I love to write.
I always have.
In high school, I always loved the opportunity to write an essay which would tell a story, relay a message, provide an interpretation, summarize and support an opinion or defend a point.
In college, while seeking a degree in Criminology and Psychology, my writing was more researched-based and factual.
Still, I enjoyed it.
When I went to law school, the only thing I enjoyed about it and did well at was my legal writing class. I appreciated learning how to write in such a way that would persuade a reader or an audience.
But, never did I think I could (or would) turn writing into a form of therapy and a career for myself; and yes, in that order.
While it would behoove me to exclaim that I undeniably write for others, the truth is that I wholeheartedly and selfishly write for myself, first and foremost.
Writing, for me, is so stress-relieving. It's like sitting down with a therapist who just lets me talk, rant, cry, b*tch and complain and doesn't say a word back, but offers merely quiet acknowledgment and understanding.
Of course, there are always some that read what I write, and it rubs them the wrong way, which drives them to send me message exclaiming that I am the scum of the Earth, a manhater or a bad mom.
That's all that is.
Not because my opinions and perspectives are "right" and theirs are "wrong," but because my beliefs and words are my own and I cannot and will not apologize for them, nor would I ever want those with opposing views from me to feel as though they must say sorry for theirs.
Whether I compose a piece that's serious or funny, controversial or innocuous in its message, neutral or more directive in its tone or even the fluffy pieces, writing gets me kind of "high" in the same way that an extremely focused hour at my new gym does.
When I finish an article, I feel slightly expended, but even more than that, I feel exhilarated.
Appreciating all the facets of your personality, even those that seemingly conflict) and being grateful for each experience that has shaped it and you, that's commendable.
Being your imperfectly authentic, occasionally paradoxical self in front of others, those you know well and those that you don't, that's fearless.
Deciding to tell your story, unabashedly -- the good, the bad, the ugly -- is resolving to be an individual in this world who recognizes that every person is capable of helping transform, support, and bring joy and laughter to others just by being your typical slightly awkward self.
I encourage any of you reading this to tell your stories.
Don't like writing, but enjoy art? Draw, paint or sculpt whatever is on your heart and share that masterpiece with your loved ones, or the world -- your choice.
Prefer performance art? I want to hear your monologue.
Into woodworking? I want to see what shapes and textures speak to your soul, because they may speak to mine.
Are you a quilter? I want to wrap myself in a quilt made entirely from your efforts.
Have you scrapbooked your experiences? I want to see them in picture form, as they might tell me something that your words may leave out.
It doesn't matter how you do it, just tell your stories; the ones that have made you into the person that you are today.
Do it, and also tell me the stories that you foreshadow will help you revamp into the person you are longing to become.
I want to hear about it.
I want to hear about all of it.
Find or make the time and let your truth-telling -- in whatever form brings you pleasure or some semblance of balance -- revive your soul.
Then, share the crap out of your hard work because there is an extreme likelihood that your in-process product -- YOU -- will motivate and inspire others to proclaim their stories.
And, maybe, just maybe, I need to hear YOUR story.
Maybe your story will help me grow and how flippin' fantastic would it feel for you to know that you are affecting another in this world for the better.
It feels good to tell our stories, but it also feels good to hear other people's.