Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Open, Bold, & Vulnerable

"Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame." Romans 5: 4-5
"To be alive is to be vulnerable"
When I was 17 years old social media was made up of an online community called Myspace. Does anyone remember this? It was like Facebook only different. One could post pictures, comment on people’s wall’s, and follow others. If someone wanted he or she could customize his or her page too. People were able to design their wall almost like if someone were to design their own web page. I so enjoyed going on Myspace. I remember going there quite often. Myspace opened up a door for me. It was through this social media outlet that I began to write again.  

I began writing when I was a child. I loved it. In fact it was my second grade teacher that drew out this gift in me. Mrs. Pane. She was a skinny yet tall lady with reddish-brown hair. Mrs. Pane taught us math, reading, science, and social studies. I remember her class so well because I dreaded her math tests. She would make us add and subtract using dried black beans and I would think to myself “what is the point of this?” I dreaded her class most of the day but, when it came time to the subject of reading I loved it! The reason for this was not because she made us read interesting books. No, it was because she made us read our own stories to the class. Our assignments would consist of putting together a story and then getting up every week in front of the class to read it. It was the only subject I excelled in. I had quite the imagination. 

In middle school I took a creative writing class. Although I talked a lot and never worked quietly I put much effort into this class. I remember having different assignments. Writing poems, learning the rules of writing, learning about imagery, and so on. Yet again, my favorite part was storytelling.  I enjoyed making up stories. The best part was when others got to read the stories I wrote. However, eventually I stopped writing. Issues at home as well as out of home were pressing and little by little I quenched my desire to write. However, I began writing again when Myspace came out. They had this feature similar to the old Notes of Facebook. Through this function I was able to write down my thoughts, process them, and share them with the world. It was on Myspace that others began to notice my writings. Some people would tell me that I really had a gift. Eventually someone told me that I should start a blog. Did I? No. I didn’t take it seriously. I didn’t believe in myself enough to start a blog. I thought that was only for serious writers who one day would be authors. And for me writing was something fun and it was a way to express myself. Never though, did I consider myself to be a serious writer.

Eventually I came across this blog called Chasing Kite Tails. A friend of mine from college started this blog as a way to connect with other women who were actively chasing after their dreams. This was a place that these women can connect, tell their stories, and challenge one another to grow. My friend (Rae) would post posts about the journey of chasing after ones dreams. It was through her blog that I began to get enough courage to start my own. Back then I thought her blog was a way to chase after my goals of running and exploring Miami. However, little did I know it really was a way for me to get back to writing. Since then I have had three blogs.  1. On an Adventure 2. Lil bit of Grace 3. (My current blog) Healthy Living by Grace Olivieri. As I started my third blog I told myself that I would post content that would always uplift my readers. See, in my other blogs I did this however, I also took the liberty of posting my vulnerabilities freely. I wanted Healthy Living to look professional, inspiring, and neat. Somewhere along the line I believed the lie that if I was too vulnerable people would be turned off and stop reading. So along came the promise to myself; I told myself that if I was having a bad day I would just wait till I felt better to post something others would enjoy reading. I mean who really wanted to hear my woes? Well, with that promise came alone the reality that I put away my authenticity. It stopped writing about the pains and the challenges I was facing. This only isolated me as a blogger. Furthermore, I wasn’t being 100 percent genuine with my readers. And what is the point of a lifestyle blog if you can’t use your grief and pain to bring peace to others?

So, here I am. Being completely honest and vulnerable. I have days you see. Days in which I do not want to get out of bed. Days that it takes me forever to accomplish a simple task. Days like yesterday in which I choose to see the negative side of things and hide from my greatness. People, I now want to take the time to say I am sorry. Forgive me for the days I refused to follow through. The days I did not post because everything was falling apart and I was too scared to let you in on it. The days I decided to sit in front of the TV rather than write because looking into a blank screen and being honest was a task too daunting and I did not want to have to deal with it. It is now that I realize that the darker moments are filled with light too. These are the moments that allow my spirit to breathe; they are the posts that allow me to get it all out on the table and they are the posts that remind others that they are not alone. Posts filled with the author’s vulnerability allow readers to feel understood. The words give readers a sense of validation and then my readers can go in their day, inspired, understood, and empowered. So for now on I promise to not runaway when life gets messy. I promise to stick to blogging even when the words do not flow the way I want them to. I promise to be bold, honest, and consistent even when it’s the last thing I want to do.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to being more open with you all!

If you were able to relate to this post and want someone to connect with please contact me! I would love to hear from and process life with you!