At a recent lunch for ladies lawyers, we heard a group of “power” speakers. These women are not lawyers, but travel and put on performances meant to inspire and give women power. The stories we heard were their life stories condensed into five minutes and told to give maximum effect to their point. This experience stood out for a number of reasons.
1. I previously elaborated here, where I saw the different experience I was having vs. what may go on in other firms with women.
2. One women told of trying to breathe through every moment of life. She emphasized not missing moments or living for the future of “when I's…..” I realized that I have not done that in a long time. Sure I look forward to events, especially when I have planned things, like vacations. But that is healthy and positive. Hers was meant for a grander scale. I don’t do it like that, any more. With this outlet and my push to write everyday, I am forced to take inventory on a regular basis. I can assess and discern. I am acutely aware (maybe even too much so) of what is going on and where I am mentally. Check one for me.
3. But being there made me question why I have not turned my URL over to my actual friends and family. I let strangers read these thoughts. That is easy, who cares what they think? Chances are I am not going to offend them and they will not offend me. A harsh comment from a stranger can be blown off because they don’t truly know me. My fear paralyzes me. One speaker said that was our biggest impediment to enjoying life and fulfilling our goals, fear. She urged us to let it go. I also silently noted that these people had no problem displaying their lives and performing in front of people. They were not scared at all. They had no fear of being laughed at or getting a bad review. They were living their dreams and appeared extremely happy. They took the risk. The reality of that hit me, I need to follow both their spoken words and the example they set. Trade my fears for passions and follow my dreams. To me, that could be sharing my thoughts and writing with my friends and family. They love me and support me and will stand by me good or bad. I shouldn’t let fear of criticism stand in the way of that. Especially when a positive comment can make my day. I am shutting myself off from even allowing the positive and from the growth you get from allowing others to share in your work. Fear has prevented all that.
I finished writing this and then two days later attended a speaking event with Rachael Leeds. She writes, lectures, and aids women into creating what she calls “an ethical will”. This will is meant to be stories and blessing you write to pass onto your loved ones, family members, and children. So they know how you feel about them, they know your story and history, and they have some of your lessons to pass onto future generations. It was all very special and touching. Her message was clear and her stories were compelling. I cried as she read some examples. A grandmother’s tale to her granddaughter about how she cares for her now and in twenty years the roles will be reversed. A letter to a two year daughter on what she wants her to see in her life. Then I thought about #2 above and what I had been doing. It was exactly that. I wanted this not just as therapy for me, but a document of my life. For me to reflect on and my loved ones and future children to cherish. They can see the start of my relationship with Magoo and struggles I had as a young professional. I can see them too, and hopefully smile at how far I have come. God, do I hope I can smile then. The speaker made me keenly aware of what I already knew, the reasons I have been doing this. But this woman succinctly nailed them on the head and at the same time made me proud. I had been doing what she preached and what already sounded like an excellent idea. More so, writer or not, female or not, we should all do this. For our own sake and our families sake. It is truly valuable. Legacies, tradition and stories are valuable and they are powerful. They give you the power to understand your own voice. Get at the heart of it and hear yourself. They get you to look to where you came from, the whole family history and to rememberyour own mothers’ lessons. Those that affect and effect you. Those you want to pass on. Reflecting on your current mental and physical status. A quick status check to make sure you are okay. Sharing your dreams and aspirations, again a status check to insure they are what you are actually working for and what you still want today. Not what you wanted a dozen years ago or what your parents wanted for you. So that others know what a dreamer and a go getter you were. It is all powerful, for all involved.
eb, thanks so much for your comment. I stopped by both the blogs you suggested and really enjoyed them.
First of all, I have to say that this:
"My mother always said I had a story to tell. My father always said when something is bothering you, write it down. My story is bothering me. I need to write it down."
Cracked me right up! Just fantastick. And this post was very moving. I'm looking forward to reading your archives and finding out more about you!