To know me is to know I’m opinionated.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I say what I mean and am rarely speechless.

Yet here I sit, with the opportunity to participate in an AWESOME project and my head is swirling because I have a million things I want to say and talk about but, the instant I had to put it in writing, I froze.

Back in March, I received an email from Janis about this blog she wanted to start. I was so honored that she thought of me to participate in something so close to her heart! When I re-read her email, panic set in (sorry J). She asked for a photo, a name I would use, the angle I wanted to take and an introduction of myself on a video.

Oh Boy! What angle do I want to take? YIKES! I have no idea.

– I love lifting others up.

– I have spent years being a girl scout leader.

– I am a member of the PTA.

– I LOVE to cook and party plan.

– I am fiercely loyal to those I love and care about.

– Friends and family mean the world to me.

But I have to tell you, for a quick second I thought I would have to back out. I cannot do this. I am not a great writer.  I hate pictures and videos of myself.  Could I really participate in something so profound?  I did not want to let her down.

I think that as women we self-doubt, we create scenarios in our head. “I am not good enough”.  “I cannot do this”. “What if no one wants to hear what I have to say”.  But, then I thought, who gives a SHIT?!  At least I have a platform to express my thoughts, feelings, and desires. I get to share them with eleven other warriors with stories to tell.

As I sit here and write this today, I have been diagnosed with a medical illness that made me question if I am really living my life to its fullest.  I have been living with thyroid disease for twelve years and recently found out that I will have to deal with the complications of having my organs fail.  I do not write this for sympathy and I am not here to compare stories. It just sucks, that’s all. It did remind me though that I am here, and I am alive. It reminded me to live life to its fullest every day.  And my inner self-doubt, which I have spent so long trying to hide, came creeping up. I wanted to call Janis to say, “I am so sorry, but I cannot commit to this project”.

I think that showing our vulnerable side is always a gamble.  It is dangerous to admit we are not sure of ourselves because of the inner voice that cares about what other people think of us.

I have not always been the confident person I am today. It took many years to accept me for who I am and sometimes that means I struggle with self-doubt and self-criticism.

Why do we put our hopes and dreams aside in order to be able to fulfill some other chore, task or obligation in our lives?  How often do we replace positive self-talk with self-doubt?

As I grow older and more accepting of myself, I realize that it is okay want to put me first.  It’s okay to say “you know what, I have to do this for me!”   It’s okay to not be perfect and to not have it all together.  It’s okay to say NO when you don’t want to do the things being asked of you.  So today, I challenge you to say YES to something you want to do for yourself. I also challenge you to say NO to something and not feel bad about it.

I am not sure where this blog will take me. I need to find a groove and get into it.  But here I am, about to hit send with mixed emotions.  Please bear with me on this journey, which is bound to be exciting!   I can’t wait to bitch about my trials and tribulations as a mom, wife, cook and social worker sharing recipes for love, life, and food.

My gift to you today, a suggestion for when words seem to fail you:

41BzEUVtXgL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_The Emotionary by Eden Sher and Julia Wertz: a dictionary of words that don’t exist for feelings that do by Eden Sher and Julia Wertz I cannot even count how many times I have felt like I cannot be the only one going through_______! Add whatever you want in that blank line- So here I am about to hit send!



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