Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dear Train Tracks Girl

I was emailed a writing prompt this week to write a letter to my 20 year old self. At first I treated the assignment like an actual do-over.

This is my chance to fix everything. This is my chance. 

In hindsight I put way too much pressure on myself. I finally sat down, let go, and just began writing from my heart. I highly recommend trying this. It felt incredibly  freeing once I got past the fear.

Dear Train Tracks Girl, 
Did you know that's what your daughters will laugh and call you when you're 44? You will have weaved your childhood stories in such a way as to even make the reality of screaming train whistles in the middle of the night being a poor kid living 100 feet from the railroad tracks, seem exciting and appealing. 
Oh how much energy you have spent on making sense of the nonsensical. 
You have spent so much time looking out and not in. You should stop that. 
If I told you at 44 years old you would wake up instantaneously like in the flash of a camera, would you believe me? 
What if I told you it was never all your fault? 
What if I told you, you aren't broken? 
What if I told you that it was never your fault that since the moment of your birth every single person was fighting over you? 
And moreover, what if I told you it doesn't matter if they are? It's not your burden to bear and it's not your job to fix everything for everyone. Not then. Not now. 
What if I told you, you aren't an object or a pawn or a possession to be used to hurt someone? Used for your spirit or your youth or your body? 
What if I told you?
As much as I want to tell you these things and so many more, I know you, train tracks girl. You won't listen. And that pisses me off sometimes. 
We like perfect, don't we? 
You'll spend way too long looking for a man to love you. To save you. 
You'll drink too much sometimes to numb your pain and stuff your fear.
You'll swallow hard and choke down the word "no", clinging to the safety of the illusion that "yes" gives you some kind of fu*ked up pretend power. It keeps you safe and protects you in the moment while it sneaks up from behind and slowly robs you of your real power and your spirit.
You'll go from unhealthy relationship to unhealthy relationship. It will take you 44 long years to lose the fear and finally start believing in yourself. 
But that same train tracks girl that won't listen? 
She'll become the same girl who stands up for what she believes in. 
She loves with every ounce of her being. 
She is sensitive. 
She is kind. 
She's been broken so she knows how to help others put themselves back together. 
She is adventurous. 
She is fun. 
She is a story teller. 
She is brave. 
She loves big. 
She dreams big. 
And in the end, she wins. She gets her spirit back. 
As much as I want to save you, train tracks girl, you will have to save yourself. I guess I'm just here to tell you, you will. When you're 44 years old you'll hear the screaming whistle and you'll get on the train with me, and we won't ever go back. 
See you soon, 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Meet Darcey, the Detourist

So today is a pretty important day for me. After 27 years, I finally found my voice to start telling my own story and healing my heart. Thank you to Huffington post writer and creator of #LoveMyDetour, Amy Oestreicher who published my personal story & written work here in her #LoveMyDetour series, a campaign inspiring people to flourish because of, rather than in spite of life's challenges, spreading compassion & encouragement around the world 💗

Click here to read my detour......
Meet Darcey, the Detourist

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Cracked Pot

I heard this story a very long time ago and it has been on my mind so I thought I would share it again.

Once upon a time there was a woman that lived far away in a small village. Each day she would make a long journey to get water from a nearby river. She carried the water in 2 pots, each on an end of a long stick that rested along her shoulders and back of her neck. The pot on the right side of her on the stick was perfect without any cracks and contained all the water she filled it with when she reached her home. The other imperfect pot was on the left side of her. It was older and had some cracks in it. After she filled that pot it would slowly leak water along her path back home. By the time she arrived home it only held about half the water she had put in.

One day while at the river the cracked pot said to the woman, "Why do you keep me? I'm so ashamed of myself. Everyday you travel the long exhausting walk to the river for water. And everyday I am only able to hold half of your water by the time you reach your home. I am old and flawed and imperfect and yet you still hold onto me. I am ashamed of myself."

The woman smiled and replied,"You are beautiful and just as valuable to me as the perfect pot. I have seen your cracks which is why I planted seeds on your side of the path back to my house. Do you see the beautiful flowers growing along your side of the path? Your cracks water the seeds & are the reason the path is so beautiful with flowers. The beautiful flowers I have cut and placed in my home were grown on your side of the path. They bring me joy & beauty every time I look at them."

This story touched my heart for so many reasons. I easily slip into wanting to be perfect. This is such an awesome reminder that our cracks don't take away from our value. Our imperfections are just as valuable and as much a part of what makes us ourselves as our strengths are.

It's a special gift you share when you can recognize the goodness and beauty in another person's cracks and the one-of-a-kind flowers that bloom because of those cracks that make your own life that much more beautiful.

Have a great weekend, you guys.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

When the student is ready...

Wisdom comes from lots of places. I feel like most of my life has been in pursuit of some kind of wisdom. I think I own every single self help book known to man. I'm a sucker for all the social media articles titled, "5 steps to this" or "6 steps to that"

I aspire to be better. Do better. Make sense of my past. Make sense of her past. Fix my future. Fix your future.

No bueno.

I do all of this knowing in my heart I can't really fix anyone. It's my need for control playing dress up in good intentions and it distracts me from dealing with the only thing I really have any control over. Myself.

Recently I've been thinking on where wisdom comes from. It can certainly come from a book or an article. Both can teach you new skills to improve yourself. You can also read about another person's experience and it can spark reflection into your own life. Which, by the way, is the purpose of my blog. My hope is that anyone who reads my stuff can identify with the feelings I share. I try not to focus on my circumstances a lot because really, my details don't matter so much. We're all on the same journey. We all laugh. We all cry. We all struggle. We all experience triumph, loss, love, anger, grief. It just manifests itself in different ways for different people. I try to write in such a way that regardless of my specific details, it connects me to you.

It's funny though. My most meaningful lessons and wisdom always come from the least expected places.

They come from my old friend John with schizophrenia who I visited every week many years ago, who taught me the power of kindness and that we are all connected, regardless of our illness, negative behaviors, or quirky ways. Underneath it all, we are more alike than we are different.

They come from the pain of training for and finishing a marathon. When I realized the power in one step at a time. I got comfortable being uncomfortable. I stopped running away from the pain and stopped looking back so much and eventually realized I'd stopped running from my past....And instead, had started running toward my future.

They come from 3 trips to the West Coast, when I had finally gotten myself to the furthest place, both physically and emotionally, that I had ever dreamed of as a kid.

They come from Mary, my sister with a developmental disability, who inspires me every day to choose happy in spite of all the challenging circumstances life continually tosses at her.

They come from the guy I met on my run with a traumatic brain injury trying to get himself up Main St hill with one leg in a wheelchair. I stopped & pushed him home, thinking I was helping him. When we got there he looked at me and said, "You. Are. Awesome." Little did he know, at that moment I had happened to be at one of the lowest points I have ever been & him saying that made a huge difference in my life.

Maybe I am good enough?

My most recent wisdom came while sitting under a tree drinking an ice cold beer. My life has been challenging lately in more ways than one. I'm in brand new territory and I often find myself questioning my strength to pursue my own happiness and dreams and stand on my own two feet for the first time in my life.

A couple weeks ago, I ran a 5K Brewery series race.  And ahem, I'm excited (and shocked) to say I took second place in my age group!!!! 

It was a crazy hot day and after the race I was sitting under a tree listening to the awards & having a very cold beer with a friend. We got chatting about our lives & something he said stuck with me all week. He raised up his hand in the air & said that now that he's independent and happy with himself, the bar is up here. Whatever comes next in life has to meet or exceed that.

It got me thinking about my own circumstance. I started thinking about how I'm finally starting to figure out what makes me happy. How I'm finally starting to raise my own bar. How I placed in a 5K race even though I had to stop for a bloody heel and even though it wasn't my best time. Imperfect. And yet somehow, I was still good enough.

It's funny how wisdom sneaks up quietly and taps you on the shoulder even when you're a hot sweaty mess drinking a beer under a tree.

"When the student is ready the teacher appears"

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Inspiration. Photographer unknown

The painful gaze
The glassy haze
Of a single silhouette
Framed in chrome.
With a chip
In the glass 
His hands 
Did pass.
The reflection  
That is 
No more,
In the
Shiny fancy mirror.
Today she
Stands alone 
Where he 
Stood behind.
Placing her
Arm over her head 
Gently led
She's cupping
His neck
As his knowing fingers  
Make their trek.
Down her body
Inch by inch,
Tracing his way
Longing for 
Another day.
Grazing her
As he makes 
His rounds.
Her heart pounds.
On each
Journey down.
To the valley 
Of her waist,
Further still
Increasing his pace.
Moving back up
And starting again.
Eyes locked. 
Stolen time spent 
With each and every
Taking in 
The moment 
As if it could be captured,
Heart raptured. 
For the loneliness 
Of today
The painful gaze
The glassy haze
Of a single silhouette
Framed in chrome.