The Storyteller In Me.
Since I was little, I always wanted to be a writer. In fifth grade, I remember borrowing my sister’s word processor where I typed up a short story about a boy who had cancer. Who does that? Especially as a fifth grader?! Then, as a senior in high school, I wrote the world’s longest graduation speech. Seriously. Just ask anyone I graduated with and they’ll agree! I simply wanted my words, my life, to be an inspiration to others.
Little did I know that my journey is in and of itself a story. My story to tell. And this story is fresh and raw and real. I had a rough first draft. After struggles with perfectionism and a failed marriage, I found myself hopelessly lost. I was wandering with no direction. So I headed north. And east.
This journey, this chapter, started with a trip to Rhode Island.I’d never been to the Northeast. Do you know it’s beautiful up that way? Trees. Beautiful, tall, orange and yellow trees. Everywhere. Being from the plains of Oklahoma, this sight was truly breathtaking. And let’s not forget the ocean. Talk about inspiration.As my plane descended into Providence, these were the things I noticed. I’d never stopped to pay attention to the beauty which lies in nature. Yeah, I’d appreciate a good sunset every now and then, but that was about it.
I landed in Providence and got right to work. Literally. I was helping with an event and went straight to Dunkin Donuts Center. Later, some colleagues and I were enjoying some much deserved patio time when they asked what my plans were for the rest of my stay in Rhode Island. Would I take a sunset cruise in the harbor or explore Brown University? I had no clue. I’d just come to work.
Before leaving, one gentleman suggested I do something for me, saying that now I was on vacation and should spoil myself. Do something Mandi enjoys, he said.Little did he know those words would profoundly change my life. Do something Mandi enjoys. Do something MANDI enjoys. I had been part of a “we” for so long, that I’d forgotten to be me. I no longer knew Mandi. Who she was. What she stood for or the things she enjoyed.
This chapter, this story I want to share, is about finding her. Becoming me. Allowing my most authentic self to be present in every interaction. My journey to be present in all things. To show up daily. To live life no longer on sidelines, but embracing the adventures and opportunities presented to me.
I hope that you’ll read along with me as I share my story with you. It continues to unfold daily, and the ending has yet to be determined. But the middle, where we are now, that’s the good stuff. That’s where my magic happens.
Until next time….