On my short stay here as an earthling, I have known deep pain and I’ve known deep joy. I’ve lived through enough of both to know the two aren’t mutually exclusive, they hold hands. Some of the greatest gifts of my life have come on an express train from the most painful or unexpected experiences. I can easily include parenting, marriage, and owning a physical body in the tension where pain meets beauty.
I have held my father’s hand as he slipped from this world. I have held my son’s body as his heart stops, and done CPR to revive him with my breath. I have put my hand on my shirt and tried to hold my own heart as it physically ached, tests showing that the wear and tear of life is, quite literally, breaking my heart. I have lived into my heartbreak and found there is a place on the other side of it called “life.”
In early 2015 I quit social media and didn’t return for over two years. I filled the extra time with new practices for solitude and centering. I researched and read and wrote daily. I started to see my existence here with new, clearer eyes.
One thing I’ve learned: In a culture of people who have never had more ways to “connect”, we often feel more alone and less truly known than ever. So I returned with a wide open heart and a P.O. Box, inviting anyone to become my pen pal. I started a podcast. I started this blog. I began writing a book.
The response to the pen pal project has been overwhelming and has made me realize, when we write our stories down and speak them out into the air, we feel less alone and we heal a little bit more.
I spend my days loving my family and our neighbors, telling stories through my writing, and listening as others share theirs. I also piece together some of these stories once in awhile on the dear somebody podcast (click here to listen) so we can all be reminded that we belong here, and we aren’t alone.
Wherever you find yourself reading this, you are most welcome here. Take your shoes off and pull up a seat. Then if you have time, write me a letter and tell me your story.