I’ve always kept this blog title to one word but this is a special occasion. I am very excited to announce my friend’s beautiful book about women not only in their prime but nude. It is a beautiful representation of the strength women have at any age. But these women have lived a number of years and are here to tell the world.
It is refreshing and also incredibly brave for these women to share their beautiful bodies and stories. My friend, Angelika Buettner, a world-class photographer, has captured them in all their glory.
She told me about the project a number of years ago and I agreed to be a part of it not knowing it would turn out to be such a work of art. I was going through a lot of changes when I said yes and posing for her allowed me to free myself in many ways. Seeing it in print made me incredibly proud. I did it. I was brave enough to show myself physically and emotionally in print. I was scared and it was raw. But I am among these strong women. I am so grateful to be able to share the same pages with them.
So in this new year and a new decade, I announce that I Am! It’s been a long road but I’m determined to move through it with strength and grace.
I wrote my first blog back in 2013 entitled Tribes. I talked about finding a group that you could hang with that would believe in you and inspire you to be the best version of yourself even when you didn’t believe you could. I can’t believe that it was written five years ago. So hard to believe the time has passed by so quickly. I thought then I would gather my tribe and would discover what I really was put here on this earth to do.
I have traveled and worked and searched and haven’t really found that group. Unfortunately, my work kept me away and disconnected from where I thought I wanted to be. I felt I was moving towards something that would give me the answer of where I wanted to be in my life. I now realize that I wasn’t ready to take the chance.
I recently listened to an interview with Simon Sinek who is one of my favorite thinkers and he has written a new book called The Infinite Game. I had written about him before and was so impressed by his way of looking at the world that when I saw he had written a new book I had to have it.
In it, he says our courage comes from being surrounded by people who believe in you even when you are filled with self-doubt. He says that when we work hard for something that we don’t want to do it’s called stress but when we work hard to do what we want to do it’s called passion. Ah, right you are Simon. It takes courage and strength to keep going even when you think you can’t.
I was so into my book and so ready to push forward until I asked for someone’s advice who I really respected. Their comments hit me hard but they were honest and right on the money. I needed to dig deeper. I got caught up in the story and not in the emotional reason why. I took the finite route. I took the direction of safe instead of the direction of passion. I realized now I wasn’t ready to go to that place. So I’m going back to the drawing board and write from my gut.
That’s what the infinite game is. It’s pushing for the truth and writing from that place where there is no filter. And I have my friend to thank for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself and encouraging me to write from my heart. I’m finally beginning to find my tribe.
I have been hooked on watching the U.S. Open this past two weeks. There are many new faces, young and hungry. One, in particular, was a 19-year-old Canadian young lady named Bianca Andreescu. She was rated somewhere around 128 when she came into the tournament and just beat Serena Williams, a tennis legend, in the final.
What struck me as being extraordinary about this woman was how calm and focused she was at such a young age. In an interview, she said at the age of 15 she wrote herself a mock check as if she were champion of the U.S. Open and then updated it each year, with the new prize money total.
“Every year,” she said.
And here she was collecting that money for real. Amazing. I can only imagine where she will be in five years. Throughout the match, I watched her parents and was very impressed by how calm they were. They never jumped up and yell and clapped and hollered. They acknowledged her accomplishment and then moved on. It was apparent why their daughter was so calm on the court.
I was inspired but also a little jealous I must admit. I am much older than 19 by a long shot but still haven’t found that inner strength that allows you to believe strong enough to keep pushing through for your dream.
I am trying and am determined not to quit because of some other “obligation.” I have had a stumbling block recently with writing and that little voice of defeat is trying to sneak in and tell me to give up. After all, that voice that lives so deep in me is trying to tell me that I’m not supposed to be a writer. And maybe Bianca Andreescu wasn’t supposed to be a successful tennis player after her many injuries. But here she is the U.S. Open Champion.
I’ll be getting that check for my writing. Let that voice of defeat be still. A 19-year-old did it. Against all odds. Let that be me. Let that be you. The world needs more dreams being met.