In Huffington Post now…
Keeping motherhood real… and kind.
In Huffington Post now…
As Seen in The Huffington Post:
“Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth, and everything else will come”
This has taken me over four years to write. But for four years, this Ellen Degeneres quote, from a 2010 Katie Couric Interview in Glamour Magazine, has meant so much to my life and where I am in it today.
So, let’s go back to four years ago. January 6th, 2012, to be exact: Following many years of a very unstable life filled with pain, tragedy, and a terrible lack of self-confidence, I came very close to losing it all. That cold, New York morning, I was involved in a head-on collision that left me broken from the neck down physically, and broken all the way through, mentally.
I was 28 years old at the time. I had tried and tried, but life had not yet “happened” for me at that point. Having recently lost my teaching career, a mentally-abusive relationship, and a whole lot of money in that process – I thought that this accident was the worst thing that could have happened to me – the proverbial icing on a very rotten cake. I realized quickly though, that it was a blessing in disguise, the cliché, “second chance at life,” and the healing process, though grueling and painful, became the best 5 months of my life. Hell, all I had to do was lay in bed.
With all of this laying in bed, came a lot of looking forward to 4pm every afternoon. Literally, my existence revolved around watching the Ellen show and letting her positivity and humor lift my day. I wouldn’t take any visitors at this time, I’d set aside my kindle, my laptop, and shut down my phone – all in anticipation of the show. My beautiful mother, who had flown up from her new snowbird life in Miami just to take care of me (I was unable to walk or care for myself due to multiple casts and surgeries), would snuggle into bed with me and we’d laugh (and sometimes cry) for a full hour while Ellen filled our hearts with joy and light. This was the year that Sophia Grace and her little sidekick were a hit, and her dedication to loving children and showcasing their talents struck such a chord with my teacher-heart. I honestly mean it when I say that my life revolved around 4pm. I will never forget that and all that it did for my psyche – so for that alone, I was grateful.
But then, a February 2010 Issue of Glamour in which Ellen was interviewed by Katie Couric, somehow ended up in my lap. In that interview, she gave an answer in regard to being a role model and staying true to herself, that was the basis for how I decided to live my “second chance at life”. This quote, “Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth, and everything else will come,”became my mantra – my daily affirmation – and the reason for my now-happiness, newly-found self-confidence, and career success. And I began a whole new life that I can honestly say is the one I was destined to always live – making me so grateful for the power of positive role models in our entertainment industry – one’s who have overcome major obstacles to find acceptance, love, and success in this world.
How did this happen? Well, I manifested it with my newfound dedication to finding out who I am and living that truth. I knew who I was: I was someone who was deeply scarred by the pain of her childhood, desperate to find a calm, comfortable, life and use my story to inspire others. I knew I was someone who was strong enough to overcome my fears and self-doubt, take a deep look into myself and begin auditing and cleaning house. I knew I was someone with so much to say, and a passion for women’s rights, female empowerment, and equality for all. Following recovery – I made a conscious effort to live a more mindful life. I knew that in order to do that, I had to release all that had held me down and kept me stagnant in my little Long Island town for so long, and boarded a flight to Miami, Florida, one-way ticket in hand, with no desire to look back.
I won’t go in to all of the details that transpired once my plane touched down in sunny South Florida – but I’ll fill you in on where I am today: very happily living my life. I am married to a man who has become my partner-in-crime in this game called life. We have a beautiful little 15-month-old girl who is my muse and motivation for all that I do – and my reason for upholding a commitment to this quote: living my truth. Being who I am – and letting it nourish my soul.
Somehow, entering motherhood helped me tap in to my innermost female superpowers. I felt empowered, strong, beautiful – and I felt the need to write about it. In writing about it, the universe responded to my energy, honesty, and passion. I finally found out who I was – someone that can use her nurturing and committed personality in a way to connect with others and help them on their quest for happiness and success as a writer.
To this I say – when you find someone who makes you feel empowered, honor the fact that your intuition is telling you to act on that empowerment. And when something as simple as a quote resonates deeply enough with your soul to make you feel urge to change – thank your lucky stars.
Our country has a serious problem. A baby died in day care again, and nothing is being done about it. Our maternity leave policies endanger mothers and babies.
They say change is good. Try something new. Follow your gut.
But what happens when all of the above seems as scary and unnecessary as well, staying in the same place?
The truth is, for all of 28 years, the only place I ever followed my gut was to decide on dinner plans. Raised with an innate sense of “You can’t do that,” I always thought the big bad world outside of my comfortable little Long Island cocoon was there for others to conquer and take over, while I sat back and dreamed. Staying in the same place felt like the only option.
As a complicated woman, with a serious past and some even more serious self-confidence issues, I had convinced myself that the “happy endings” were for everyone else. All of the pressure to settle down, get married, and start a family became white noise in a brain that was certain I was not worthy of such a typical outcome. I knew my faults and my quirks and hated myself for them — and began getting comfortable with the notion that I’d be on the sidelines forever, as everyone else continued scoring life-changing touchdowns….