Dear Diane, I imagine it was just a regular day for you as you held your coffee mug and surfed the internet for a quick morning read. Maybe you were running late and after reading some of the blogs you normally follow, you had a few minutes to spare before you absolutely had to be […]
We have all experienced it. Our fingers fly across the keyboard, pounding out letters we string together into words we attach to each other, all creating an expression, opinion, declaration, we would hesitate to share in person. I call it Courage by Keyboard. The young boy reveals his crush to the girl he’s been eyeing for months. The cyber bully’s hurtful and slanderous remarks storm across the screen while maintaining anonymity. The writer reveals something of himself through his blog. The upset customer shoots off an email complaint to a business owner. Courage by Keyboard is much like a veil we can hide behind, removing it completely when the time is right for us, or removing it for a brief moment while we express ourselves in a way we wouldn’t normally. How courageous we are when we are comfortably shielded.
And yet…have you ever thought about the fact that on Halloween, we all blindly open our doors to people wearing masks? At what other time of year would we ever open that door without looking through the peephole? I know not everyone is a fan of this holiday whose popularity revolves around an endless theme of tales from the crypt. I however, am a HUGE fan! A day when it is completely acceptable to dress up as anything I want and not get funny looks? What’s not to like? Think about it, a golden ticket to be something you have always dreamed of being with no strings attached, unless of course you went with the Pinocchio costume. Through the years, I have witnessed the most reserved people come to life by simply donning a different wardrobe and slapping a little makeup on their face.
We have all felt that liberating feeling of getting into character and leaving our worries behind for a short time by letting our costume shield us from the real world and maybe even our true selves. Why do we wait for this one day a year to let a little bit of our carefree spirit surface? Let’s not get crazy and head to the office in costume. However, I bet I would have a heck of a day if i started my morning dressed as Wonder Woman! My point is, there’s a little super power in us every day of the year. It’s just that sometimes we get so caught up in our daily life that we forget that superhero is still in there. And wouldn’t it be nice to go through life knowing you have the strength of that special letter on your chest? I don’t know about the rest of you, but there are days when I could use that Wonder Woman feeling of being able to take on the world! So, let’s not be afraid to embrace our inner superhero, princess, knight, or whatever allows you to take on your world one battle at a time. We don’t need a costume or a keyboard to reveal what we are truly capable of, but it may not be a bad idea to start sporting the Wonder Woman Underoos again!
Until then, cheers and Happy Halloween!
This was an excerpt from my book, Red Circle Days.
We all have a beginning, a place where our story begins, a once upon a time. Regardless of whether it is a happy beginning or not, it is still our starting line. It is our first chapter. It is where we came from. It makes up our roots and sets our foundation. It is a piece of who we are, a part that makes up our whole.
We didn’t have control over that first chapter. We didn’t choose when to come into this world or to whom we were born. We didn’t choose whom we wanted in our life or whom we wanted to remove from it. The truth is during the first several chapters others made those choices for us.
Through life, we take those choices with us if not those people. We constantly grow and become the person we choose to be. We allow people into our life and dismiss others based on our own beliefs, feelings, experiences. We decide how we want to live our lives, how we want others to see us, how we want to see ourselves. When faced with the fork in the road, we choose our path as a single traveler with no one to force us in either direction. Even if we look to others for guidance, ultimately we are responsible for the step we take on the road we choose.
It is said that we tend to judge a person on the last chapter of their life. Eulogies are full of excerpts of final moments, the last few years, recent interactions.
“He was a great father, a great husband.”
“She was dedicated to her community, an exceptional volunteer having raised X amount of dollars in the last year.”
“Just last week we had dinner together and laughed about how old we’re getting. I can’t believe she’s gone.”
Maybe that’s just how the mind works, keeping the most recent in the forefront – easily accessible. And yet, there are so many more chapters to our story. Some that have never been read and will die with us one day. Others that will be forgotten because they were written too long ago for most to remember. Yet, each page holds the characters we allowed at that particular time in our lives, each paragraph the words shared with them and only them. Some will vaguely remember an early part of our story. Whether with joy or heartache others will simply remember the parts that made them feel something, stirred something within them.
Most will remember our final chapter. Live like it’s your final chapter.
“Remember that we have little time to gladden the hearts of those we walk with…be quick to love and make haste to be kind.” ~ Henri-Frederic Amiel
I had the honor of being featured at More Than Mommies this morning for The Sunday Sip. Check it out!
It’s Sunday! Which means that More Than Mommies is here with another edition of The Sunday Sip. You are going to LOVE meeting our featured blogger this weekend – if you don’t already know her! If you do already know her then you know that she cherishes blog comments as much as we do – so stop by leave her some love . . . and tell her we love her, too!
I now give you - Leah from Little Miss Wordy!
So tell us, Leah . . . what’s in your cup this morning?
Coffee, I was raised in a Cuban Starbucks.
Anyone who WASN’T drinking coffee before reading that post is surely off to make a cup now . . . as a matter of fact, I think I need to tak a minute to go pour myself another cup!
Some of our readers know who you are and some of them will be meeting you for the first time. How would you introduce yourself to those who aren’t familiar with you or your blog?
I am Leah Vidal, a mom of two, married to my best friend for eighteen years, writer, blogger, and newly published author of Red Circle Days. I paused my career to raise my children and have never looked back, except on those days when it would be nice to have an office to escape to or even a desk to hide under. We currently reside in Puerto Rico, but maintain a home in Texas as well so we live in limbo most of the time.
How did you come up with the blog title “Little Miss Wordy” was there a process that you went through in finding the perfect name?
Blog names typically say something about the blogger in very few words. Once when asked to describe myself in one word on an application, I answered “wordy” – True Story. I was shocked the domain name was available. It was meant to be!
Is there a post that you would like us to have our readers stop by when they visit today? Anything you are particularly proud of or find a lot of people seem to relate to?
I submitted an entry for a WordPress weekly challenge which ended up challenging me not just in my writing, but on many levels. I wrote in regards to my brother’s mental illness for the first time ever, and it was a very emotional piece for me. It was Freshly Pressed, and I was honored but also happy that it would reach many more readers. Mental illness and it’s effects on family members is a topic that isn’t discussed enough in my opinion.
Why did you start blogging? I know that a lot of us start because of a need to just connect and share. Did you have a vision when you started? Has that vision changed at all?
A few years ago, when my family relocated to Puerto Rico I started a site to share photos and keep family and friends up to date. I added a section called “Random Thoughts” and discovered a true passion for writing. The more of my writing I shared, the more people wanted to read and encouraged me to start a blog. Once I figured out what a blog was www.littlemisswordy.com was born. A vision? I’ll get right on that! Right now I just enjoy making words come to life and sharing them with the world.
At More Than Mommies we are always looking for what makes women MORE than their #1 job, being a Mommy. Being a Mommy takes up SO much of us but it isn’t all that we are. What makes you more than a Mommy?
I am fitness focused (physically, mentally, and spiritually) believing we need to pay attention to all three in order to maintain a healthy balance. I love to write obviously, but avoiding the kitchen is one of my favorite pastimes.
Thanks so much for sitting down with us this morning, Leah! It has been a true pleasure to share your stories with our readers and I know that they will LOVE them as much as I do!
You can find Leah blogging at Little Miss Wordy and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and G+. You can also snag her book, “Red Circle Days” on Amazon (Kindle version is only 99 cents!).
If you are interested in joining the ranks of our Sunday Sippers – head to our interest page and fill out a form! We would LOVE to have you join us for a chat on a Sunday morning!
He came into my life at a time when I needed him most and without a second thought I clung to him for many a night. It wasn’t like we had a relationship, the kind where you want to spend every waking moment together. It wasn’t like we would get lost in conversation, uncovering deep-seated feelings that connected us on an emotional level. We didn’t go to dinner. We didn’t catch a movie. We never went out – were never seen in public. Truth be told, I didn’t give him much thought as I went about my day, but as night would begin to fall I felt a yearning inside me I knew only he could satisfy. As I climbed in bed, I needed him with every fiber of my being. The thing is, I don’t regret a single night with him.
For most, childhood memories of bedtime present images of favorite jammies, soft blankets, a certain bedtime story that could be told time and again before drifting off to sleep.
Bedtime was always a tough time for me as my imagination without fail would choose that specific time to kick itself into overdrive, instilling fears in me so powerful I would hide under the covers ensuring not a toe or a brown curl was unprotected from what lurked in the dark shadows of night. I would stare at the inside of my Strawberry Shortcake blanket, focus on the pattern of my warm breath…inhaling…exhaling…inhaling…exhaling. Once drenched with sweat, gasping for air and believing I would face a fate worse than what existed beyond the safety of my blanket (passing out into permanent darkness), I would peel a tiny corner of the blanket away from me, turn my head, and take in a large breath of fresh air before returning to my former state. At some point I would pass out, not from lack of oxygen or imagination but from sheer exhaustion.
It wasn’t until Louie came into my life that things changed for me.
Prior to Louie, I would choose one or two stuffed animals to join me each night, but with the innocent mind of a young girl I felt guilty each time I chose them. It was bad enough I would have to face all the night’s scariest creations, I was subjecting them to the same rather than leaving them cozied up in the basket with the rest of their friends.
Which is why when my grandmother presented me with Louie the Monkey on my tenth birthday I was relieved – no matter that I was probably well past the age when children cuddled up to a stuffed animal. He was soft and brown, and looked into my eyes with a hint of a smile on his face. He was about the size of those body pillows they sell nowadays, or maybe that’s how it seemed through a scared little girl’s eyes. With Louie, I no longer hid under the covers. Instead, I held on to him for dear life. The fears were there still, but somehow they seemed a little less daunting with Louie by my side. I breathed a little easier and found a bit of peace before drifting off to sleep each night. His presence helped me sleep better through my high school years and even some of my college years.
Some nights, after a particularly rough day, I still yearn for Louie. I miss him. Not in the physical sense, but in the sense of peace he gave me so many years ago. As grownups, we take so much to bed with us each night with no surefire way to let those fears, those worries, those feelings just sit on a separate plane while we relax and get the rest we so desperately need. Wouldn’t it be nice to find something that would ease our minds each night?
I still have Louie, though you’ll be relieved to know I no longer sleep with him. He is in a box in the attic which does make me a bit sad now that I think about it, but he served me well. Ironically, he was the first one I thought of when my daughter was younger and had nightmares.
He served her well too. How was I to know at the age of ten that my nighttime companion would one day ease my daughter’s fears as well?
Did you have a Louie in your life?
My post last week, A Letter To The First Commenter On My Blog just went live as a syndicated post in the Blogging and Social Media section at BlogHer! I am flattered that “the powers that be” over at BlogHer liked it so much they asked me if they could share it.
Please head over and comment and share away so they aren’t hearing crickets over there.
The mere mention of the word stirs something within me that starts with a dull ache in my heart and a sick feeling in my stomach. It courses through my veins and makes me want to blindly run and run in an attempt to escape everything that is attached to those six letters. Except, the sound itself makes my knees weak and my muscles turn to jelly while simultaneously causing me to stand firmly rooted in fear and paralyzed with grief.
How can one little word cause grief?
And yet, it isn’t just the word. The word is simply a vessel filled with so much more. A dusty, old trunk designated to the far corner of a dark attic. Amidst the cobwebs and dark shadows, under lock and key, it holds all that this tiny word encompasses. It is the loss caused by that word. The memories attached to that word, intertwined from one letter to the next. The fear of knowing the road that simple word can thrust you upon with its twists and turns, highs and lows, ultimately leaving you dizzy and confused, desperate for a road map to find your way back home.
If you have ever lost a loved one to cancer you know…you just know.
You feel an instant connection with anyone who has been down that road. A complete stranger on the bus shares their battle story, and you are instantly on that battlefield again. A co-worker mentions the funeral they attended for their neighbor’s sister who lost the fight and you are instantly clothed in black, mourning by her side. You run into an old friend you haven’t seen in years on his way to celebrate his father, a cancer survivor…and you are instantly if silently cheering for him, a man you’ve never met. Your workout partner is in tears upon having heard the news that her aunt has been diagnosed, and you can’t hold back your tears both for her aunt and your partner. You run alongside every race participant, a colored ribbon forever pinned to your heart.
We all have a story.
A story of illness and health, hopes and dreams, lessons learned and discoveries made, battles won and those lost.
I imagine there aren’t many people out there whose life hasn’t been touched by this word…cancer. It isn’t selective and it doesn’t discriminate. It stealthily approaches on black stockinged feet and stretches its long limbs with their far reach wrapping around men, women, children, family, and friends, trapping them in alternate states of hope and despair—turning their entire world upside down.
While these six simple letters strung together can leave us feeling helpless, early detection yields the highest success rate in drop kicking the big C and allowing us to embrace a much friendlier word…SURVIVOR.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but every month, every week, every day is about you and your health so make it a priority.
Don’t allow one word to be your whole story.