“Imagine a world in which the vast majority of us wake up inspired, feel safe at work and return home fulfilled at the end of the day.”
Hi there. We’re really glad you’ve joined us. The quote above was taken from a brilliant man named Simon Sinek who wrote a little book called ‘Start with Why’. (He also has a wildly popular TED talk about this very subject.)
And we completely agree with him that WHY is the best place to start. So this is us, two girls on our own journey … to find truth and meaning in this chaos we call life. But first, let us start with our ‘why’.
All my life, since I was a little girl, I have loved to write. I wrote my first book at the age of 5. It was utter shit of course, as most books written by 5 years olds are. But clearly I was fascinated with words.
It’s interesting considering I had a speech impediment when I was little. For whatever reason I struggled to find the right words to say when I would talk. I could see them in my head, but struggled to say them out loud. There were a lot of ‘uh, uh, uh, uh ….’s until I could finally find the word. It was so bad, in fact, that it was suggested I go to speech therapy.
At the time I didn’t know I was going to this group session because of a flaw I had when speaking. I was in kindergarten and I thought it was a special fun class made for special, really smart kids. We’d sit around and play ‘go fish’ with images on the cards and no words. This helped us to correlate the image on the card to the actual word. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized this was a class for people who had a slight learning disability.
All that to say, perhaps the reason I started writing at a young age was because it’s always been easier for me than speaking. And I’ll be honest, this holds true, even today. In my relationships, I often find I do better at communicating via text or email versus face to face conversations. I tend to get flustered when put on the spot and I always end up feeling like I didn’t present myself as accurately or as well as I could’ve.
So … I write. And I write. Let’s just say, in this modern age of quick texts and short answers and I-need-to-be-brief-because-I’m-breezy attitudes, being a long-winded writer tends to scare potential romantic partners off.
But enough about why I first began writing, now to the real WHY I’m writing on this blog.
I started sexandthebigd.com a couple of years ago as a way to record my single years for posterity. Actually … it was more than that. I’d had my heart broken that year and it shook me to my very core. Add to that being divorced and a multiple-times-over relationship failure … and then being a girl who’s dated most of Dallas and is still very very single … I have often felt helpless, hopeless shame at my state.
Writing on that blog has been a way for me to face my own demons, my own inner critic, and tell my story with pride. I was writing to combat shame. My own shame. To be open and raw and maybe a little too real about some stuff I’d rather hide. Because our mistakes are what make us and they are beautiful, aren’t they?
But now I realize there’s more to do. I love my job, but … still … most days I feel unfulfilled. And it’s not up to my 9 to 5 job to fulfill me, it isn’t. It’s up to me. And the thing is, writing fulfills me in a way most things can’t. And not just writing about travels or writing about products you should buy or writing about the happiest of times, but writing about life and the underbelly of experiences. Seeing the beauty in the chaos. Seeing the truth in the mess. Writing about God and self-loathing and binge eating and being a dominatrix and having my heart broken by an unavailable man.
So I’ve decided that I want to be a writer in full. Not just a half-assed, if-I-have-the-time kind of writer. But a committed, all-in kind of writer. Writing is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I’ve been too afraid to really truly pursue it. I’m scared it might break my heart. I’m scared I’m not good enough. I’m scared of failing.
But I want to live up to that quote above. I want my day job, my 9-to-5 to be the thing I’m most passionate about and I want it to reflect who I am at my core. My best friend and I decided to give this thing a real go. All-in. Committed. To writing and creating and pursuing the things we truly love. The things that move us.
Like talking openly about emotional wounds and forgiveness and shame. I still write to combat shame. And maybe to help others combat shame as well. Maybe you understand what I’ve been through. Maybe you’ve been through hell … maybe it was a hell of your own making, much like mine … and maybe you’ve kept it hidden for fear of what someone’s perception of you might be. I don’t know … and I don’t know that anything I do or say will help anyone other than myself. But even if that’s all this ends up being, a way to help myself heal and grow … well, then that will be enough.
I’m not the greatest writer nor am I the wisest. But I hope to grow through this process. To become a better writer and a better me. To bring light to the dark places of my own life and if I’m lucky, help others to do the same. To speak my truth loudly and proudly and with great grace.
And maybe during this process I’ll find a way to truly love all my flaws, my impediments and write my way to a whole new kind of peace. And a life I’ve always wanted.
Thanks Aly! So awesomely said…
That Simon Sinek quote gets me every god damned time – I’ve probably read it about 10,567 times already. I read Start With Why over the course of two days about 2 weeks ago. One being a work day in which I should have been working from home – yep – even this overachiever has her negligent moments… I subsequently signed up for his Discovering Why course shortly after that, and yes – chose to do the first few modules at home… while I should have been working. (Again, negligent moment.) But his Why makes my heart do little things inside like want to rise up and join his revolution. And that’s precisely why he wrote the book, Start With Why – to show others how to start something that really matters, or rather, something that really matters to them – and how to stay on target with that matter-y thing. And it’s his Why that puts meaning and purpose into every action he undertakes. His Why stirs something inside of me… I live for that kind of why.
Yes, you’ve stumbled across Aly and I’s blog, to which I am so grateful you’re here. Thank you for taking the time to read our words as our words mean so very much to us. And we hope these words provide some kind of value to you, great or small. And for me – you may be the very reason I am writing. My why starts with you…
So my why… “Imagine a world where the vast majority of us experienced permission to be, exactly where we are, as we are, and felt safe in our being where we are free from judgement.” This Why for me is still in editing mode, but I’m pretty sure it’s something close to that – but I haven’t finished the Disocvering Why course yet, so a correction may soon ensue. But? Its the reason I live. I want the reality – who you are, as you are. I want to hear you, see you, and attempt to be completely present with you. I realize a blog doesn’t quite acomplish this, so my workaround is to be completely present for you – to let you into my world and see that although I may make some terribly shitty choices, and I may make some bad mistakes, it’s okay to be here, to grieve it, to feel it, to suffer it. And while I may have made those bad choices, I am trying to give myself permission to be – Where I am, as I am, free from judgement.
You may judge me… and that’s totes cool. But I’m gonna try to not beat myself up about it like I am prone to do.
Aly reflects back and can see she’s always been a writer. I, too, wrote a book as a kid – but I am pretty sure it was an assignment I had to do. I never realized I was a writer until about a year & 1/2 ago. I was in counseling with my boyfriend at the time and I wrote a letter to him at the request of my counselor. I poured my heart and soul into that letter – not effortwise, but rather my actual heart and soul bled through those pages as I wrote… When I read it out loud during our next counseling session, She AND my boyfriend were in tears. Well, he wasn’t in tears for good reasons – we were working out shit and he felt terrible about how his actions had caused me pain – but she was so moved. She asked me if she could share my letter for her other clients and expressed to me that it was well written and incredibly moving, and asked me to consider writing. Now, here’s the thing… that’s not a good enough excuse to conclude “so therefore I am a writer!” Nay. It wasn’t her comment that affected me so deeply – it was my pysiological response to her comment that struck me. I was flattered. And by flattered, I mean, I was, like, flattered. Like, someone had just given me the greatest compliment in the world. My heart leaped. I was moved that my words could touch someone so deeply. I went home that evening on cloud 9 – and not because my boyfriend and I had just had this breakthrough moment (well, okay, we did, and that was fucking incredible too). But, it was this realization that I could deeply impact, move, and affect people with my words. When I went home that night, I started thinking about it more, and I realized that I have consistently kept journals since about the age of 12 or 13. Sure, there would be a year or so hiatus sprinked here and there, but I consistently wrote year in and year out. I then began to remember all these moments when people would compliment me for how my words were so authentic to them and how that always made me feel so valued. I then recalled other moments when my family would often tell me, “How do you know how to word this stuff so well?” And that’s when I started honestyproject.net.
Now, you may hate my style of writing, and that’s completely okay too. If you do hate mine, I hope you love Aly’s because I know I fucking do. She’s one hilarious and talented writer. But regardless, although my words may not be your cup of tea, I know I have to keep writing them. For you and for me. (ha! poet and I didn’t know it)
Much love to you all.