"Anything worthwhile is bound to make someone squirm."
I slid my debit card back into my fraying wallet and slowly dragged the cursor to the right side of my screen. "Place Order." As I clicked the button and began chugging away on color codes and font choices, it hit me. It's happening. It's been happening.
A few weeks back, I told a dear friend that I was feeling obligated to launch a new website.
"Enough with the bullshit," I said. "I'm just so tired of letting the fear of making people uncomfortable stop me."
"Well," she said. "Anything worthwhile is bound to make someone squirm. You should do it."
...and that's why I keep her around. Because sometimes, when you're looking over the edge of an enormous cliff with no safety net, the right person will come up behind you and push you right off. Those are good friends. We all need more cliff-pushers.
So this is it. This is the creation of a space where we're going to talk about some shit but absolutely no bullshit. I have been a part of some awesome projects in the past few years and have worked to create a number of pieces I’m proud of – but too much of what I was putting out in space never felt like mine. It’s been too much about creating something that I was asked for or was given a prompt. I’ve always been abiding by a rubric or trying to fit into a mold. And while I’m the first to admit that structure and rules and style guides are very necessary tools, they can be pretty suffocating to the truth. And when you’re not being truthful, creativity – and the genuine content that comes with it – gets pretty hard. At least for me.
So I'm done with that. There will be no more fitting into other people's expectations. There will be no more draft folders of honest, good content that gets cut because it’s too honest. There will be no more feeling like I should be telling my story rather than like I am telling it.
So at this point, you’re probably thinking that this pretty cool (you should be) but are wondering what all that actually means? What are you going to be reading when you get an email notification – because I know you’ve already subscribed for those – that I’ve posted something shiny and new?
Great questions. You’re smart.
These posts will range from me exploring moments of my past, delving into some sticky topics such as struggling with EDNOS and anxiety. They might occasionally talk about running and yoga but not so much that it gets annoying, I promise. We’re going to explore the topics of self-love and self-worth buuut we’re definitley not going to write a self-help book.
I’ll be inviting people to share their stories, their struggles and what it means to truly “own” them (My first guest is going to set your soul on fire). This is not a place where we’re going to complain about any of the ugly stuff. In fact, I plan to laugh about some of it. Or at least *soft smile.* There won’t be an ounce of self-pity on this site because nobody has time for that – especially you. But we are going to talk about it. The tagline of this site is “owning your story” after all.
Oh right. I saw that – what’s with that title again?
More good questions.
Tallulahish is, as stated here, both a challenge and a mantra. It has been my guiding light over the last year -- except it didn’t have a name until I now. My grandmother, who passed away in September of 2015, had called me Tallulah for longer than I could remember. Not many people knew why besides she and I and my grandfather. I was a precocious kid. Overly talkative and full of personality, I had a tendency to get myself in bit of trouble at school and in more erg formal? settings. My report cards often came home with notes about my “energy levels” and “spirit." And while the rest of the world was rebranding me with adjectives like "loud," “annoying’ and “dramatic,” my grandmother was enamored by all that meant I could be. She didn’t see me as annoying but instead as fiery. To her, being dramatic meant being full of life and having a knack for understanding emotions. I reminded her of Tallulah Bankhead,a wild, uninhibited libertine from the 1930's. She accepted and loved every ounce of energy that flowed through me.
Over time, I made the mistake of letting those people get to me. Over time, I stopped loving myself. I couldn’t see the things my grandmother saw in me. I let the world make me feel ashamed for the way I perceived it, for the natural intensity with which I feel and how I carried those experiences. I let the world convince me that I was wrong and that I wasn’t worthy of self-love. And it’s taken years to start reversing that mistake.
In the year after my grandmother's death, I’ve honored her memory by taking action and intention to do just that. I started accepting the things that made me who I was and started embracing them. I explored them and, in time, even started to make them louder.
And that’s when something really funny started happening…I started being okay. I started being more than okay. And it was weird. And it was hard to admit. When people asked how I was and I could respond with a genuine, confident “good” that was so honest my heart felt like it was bursting open, it felt strange and new.
Raise your hand if you've ever wished that the good moments would end so you could stop having panic attacks about when they would inevitably turn bad again.
Yeah, you're among friends here. That’s how it used to feel
I'm tempted to take this moment to tell you to stop. To just flip the switch and let yourself feel every bit of the good that's happening – and is going to keep happening – but I know it's not that easy. I know because I was there. I was always waiting for things to finally feel okay again and then when they did, I sent myself into a panic, walking around on eggshells just waiting for the next metaphorical shit storm to drop a (with my luck non-metaphorical) grand piano on my head. And then I'd be dead. And sometimes that solution was the only thing that let me sleep at night because at least if a giant piano falls on my brain, it would finally stop doing this thing where it ruins all the good days I'd been working so hard to find.
Well here's the thing: we would miss you if that happened. And a giant piano isn't going to fall on your head. And those good things are going to keep happening because they're already happening all the time. And, if you need them bad enough and are willing to let them in, I've discovered you can even make them. It's some Easy Bake Oven For The Soul type shit, y'all.
I know it sounds too easy and cliché but it's true. For instance,I have discovered that whoever taught us to fear the replay button was a fool. Try hitting repeat. When you find a song that sends the thoughts racing from your brain and leaves you with nothing but dancey, head-rocky joy, just turn. it. up. and then listen to it again and again and again
That's a good moment. That’s the kind of moment you should be exploring time and time again. The kind of moment that makes you feel so buttery and full of self-love that it’s almost dirty.