Live the Life You Love

I’m wearing my favorite t-shirt today. I bought it on sale somewhere. It’s a simple white t-shirt and it says “Live the Life You Love”.

I bought this t-shirt because it took me a LONG time to figure out the life I love is okay. I’m a homebody. I don’t like huge adventures. I’ll never go cliff diving. I don’t enjoy public speaking. In fact, some days I don’t like talking at all. I like people but sometimes I don’t want to be around them. Ideally I have a few hours completely to myself during the day. I almost never want to go to parties. It’s nerve-wracking to me being in large groups. I never know what to say. My family are the only people I want to see on a day-to-day basis. I’m an introvert.

I’m a 47-year-old introvert and it took me almost this long to figure out this is okay.

Yesterday I cried when I heard Chris Cornell committed suicide. Not because I’m a huge fan, but because suicide is so tragic and prevalent today. My heart aches for those who are driven to that extreme by our world, because, although I’ve never considered it, if I were growing up in today’s world, I believe I might have.

Today’s world treasures the extroverts much, much more than ever before. The Youtubers and “Influencers” and sports stars and beautiful people. To a young introvert growing up among so many bright and shining beings and so many who can (and do) emulate them, the world can make an introvert feel very small and worthless—even when you have talent and beauty of your own that you’re just not as comfortable sharing.

This is addressed to my fellow introverts, young and old. YOU are okay. Do the things you love, live your quiet life, but LIVE it. Don’t ever give up. You may not feel like you fit in, but—and please trust me on this—the puzzle pieces of the world will eventually move over and let you shape your own spot. Find the things you love to do and do them. Contribute to the world in your way and don’t let it make you what you’re not. Because then you’ll never find peace.

God bless us all, introverts and extroverts alike. I have a feeling we all need it.

At the crossroads of Here and Here for Now

I always get a little introspective at the end of the year. I could look at this year in a multitude of ways. Definitely as a success, as my three growing, amazing children, two new novels and happy homelife can prove. Definitely as a year of personal growth. I hope I’ve learned as much about forgiving and becoming less selfish this year as I think I have. I’m reading more. I’m writing when I can. I’m in a good place.

It’s a comfortable way of being, this being Here. It’s contentment and happiness. I’m happy with Here. But I’m becoming aware that Here is slowly changing to Here for Now.

Subtly different, Here for Now acknowledges that Here is more than a simple point on the map. It’s a point on the map with roads leading away in all different directions. Here for Now allows that change, while slow coming, is always a possibility. And Here for Now is where I’ve decided to be.

I’ve noticed some differences in my writing recently. I’m no longer content to write simple romances where the romance is the final destination, in essence a fairy tale. I want more for my writing and my readers. So I’m Here for Now, but I’m reaching for that more. I’m hoping for change and I’m working toward it, even if it means slowing down and taking better stock of what I already have.