Before embarking on the next part of my journey, I’d like to delve deeper into the “why” behind my posts.
Nine weeks in, and this hasn’t gotten any easier. Bearing my soul is just as difficult now as it was during my first post. Every Tuesday evening I get anxious as I pour over my post for the next day. Scrutinizing over every sentence and punctuation mark. Reading and rereading wondering if my message comes across as I’ve intended it to. But because of you all, I continue to quiet my inner demons, dance with my fear and post it anyway.
Much like Hester Prynne, I too am emblazoned with a giant, scarlet letter. But, unlike Hester, I had not willingly done so. A giant “F” is plastered across my chest, dripping down my spine, slit into my wrists and tattooed on my soul – my inner thoughts materialized on my flesh. The “F” represented Family that I was ashamed of, the Failure I had become, the Façade I masqueraded in, and the Fraud I believed I was. And perhaps the most powerful force the “F” represented was the Fear that had swallowed my life. But I was not brave like Hester, flaunting and owning my faults. Instead I forged an emotional fortress preventing anyone from getting too close. I believed that by concealing my faults and fears no one else would notice them. That if I kept these things clutched tightly enough against my chest, no one else would realize what a Fraud I truly was.
My thinking was so twisted. Rather than protect my heart and ultimately my pride, I was actually self-inflicting deeper wounds. What started out as a whisper in the back of my mind grew into a looming giant controlling my life. I fed these F’s without intention, and what transpired was their eventual feeding on me. They gnawed at my confidence and self-worth, they sucked at my joy and swallowed any scrap of truth left in my heart.
After years of soul searching and suffering in silence, I decided enough was enough. I was tired of existing rather than thriving, and I knew if I truly wanted a change, I was going to have to make one myself. My transition was not the flip of a light switch, and it is an evolution that continues to this day. And at the heart of all of this is my hope that by breaking my own silence and consistently bearing my soul, I can encourage others to do the same. Not by blogging or sharing their insecurities with the world, but at least with one person. Because through exposing my insecurities I thought were solely my own to bear, I heard a “me too.” Then I heard another. And then another. I was taken aback by the amount of people suffering in silence right next me. And I realized that on my journey towards healing, maybe I can be a support for others too.
But in order to truly heal myself, that meant reopening my wounds and exposing them to the light. In the process of my very transparent open heart surgery, I have come to redefine and repurpose the F’s scarred into my skin. What once signified Fraud, now represents Freedom in finding my voice. Failure and Façade have transformed into Forgiveness as I learn to give grace more freely to myself as I do to others. The negative connotations associated with Family have allowed me to be intentional in what types of energy I allow around myself and I now select which Family I invite to take part in my life and those I love from a distance.
The Fear has not changed. Fear is just as palpable now as it ever was, but what has shifted is my perspective. I no longer view Fear as a stealer of my joy and squasher of my dreams. Fear has become my catalyst for growth and my propellant towards chasing the desires of my heart.
As I learned to utilize my fear as a catalyst, I had a real-life epiphany. The parts of myself I considered faults and flaws no longer hold my shame. They have become the facets of my story that are most relatable, most teachable and most beautiful. So as this journey continues deeper into my experiences of pain and struggle, I hope that my message of being relentless in your journey of self-discovery shines through the brightest.
I’d like to end this chapter and begin the next on a note of my sincerest gratitude. In just a few short months since launching my blog, I have experienced more kindness and encouragement than I ever imagined. I have been honored to hear from so many of you about your own stories and struggles. That is a privilege I do not take lightly. So, thank you for investing in my journey, for sending love my way and for your time, week after week, to take a peek into my heart.