps into owning their story-whatever that needs to look like to them. I promise not to judge. I promise to listen when needed and give feedback when asked. Lets start a bigger, real, honest, conversation in telling our stories. I'll start.

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