We had an old school brick fireplace in our 1970’s ranch style house where I grew up. My mom love antique shopping. She had these old weaving spindles that she displayed on our mantle. My sister Kate & I loved to put on shows & use the fireplace as our stage and the spindles as our microphones. My mom would put Neil Diamond’s “The Jazz Singer” album on the record player and Kate & I would kill it! Especially when we got to the part in the song “America” when Neil would sing “TODAY” We would both split jump off the fireplace with every “TODAY” It was fantastic!! If American Idle had been around back in the 80’s then I would say that we would have been shoo ins! Hollywood here we come! Never ever did I think that I couldn’t do something. I had dreams of being on broadway. Only when I was old enough to recognize my own absolute lack of talent did reality sink in that I was never going to be a star. 

Besides performing, I had a wide variety of other activities and interests. I played soccer, softball, piano, & ballet, and I was terrible at all of them! At my ballet recital my mom had to sink down to the floor and crawl out on her hands and knees so I wouldn’t see her uncontrollable laughter during my performance. What she failed to recognize is that I was only in it for the free candy at the end of class. I lived my life in those early years without restriction. Never was I afraid to try something for fear of not being good enough. 

 Eventually I discovered where my talents lay, but not without years in-between of self doubt. Living as most young women do trying to make myself small in every way. Trying to shrink myself both physically and emotionally to the size that society deemed acceptable & I only allowed those very few people in my life to see the real me.  I essentially covered up most what made me colorful. I experienced years of negative self talk. I forgot that I was still allowed the use the fireplace as my stage & how great I was at spilt jumps!

I want to tell you that somewhere along the way I said fuck it…that I’m still that same girl that would spontaneously break out  into song and dance. I can say, with age, that I have become more comfortable in my own skin again. Caring less about other’s opinions. I am grateful for this body. It blessed me with two healthy beautiful girls & I pray that they too find a place of love and acceptance for themselves & can manage to ignore all of the external bullshit. Time is too precious not to live authentically, colorfully.  “Her” is  speaks to this journey.