Reach

When I wrote this piece for Stigma Fighters Canada, I wasn’t expecting it to reach as many people as it did. After all, I’ve written about my struggles with Multiple Hereditary Exostoses, depression and anxiety several times before.

But there was something about this post, about how it was written or perhaps maybe the content in itself, that hit home for many people struggling with this disorder. A lot of people have reached out to thank me for successfully explaining just how it feels. Words often escape us when we attempt to describe what we are going through, because it’s just so complex and difficult. It’s hard to explain it all in a few short sentences, and I honestly thought I didn’t come close to hitting the mark with that post…but I somehow did.

JessicaH5

Photo from High School: Semi-Formal with my sister Kate and my dad. The first time I wore a “revealing” dress…

I’m entirely grateful for that. I know what it’s like to feel completely alone in this; to feel like nobody understands what I’m going through or dealing with. When I was younger, an eloquently written piece about what I was dealing with would have made me feel so less alone.

While I still don’t think “eloquently” is an appropriate way to describe me (I swear like a trucker and mispronounce every other spoken word, hola!), I’m still grateful that my words have reached the hearts of other people and made them feel a little less alone.

I’m going to be working on a couple of projects for the MHE community, and I couldn’t be more excited or thankful for the opportunity. This is obviously a cause that is very near and dear to my heart; not only have I lived with this disease all my life, but both of my sons inherited it and they will both face many battles because of it. If I can help ease their struggles a little with my words and advocating, then I definitely will.

More to come on that later.

In the mean time, I just wanted to express my thanks for all of the words of support, love and hope that came from those of you who shared the Chronic Pain, Depression and Anxiety post.

I would also like to point you in the direction of the blog of the wonderful Allie Burke; bestselling author, VP of Operations for Stigma Fighters, and dearest friend. She asked me to write a guest post and I did, so you can find more words from me there today.

Blinders

10429486_10203858129076209_9028804056590715475_n (1)A lot of the time, I walk around in a daze. It’s as if my mind is surrounded in a thick, impenetrable fog. I can see things, I can experience things…but I feel like I am seeing and experiencing these things to a lesser degree because of this fog. The fog makes these experiences, these sights, feel very far away from me.

When I was growing up, we had a pool. My sisters and I would go underwater and try and have conversations with one another. It would be difficult to carry on a conversation, and difficult to hear one another. We really had to concentrate to get it right, and half the time…we missed important things, or misheard. It turns out that hearing underwater is kind of difficult, but still…we tried.

Some days, I feel like that…all day long. I feel like I’m underwater, or that I’m looking at and hearing things from behind thick glass. Things are disoriented. These are the days that my pain levels are extremely high. These are the days that I almost have to disconnect from everything, the days when I have no choice but to run on auto-pilot.

Those are also the days that I put my “blinders” on. It’s almost an involuntary reaction, and I try very hard to not do that because it’s not fair to those around me. But it’s difficult, so difficult. It’s hard to stay present, it’s hard to catch every last snippet of conversation that people around me are having. It’s hard to be in the moment on those days.

And it is very, very hard to express what I’m feeling and thinking. I can do so by writing, by typing, but the words do not pour so easily from my lips as they do from the tips of my fingers. I don’t know why, maybe there’s a wire that’s disconnected somewhere that makes expressing my feelings and emotions verbally incredibly hard.

I’m perpetually terrified of coming across as cold, uncaring, and insensitive to those around me because I have these blinders on. When I feel that I have let someone down, I become consumed with guilt. I don’t want to hurt people by shutting down, but what else do you do?

Medicating pain does have side affects. I’m still trapped in a fog, only instead of a pain fog…it’s a medication fog. It’s hard to tell which one of those fogs is worse.

But, I do what I can do…because that’s all I can do. I keep moving, because I don’t like the option of not moving. I’m imperfect, and I know that. I will always be imperfect. Knowing that kind of takes the pressure off myself a little, it eases the burden slightly. The one thing I won’t do, the one thing that I know I will never do; is back down. I’ll keep moving, I’ll keep pushing.

Because that’s just what you do.

Winter Darkness

10404425_10203852312450797_4626178302564627562_n“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”  
― Mary Oliver

At the risk of sounding like a broken record; I’ve been going through a rough time lately. Emotionally, spiritually, physically…I’m just spent.

The winter months are usually tremendously difficult for me. The bitter cold makes my pain days even worse than they typically are. That along with the lack of vitamin D and the boredom that comes from having to stay inside almost all the time (because, again…the cold pumps up my pain level like you wouldn’t believe, so I don’t go out in that crap unless I absolutely have to); it’s no wonder I’m basically a mess during the months of winter.

Unfortunately, winter tends to stick around for a long time, especially in Canada. I’m aware that there are a lot of places that are significantly colder than Ontario, but frankly: I don’t care. I don’t live in those places, I live in Ontario. The weather in Ontario affects me. I already know that I would really not do well in Alaska, or anywhere colder than Ontario.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately, mainly with myself. But my depression, my pain and my despair over dealing with that does tend to spill over in other aspects of my life. Why wouldn’t it? That shit affects you, and in turn…it affects everything around you. I can try my hardest to make sure that doesn’t happen, but that isn’t always the case.

So if I have offended you or let you down in the last little while; I’m sorry. It’s really difficult to see past the numbing blinders I put on myself to try and ignore all the physical pain. I know that doesn’t make any sense, and it’s difficult for those around me to understand. You pretty much won’t understand what I’m talking about when I say “numbing blinders” unless you have a chronic pain disorder and use them, though. Maybe one day, when I have the space in my head, I’ll try and explain all that…but right now, my brain is foggy and my heart is heavy.

It’s no easy thing for me to admit, or at least…it wasn’t in the past. I’m being more open about this shit though, because why should I keep quiet? Am I weaker for admitting I can’t always bear what’s thrown at me? Am I weaker for saying hey, this fucking sucks? No, I don’t think so. I still cling to positive thoughts and feelings as much as I can, but I know it’s okay to admit that sometimes that doesn’t come easily. In fact, it’s damn hard…especially right now.

On these days; I force myself to step away, get lost in a book, and devour way too many coffees. Maybe even have a nap. I also tell myself that it’s okay to feel the way I feel, because it is.

I just need to remember that winter doesn’t last forever.

The Proverbial Eff You

Social media is kind of hilarious, when you think about it. It’s widened our horizons for communication, but it’s also made us self-entitled assholes that expect a reason to know why someone doesn’t want to connect with us.

middlefingerDeleting someone off your Facebook or unfollowing them on Twitter is basically a proverbial fuck you, one that they take extremely personally. Like, confront you and demand an explanation, as if you were in a committed relationship with them and suddenly backed out without any heads up at all.

It just doesn’t make sense, how personally people take it. It’s the norm to add someone you don’t like to the “ignore” list on your Facebook, but it’s apparently blatantly rude to just delete them. I don’t often delete people, but when I do, it’s because I found absolutely no redeeming qualities for them being on my list. They were just another number, and you know what? I don’t need numbers on my list. I need people that I want to interact with, people that I want to see my content.

I have a personal Facebook and an author/book Facebook. My personal Facebook is locked down for people I know in real life; it’s for friends and family. It’s where I share pictures of my children, etc. My author/book Facebook is where I connect with a variety of different folks from around the Internet; book lovers who enjoyed my book, other authors, bloggers, etc etc. I’m less strict about who I let view my content there because I do not share photos of my kids.

That being said, I don’t keep every Tom, Dick and Harry on my list. If someone breaks one of my rules, they’re gone. My rules are simple: don’t be a fucking creep. I am not on Facebook, Twitter, or any other part of the Internet to pick guys up. I’m married, and even if I wasn’t married…the creepy come ons are just that: CREEPY. So anyone who adds me strictly to try and hit on me, they are gone without a warning. I can’t be bothered how to teach some Neanderthal thinking with his dick why his behavior is inappropriate.

I also delete people who cause an abundance of drama, because I simply don’t have time for that. If I wanted to watch a train-wreck of drama unfold before my eyes, I’d tune in to All My Children, or whatever the soap opera of choice is these days.

I think it’s pretty straight forward: be respectful and don’t be an idiot.

But still, people expect to know the answer to why they’ve been deleted off someones’ friend list.

I have a little bit of advice for those people…

noneyaI’m a rule breaker, so I don’t care if deleting someone from my friend’s list is a ghastly, terrible thing to do.

Now, if you don’t mind…I’m going to go nurse the severe jello shooter headache I have.

 

At War (With My Body)

I’ve always been at war with my body. The struggle to do all the things I want to do whilst not “over doing it” and causing additional pain to the chronic pain I feel daily has always been a complicated dance.

I keep telling myself that maybe the pain will be less if I could just keep active. I try to push myself, because I want to be able to do it all. I want to have energy.

But it’s a constant battle, a never ending war.

I went to the gym tonight. I want to do cardio, to build up some muscles…and losing some weight would be nice too. I didn’t go hard, but I moved more than I have in the last several months combined. I’m hurting really bad now..but I’ll let you in on a secret: I was hurting really bad anyway. Whether I sit or stand, I hurt.

My wrist has been causing excruciating amounts of pain lately. Likely because I’ve been working it by putting pen to actual paper, but also because there are several tumours in there that grind and press against the tendons and that’s just downright unpleasant on a “good day”.  The writing pen to paper just aggravates it more…so I need to stop.

I can’t win, and it’s exhausting. I just want to get in shape and be healthier, and feel better. I’m not going to quit the gym after one session, I’m going to give it more time. Like I said, I hurt either way.

And it’s depressing.

* * * *

On another note, today I took my three year old to get his feet measured for orthopedic inserts. Both of my sons have inherited my MHE, and they each have different struggles already with it. My three year old has very bowed legs and his heels are collapsed. He walks with a lot of pain and we need to correct it, hence the orthopedic inserts. My five year old’s bone growths press against the nerves and tendons, much like mine, and that causes him daily pain as well.

We’re doing everything that we can to stay on top of things, but it still hurts your heart seeing your kids going through similar challenges you face, knowing exactly how it felt to go through them.

Today was hard; but I am thankful for medical advances and intervention.

Don’t Clip My Wings (The Left Behind)

There’s always at least one person in your life that you envy or have envied at one point. Maybe they have a really awesome career that allows them to travel all over the world, or maybe they’ve made a name for themselves doing something meaningful. Maybe they simply have something that you don’t, and you envy them for it.

The grass is greener on the other side, they say. And it’s true…we humans have this dirty tendency to compare what we have to what others have.

I used to do that…a lot. I used to look at my friends and envy them for getting a college education and having a career, a job. I used to envy my friends who would go gallivanting across Europe without a worry or care, the childless friends who didn’t need to worry about sleep schedules and potty training…the ones that could party at the club until one or two in the morning and not have to get up at the ass crack of dawn.

In turn, I had many friends who envied me. I didn’t even know it at first, until they started to mention things to me…about how they were envious that I found love, married, and have two beautiful kids. In their eyes, I had it all because I had something they didn’t.

It was really humbling hearing that, you know? It just made me realize…that statement about the grass being greener couldn’t be more true, at least in some aspects.

* * * *

Before I married my husband, my family went through an life changing transformation. It opened my eyes to what I wanted for the future, for myself. It made me realize that I couldn’t just find an indentiy in being a mother and a wife, that I had to have more…something to define me as me. Something else to live for, you know? It’s fine to live for your spouse and your kids, but you’ve also go to live for you too.

It took me some time to realize exactly what that meant, some time to realize how I could best execute my wants and needs as a human being as well as balancing my role as mother and wife. I don’t always get it right, but that isn’t the point. I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t wear my family, my husband or my kids, as a security blanket…I vowed that I would have my own achievements. I wouldn’t and couldn’t live through theirs, although I am forever proud of them for their own achievements.

I am the way that I am for a reason. I am driven, I have goals. I’ve done a lot to get where I am and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. Why? Because I would be incredibly unhappy if I stopped doing the things that bring my joy.

Sometimes, I have a hard time staying motivated, call it depression or whatever you want, but I do struggle sometimes to find the balance and get it all perfectly aligned. Balance is difficult to achieve and harder still to maintain. That does not mean I’m going to quit what I’m doing. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I have nothing to be proud of myself for.

I’ve noticed something about people: if they’re not actively working towards something, they are miserable. I don’t mean miserable in the depressed sense, I just mean miserable. They are resentful of everyone else’s successes, even if they never had a desire to do the things they’re envious of other people doing.

When that happens, they develop a “this isn’t fair” attitude and outlook. It’s not fair that someone else got to do this, while they didn’t. They victimize themselves.

I have a few questions for those people…the “why me?” people:

What do you dream of? What do you want to be? Why are you not doing it? What do YOU think is holding your back? Write it down, read it out loud to yourself and then ask yourself…what’s really holding you back?

The answer will probably surprise you. In almost every case, the answer is you. You are holding yourself back. You are afraid of failure, so you won’t let yourself try because you don’t want that disappointment.

That’s on you, nobody else. Because of you really wanted to do it, you’d find a way to do it.

So find a way, and quit clipping your own wings. Spread those feathers and fly.

Mental Health and the Internet

I’ve learned more about my own mental health from the Internet than I have from the health care system.

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I’ve been followed regularly by orthopedic specialists and family doctors for my bone disorder since my diagnosis at 18 months. My doctor treated all of my symptoms and pain for the bone disorder and often saved the mobility of my limbs by intervening before damage could be done to the nerves and tendons.

But in all the time…I’ve never received adequate care for my mental health. In fact, I didn’t really know anything was wrong with me…I kept rationalizing my symptoms as a normal part of teenage development.

I ignored those symptoms, partly because I didn’t want to alarm my family but also because I was ashamed. Everybody remarked about how strong I was for enduring surgeries and daily pain, and I was afraid that by admitting I was suffering, that I was hurting more than in just a physical sense, that I would somehow let them down. I feared that I would no longer be strong in their eyes.

Fast forward to the Internet; to blogging and Twitter and connecting with like-minded people. It was easier to discuss my feelings on a blog, through an “anonymous alias”, than to admit those feelings to people I knew in real life. I still brushed off a lot of what I was feeling.

I still kept most of what I struggled with a secret.

Fast forward to hearing that what I was feeling daily wasn’t “normal”. Flash forward to teaching myself about mental health, about depression and anxiety and finally feeling a slight lift of weight off my shoulder, a slight ease that came from more knowledge in the matter, by my own means of research. I worried that the doctors would tell my parents and I was still afraid of somehow letting them down. I didn’t want to give them yet another thing to worry about.

I remained silent for several more years. I fought my battles quietly. I was afraid of being told “you just want attention“, because that’s what people said back then. Hell, they still do it. They still say cruel things like she just wants attention when someone says that they are struggling.

My husband was the first person I admitted any of that stuff too, and I kept trudging through it all on my own for several more years. In 2012, I finally went to my family doctor and told her I was struggling.

And I hated how she looked at me.

I hated the judgmental pursed lips, the narrowed gaze of assessment while she quizzed me with a detachment that made me feel extremely tiny and unimportant.

Is there anything going on that could contribute to your feelings of depression and anxiety?

Why…yes, actually. A fucking lot. I’m sore all the time, I feel trapped financially…unable to contribute financially. My husband carries the heavy burden of being the primary breadwinner but my bad pain days have me leaning on him for even more help, which puts a strain on us. I’m dealing with abandonment issues or something along those painful lines. Oh…did I mention I’m sore all the time?

She barely glanced at the screen before writing out a prescription for some kind of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication, and I left her office with more questions than I had answers.

Like…how could me answering five standard questions asked by a family doctor really give an insight to what’s happening in my mind?

Or, why is it so hard to see a psychologist?

I’m still waiting for an appointment. Twiddling my thumbs and wondering why the resources are so difficult to come by, especially those who can’t afford to see a private psychologist.

What is going on here? Why is it harder to get help for someone struggling mentally than someone struggling with a disability or physical sickness?

Actually, I have a theory about that. The health care department and the government, hell the majority of doctors themselves, do not understand the complicated human mind, and therefore do not know how to treat it. They’re afraid to step into someone’s dark world.

Which is why I’ve received the best advice from friends who also struggle with mental illness; because they are not afraid to go into the dark place and truly see who you are. They are not afraid because they’ve been there, or are there. They see you as a person first and always.

This is exactly why Stigma Fighters is such an important cause. It’s putting faces to illnesses, it’s putting words to thoughts and helping those who don’t understand see things in a different light. It’s not just about speaking up and breaking the stigma, it’s about making us more human to the doctors who are supposed to treat us. It’s about demanding more than the sorry excuse for mental health care that we’ve been receiving. We are individual cases with individual methods of coping, we don’t fit into any one box labeled “depression” or “anxiety”. We aren’t just another patient number.

We are more, and we’ve always been more.

If you struggle with a mental illness, consider sharing your story with Stigma Fighters. You never know who your words are going to reach and help. 

New Release: VOID by Cassy Roop!

VOID TEXT copyCover png10999068_10206187997403377_1224462777_obook info pngTitle: VOID
Author: Cassy Roop
Genre: Erotic Thriller
Cover Design: Cassy Roop with Pink Ink Designs
Photography by: Mandy Hollis
Model: Rainey Wilson
Release Date: February 23rd 2015

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I AM AN ESCORT.

I screw men and get screwed for money,
living my life everyday as Jericho Lane.
My clientele list is immaculate.
I am sought out, demanded
and damn good at my job.
I don’t care that these men have families at home,
or that they are important people.
I do it for the money.
to survive.

There is nothing that could make me
feel a bit of remorse or
concern about what I do because
I was born with the inability
to experience or feel emotions…

I don’t feel PAIN
I don’t feel SORROW.
I don’t feel extreme HAPPINESS or LOVE

I am VOID.

A blank canvas of emotions.
An empty hole in an endless sea of
circumstances, moods and relationships.

Until one client changes EVERYTHING.book trailer png

VOID is filled with intrigue, suspense, and smoldering desire. This story will keep you turning the page until the very end.” -Aleatha Romig, New York Times bestselling author

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“Cassy Roop has created a twisted, hot & unique world in VOID.” -Harper Sloan, New York Times bestselling author

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“Never have I been so invested in a story line like I was with VOID.” - S.K. Hartley, International Bestselling Author

meet cassy roop png10525358_10204712668721082_1262547586036668444_n

Cassy is a fitness goddess by day and romance author by night. When she isn’t writing furiously on her next novel, she’s making books look beautiful inside and out as a graphic designer. She has an unhealthy obsession with peanut butter, pedicures, and all things Les Mills group fitness. She has on occasion been seen purchasing clothes that aren’t athletic apparel (although rare).

She released her debut, The Price of Love, in March of 2014.
The Celtic Knot Novels are her first erotic romance series and Books 1 and 2, Ashley’s Bend and Figure Eight both reached #1 in Erotic Thrillers on Amazon. Book 3, Triquetra, released September 22, 2014 and book 4 the companion novel, Axel Hitch in December 2014stalk cassy @ png

Facebook | Twitter | TSU | Website | Amazon | Goodreadsalso look for pngThe Price Of Love

The Celtic Knot Series
Ashley’s Bend
Figure Eight
Triquetra
Axel Hitchhosted byNEW CLP Banner

Indie Author: Guest Post by @allieburkebooks

I am so honored to have my friend and fellow author, Allie Burke, guest post today! I met Allie through our mutual friend, Sarah, and through our work with Stigma Fighters. She’s opened up a world of possibilities for me concerning my books. She is now my project and book manager with Booktrope, so that’s pretty awesome!

AllieBurkeSpeaking of awesome, here are some other awesome things you should know about Allie:

Allie Burke is an American novelist, book critic, and magazine editor from Burbank, California. She writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.

PaperSoulsHer life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.

From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.

Visit Allie at http://wordsbyallieburke.com, and look for her incredible novel Paper Souls, on Amazon.

Indie Author

I was just telling one of my authors about my bestseller status and how I didn’t know that it had happened until someone told me.

I basically forayed into the publishing world on accident. I was having trouble finding the relatable balance between Young Adult and Contemporary Romance and didn’t feel like I had anything to read that I would ever enjoy. I’d read hundreds of books at that point and my brutally honest take on the matter was that it couldn’t be that hard. I hadn’t any experience or education with writing, but I was an intelligent human being, right? I had access to Google.

In 2010 I wrote a book that I genuinely wanted to read. It was called Violet Midnight. It took me about nine months to get together a first draft. It was my baby. (Writing a novel is a lot like having a child, actually.) (I’m guessing.) I was in love with the characters and the world I had created. It was my life’s biggest accomplishment and I was proud.

A year or so later I had come across a site called Lulu, where you could publish your books independently. For free. I’d never really thought about querying my novel—it seemed like more trouble than it was worth—but I had a technical degree and surely I could figure out how to format a novel properly and make it available for my friends to read, at least. I was only twenty-four so if it was a failed attempt at life, whatever.

So I did. I eventually learned what a blog was and joined Twitter. And that was where the magic happened. I met Nicholas Denmon, Bestselling Author of For Nothing, who introduced me to #1 Bestselling Author of Seductive Shadows, Marni Mann. My fate with Marni Mann would someday make us best friends, but before that, she would introduce me to some folks at Booktrope, who would ask me to give them my books.

Spoiler alert: I did.

Before all of that happened, when I started working as Staff Writer for Mark Brassington, Editor and Founder of Geeks Unleashed, people started actually reading my book. Like, people I didn’t know. I had some big names saying big things about a book that I look at now as my ‘sample run’, people like USA Today Bestselling Author Karina Halle and #1 New York Times Bestseller Courtney Cole (I take selfies with their books at Barnes & Noble sometimes). There were some terrible reviews coming to the surface too, claiming that I needed an edit. One author said that I was a terrible writer and that I should quit I learned what decade I was in. That one made me cry for three days.

And that’s really what it came down to. It never occurred to me to check my reviews or heaven forbid, my sales numbers—what are sales numbers? Granted, Twitter wasn’t what it is now—we never posted links to our books back then or DM’d anyone with our Facebook page. We just talked to each other. People watched, and they bought, and they read. I was still getting made fun of in the real world for being such a nerd, but Twitter was my happy place. Everyone understood me there.

Connections in the publishing world are what made it happen for me. Just six months after I’d published a book where no one knew my name, a friend reached out to tell me that Violet Midnight was number one in Paranormal Romance.

A lot has changed since then—there are a lot more e-books to choose from now—but the foundation of our success remains the same. I have gone on to project manage Booktrope’s Gravity Imprint, run the Literary section of Geeks Unleashed, serve as acting Vice President at the NPO Stigma Fighters, develop my own online magazine and write tons of books, but there would be none of that without the connections I made. I wouldn’t have any of that without the friends that supported my work.

That is my favorite part about being an Indie Author.

 

Consistency is Key

Consistency is key.

I think I’ve heard that sentence somewhere near a billion times in my life.

Consistency is key.

I never really knew what it meant. I mean, I know what the words themselves mean…but I didn’t comprehend the meaning to me, you know? I didn’t understand how to apply the consistency part to my life and my decisions.

Consistency is key.

I knew what I wanted, I knew where I wanted to go; but I didn’t understand that it would take a lot to get there. I didn’t understand that between wanting it and having it, I would have to put in a lot of little miniature steps.

Consistency is key.

I guess I got bored with the miniature steps. I guess I still get bored with that, all those tiny steps. Some times, it just feels like everything I want is so close and yet…so far out of my reach. I have a lot of mini things that I need to do to get there, and some days…I just don’t want to. Some days, it feels too great. Some days, I have to release all of the “need-tos” to sit back and look at what I’ve accomplished so far. Sometimes, that takes a little longer to do than a day. I need a little more reassurance in myself than just a few hours away from it. I need to step away and truly look at all I’ve done and all I’ve been through.

I need to reassess.

Consistency is…

I’ve been told before that I’m not consistent enough, that I am flaky because I change my mind a lot. I prefer to look at it like I have a gypsy soul, because I believe that I do. I wander. I dream of bigger things, of different things. I change my mind.

But whoever said that consistency couldn’t also mean changing your mind? If you dabble your feet in something and feel that it’s not for you, that it isn’t right for you…be it in that moment or ever…who’s to say you didn’t try enough? Maybe you just have a better sense of self than others. I knew I wouldn’t make a good dental administrator. I hated teeth. I thought I could force myself to stay put, but I realized that I’d only hate my job and be miserable…

I wanted to be happy. So, I left college. Again. I embarked on another soul searching journey to find out what I truly wanted out of life.

And you know what? The underlining thing that I’ve wanted since I understood the concept of wanting something has always been there. It’s always been consistent. I have always wanted to write; to be a writer. I wanted people to fall in love with my stories, with the worlds that I created, just as I fell in love with so many other worlds in the books that I read. I have always wanted to nourish my soul by telling the stories in my heart, and I have always fantasized about moving other people with my words.

It’s why I’ve blogged since I learned of the concept of blogging. It’s why I journaled prior to that. It’s why I’ve always been a writer. I’ve always had a writer’s heart, I’ve always looked at situations as…this would make a great story.

But I didn’t understand it back then. I thought my dreams were silly. Nourishing my soul with words? How could I possibly earn an income off that? Moving other people by sharing the stories from my heart? How could that possibly work as a job?

I let the what-ifs and maybes hold me back from realizing my own potential; from realizing that I’ve always been doing this, albeit on a smaller scale.

And yet…I was still consistent with that dream. I still wrote, every day. I still plotted out my novel ideas. I still fed that dream, I still worked at it until it became a reality.

Now it is…and it feels incredible. I love it, I can’t express to you how much I love it. I love closing my eyes and just thinking about it. I’ve got two books published, a third set to come out in the fall, and many more projects in the works.

I’m doing itDespite the self-doubt, I’m doing it. And I won’t stop, I can’t stop. I’ve always had a writer’s heart…and I always will have a writer’s heart.