I Found It

I only had to write 200 posts…and travel this journey of self-reflection and facing fear and coming to know and like myself to do it.

If I’d known the process would be so simple and so freeing, I would’ve started years ago.

In the midst of a world clamoring for attention, with everyone shouting here and there, I lived in more of a state of absorption, uncomfortable putting myself out there.

I used to be okay with who I was. Now and then, I get a glimpse of that girl–poised and powerful. She existed in a world all her own, able to make up the stories as she went, experiencing every dewdrop of life.

She-existed-in-a-world

Then, something happened. Several things, actually.

Instead of letting them go, I internalized the trauma. I let the words of others drown me. I gave up my power. I became a mirror of the words and actions of others. My words became silent, poured only into volumes and volumes of journals and diaries–my personal sanity. Some days, I couldn’t even share myself within the confines of those pages for the fear that someone may someday discover me.

But, at some point, I decided to follow Kelly Clarkson’s advice belting through my earbuds when I ran around mountains and hills for the second time in my adult life. “Out of the darkness and into the sun….

I began a blog. It wasn’t my first, but it was my own. I participated in NaNoWriMo for two years. I did hard things. I faced my fears. I climbed higher and sailed longer and swam deeper and prayed harder than I ever have. And I started singing again.

The need for silence was so heavy at times, pressing upon me. Other times, I wanted to scream from the rooftops (& I tend to have height issues). People around me fought against changes. I even yelled for about a week, needing to get words out of my body and into the warming air. (I have since stopped yelling, thankfully.)

But, I found it. I hope it’s here to stay.

I’m writing consistently.

I’m singing daily. I even auditioned for a solo (& got it)!

I’m happy.

I have found my voice.
Out-of-the-darkness-and

Call Me Ishmael

Just kidding.  Actually, please call me Karin. My name isn’t pronounced “care-in.” It is actually Scandinavian (Norwegian) and is pronounced, “car-in.” (Stress is on the first syllable.)

Though it is simply put phonetically, many people struggle with saying it.

I don’t particularly mind when people misspeak, but I do try to help them be more comfortable calling me by name.

My father, when introducing me as a teenager, would often say to others, “Like when you drive your ‘car-in’ the garage.” Thanks, Dad.

As you can imagine, this experience as a youth scarred me somewhat. I recall even saying, “Daaaaaa-aaaaad!” in an exasperated tone.

Now I use his example.

My good friend in junior high school used to address my notes like this:

blog credits: car, letter N

I’ve been thinking, as I continue to work on self-love and self esteem, that maybe I do care. Maybe I do want people to say my name correctly. Maybe I do matter enough for you to make the effort to learn my name.

After all, we’re friends, aren’t we? And friends love and take care of each other, right? And they know each other’s names.

🙂

The Words We Speak

Author’s Note:  I found this post in the archives this morning, and I do believe it merits posting today.  I have been working on my words and tone lately, and I have seen a difference in tone in my home and life…just FYI.  Sending hugs!

I’ve been thinking on language lately and how the words we speak in many ways define us.  Do you think they do?

As a writer, I find words enlightening, amazing, powerful.  I want to learn to craft them into meaningful sentences, paragraphs, pages that speak to those who read, that touch them deeply in their souls.

As I have had this war of words battling for my attention lately amidst fatigue, stress, and discouragement, my words and tone have followed more negatively.  I was grateful for the opportunity to attend church a number of weeks ago (we have a lay ministry in my faith, and members of the congregation accept assignments to speak during the service each week), where a fifteen-year-old boy stood at the pulpit and taught truth regarding the power of language.  His words spoke to my soul and gave me strength and determination to guard my words more carefully and to use them more cautiously.

Speech Bubbles
photo credit

 I have some changes to make.  Thankfully, a new beginning is on the horizon.

And I am grateful for this chance to become a better person.

Life really is a blessing.

And words are a gift…so use them wisely.  I know I will try harder from now on to use my words with intention.

The people with whom I speak are beloved and need to be handled with care.

🙂

Do We Eat Words?

While chatting with the preschooler today over markers and paper, I noted the letters my little one was drawing in rainbow colors across the tablet of white.  I remarked, “I like your letters.”

Preschooler:  “I LIKE letters.”

“Me, too,” I responded.

“I like words.”  Then, looking up from the markers and papers, these words spouted from little lips:  “What do we do with words?  Do we eat words?”

I smiled at the innocent question. “We don’t eat words.  Sometimes we spit words.  Sometimes we say words….”

I know that sometimes people talk of “eating their words” when discussing having to take back words or admit they were wrong…but try explaining that to a preschooler.  🙂  The question has given me pause, though.

In current parenting circles and educational venues, children are encouraged to “use [their] words” instead of acting out with their bodies in frustration or other emotions.  Sometimes the phrase “use your words” is used to promote verbal communication.  I have used it many times myself with my own children and with other little ones.  I find words intriguing, marvelous, powerful tools!  I love to use them to describe, to console, to communicate, to empower, to compliment, and to strengthen.  And so I leave you with this same question today as you consider life, liberty, and your personal pursuit of happiness:

What do you do with words?  🙂

(And, because every post is better with music…here’s “One Word” from Elliott Yamin that I found on Spotify to share with you…because we all know I love a good, upbeat, positive love song….)

Bullying

I’ve often been a fan of spoken word poetry, and when I saw this poem from Shane Koyczan posted by a friend on Facebook this morning, I knew I needed to share it in every venue that I could.

Speaking as someone who has been through various forms of bullying (it is one of my greatest fears for my children) and suffering silently for many years, I know that words (for good or ill) have great power. And, for some reason, sometimes the words used for ill sink deeper into our souls and fester like thorns we wonder if we will ever be able to remove.

Most days, I try to ignore those feelings–but they are there, nonetheless.

I encourage you to share this message if you feel so inclined, and to use your words and actions for good…to uplift…to inspire…and to empower.

Hugs to you. May the arms of love surround you in whatever space you may be at this moment in time.

Link regarding the poem in this post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/25/shane-koyczan-to-this-day-anti-bullying-poem_n_2759849.html

Epitome…& other words I once loved

I wonder if my husband ever gets jealous.

Salisbury-74copy

I think some of my children do.

You see, I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last month staring at a glowing rectangle, my fingers and fingernails tapping in wild patterns across a dark keyboard with white letters, numbers, and codes painted across them.  Each time I tap a key, WORDS flow from my brain through my fingers and onto a large screen that sits in my kitchen at a desk.  The process has been transformative for me…but that story is for another day.

You see, I used to write quite a bit of poetry.  Poetry can be written quickly when inspiration strikes, recorded with relative speed, and even edited fairly quickly compared to something of, say, 170 pages or so.  I don’t think I’ve ever written a poem over a couple of pages.  And, considering only time, I could write a poem in the time I could write a grocery list…and no one would be the wiser.

Fiction is different for me.  I write pages upon pages, developing characters, rethinking dialogue, and editing.  Always editing.  And the time this past project has taken so far (and I’ve just begun editing)…well, let’s just say it’s taken a little longer than writing a grocery list.  🙂  But the lessons learned and the growth I’ve achieved in the past month have been worth the time commitment.

To me, WORDS ARE POWERFUL.  I live on them.  I breathe them in; I feel them with every fiber of my soul.  They speak to me.  When I watch a movie, the words expressed are what make the movie meaningful for me.  When I receive cards from friends, I read them repeatedly to feel the expression of their words.  When I listen to music, the words–even more than the music–speak to me.

As of late, I’ve been trying to teach the power of words to my children.  They are often flippant in their conversations and remarks to one another…but, I know (and try to actively teach them) that what they (and I) say to one another carries weight and power and can hang in a mind forever.  (Don’t you hold onto words and conversations–for good or ill–which make a nest in your brain that invades your present psyche every now and then?  I do.)

Anyway, in light of the power of words, I wanted to share a few that I think are fun to write (and say) in today’s post!  (If you don’t use them or know how to pronounce them, dictionary.com is a great resource and will also pronounce words for you…and they have an app!)

epitome

onomatopoeia

Terpsichore

and while we are talking Greek Muses, Calliope

juxtaposition

enamoured

iambic pentameter

polysyllabic, and

antidisestablishmentarianism.

You?