Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

I Am Woman (and Man)

Today is 11.11. A Sunday. Veteran’s Day. None of this is lost on me.

It is also the day after a tremendous weekend of story, song, discovery and reflection. And with that, in the quiet of the pre-dawn (my favorite time of day) I was inspired to pull a book off the shelf and find something I knew I had read once before, and had to read again. Within a span of several pages, it all came together and then came apart…leaving strands of stories to weave anew. I’ll get to that in a moment. First a little backstory…

*****

As perhaps a result of life’s passages and milestones, I’ve been making some profound strides of late to get to know me. Ah, a complicated task, especially when said me is Gemini. Two sides. Too easy to get distracted when the introspection gets tough. But something that I need to do–perhaps more than ever. Knowing  this was to be the year I turned 50, I had literally danced into 2018 with the intention to “discover and journey with my authentic self” and “age gracefully.” Like a power anthem I said, “I’m gonna do this!” but yeah… before January morphed into February, I got lost in other expectations. But is anything ever really lost?

Which brings me back to trying to figure out who I am. What I am. And yes, the proverbial, what it all means.

A few weeks ago, I was once again at the church where Jane’s celebration of life took place. The Church of the Redeemer, an Episcopalian house of community, prayer and song, is a place that has become very special to my in-laws, but I never felt compelled to attend, even as I experimented with spiritual wanderings. Through their presence and participation, Bill and Jane deepened friendships with others who, as things do, became an extended part of the Killen family. So, it was no surprise that upon the passing of Red McNeill, the husband of Jane’s dear friend, Les, Dave, Kris and I joined with Bill to celebrate Red. A tangent here, but so important to the whole story, the date of Red’s service was October 6–our wedding anniversary. (Hold that thought! It will mean something in a moment.)

As we were leaving the sanctuary, I spied a poster. It was an invitation to participate in an eight-week, exploratory series using Daring Greatly by Dr. Brené Brown as the focus. And that’s when the little nudge happened. Discovery of Brené (through a friend, always through friend, right?) helped me restore confidence in myself after a traumatic job loss in 2017. Feeling fragile and full of questions in 2018, I took this random 11″ x 18″ piece of paper with a name and book title emblazoned all over as divine intervention. Within a church. That I never really had any ties to, yet held something for me in it’s corners. Bam!

This isn’t easy work, but I’ve been open and welcome to the challenge. Through these sessions, one of the activities we’ve been working through is the exploration and identification of our own personal values. One of our goals (a.k.a. homework) is to be able to articulate these values and use them as guide posts for living a more whole-hearted life. Easier said than done. From a list of 90+ words, we were told to distill to 10…then five…then maybe three, before getting to your crux– two. Two words. That’s hard. I love words. And I’m a Gemini. Shouldn’t I get four? During my first attempt, I got the list narrowed to 36. I quickly tired to whittle it down in class in order to say I was done. However, I wasn’t really settled and after some inspirational moments this weekend, I decided to backtrack and try again. This is what it looked like yesterday afternoon:

 

 

While I played with these words, putting them in buckets and developing potential story lines, I realized there was a word missing. And, of course, it was a word I wanted. But, before committing to it, I needed to reach back to the source of where I first truly became invested and baffled by it. Enter the book and my pre-dawn reading. And then the picture that fell out from between its pages. A question and answer all in one.

 

So, backstory to backstory and something I’ve shared before, this book was given to me by a high-school friend, A.J., who now lives in Australia. A.J. and I didn’t really become friends until our senior year, and as life has it, we wandered in different directions, only to be reconnected through Facebook. When Dave was first diagnosed with cancer in 2010, A.J. spied one of my posts and sent this book to me, along with a copy of the Woody Allen movie, What’s Up Doc? Intrigued by the note he sent with the book, I read a few chapters while Dave was in chemo. But truth be told, by title alone, I really didn’t want the book to be seen. I was too worried it would freak Dave and the kids out. So I set it aside. When Dave was diagnosed with cancer: the sequel in 2015, I quietly pulled this book out of the closet and carried it around. I read a bit more and underlined some things. The chapter I needed today was the one that perplexed me the most and caused me to retire the book for a second time. It’s also where I randomly stashed this picture as a bookmark. Why? I have no earthly idea…

This is the only picture that I have of Dave’s grandmother, Nellie (on the left) and my grandmother, Max (on the right) together. It was taken in my parents home over 18 years ago when Grandma Max came out from California for a visit. Jane and my Mom decided to get us all together for a lovely lunch and visit. The only other time these two women were together in the same place was at our wedding a scant decade prior. Two very different women from two very different places. Similar to my Mom and Jane.

When this picture slipped out and I picked it up, I saw something in it that I had never seen before. Smack dab in-between Grammy Great and Great-Gram Max, is a picture of Brandon (our first son) on the day he was born. And with that, all of this came together. You see, the word I was wrangling with and the word I’m realizing is at the center of me is interdependence. I cannot exist without. We all are a part of everything. And, to really understand interdependence, you need to get a grasp on impermanence, which is the reason why A.J. sent me that book.

These two women, the paternal grandmothers, and their shared great-grandson were a glimmer to everything that is inside of me and everything that I will be a part of. And all of that comes to being through change. I could really thread this back far but I’ll pick it up with my parent’s decision to start a business when I was 12, which moved us to a different county, which eventually put me in a high school that didn’t always bring me joy but helped me understand that sometimes it is the people you meet on the fringe that have the most impact. Through my “tortured” high school experience (aren’t they all?), the only thing I wanted to do post-graduation was run away from anything and everything that was California…which put me on the East Coast into another campus situation that wasn’t good for me…and as what seemed like an irrational response to a face-down moment, I got the wild hair to change my perspective and transfer to a school in Boston. A twist of fate brought me to Dave’s apartment and an eventual degree led me to a laundry list of advertising agency experience that eventually kicked me in the teeth. Somewhere in there, Dave and I bought a house in Fort Thomas, which led me to friendships of my own, that threaded into other friendships and the share of a book. That book brought me to a poster in a church–that I would have never been in had I not been married on October 6–to a jumble of words on paper, to something I have always known but am just now starting to discover.

We are but ash. Dust. Particles of all the other cosmic dust that has swirled around and will always be. I am everything and empty. I am Woman and Man and stardust, moonlight and sunshine. I am. And this is now something I can write down on my homework sheet today. ~ Jacqui

 

P.S.– this caught my eye as I worked through this entry…

 

 

November 11, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Baby Thoughts

Earlier today, Dave and I had to run down to the credit union to sign some papers. While waiting in the lobby, I noticed a man in his late 20s/early 30s seated near by. I assumed that he was next in line to speak to a manager so I really didn’t think about it too much.

Moments later, a woman about his same age with a baby came out of the back area. It didn’t take but a few moments to realize this was a sweet little family and the woman actually worked at the credit union. Dad had brought their baby girl down so that mom could nurse her in the back room and spend a little of her break with their daughter.

As mom handed dad the baby and they chatted about their evening plans, dad bounced said baby, gently patting and rubbing her back in that very instinctual, “I-now-have-a-baby-in-my-arms-and-I-must-protect-sway-and-pat” sort of way. While the murmur of conversation continued, their sweet babe looked at me over her dad’s shoulder. We locked eyes and, catching my smile, she smiled back at me–fist in mouth, head to the side, cheeks gauzy, eyes big and dreamy.

She looked down, and looked up again before we both looked away. Smiling.

It was at in that second I thought of how wonderful it must be to have a total stranger look at you with admiration and joy, seeing nothing but the light inside of you.

I then thought, what if we were to have that same sort of exchange with everyone we encounter? What if we were to gaze with eyes full of humanity and acknowledgement instead of looking away or worse, not seeing at all? What if we were to take a split second to simply recognize that inside each of us there rests a potential?

As we grow, we make choices. Not all of them are good. But not all of them are bad, either. What if we were to project a bit more grace and encouragement and really hope for the best in one another, people we know and strangers in kind? What if we tried?

As I sat there in the credit union I thought, perhaps, there is something to that. ~ Jacqui

November 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

October 25

It’s 6:05 a.m. but I’ve been awake for hours. As I tossed and turned in bed, I realized today’s date. It’s been two months since Jane’s celebration of life and three months since those first confusing, but still hopeful, days in the hospital.

So much has happened during this phase of transformation, and I have been trying to capture and hoard all of the observations, impressions and yes, messages. My journal has entries that say, “when you have a minute, make sure to write down all the details of…” Scratch notes. Headers with nothing below. Scraps. Someday I may actually complete them but for now, just the trigger of the memory is enough. And while right now, sitting here, it seems like I have the time and space to put down what I’ve drafted in my mind dozens of times, I can’t. I’m still stunned. I try, but just one word tumbles forward: “No.”

This is missing someone. This is wanting to turn back time. This is aching for others as you catch them in that sudden moment of realization and sadness. This is wishing you could fix it. Like jerking your head back when your eyes get heavy, this is a wake up moment that is unsettling, disorienting. This is a ripping apart and bringing together. This is a crack that you are trying to fill, but with what? This is growing up on the outside while nursing a tantrum on the inside. This is realizing that it is dawn and the birds aren’t singing…where did they go? This is time constantly evolving and shaping and changing E V E R Y T H I N G. This is water that you can see, hear, smell, taste and touch…but never really hold.

The air is so clear and cold in the pre-dawn. I took a moment to step out onto the patio, barefoot, and stare at the moon. Full and bright. A warm orb in a sea of black. It was good to look up and let the hot tears cool. Thinking and remembering and feeling. And then, as words do, something came to me. Not mine, but ones I came across  last summer and recently bumped into again: “Barn’s burnt down…now I can see the moon.” — Mizuta Masahide

I don’t know what it all means. I will never know what it all means. There is disquietude as well as gratitude in this space. How is it that pain and grace can rain down together this way?

~ Jacqui

 

October 25, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Letting Go of Roger

September 30, 2018 —  I’m having one of those present to past to present mornings. Sitting down to write something new, which ironically (or not), was about the past and present colliding, I found a draft of a piece I never published. Or to be more accurate, it found me. Within this forgotten post, I became reunited with a woman from almost a decade past. She had something to say the me that is now.

This piece, Letting Go of Roger, was originally drafted January 17, 2010 at 10:32 p.m. Dave was dealing with his first round of Lymphoma and approximately two-thirds of the way through treatment. I wrote this while the house was sleeping but decided at the last moment not to make it public. It was a raw piece that just tumbled out and I was terrified. To publish it would have been exposing too much. At that time, I felt the need to keep my armor intact.

But, in reading this now and reflecting, I find this piece says a lot and perhaps more than it had intended on that cold night.

*****************************

Letting Go of Roger 01.17.10

A wonderful friend and therapist told me that we humans have a funny way of developing relationships with the things that enter our lives, not just the people. Even the bad, unwanted, scary and undesired things – they can easily lay claim. That’s why certain events cling and we find ourselves with stuff to reconcile long after change comes.

I realized the other day I’ve been in a freaky relationship with Roger and while I know the end is coming, I need to make sure the break is real. For me.

Yeah – you heard that right. I have a relationship with my husband’s tumor. The thing that threatens the entire balance of my universe has infiltrated my life in a different way. I’ve become so used to Roger being around that sometimes I feel too casual with this cancer thing. I’ve catered to his presence and adjusted so many nuances just because that’s the way it works best for Roger. I even altered how I look because of him. Simply, I’ve learned to live in and with his shadow. Roger has been the first thing I think about every day since August and is always the last thing I think about after I kiss Dave goodnight. Even sleep has elements of Roger – exhausting, taunting dreams that leave me trying to figure out an impossible puzzle or outwit a crazed psycho. Roger is my fog.

Like many relationships, Roger just appeared in my life at a time when everything was happy and ‘normal.’ I was not looking for him nor did I ever think I would take up with the likes of him. It. Just. Happened. He slipped into my every movement and before I knew it, took over. He got inside my brain, twisting it like a pretzel, asking me to cave and choose him. And that’s when the danger began because for a while there, I didn’t know who, or what, was going to win. Talk about lost and alone and everything feeling so wrong. But at times, it felt right too, because I had made the conscious decision to accept the state we were in and learn everything I could from it. I’m not a born hater.

My a-ha moment came the other week when we learned Roger is in fact shrinking, and with every drip of chemo, being reduced into a former state of self. I should have been euphoric but honestly I was a bit stunned – and quiet. It was in the acknowledgement of this positive change that I finally identified the odd influence this acidic glob of mutating cells has had on me. I wanted to celebrate and be free but I honestly felt trapped. I couldn’t help wondering what life was going to be like when Roger was really gone. There was no going back to our past but what was waiting on the other side? I couldn’t quite get over the notion of life without Roger. But I wanted to and that is what is important.

Dave is feeling so much better. Incredible, in fact. In the three-week swing between treatments, the number of good days now outweigh the bad. And while Dave is ecstatic with this ability to feel good again, I find myself reacting with caution. I’m almost afraid to feel good with him because part of me wonders if this is new reality or just altered presence. Will Roger really go away or have I unknowingly granted him permission to stay? When he is gone how long will it take for me to adjust to living without him? Can I easily forget a kitchen with pharmacy bottles everywhere and doctor appointment cards tacked haphazardly to the wall? Can I erase forever Google histories of frantic info quests at midnight or echoes of sobs in my car when driving alone? Will I ever feel like I can hug with abandon and expose Dave to the elements without fear of hurting his back or making him sick? Will I be haunted long after we say good-bye? How much has Roger changed me?

I believe that by examining these things now, I am in fact beginning a new process outside of the cancer fight. I am eradicating Roger from me. And that, my friends, is healthy. I am seeking permission to live, cancer free. I am learning what it feels like to walk alongside a survivor and actually smell the roses. I’m learning to let go and breathe. ~Jacqui

September 30, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

August 25

While Jane was in the hospital, I started a page on Caring Bridge for Jane to help all of her friends stay in touch with what was happening. I had yet another entry today.

Today We Honor Jane

This morning while I was sitting in the quiet, I was compelled to come to this space again. There is no health update nor report from the hospital room–just the sounds of a day waking. I like this time of day when the crickets harmonize with birds before slipping into their hiding spaces. It brings a sense of peace and wonderment.

In two hours we will begin the ceremonies and rituals of laying someone to rest. And while I’ve been witness to this ritual several times before, this one is different. And, I have no idea of how we will do it. But we will.

This space where we all come together–all those who shared, participated and helped shape a well-lived and well-loved life–it is a hard but tender moment, isn’t it? The flurry of this past week’s preparation is finally over and none of us have any busy work to do. That means we are open to what this day means and what this day brings. One small part is slipping into another.

We will hold each other, we will cry with each other and yes, we will even laugh with each other at the memories we exchange. And that, is part of the gift–of Jane’s gift. She’s bringing all of her “loveys” together in presence and spirit. Here and there a hand will slip into that of another and squeeze. You know the squeeze.

Today, we all will honor Jane and in that, we will thank her for helping us all to be better people. Jane will continue to be in our hearts.

August 25, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jane

October, 6, 1990



This past Thursday, August 16, Jane, my mother-in-law, passed away. It still seems surreal to type these words.

There is so much that I can say–and want to say–but right now, find it hard to express. But as a woman, writing about another woman, I want to take a moment to appreciate all that Jane is to me for she truly completed the other half of my mama circle. Jane reinforced so many lovely things that my own mother had impressed (and continues to do so) upon me, while also teaching different things that only the mother of your spouse can. Let me explain.

On October 6, 1990, in addition to becoming the newest “Mrs. Killen” I also became someone else’s daughter-in-law. In this unspoken Ya-Ya Sisterhood-like ritual, something weighty was exchanged. At the time I didn’t realize it was happening because I was too busy exchanging wedding bands. But I’m sure she did. This was the moment when she entrusted me to takeover a big presence of Dave’s heart. Without saying it, she trusted that I would care for him as she had. He was her precious son. Me? I just wanted to be Dave’s wife. I didn’t know how to be the daughter of someone who wasn’t my own mom.

There were times, especially early on, when I wasn’t at my best. Sometimes I didn’t appreciate the inquisitiveness and gestures because to me, in that space, they felt like interference. I didn’t see the gifts. I didn’t understand. When I became a mother myself, it was hard to balance the complexities of all my “mom” relationships. There was one Mother’s Day in particular where I was at wit’s end. Brandon was either 3 or 4. I had wanted to spend time with him and with my own mom. I can still remember how tense things were between Jane and I. We didn’t speak much on that day.

Several years ago while reading, Carry On, Warrior I had to smile when I read the chapter entitled “On Weaving and Repentance.” (An excerpt can be found here, but it leaves out my favorite part. I’ve put it below.*) And while my situation wasn’t as extreme as the author’s, I realized there was a time when Jane and I had tugged on each other’s tablecloths. There were tears and tears. Yet in that space between the heave and ho, something happened. We wove our own pattern together that was intricate and beautiful. Aside from the one tablecloth at the center, we made a separate one. We used it to make forts for the kids. We set tables together for family meals. We draped it to protect furniture from science experiments and bake-a-thons. We didn’t worry about the little spills and stains because frankly, there wasn’t time to fret over the small things. We wrapped ourselves up in this cloth and kept each other warm and comforted each other when Dave was ill. Again, two women who were strangers to each other until they were brought together through a mutual love.

Flying Pig, 2018.

When I became a mother-in-law last spring to Brandon’s wife, Katie, I looked over at Jane during the reception and smiled. She had prepared me well for the moment. I had no doubt, no fear. Katie’s love for my son is deep, pure and true. I was so happy to welcome the newest “Mrs. Killen” into the circle.

Killen Women. Christmas, 2017.

And this past Mother’s Day… Jane and I didn’t see each other but connected via text. While I would have loved to have had this conversation in person, today I’m glad that I have the messages on my phone. I let her know how much I appreciated our relationship. She, in her typical Jane way, sent me a text the length of an email… with an emoji to boot. “…We are both so very lucky and secure in the love and support we have for each other [heart] sleep well dear one.” How times change. How we change. How love evolves.

Thank you, Jane, for everything. While I never could call you “Mom” you knew you were special to me. I love you and miss you. There is so much more I wish I could share with you in this space. But alas, we are where we are today. Know that I will care for our tablecloth and make sure it continues the story. You are an angel among angels. Sleep well. –Jacqui

 

 

*from Glennon Melton Doyle’s Carry On Warrior, page 87:
“Mothers-in-law, enjoy watching your daughter-in-law learn to weave. When she makes a mistake, when she drops a stitch, allow her to notice it on her own. Tell her often how beautiful her pattern is. Be kinder than necessary. Bring her some tea. Be simple. Be sophisticated.

And daughters-in-law, notice the beauty of the rug that your mother-in-law spent a lifetime weaving. Remember that her pattern is mostly firmly established–no need to suggest improvements. Be kinder than necessary, being mindful that the piece of art it took her a lifetime to weave–her masterpiece–she gave to you, to keep you warm at night. One day you’ll give your masterpiece away too. Be simple. Be sophisticated.”

August 19, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Change a Preposition and Change a Perspective (December 30)

Note: This is a post I wrote on December 30 but did not publish. I found it now and realize, it was complete.

It’s cold out. The year is ending and I find myself ruminating.

Sometimes I marvel at the thoughts that wisp through my brain. They can start so small but given space and permission, they run wide. These subconscious nudges that come about on their own accord are so very random and generally, so very unrelated to what I’m doing. Do you have them too?

I’m learning to lean into these musings a bit more — to decode them, ask questions of them, marvel at their obliqueness, and understand their connection. Sometimes they frighten me. Sometimes they exhaust me. Sometimes they float away and try as I might to recover them, forever lost.

Today’s thought however had a little bit of tooth to it and was one of those that rang in fast,clear and strong. Enjoying a lazy moment after defrocking the Christmas tree, this phrase literally spun through my brain:

“I don’t want to die of something, I want to die with something.”

I’m not sure what was more jarring — the fact that this type of thought randomly popped into my psyche or the fact that this type of thought made complete sense to me. In fact, it brought a sense of peace and purpose.

Thinking about it more, I appreciate how changing something like a preposition can be a catalyst for living differently. To not dwell on the basis of transition but rather, to ensure that essential things like love, laughter, gratitude, kindness, spirit, introspection, serenity, simplicity, and humility are always in my bucket. To me, this changes the situation. ~Jacqui

 

August 19, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wait for that guitar to come ’round again… part one

It’s been said that you can never go back. You shouldn’t go back. Trying to go back will only make you sad, yearning for what you had, knowing what you lost. The weight of it all will leave you deep in your cups, cryin’ in your beer…(cue the record scratch) Well, that might be good advice for the masses, but when have we ever followed the voice of reason?

Hers & His at the coveted table in the Willie Nelson smoking section. Our names are etched in here somewhere.

A few weeks ago, we packed the bags, left the kids some pizza money (at ages 20 & 15, what could go wrong?) and hopped in the car. It had been a few years since we visited Nashville and given that this was the 10-year anniversary of how all of this started, heading south on I-65 seemed a proper and fitting thing to do. It was a Thursday afternoon, the weather was perfect and our simple mission was to arrive at Tootsie’s by 6 p.m., local. Unlike the happy accident of my 40th, THIS was a calculated birthday destination. And there at the door to greet us, with those bright blue eyes that crackle when he smiles, was Jake Mauer.

The years have been good to Jake–he’s been blessed with a beautiful family and for many, he has become a reason to go to Nashville. A true gentleman and delightful showman, his homage to the classics is not lost on us and his toasts and stories never get old. Like a good Tennessee whisky, Jake’s voice has mellowed for the better and his personal songwriting approach has become more textured and the stories refined. He was raised right, and we’re better people for having him in our circle.

I couldn’t have dreamed of a more appropriate way to be grateful for all that was my 40s and in the same motion, make welcome my 50s. Singing through the classics (thanks for the Prine!) as well as new material, Jake and his talented band put on an incredible three-hour set. While Dave and I thoroughly enjoyed every golden moment of it, being able to connect with Jake and chat throughout the evening made it all so very fine. From his stage and through the crowd, we toasted everything that has taught us and shaped us over this past decade. To life, to love, to alcohol (because no good story every started with a salad!) and to the honky tonk gods who once again made it so we could hold court at the Willie table, we raised our beer bottles high, letting the dust mites and ghosts of that place embrace us. Thanks, Jake.   ~Jacqui

Our 8×10 black and white among all the others… Tootsie’s. June 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 6, 2018 Posted by | The Birthday Trip 2018, The Birthday Trip, 2008 | 1 Comment

Old Like Candy

The cake… coming to get me.

It’s been a string of sweet and enlightening days — a turning point for certain. The actual day of honoring my Gemini 50 was bookended by discoveries through Kornfield and Hedwig. Appropriate, wouldn’t you agree? In between, so many thoughts, reflections, memories and yes, apprehensions. I wasn’t expecting the range and depths of emotions nor the sensation of emergence and regression at the same time. In spite of it all, the learning and the growing and the love continue. This life is a mysterious blessing and I thank all of you for being a part of my weird, colorful, blissful, fragmented mosaic that is still under construction.

I’ve been quiet lately and perhaps that has come off as aloof. I don’t chatter on social as much as I used to… and I certainly haven’t posted much here. But it isn’t because I’m totally disconnecting. It’s really the other way around. And while I may not be as verbal in the electronic realm, please know that my heart is full and it is because of you. I am grateful.

And now, to segue into something old/new… it’s time to pack the bags and see what Nashville is like with an AARP card in one’s wallet. MmmHmmm….

Keep loving — despite everything — keep loving. It’s the only thing that keeps it all together. ~ Jacqui

 

June 21, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Shine!

Earlier this summer, I was going through a spate of transition. While scary and tenuous, it was a good time for me. I got to re-engage with myself and read some really good books. It was a launch phase into a new realm of life.

One day while on the patio (I spent a lot of time on the patio), I noticed something a bit odd as the Black-Eyed Susans began their annual push skyward. One of the plants had decided to not spring up with the masses but instead, find a place up front and center near the retaining wall.

Now, I could have been a conscientious gardener (although gardener I am not) and gingerly moved the little sprout back to the larger Black-Eyed Susan patch, but I decided not to. Instead, I opted to watch this plant grow and see what happened.

I also decided to name this plant Black-Eyed Stephanie.

As summer warmed the soil, Stephanie took off and rocked her place in the garden. Her. Place. She also taught me a little lesson and one that I’m reaching back to on a cold, albeit bright, winter’s day.

You don’t have to grow where you are planted. You don’t have to grow as someone outside of you has prescribed. You can — and should — take a chance and plant your beautiful self where you want to. Then grow and shine — arms wide to the sun — with everything you are and everything you own.

Don’t be afraid to be like Stephanie. Don’t think that if you went left instead of right that someone will immediately course correct you and put in in a sea of sameness. Contrarily, someone may actually take note of what you are doing and nurture the will to be different and the need to stretch.

For those who helped me be like Stephanie this summer, thank you. ~Jacqui

 

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment