As a child, I was painfully shy.
I would hang on to my mother’s leg, fearing she would force me into the arms of some well-meaning relative.
In an Italian family, everyone automatically loves you.
They want to hug you, squeeze your face, feed you and you’re supposed to be ok with that.
Unless you are shy, and an introvert, you won’t understand the abject terror I felt as a kid, and in some ways still do.
Soon, I learned through experience, that shy girls become victims. They become targets for mean-spirited bullies with no conscience, because they won’t fight back.
I learned, the tone and volume of my voice worked as a deterrent, and when I cursed, people stepped back in shock.
I learned to protect myself.
I learned I had a voice.
I learned my voice could save me.
Eventually I was defending myself and everyone else, because it felt good to have a voice and help those who didn’t.
I found a way to be strong on the outside, and the shy girl on the inside.
I could turn it on and off like a light switch.
Most people if asked, would tell you, there is no way this girl is shy.
Of course, I work hard at it, and it’s exhausting.
I got tired of hearing:
“Shy girls aren’t fun.”
“Shy girls are boring”
“Shy girls will lose the man of their dreams, to girls who take what they want”
So I became an actress, in some ways, every shy girl needs to be.
She needs to star in her own movie.
She needs to be the person she would be proud to know.
She needs to meet the world head on, or she will end up living in a shoe, with a million cats.
I love public speaking, it nearly kills me, but I love it.
I am always trying to find new ways to bring people together, build community, and make friends, because I believe we all need each other, and we are better together, than apart.
But even with pushing myself to get out there, (even though I wrote about it) I still hid my deepest passions and greatest losses.
I smiled on the outside, and lived in my own form of hell.
I taught people to chase after their dreams, and ran away from mine.
I wrote about living life “fully not fearfully,” when I was living a half-life.
I dreamed of what could be, but was afraid to go after it.
I watched people follow their dreams and believed I would never follow mine.
I didn’t believe I was worthy.
What happens when you discount your passion?
What happens when you go through the motions, doing what everyone else wants, but you forget what you want?
What happens when your full-time “job” becomes your life?
What happens when your dreams fade away, your responsibilities take center stage, and you get no time for yourself?
Suddenly you don’t know yourself anymore.
You forget who you are, what you wanted to be, how you wanted to change the world, or even a little part of it, and soon, you become bitter, angry, lost and then your health begins to suffer.
Is this any way to live?
Who makes the rules?
How did this happen to me?
In 2010 I started this blog as: “Recreatingme.com.”
I wanted to recreate my life after cancer, and help other women recreate their lives as well. But I had no idea what steps to take, so my blog stalled and became a journal for me to rant, wonder and promise myself I would one day follow my dreams.
Every time I felt the tug, every time God put someone in my life to support me, I chickened out and ran away.
A few months ago, I met a man online.
Stay with me here, I’m serious 🙂
He is a best-selling author of 186 Books, Twenty-one of this books have reached the New York Times bestseller list and seven have debuted at number one. I have admired his talent and career for years.
I read his blog, left a comment, and “he” wrote back to me.
Wait what? This man has better things to do than write to me.
So I read more, felt inspired, left a comment and “he” wrote back again.
I am no one to this man, but his compassion, honesty and love for Jesus shone through and I began to dream again.
I started believing I could be a published writer.
I started hoping that one day, I could heal broken hearts and wounded souls.
He inspired me, for some crazy reason, he believed in me, and he had a way of helping me believe in myself too.
Recently he opened a writer’s guild and I was invited to join.
A dream come true, a moment for just me, a place to grow, learn, have him as my mentor and become the woman I have always dreamed of.
I believe God led me to Jerry Jenkins.
I believe God is using him to calm my nerves, heal my heart and help me grow.
God opened a door and I walked through it.
This time I didn’t run.
This time I’m trusting Gods plan.
This time I believe I am worth it.
I deserve to follow my dreams.
I deserve to live the life I have dreamt of.
I deserve to live a life without regrets.
So this is my journey from scared, shy girl to published author. I don’t know when it will happen, but God has been patient with me, so I will be patient with him.
Have you gotten lost in the shuffle?
Have you forgotten who you wanted to be?
Have you lost your passion?
Stop living a half-life.
Make 2016 your year.
Step out in faith and believe you are worth it.
Grab a journal, set some goals, hang out with me and on December 31st we will open our books and share how far we have come.
Lets recreate our lives together.
It’s going to be good!
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”