Hello, 28. Hello, World.
Hello, 28. Hello, World.
Let’s Get This Party Started
I’ve always known I was a writer. My entire life, I’ve been communicating with words. I lived in Norway for several years as a toddler, and I went from one day, observing everything in silence, to the next, spouting out Norwegian and English as a suddenly bilingual two-year old. It became clear pretty quickly that I’m verbal. Words make sense in my mind. They pour out of me like an endless resource, capturing the realities that I see around me. I’m able to pair them together to really actually SAY what I’m trying to say. Over the years my voice has become more and more refined, more and more my own. But I’ve always been a writer.
For maybe ten years now, I’ve known that I was supposed to share my words with the world. I’ve known I’ve had this gift. I always excelled in reading and writing and language arts classes. Every English teacher I’ve ever had adored me, and I’m still friends with several of my childhood teachers. My Spanish teachers loved me too, because they could see that I just “got” language. It clicked for me, and came so incredibly easily to me. My music and band teachers loved me too –– same thing. The language of music just “worked” in my brain. It is all so natural to me.
So why is it that we run from the things we KNOW we were created to do? Why do we shy away from our excellence? Why do we blush when someone points out the very thing that we actually already know we are incredible at? When someone notices our super-powers and calls them out, why do we get awkward?
Okay, well, I recognize that I’ve just put you, my reader, in an awkward position by ASSUMING that you’ve experienced this. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you actually HAVE experienced this, at least a couple of times in your life. It’s almost as if someone has exposed your greatness inside, the potential in your frame, and you feel like you have to be apologetic or deflective. It’s like those times when you actually know you look ~*damn good*~ in that new pair of jeans you just bought, and then someone compliments you, and you feel like you have to justify looking good instead of just doing a happy dance and TAKING THE DAMN COMPLIMENT. Ugh. Anybody else?
Whether you’re tracking with me or not, I’m just trying to paint the picture of where I’ve lived in my mind for FAR too long with the whole writing thing. I’ve lived in denial on the outside while BURNING on the inside, getting more and more passionate with each passing day. I’ve shrugged off compliments as people have read my social media posts over the years and left nice comments about my "gift with words". I’ve chalked my top-5% GRE Writing score (graduate school entrance exam) up to good luck and strong coffee the day of the test. I’ve denied my own burning, fiery heart that’s been yelling at me for ten years to just ~*LAUNCH THE EFFING BLOG, MEL!*~ (Excuse my profanity… just trying to keep it real and let you know what’s actually been going on inside… because if I’m going to do this dang thing, it’s going to be real, honest, and nothing less than what I actually want to say. No pleasantries here, okay?)
But today is my 28th birthday. And today, I draw a line in the sand and say: “No more bashful days! No more denying the passion inside! No more shrinking the greatness and gifts inside! NO. MORE.” I’ve spent way too long running away from my gifts and making myself small because I’ve been afraid of what you would think, afraid of criticism as I open up honestly, and afraid of being known on a deep level to the public. But beyond any of that, I’ve been most afraid of my own greatness. I’ve been afraid of the potential within and what could happen if I actually took ownership of the things that God put inside my bones and went for it, 100%.
As I was pondering my upcoming birthday a few weeks ago, I was feeling bummed out about it, and feeling like I lacked vision for the year ahead. Twenty-eight feels like such a strange age to be turning. At least when you’re 27, you’re right in the middle of your “late-twenties” but not quite “old” yet. And when you’re 29, you’re anticipating a new decade and celebrating the last year in the tumultuous twenties. But 28? What a weird in-between year. Not quite young anymore, but not quite thirty, flirty, and thriving. Hah.
In my thinking, I heard that still, small voice speak to me, asking me two questions: “Mel, what do you want to give yourself for your birthday this year?” A pause, as I pondered a question I’ve never once considered in my life. The idea of giving myself something meaningful for my own birthday. And then the second question: “Mel, what do you want ME to give you for your birthday this year?” The Divine Himself, asking me to ask HIM for something for my birthday? Wow… well, okay then.
I couldn’t get those questions to stop tumbling around in my soul for days after that encounter, so I decided to actually give my responses more than a passing thought. And as I pondered, I realized that what I want more than anything else for my birthday this year is to actually FOLLOW-THROUGH and commit to myself and my dreams. To finally GO FOR IT and stop making excuses for why it isn't quite the right time yet. To actually stand up for myself and the diamonds inside my soul and put myself out there, allowing my brilliance to shine and change the world around me. To stop making myself small and listening to the lies that the voice of fear whispers to my soul on repeat. To take Him at His Word, and His promise. To actually BELIEVE that what He has put inside of me is GOOD and WORTH cultivating and WORTHY to be shared. To finally dive in, 100%, and give myself my all. To show up for myself, and to invite Him to back me up as I do so.
So here I am. I’m here to let my little light shine, to share my words, to share my heart, and to stop shrinking back. I’m here to live the life I’ve always dreamed of living, and to dance in the glory everyday. Welcome to my blog. Welcome to my heart. Welcome to my little corner of the internet where I will be sharing myself, my gifts, my thoughts, my happy days, and my sad days. I’ve got lots of ideas about what this will become down the road, and if you know me, you know I’ve got strategies galore for growing this little thing into a mature project one day. But for today, I just wanted to say hello, and humbly invite you into this journey with me. Thanks for celebrating me and letting me shine bright. I believe that as I shine bright, I will give you permission to do the same, and to live your own brilliance, letting your diamonds inside be exposed for the benefit of the world around you. Let’s do it together, shall we?
Hello, 28. Hello, world.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." –– Marianne Williamson