According to my research, the possibility exists that 90% of blog readers have an attention span of three sentences. The likelihood of them scrolling any further is slim. I’m on sentence three, and I’d love it if you’d grab some coffee or cocoa and stay with me until the end. All the glittery gold is at the end of this post. I’m not trying to bait you, it’s just the truth. The best is saved for last. A dedication to the girl who gave me my Golden Ticket.
It’s 11:28 pm and I’m in the kitchen late at night. I’ve waited so long to meet you. I’d like to invite you to pull up a chair or kick off your shoes and hop up on the counter top. Tell me your story. Why are you here? There’s so much I want to know about you. Why do you walk the halls late at night? Why are you in the kitchen? Are you looking for food, are you wrestling with questions, or do you just stand in your bare feet and your bathrobe with the refrigerator door open, the soft glow of the light illuminating your face? Maybe you’re hungry for food, maybe you’re just hungry for a light in the darkness…Maybe I’m over thinking the entire thing, and you just want to sneak the last piece of apple pie, eat it in peace and quiet without sharing. Enjoy!
I am terrified to launch this site. Afraid of the fact that there are millions of blogs on the internet. Why would this one matter? Someone asked me not long ago, “what is your biggest fear?” My answer… that I didn’t matter. I didn’t feel like I mattered. I was hoping if I created a place for us to share stories, laugh, eat, cry together and sometimes just sit in the silence of unbearable grief, that we might feel like we’re a “tribe”. I’d like us to be a tribe. I’d like us to feel like we matter. Because we do. And the people in your life who would do anything to convince you that you don’t matter, forgive them, wish them well, and walk away. Let them go.
Your tribe should be filled with people willing to show up for you, and guide you down the path when you’ve lost your way. Genuine hearts, your fighters, your protectors, people who will stand beside you. The people who can sit quietly with you and listen when your heart is shattered or you’ve lost your beloved and you just can’t listen to one more person tell you “they’re in a better place”. You just can’t hear someone tell you everything’s going to be OK, when OK is a million miles away. Sometimes you just need silence. You don’t need words at all, you just need their presence. And sometimes you need people who know when you’ve been in your rut long enough, and they offer a hand up, maybe a butt kicking and a long a drive with the windows down and the music blaring. Those are your people. I hope you find them here.
The person who asked me that question…she said “Your fear can’t possibly be true, because you already matter. You raised beautiful daughters, you helped people in need, you shared your blessings when you could. You didn’t look the other way when a destitute man asked you for food. You played music, took photographs and wrote essays that touched the hearts of so many. You already matter, so your fear isn’t true”
My sister had a good point,I already mattered. Still some days it’s not enough for the fear to stop snaking around my ankles, inching up into knots around my stomach, threatening to strangle my breath. There’s so much talk about courage and bravery these days. But how do you get there when you’re terrified? The bridge to courage and bravery runs straight through the river of fear. Your heart pounds, your fingers shake, your breath is quick and shallow.
Do you remember summers long ago, standing on top of the high dive above the swimming pool? You were so high above the water you knew if you jumped you might just die and never resurface. Some kids dove head first into the water, cold stinging their bodies, a rush of adrenaline surging and when their heads resurfaced, they screamed “I did it!” Some stood there for a really long time while all the kids in line taunted. Finally they jumped, and kicked fear in the gut. And then there were those of us whose heads hung in shame, quietly and slowly backing down those stairs one by one. Running to the locker room and burying our face in a towel, hot tears hidden, and we just sat there until everyone went home. We weren’t brave, but we knew we could try again. Someday, we could try again.
Some days, in order to try again and believe in ourselves, we need someone to show up and light the way. To convince us of what we’ve always known. Wherever we are in our lives, it’s all gold. And we all matter. Last year I found this on Instagram
I’d like to dedicate this first post from the kitchen to Hannah Brencher. You can find her here. hannahbrencher.com She is a gifted writer, and gives all the glory to God. She will fight for you, she will stand with you in your corner, cheer you on and and lift you up when you’re convinced you’ll never find your way off the floor. She wrote a book, If You Find This Letter and founded More Love Letters to share that it’s not about us. It’s about the people we help, the light we spread, the showing up. I have been honored and humbled to work with her. She’s half my age, with twice the wisdom and I cannot find words to thank her for helping me find my Gold. She told me right there in that post, that I could call it all Gold. The messiness, the broken, that I could stop looking for treasure and just claim it. Tears just streamed down my face, as I finally let myself believe it was true.
I was hesitant to use the world Gold. I told her I wanted to tattoo my foot. Why my foot? Because I look down a lot, in sadness, shame, and grief. When I look down, I want to see Gold. She told me to use that word, to make it my own, to live inside of it. It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, you are not your mistakes, you are not your failures.
You get to decide that you’re Gold. You’ve got a Golden Ticket. Take Hannah’s advice, go find your gold. Seek to understand what it means to live inside of those words. Come here, to the kitchen late at night and tell us your stories. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will write back to you. I promise. Share your victories, share your defeats. Let’s be a tribe. Let’s find our music, sing, dance, and walk through fear together, to the other side of the bridge where courage lives.
Welcome to the kitchen