Just Like You - Revelations of Everyday Women
Words usually pour out of me effortlessly when I'm writing to loved ones, when I'm working on my book, writing speeches, or even in my work emails (believe it or not.) But there's something a bit daunting about sharing your everyday thoughts with people 'out there' in this way. Never knowing if these words will be read, never knowing the thoughts of those who do choose to read them, and never knowing if they've touched someone.
And that's okay, because I will do it anyway.
As I write this, I'm seated at my old country kitchen table with windows wide open, looking out into the Swiss fields, listening to the rustling of trees, and the distant clanking of cowbells. Playing quietly in the background is the Dance of the Druids song from Outlander (if you know, you know) which doesn't seem fitting for the land I'm living in, I know, but it fits the memories I'm currently reliving in my mind.
It's been many years since I've thought about writing a blog. Admittedly, the last time I attempted one I was living in Ireland and named it "positivibrations," but quickly shut it down when I received several threatening comments from a scorned woman.
A woman whose husband I had grown too close to nearly five years prior to that.
A husband who told me they were getting a divorce.
A divorce in which I had come to realize she was never aware of.
Instead of defending myself to her, I cowered and retreated.
I was embarrassed, I was devastated, I was ashamed.
It shattered me to read messages from a stranger threatening me, threatening to tell the world what she believed me to be: an adulterer, a homewrecker, an inconceivable and deceitful embarrassment to women.
How could I continue the essence of what my blog was created for - positive vibrations - when I had unknowingly, once upon a time, broken up not just a marriage, but a family with two kids?
So I shut it down.
That failed attempt at starting a blog was nearly 10 years ago, and truth be told - I never shared the incident with anyone, not even with my partner at the time. So why do I share it now, in this way? Because in the 10 years since then, I have grown leaps and bounds and have learned we are all scorned women in one way or another. We share so many similar stories with uncanny resemblances of hurt, sorrow, triumph and joy. If there is one thing I know for certain it is that life is not so black and white as I once judged it to be. There are, in fact, many grey areas. The things I used to judge others for are the experiences that in some way the Universe has thrown in my lap to experience and understand myself. I too have been lied to, cheated on and played a fool. What goes around comes around? Karma? Perhaps. All I know is that I can't dare share women's stories of the world, without sharing my own vulnerabilities. I am a born storyteller after all, and like most creatives out there, if I don't follow my calling I suffer immensely.
So here I am, again.
Some of you might remember that while living in Ireland, I also started writing a book called Just Like You - Revelations of Everyday Women. It was a book true to its title: chapters were based around the revelations of everyday women, who Just Like You had lived through so much in their lives, and had a message to share because of it. They were personal journeys and wonderful truths of what it is like to be a woman in a world that sometimes feels like it holds little value for us. From mothers in suburban towns to corporate bosses in big cities. From doctors to fiber artists. From students to teachers. From world travelers to stay-at-home Mums. I received countless contributions from women worldwide and had started interviewing more women who felt they couldn't write their stories down themselves. Though, as with many things in my life, that book went on the back burner while I finalized my first book; Just Like You - Tales of an Orchid Child. A memoir, of sorts.
Over the past year I decided that instead of completing the Revelations of Everyday Women book, I would turn these amazing stories into blog posts. I have so many wonderful contributors, from all different walks of life, with stories that are begging to be told - and it's time to release them to the world. *
So things will go like this: I will feature one woman's story a month on this little platform. I will conduct one-on-one interview sessions with them and will write and edit a blog post on their behalf. Of course, nothing will be published without the consent of these women. If they're artists, I will link their page. If they're volunteers, I will add donation links. If they're looking to market themselves, I will help in whatever small way I can. If they want to remain anonymous, I will honor them. But mostly, I will help to tell the tale of a collective woman.
The first feature will be of a darling friend I met in India in 2016.
She is a yogini, a Hindu Monk, a healer, and a beautiful soul full of color and heart. She left her home in Brasil at 14 years old as Carolina, but I met her as Kirtika in the holy village of Pushkar in the Rajasthan region. Her story is one of discovery, of triumph, of selfless devotion. While not many of us can say we've traversed through her footsteps, perhaps hearing her story will remind you that there are parts of her that are Just Like You. That we are all interconnected and share the essence of what it means to be a human being, a woman, on planet Earth.
I will publish her feature on September the 13th. In that post I will announce who will be featured next, and so on. In between the women's features, I will sporadically write blog posts that reflect my inner world because, well - because I can't help but share those musings.
You might be asking why I am choosing to publish this first blog post on Friday the 13th, and the simple answer is because “Before patriarchal times, Friday the 13th was considered the day of the Goddess. It was considered a day to worship the Divine Feminine that lives in us all and to honor the cycles of creation and death and rebirth.” and it should be remembered as such.
If there are any women out there reading this thinking; "shit, I've always wanted to share my story in some way" then I invite you to let this be that place. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if the woman I once inadvertently hurt is reading this post, then please think about writing me to share your side of the story too.
I am beyond ready to start this journey with you. For those of you who decide to follow along, I'm so happy to have you here.
All my love,
* if you have shared your story with me in the past, please don't fret - I will contact you before publishing anything. Perhaps your story needs a little updating anyway! It will also give me a wonderful excuse to catch up with you individually. And if you decide not to contribute after all - I will send your contribution back to you, and delete my copy of it.