I write to peel back the layers of myself. Faith filled Catholic, mother of four, aging athlete, music lover, yoga enthusiast, believer in miracles, optimism and that swimming through life both physically and metaphorically can provide a lot of clarity... all of these are true about me. But the more I write, I discover deeper meaning and universal truth that can impact so much growth in all of us, and want to share them. I believe that our connection is found in our imperfect and even broken stories if we have the courage to tell them. Some of mine include surviving divorce, an autism diagnosis for my son and a near death experience for that same precious child. Through all of this, I have challenged my resilience and found that life can be a beautiful place, even in the face of adversity. Some of my greatest lessons and highest highs have happened because I have stared down the things I was most afraid of and I’m still here to tell the story. Life is a gift and a journey and I don’t want to take one second of that for granted.
The Optimists Journal
Writing brings so much clarity of thought to life circumstances that seem so overwhelming before putting them down on (virtual) paper. I started The Optimists Journal after moving from the Central Valley of California, to Hermosa Beach, CA. There were so many things that I loved about it, but at the same time, leaving friends and family behind after growing up in Fresno and living there for 17 years after college left me feeling a little disconnected in my new beach community. I was seeking connection with like minds, to know that there were people out there like me, who were interested in deeper meaning, I’m no fan of small talk. I wanted to figure out what makes each of us tick and help connect all of this human potential to make a better world. But there was something so foreign to me about sharing my writing and perspective with the world that I have struggled with it from inception. I am not an attention seeker, and honestly, one of my worst fears is being seen as boastful, better than, or like I have it all figured out…because I don’t, not by a long shot. What I have discovered and come to deeply believe in, is that life’s journey is only enhanced by being transparent, real and vulnerable. If I can have the courage to approach life this way, the freedom and beauty that is unleashed makes conquering my fear worth every bead of sweat and flutter in my stomach. This fear is something that I have become so intimately aware of, and I realize now that it has made me spend the greater part of my life purposely trying to stay small and unnoticeable, surrounding myself with people with bigger, louder personalities than me and mastering the art of exiting a room as quickly as possible. I pushed other people around me forward, helping them on each of their journeys from behind the scenes and I thought I was perfectly happy about it. In living this way for 40 years, I don’t regret my path because it has taught me some very valuable lessons…but there is a next chapter. From my past, I learned how to listen without responding or judging, I learned to watch for patterns that expose the universal truths in the circumstances that we encounter and that connect us as human beings, and I learned that when you expose a struggle to the world, you find connection not condemnation.
In learning to define my next chapter, I know that sharing my perspective is both a purpose and a passion and my hope in doing that I will make the world a more authentic and healed place.
So I hope you will come with me, and share your stories too. There is so much we can learn from each other when we have the courage to tell our real truths. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my current favorite country songs Wanna be that Song by Brett Eldredge…”when you’re standing in the moment, every life has a soundtrack.” I’m practicing being present and listening to mine and I like how it’s sounding.