In thinking about writing this article, I started to hyperventilate. What will I write and will it be worthy enough for the readers?  Yes, I was making myself insane with fear “Will It Be Good Enough?”  Why had I agreed to put myself through these feelings again? Well, it’s too late now, and giving up or throwing in the towel wasn’t an option.

I have come to realize, now that I am in my 50’s, it’s not about being politically correct. I care less about what others think and more about my view of myself.  I am my own person doing things my own way, with my own style, and adding my own flavor (or should I say putting my own spin on things).

I have learned a lot about myself and have experienced enough over the years to understand the importance of digging deeper. Finding my niche and it’s like I have regurgitated and found my voice, as unique as it may be and as brutally honest as it may seem.

 I am marveling in the comedic side of me. Oh yeah, life has gotten a tad bit funnier. It’s like I woke up one day and started saying whatever the hell was on my mind (never hurting anyone’s feelings). I find myself laughing at life and at my awkwardness, quirks, and the weird things I do. Menopause is an added bonus and has made life that more interesting. With that being said, hopefully I will remember what I am writing about (only those who are enduring what was once called “The Change of Season” will be able to relate). Sorry, younger ladies, this is a Special Club and we don’t want to spoil your fun. Believe me, I don’t want to ruin your surprise, it’s an experience of a lifetime (figuratively and literally).

The process of finding the true me wasn’t easy. I have been in a Leadership role for the last 10 years. I have had all of these strange conversations in my head but used a lot of restraint with working with staff. I dared not speak it out loud because what would people think. I don’t think people were ready for the new me. Not at home and definitely not at work.

Well, I tell you this, all of that has gone out the window. I am more expressive, in a good way, and I keep people laughing hysterically. “No-holds barred (you got it). It is true that Laughter is the best medicine. I am laughing my way through life and I wish I had done so earlier in my life. But with most things, it only gets better with time. I am older and wiser. I understand all things must happen in due time and life is a process. There will be ups and downs, trials and tribulations, heartaches and moments of happiness.

Embrace the good, challenge yourself, and achieve personal goals. I have learned to believe in myself and don’t sweat the small things.  One thing for sure and two things for certain, life is about adjusting to change, growing older, having fun, and being the best you possible.

Last year, I did just what the doctor ordered, I told my life story, published my book and became a first-time author. I exposed me to the world, the good, the not so good, and some of my most embarrassing moments. I was fearful, but the voice inside me head said, “Girl, You Got This.”  In December 2019, “Beautiful Wounds” was birthed. Yes, this birth brought forth labor pains but it was well worth it. Writing has become my therapy. The gift I received from my book, was from all those who have read my story and became inspired to share theirs.

Beautiful Wounds has many messages about being a young mother, alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence, and much more. It is an explicit look at the world through my eyes. It’s raw and honest. I tell it like it is, or like it was.

I like when people say I am not the same person I once was. I would say I am the same person and a whole lot more with an extra side of loving. 

I carried a lot of guilt and regret until the 50-year-old thing happened.  I am more comfortable in my skin (haven’t mastered the diet thing yet, but I am working on it) and learning how to keep finding the humor in life.

If I showed, you a beautiful wound

How would you react

Would you allow me to show the world?

Or beg me to keep it back

Would you understand its being?

And the depth of its presence

Or berate its beauty

And question its essence

Would you grow to doubt me?

View me as flawed and incomplete

Or view me with godly eyes

As blessed are the meek

For if a beautiful wound can exist

In a world of perfection

Then the wounds we carry

Are our beautiful lessons

We are all wounded

Caused by mental, physical, and emotional strife

And the wounds that we carry

Make this a beautiful life

Beautiful Wounds…

However, you choose to get through life, enjoy the ride and remember it gets better with time, trust your process…

Trust your process. Timing is Everything.

Appreciate and understand that every step serves a purpose in your journey. Even if you don’t know what the purpose is, just trust and believe it will work out for the best in the end. You’re not always going to know your very next step; and your current circumstances do not determine your future. Keep the faith, envision what it is you desire and actively DO something towards that goal.

Never stop striving. Eliminate toxic and negative energy from you by any means necessary. Pay it forward and never forget where you came from or who helped you get to where you are. You’re appreciated and have a gift for the world.

Author Lori Ann Smith, Beautiful Wounds (Available on all online Book Purchasing Sites)

Beautiful Wounds: One Woman's Journey from Birth to Rebirth by [Lori Smith]

Lori Ann Mayes-Smith is the proud mother of five young men, and grandmother of eight amazing grandchildren. Author of “Beautiful Wounds” an autobiography about triumph and tribulations, heartache, and pain, but most importantly healing and forgiveness.

She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services from Empire State College of New York and has worked with children and women for 25 years. Her experience includes, mentoring, coaching, and counseling. Her current role as Director of a Residential Program for young girls has helped her to stay current with issues that young people are faced with today.

It is her belief if you dream it you can become it, with the right amount of guidance and support, self-determination, and the strength to rise above your circumstances. She is on a journey to empower others to speak their “Truths” know their purpose, plan and design the life they so desire.

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