Hi! There is so much going on here at Gold Shoe HQ. In the middle of all of the changes afoot, I thought I start doing a weekly roundup of what's going on, and the things I'm into each week. This first one is running on a Monday, but I might switch things up as the week goes on. Let's jump in, shall we?
I think we’re all together in this, and I’d like my media sisters and brothers to step up in considering how they frame the alcohol narrative.
I bare them now in the hopes of encouraging other women. One of the greatest gifts of the past few months has been to begin to work with women who are confronting the wounds buried in their heart muscles. Out of self, into service -- it's part of the deep healing.
More to surrender, more to release. Every day I'm thankful to be guided to the source of the pain, and of the healing.
I've been thinking a lot about graduation. Because I sort of just graduated myself. There was no cap and gown, or cake, or engraved picture frame. There was no, "Do you have your roommates picked out for the dorm," or "What is your major going to be?"
In the biggest graduations, there usually isn't any of this.
When Nikki Myers identifies herself in public, she says she always starts by saying "Hi, I'm Nikki, and I'm a recovering _____" (alcoholic, love addict, spending addict, etc.) Then she goes on to say that she has an MBA, is a mother, a grandmother, a yoga therapist, and an author. The founder of Yoga of 12 Step Recovery says she'll say the same thing whether she is speaking to people in recovery, or the United Nations, which she will do soon. "While all of those things inform my walk in the world, none of them define me." We can be so many things all at once -- we are so many things all at once -- why not just claim them? Our "ands."
If this had happened earlier in my life, I would have gone straight to a bar. I would have beat myself up. But recovery has shown me another way. Last night, through my tears, I took off my stifling black pants, changed into leggings, and drove to the closest meeting, where I was comforted and supported. Where I got to tell people: one of my greatest fears came true today, and I did not have to drink.
Beyond the shoemaker's children, I often think about what, by writing, can I add to the conversation? There's just so much noise. So many influencers. So much media.
Where do I exist in the mix? How do I use my limited energy to tell the stories I need to tell? What are they?
You know how everyone posts cactus and pool photos and is all #PalmSprings? Yeah I'm that person. Or was. Now I'm a person sitting back on her couch in flannel leopard print pajamas, but for six glorious days I was all sunsets and cacti. And it was pretty great.
This spring break week in California wasn't just sightseeing -- it was about connection. Cacti and connection.
I got what I've been talking about my entire life: telling my own story, honestly. And now, I will do it again. For the next 24 hours, and God willing, for the next year as I continue to go deeper in this work.
I tell it for myself because I have to, but I also tell it for the woman who is in that hotel room, or on her couch, or in any dark place this morning. I want to say: I don't have bags, and I don't have a ticket. But I'm awake, and I have a cup of coffee for you, and we can travel together.
But -- I know what it's like to wake up with existential dread and feel like I need to apologize to someone. So maybe I don't write as much to that specific concertgoer as I do for someone else who needs to read this. Maybe there's someone else out there that needs to know that coffee at concerts is OK, and that crying to songs because they make you feel is OK too. (And if you want to drink and can, OK. You do you. But be careful please.)
Lent is not just a symbolic thing -- it's a call for an actual spiritual journey. There's no coincidence I'm waking up to its reality now. But there are still plenty of distractions that can knock me off my path. A perfect pilgrim I am not.
At 40, the start Lent unfolds with another prayer for surrender. I say, "You got me, God. Now what?"