Ever had a feeling that something great was happening and you just wanted to grasp onto that feeling and never let go? If I had a dollar for every thought that has gone through my head I am pretty sure I would have enough money by now to travel the entire world or at least purchase every pair of shoes I have every drooled over. At times my thoughts can become all consuming and almost stifling. I have had many conversations with God and I always asked the same question, what is my purpose? What was it that I was passionate about and what really made my soul happy is what I was always left with.
Around the age of 15 I said I wanted to go to school to become a veterinarian until I realized there was way more involved as a vet than just playing with cute furry animals. At 19 I left for college and had no earthly idea what or who I wanted to be in life. After meeting with my counselor she said, 'you know you can always choose undecided as major until you figure out what you really want'. No pressure there right?! I will go with undecided until I can come up with a plan to conquer the world. Is there a major for that? And so the saga continued for at least one semester and then I returned home to enroll in yet another university. At this point, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wanted to become an attorney. Pretty sure it was because of something I saw on television and for whatever reason it seemed exciting to stand in front of people who I didn't know and have a role in determining their fate. In walks my professor and two semesters later I no longer desired to be in school at all. Now what?
Soul searching at 24 led me to a few jobs in my hometown and back to a local technical college for a short period of time. The year was 1996 and the summer Olympics were underway and I found myself on a plane for the very first time headed to Atlanta, Georgia. I'm sure at this point you are wondering how I managed to go from a college dropout to an all star Olympic athlete in the course of a few years. This story is getting better and better right? Relax, I was just a spectator and three months later I moved to Atlanta and started out on a very scary and new beginning. Fast forward 22 years later and here I am.
I have searched for the person within myself for as long as I can remember and dreaming of ways to truly and completely feel free to simply be myself. How can I begin to flourish in what truly makes me happy is what I had to ask myself. I have heard many people say it's the early morning hours when everything around you is quiet when you have your best thoughts. This my friends is very true. All of my late nights and early mornings of insomnia had my mind racing and that is what brought me to this place I am in right now. I have always had dreams of becoming a writer since the first diary I ever owned. The diary had a lock and key and it made me feel like I was really doing something. I would pay top dollar to see the things I used to write back then. Words have a way of changing your life, so why not begin to write them down for the world to see is the thought that came to be on October 10, 2018. The moment I hit publish on my website I had actual tears of joy. It was as if it was a sign from God that this was the answer to the questions I had always asked.
I have been asked, 'so what exactly are you going to blog and write about?' and my answer has always been 'whatever I am feeling at that moment', so I choose to let my fingers and imagination decide that for me. No pressure at all! Ok, maybe just a little. Maybe one day I'll write about butterflies and frogs, or the next day shoes and twill skirts, or maybe even love and happiness, which happens to be my favorite. The greatest part of this journey is that it's all my choice and that is what makes me smile when I write. The long hours, early mornings, re-written thoughts and crazy dreams is all worth it in the end.
I wanted my first blog to be about me and my journey. It's important that my stories are authentic and from my heart and that is exactly what this is for me. If I told my entire story thus far you would be reading forever, and maybe that isn't such a bad thing, but for now I will give you this glimpse into who I am. The meaning of happiness and where it truly begins is within yourself. Once you find that, the constant feeling of joy and self-love is unstoppable. There will be some who may not support or understand my vision but I can't let that stop me from moving ahead. Each journey starts with a simple step and a vision for what I want to see come to life. I have been through many things emotionally, mentally and physically that have helped to mold me into the woman I am today. Loving yourself and walking in your purpose opens your eyes to so much and it allows you to truly feel alive. When I started to embrace that is when I finally found myself.
Blessed with another year of life today and at the age of 46 I feel more alive than I ever have. As my mother sang Happy Birthday to me this morning and gave me a hug I knew today would be an amazing day. I feel as if this is the year 1996, and I am just starting over, but that is a great thing because at that time I had no fear. So, here I am. I'm just getting started and my story starts now.
Happy Birthday to me!
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Atlanta, GA. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman