Finding Truth in Old Journals

I’ve been spending the past few months cleaning out my old room. I like to think I keep things simple an organized, but the truth is, I’m a pack rat who keeps just about everything.

Just before moving last year, I purged all my magazines. I had several that were more than 20 years old, and hundreds that I had from 5 to 15 years.

Anyway, magazines shouldn’t be a problem because I no longer buy them. The journals, on the other hand, are another story. I have at least 50, and many are either unused or half full. I recently found one from 2012 with ‘Brilliant Ideas’ on the cover. (I bought it specifically for that label)

I looked through it, and found something I wrote to myself, 4 years ago, about faith. After going through a difficult winter semester that included illness, anxiety, and stress, my faith was waning.
It’s one thing to know that God is at work in my life. It’s another to believe He is. I allowed my external circumstances to determine my spiritual condition, and I didn’t know what to do to change it.

I didn’t know that part of answer was in the journal. My past self, reaching out to my current self and telling her to stay the course.
The entry reads:

Last week, I decided that I am definitely not the type of person who wants just enough faith for the journey. I also want enough strength to take down anything that dares to get between me and my future. I don’t want to coast through a mediocre life. I want to live well. I want to fight passionately for the principles in which I believe. I want to fail miserably, and still keep trying. I want to be honest, vulnerable, and most of all, authentic.
I want to experience everything life has to offer me–even the difficulty –because going through trials is what teaches me the most.
I wasn’t born to be just average. I was born to be great. From today forward, I will work to achieve greatness in everything I do. I cannot be defeated, and I will not quit.


I don’t remember what was going on in my life when I wrote this, but I’m thankful I did because it was the kick in the butt I needed to move forward. There will be times in our lives when we feel uncertain, or alone, no matter how many people are there to offer us support.
I had to remind myself that these feelings aren’t new, and they will pass.

All it took was prayer and an old journal.

Regards,

Erin

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What To Do When The Sign You’ve Been Praying For is a Punch in the Face

I am not one of those “spooky” people. I am more apt to base my feelings and opinions on the reality of a situation, rather than a “sign”. That said, in the month since I resigned from my job, I have doubts, and the overwhelming feeling that I made the wrong decision.

I did what I normally do; pretend that everything is fine. Finally, at my wit’s end, I prayed for a sign–any sign–that my choice was the right one. It was all well at first. It seemed as though everything was going my way.

Then the bottom dropped out, and things started to go wrong. Part of the problem was my complacency. I am not one to panic, so I didn’t move with any urgency until the eleventh hour. After that, all signs pointed in one glaring direction: I was wrong.

In asking for a sign, I thought that I would see something that was overwhelmingly positive. I asked for a sign to encourage me to move forward. Instead, every sign is telling me to give up. I was looking for something spectacular. I found something simple instead.

When I had my first setback, I felt like giving up. Then it occurred to me; I want this to work,  but not for my sake. I want it to work because people who feel misunderstood need someone to talk and listen to them. Someone like me.

I remembered that this is not a choice; it is a calling. If I decide to ignore it, I would not be restless until I changed my mind. I was looking for encouragement, but what I needed to do was get the passion back.

One of my favourite books in the Bible is the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a prophet, who was both disrespected because of his youth, and despised because of his role as an oracle of the God. In chapter 20, after speaking another corrective message to the people of Israel, he writes, “Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.” (Emphasis mine)

If I pay attention to how things look right now, I won’t move forward. But, in my experience, I always face the worst opposition when I am doing the right thing. (When I’m not, I’m pretty much ignored.) I don’t like anxiety, but in my case it helped me get perspective. If going to university was not the best decision, I wouldn’t care so much about the outcome.

My big “sign” was not a loud chorus, singing ‘Hallelujah’. It was not a talking fiery bush, or the stunning, come-from-behind victory.

It was a still, small voice, that said, “Keep moving ahead.”

Many times, when all signs point to, “no”, it means no, but sometimes all of the negatives are a “gut-check” to see how devoted one is to the completion of a task. Part of growing up is discerning which is which.

Ignoring obstacles does not end them. In order to solve them, I had to acknowledge them, and then do everything in my power to get over them.

It’s time for me to pick up my mantle and run with it.

Peace,

Erie

Off The Cuff Friday: Introverts Hate Happiness (and other stuff)

This is what is on my mind today:

Do introverts hate happiness?

I have been reading Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe, for over a month now because I keep re-reading the passages that are relevant to me. (Most of them!) In one of the chapters, Helgoe writes that basically, introverted people are not moved by positive emotions.  Introverts find that extreme emotions such as happiness and anger are distracting, and prefer to neutrality. So we don’t hate happiness. We just like more controlled expressions of it.

Oh, Paula Deen.

This story will not go away. First, Deen came under fire for statements she made a deposition she made in a lawsuit against her and her brother. She admits to using the N-word, and a plan to hire only black male waiters for an event, with the purpose of them pretending to be slaves. (Or something to that effect.) First of all, I don’t know why everyone is surprised. The generation she grew up in wasn’t exactly the most minority friendly. Second, I don’t believe she is any more prejudiced than any of us. We all have our issues with people from different backgrounds. (I straight up flinched when I saw a woman wearing a full burqa once.) I don’t excuse her behaviour at all, but at the same time, it’s not a shock. She apologized. She’s lost her good name, her endorsements, and her TV show. Let’s move on.

NSA. Welp.

So, the U.S. government has been spying on its citizens. Knock me over with a feather. I’m pretty sure this has been happening for decades, if not centuries. I have heard people complain on and on about the government’s violation of their privacy. All while they check in their PHYSICAL LOCATIONS on Foursquare; They post their names, birthdays, work and educational backgrounds on Facebook; State opinions on Twitter; Keep all of their photos and documents in Dropbox, and take vacation photos using Instagram.

Yeah. It’s a shame when one has no privacy.

(Also, I believe that this was part of a plot in season 2 of Scandal. Only the surveillance program had a classy name, Thorngate. The episode is called “Hunting Season” If you’re interested.)

Keep your eyes on the prize.

I don’t get discouraged easily, but I do have perfectionist tendencies that rear their ugly heads every so often. If I cannot do a job well, I’d rather abandon it outright than finish it poorly. However, over the years, I have learned to override that voice in my head that says “give up”. I have never gained anything of value by quitting. Every year I experience what I refer to as a “gut-check”. If a bad situation that is beyond my control happens and I have to reevaluate my priorities: if I stubbornly refuse to give up while I maintain my composure, I take it as a sign that what I am working toward is important to me, and I persevere. If I can easily give it up without giving it a second thought, it is something that I need to change.

Get over yourself. Goodbye.

I am the first to admit that I’m a princess. I’m the youngest in my family. I’m the only girl, and I am tenacious when I want something to happen. I’m fortunate in the sense that, while I wanted to be spoiled with lots of toys and clothes as a kid, my parents spoiled me with love and lots of attention instead. As one can imagine, this did not prepare me well for the real world. (However, it did give me a nice lovey-dovey cushion to fall back on. My parents are awesome.) I had to learn that the bank, my boss, and the general public did not care that I was mommy and daddy’s special princess, and I do not receive special treatment.

If I wanted anything of substance, I had to work hard to get it–without tearing anyone else down. I learned to mind my own business. I learned to be respectful, whether the person was worthy of my respect or not. Most of all, I learned that my life is not just about me. In order to be a contributing member of society, I had to endure a painful procedure to remove my giant bobble-head from my behind.

In doing that, I found out that my life is not just about me, my family, and my interests. There is a whole world of people out there who are living their own lives with their own family, friends, and interests. I learned that my focus had to shift from being grabby and helping myself, to using what I have been blessed with to help other people. There’s a direct correlation between how unhappy a person is with how much of their life is spent focusing on his or her own needs and wants, to the exclusion of others. The bottom line: People who are content are helpful because they want others to feel the same way that they do. Selfish people are rarely content.

When you get over the need to be praised, coddled, and validated, you are on the first step toward growth. (It will take the rest of your life, just so you know.)

Peace,

Erie

Sharing Sunday: A Letter Of Encouragement

We have all been there. Everything that could be going wrong in your life has decided to go wrong all at once. You ask your friends for help, but all they can offer you are tired cliches, (sidenote: if you hear, “Things will get better” from one more person, you will possibly punch that person in the face) When (if?) you sit down to pray, all you can offer are complaints and questions like, “Why me, Lord?”
(The answer to that question: “why not you?”)
Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to you, but all the people around you seem to do is give you more advice.

(None of which you asked for)

You have reached the end of your rope, and you don’t know what to do.

Here’s the thing: you have felt this way before. Each time, you thought you would not be able to get through it, and yet you did. Each time, you thought, “this will be the end of me”, but it wasn’t.

You will not be defeated because you have the will to survive, in spite of everything that has happened. No matter what you are battling, as long as you have something to fight for, (even if it is just to prove to yourself that you can fight) you have hope to continue. No matter how alone you feel, there are people who care enough about you to give you unsolicited advice, listen to you complain, and allow you to cry on their shoulders.

There are also people who have gone through this before. They know how you’re feeling, and they are here to help. Your trouble is temporary. Eventually, it will pass, and you will be content someday. Don’t give into those negative voices who are telling you lies. You know the truth. You know who you are and what you are capable of. The people around you know as well, even if they aren’t always willing to acknowledge it.

Remember that you are valuable. You aren’t meant to be used and tossed aside. You, are much better than you think you are, so stop selling yourself short. Be yourself. (Unless you suck. In that case, try to be someone who is kinder than you.) Surround yourself with people who love and appreciate you. If you have the education and the means, don’t settle for what is comfortable. If you don’t have the education and the means, don’t settle for what is comfortable.

Not every endeavor in life has to be about money. The amount of time you have makes a difference, or the amount of patience. Sometimes your success in contingent upon how hard you are willing to work, what your motivation is, and how much you are willing to give up to achieve your goals.

Do not allow what is comfortable to rob you of your purpose. Make working in excellence a habit so you won’t grow accustomed to doing “just enough”.If you have the energy to do your best, do your best. Not for the sake of appearances, but to set a standard of work that you will be proud of. Don’t be motivated by the trappings of outward success, but by an inner drive that will sustain you even when your circumstances aren’t ideal.

Life isn’t about the reward at the end; it’s about the process it takes to get you there. If you try to avoid the difficulties, you won’t reap the benefits of trials.
Most importantly, don’t feel as though you have to go through this alone.

There are people who have been placed in your life specifically to help you through the rough spots.

Don’t shut them out.
Remember that you will get through this. It won’t be easy, but the strength you will have gained from your experience will help carry you for the rest of your life.

Live Well, Everyone.

Erie

Sharing Saturday: All The Right People

Last week I wrote about enemies being unintentional allies. What I didn’t say (because the post was already long-winded enough), was that your enemies are only your allies if you are firmly grounded in your identity. Otherwise, they’ll just make you feel inadequate, which is usually what they want.

That’s why it is of greater value for you to stay connected to your intentional allies: your friends.

My mother always told me that a person is known by the company they keep. From the time I was very young, she stressed the importance of finding and keeping good friends.

Oddly enough, it’s a lesson I found myself repeating–almost verbatim–to my 5 year-old niece. Apparently, Baby-Doll has a few friend/enemies who think she’s the bee’s knees one day, and an outcast the next. After reminding her what a wonderful little girl she is, I told her that if her friends were mean to her, they were not good friends, and that if she found girls who liked her for exactly who she was every day, she wouldn’t be as sad.

The most important people in my life are the ones who love and appreciate me without conditions. By their influence, they encourage me to be kinder, more compassionate toward others, more giving in my relationships, and more ambitious in work and in life.

Just being in their presence makes me want to be a better person. If I am known by the people I surround myself with, I want to be known by my friends and my family.

My mother is a great example. She has been a pillar of our community for s long as I can remember. Not just in our neighbourhood, but across the province. My mother knows a lot of people because of her job. Whenever I meet one of her clients, they tell me the same thing, “I love your mother”.

My mom doesn’t like to brag about how great she is, so I’ll do it for her. My mom is awesome. She’s helped so many people, just by being her radiant, generous, wise, and encouraging self. What I like best about my mother, and about all of the friends I’ve made, is their refusal to allow anyone to settle for conventional.

I have a friend who left a successful career to go to university in another country. Instead of settling for the accolades, steady paycheck, and security of her job, she took a leap of faith and left it all behind. She was determined to achieve her goals. Even if it meant risking what she had.

Her example has challenged me with the task of seeking a greater purpose for my life and being courageous enough to move when the time comes.

I have another friend, who is an exuberant people-person. She automatically makes people feel at ease, simply by taking an interest in them. She has such a warm and caring personality that others can’t help but be drawn to her.

Her example challenged me to break out of my shell.

My final friend has a countenance that is like a ray of sunshine. Darkness can’t help but concede defeat in her presence. She’s one of a handful of Facebook (and real-life) friends who never has anything bad to say about anyone, or anything, at any time. Ever. She’s great at keeping things in perspective, and if something doesn’t go the way she planned, she still sees the positives.

Her example has challenged me to accept that I only control a small portion of my life. God controls the rest. Also? Everything is better when you have a joyful heart.

I have many more friends, and they have all taught me something through their example. My original point is this: when you have all the right people in your life, you don’t fee any pressure to pay attention to all the wrong ones.

I respect my friends because they feel comfortable enough with me to offer constructive criticism when I do or say something stupid. I unconsciously have them in mind whenever I think of acting a fool. (And thankfully, I don’t succumb. Most of the time.)

The bible says that bad company corrupts good character, but I wonder, can good company influence bad character? If I’m sarcastic, (guilty as charged!) the presence of someone who is earnest may encourage me to say what I really mean. (Maybe) Or if I’m lazy, the presence of someone who works hard may lead me to work hard, so I don’t look bad in comparison.

Only God knows.

What I do know, is that, in this season, I need to be surrounded by people who are committed to being better. Not superior. Superiority suggests that there are always people who are inferior to you. (There aren’t, so stop believing your own hype.) Rather, I want to be nicer, wiser, accepting of others, and more successful at everything I do. The only way I can do that is by spending time with people who are nicer, wiser, more accepting, and more successful than me.

By being in their presence, I can learn how they do it.

Mediocrity breeds mediocrity and greatness breeds greatness. The good thing is you don’t have to be perfect to be great, but having great, encouraging friends definitely helps.

There’s an old saying, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are “. Enemies only have a foothold where there isn’t a sufficient network of friends. I am thankful because my friends are rock-solid. They call me on my B.S., keep me humble when I get too full of myself, help me loosen up and have fun, and remind me to focus on what and who is important to me.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens the wits of another.” Proverbs 27:17 (GWT)

Dull, mediocre, settle-for-average, friends don’t sharpen anyone, so find a few who encourage you to be greater.

Stay Sharp,

Erie

 

 

Sharing Saturday: A Game Changer

Every person has one. An event or a person that changed the course of your life for the better. I have too many events and people to name, but the one I’d like to mention today is my grade one teacher, Mrs. Kerr.

My love for books started when I was a 4 year-old, who learned to read by memorizing The Three Little Pigs. It was my favourite story, and my mother read it to me nearly every night. Eventually, I began to recognize the words from the story in other books. By the time I left daycare, I could read and understand the meaning of books, and write words.

I didn’t start collecting books until grade one, when the Scholastic book orders became popular. It was there that I discovered the series Herself the Elf, a board book featuring elves, fairies, and, most importantly, lift-the-flaps.

I bought all three books in the series, and anxiously awaited an opportunity to buy the fourth.

Mrs Kerr took note of my affinity for books and reading, and she always asked me (a very shy and quiet little girl) to read aloud in class because I was as she put it, a “strong reader”.

Toward the end of the year, her daughter, Shannon came to visit our class. To my amazement, Shannon had the fourth book in the Herself the Elf series, and she let me read it. That made me even more excited to buy my own copy.

Then Mrs Kerr told me that the fourth book wasn’t available through the Scholastic order. She bought Shannon’s copy through another source.

I started to cry out of disappointment, and Mrs. Kerr comforted me by saying, “Don’t worry. You have plenty of other books to choose from.”

So I  tearfully accepted that I wouldn’t own Herself the Elf’s Autumn any time soon and picked out something else.

On the last day of school, Mrs. Kerr gave me a gift, wrapped in colourful paper. I opened the box and found my very own copy of Herself the Elf Autumn.

When I turned the book over, I noticed that she wrote a note for me on the back.

(It’s been 25 years, but I’m pretty sure it said something like this)

Dear Erin,

What a pleasure it’s been to have you as a student!

I hope you have a wonderful summer.

Keep on reading!

Love,

Mrs. Kerr

Looking back, I can see how that one act of kindness has influenced my life. Quiet kids often get lost in the shuffle because they don’t make enough noise.

But for some reason, Mrs Kerr noticed me. She noticed how much I loved to read books, and she encouraged me to continue to enjoy them.

Being in her class taught me that I could speak in front of a large group, even when I was afraid, and, that liking books is not a bad thing–in spite of what my classmates said.

She made a difference in my life because, by her actions, she showed she cared about me.

John Maxwell wrote, “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

I have had a lot of great teachers in the years since, but it was my first grade teacher, Mrs. Kerr, who laid the foundation for my love of reading.

Wherever you are, Thank you for being one of my game-changers.

Have a great day everyone,

Erie

If You Can’t Take The Heat,Get Your Behind Out Of the Kitchen!

When I was a kid, one of the most popular mind games was “Yo’ Mama”. For those unfamiliar with “Yo’ Mama” (Heh :grin:) The point of the game was to out-insult the opposition. Or make him or her cry–whichever came first. I figured out early on that the person who gave the most vitriolic, mean-spirited responses was also the one who would cry as soon as the crowd turned on him or her. As long as they had the support of the group, they were all in, grinning and laughing. When a person made fun of them or their mama, they got angry.

I have been a loner since I was very young. I found out during those recess games of “Yo mama” that when you continually count on the crowd to back you up, you are nurturing your own weakness. Often, I find myself speaking to teenagers about this topic. I always preach about individuality, about them being true to the person they were created to be, and ignoring all the haters. I conveniently leave out how difficult it was for me to be an individual, how my true self was stifled by peers who felt threatened by me, and how “ignoring all the haters” typically meant that I spent most of my breaks with the school librarian. (Or off campus with my friend who had a car)

There’s a cost to being who you really are, but, man, does it every pay off when you’re older. When you’re young, older seems like a far away land that you don’t have to think about until you get there. Believe it or not, it’s closer than you think. And what you do not want to do is spend your time living by who the crowd thinks you should be.

Being an outsider either defeats you to the point of wishing your own death (or acting upon it. Tragically, this happens far too often), makes you bitter, passive-aggressive, and controlling, or it makes you stronger and more independent–but only after you’ve lived through the first two. (It also gives you a laundry list of issues, including, PTSD, anxiety, and depression, but that’s another story for another day)

I had the benefit of having two parents who went through being teased as children, and used different ways of coping. My mother focused more on her academic life and became an activist and a counselor. My father learned how to fight and bullies pretty much left him alone. My parents raised me to stand up for what is right even if I have to stand alone, to be quiet, work hard, and mind my own business, and not to take anything said against me personally.

Most of the time, the people who set out intentionally to wound others are broken themselves. They don’t understand what it’s like to live confidently, so they mistake it for arrogance and try to destroy that quality in others out of fear. I didn’t understand this until I grew up. Bullies are rarely mean people. They’re just hurt and insecure. And whichever way that insecurity manifests itself, either through self-loathing, narcissism, or arrogance, it is damaging to everyone they come into contact with.

But I digress.

My father once told me, “If you can’t throw a decent punch, you’d better keep your mouth shut.” (Once a fighter, always a fighter :razz:) He told me that I can’t be mouthy if I am not able to defend myself if someone takes my words to heart and decides to punch me in the face. By the same token, if you can’t take someone criticizing you, don’t be critical. If you can’t take a sarcastic jab, don’t make them. If you don’t want to be manipulated, don’t be manipulative. If you don’t want to be judged harshly, don’t judge anyone else.

And if you can’t take the heat, for God’s sake, stay away from the kitchen.

“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”   Proverbs 15:1

Live well everyone,

Erie

An Open Letter To My Haters

I wrote this letter during a difficult time in my life. I was struggling with insecurity, caused by many years of taking the unkind words people said about me to heart.

First things first, I’d like to say…

Thank you.

If it had not been for your poorly-disguised criticism, your passive-aggressive verbal jabs, your two-faced gossip, and your harsh judgments of me and my life, I never would have discovered that your opinion of me doesn’t matter.

Why you chose to bestow this dubious honour upon me is unimportant; it was the best decision you could have made for my life.

Before I discovered how you really felt, I was overly concerned with making you happy—even to my own detriment. All I wanted was to make you like me, but I only ended up hating myself.

What I know now is that you will always be unhappy with something I do, because you’re just unhappy.

I can’t do anything to change that, and it isn’t my responsibility to try.

At first your rejection stung.

We all want to be loved and accepted, I’m no different.

You didn’t accept me; you tolerated me, and I learned a valuable lesson because of you; it’s not the quantity of friends that enrich a person’s life, it’s the quality.

I would rather have one loyal friend who loves me for me, than ten who aren’t genuine and only want me around because I make them feel superior.

By judging me for such superficial reasons, you have exposed yourselves to even greater judgment.

You thought that speaking against would weaken me, shatter my confidence, and ruin my credibility, but it didn’t.

All it did was reveal your insecurity, envy, and resentment.

In trying to assert your dominance, you’ve proven to yourself to be weak and cowardly.

That’s pathetic.

I am stronger than ever because of what you put me through.

Make no mistake; this isn’t the voice of a victim, but of a victor who beat you at your own game.

All I had to do was keep living my life.

I didn’t seek revenge. I didn’t stoop to your level, and I didn’t even tell you off—even though I wanted to hundreds of times.

Instead, I spent more time with the people I loved. I read more. I meditated more; I found new hobbies.

I read my Bible, started helping other people, and most importantly, I gained a new purpose for my life.

In the past, one of your snide quips would have ruined my entire month.

Now they can’t even ruin my day. I have hope and a future, and nothing you can say or do will change that.

I’m not even angry at you anymore. In fact, I forgive you. Clearly, you thought my diminutive stature, and quiet demeanour made me an easy target.

You were wrong, and for that, I feel sorry for you.

I think what saddens me the most is your ignorance regarding the universal law of reciprocity; ”What you sow in, you will reap”.

You will suffer the consequences of every action you make toward someone else—whether positive or negative.

I just hope I’m not there to witness the harvest.

I don’t wish you any harm. In fact, I hope—for your sake— you turn things around, find your purpose in life, and turn away from bitterness.

Life is too short to spend it being angry with the world. Other people are not to blame for your problems.

When you become an adult, you are automatically responsible for your own quality of life.

If I could impart any wisdom to you, it would be that you are valuable, you are loved, and you have gifts and talents that you’re supposed to share with the world.

Instead of focusing on what others have that you don’t, cultivate your talents.

Stop comparing yourself to everyone else; they have their own lives and talents to share.

You are too important to waste your life being bitter.

Ironically, you’re the ones who helped me figure that out for myself.

In closing, I sincerely wish you well. You have the potential to be great, and I have confidence that you will make the most of the opportunities you have been blessed with.

I’d hate to see what happens if you don’t.

I Can Do It, and So Can You

 

“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint“, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
― Vincent van Gogh

 

 

I knew this was going to happen. Every time I start one of these, “I’m-only-going-to-post-what-I-want!” blogs I somehow end up with followers, and then I immediately begin to second-guess myself. All of the sudden, what I write isn’t good enough. My thoughts aren’t “clear” enough. I hate my grammar and my punctuation is all wrong.

Well, I think that my inner critic is a lying wench. She always has been. She’s currently trying to tell me that I don’t have anything important to say, and I should stop blogging because I’m making myself look unintelligent.

Then I remember why I started writing in the first place; I write because I need to.

I don’t get interrupted when I write. I can make a point quickly, I don’t get bogged down by details, and I can make better sense of my thoughts when I read them on a page.

I started this blog so I would have a place to express myself. (Why I had to do this publicly is anyone’s guess.)

As a young woman, I had a lot of female mentors who spoke words of love and wisdom into my life. Even during my darkest and most desolate moments, I had those encouraging words in my heart to remind me that everything was going to be all right. (Even if it didn’t feel that way at the time)

I hope to do the same for someone else. When I think back to those times I don’t remember the grammar and syntax of the speaker. They spoke plain and to-the-point. There were no eloquent speeches, their words weren’t at all flowery, but they told me exactly what I needed to hear–and I didn’t think any less of them for not sounding like highly-educated orators.

I was just thankful that they cared enough about my well-being to encourage me.

I don’t know who is going to read what I write–to those of you who are following, thank you :))

I hope that something you read here makes you laugh, or think, or nod your head in agreement, or help you recognize that you are not alone.

That is all I really want.

After all, I’ve read plenty of technically perfect essays with no soul, as well as soulful essays that are an editor’s worst nightmare.

Guess which ones made more of an emotional impact?

I’m an imperfect person, so I am going to make mistakes. I hope that when I do, I have the grace and humility to accept correction, as well as someone who cares enough to correct me.

Now that I’ve taken the pressure off myself, I can’t wait to see what I write next.

 

Have a wonderful Tuesday,

Erie