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  • Writer's pictureAnna Lauri

And so it begins... again.

Many years ago, I had a blog. I’ve always found that writing helps me get out of my head - this was my outlet. I shared things here and there about my life, things that had happened, that I was going through or that I was processing. I’m not sure why I stopped, other than maybe the notion that there wasn’t “time” to do this, or I perceived it as not being “productive” by society's norms.

Recently I’ve been more diligent with my journaling. At times it’s a part of my daily ritual, and then life will start coming at me fast and I will prioritize other things, people or work over this time, quiet and alone with my thoughts. My writing allows me to get out of my own head. It allows me to stop the self-talk, the spinning, the confusion - it’s a chance for me to recenter my thinking, gain clarity and push away the anxiety. In my writing, I’ve found that there’s this version of me that’s been stifled, shut down and ignored - it’s this version I wish to know better.

In the last 400 ish days, I’ve had a series of events which lead me to seek out the versions I’ve hidden away from myself, but mostly I’ve hidden from others. In the last several months, I’ve shared a few things on social media and have been overwhelmed with the messages I’ve gotten from people. Sure these are people I know, but in almost all cases, people from my past who I haven’t spoken to in years… some decades or someone I’ve met briefly at say a waterfall in Iceland and we’ve just become “friends”. Something I’ve said resonated with them, with their life, with their journey and they were reaching out to say… “I can relate to this,” “I’ve dealt with something similar,” “This inspired me,”... etcetera.

Recently I was flipping through a journal from this past summer and there was a list of goals and intentions. One was to write a book. This is something I’ve wanted to do for years, and something I know I’ve written onto a list of goals and intentions numerous times in my life. But I’ve had this sense of “for what?” What is the context? What is the spin? The pitch? And probably the most painful, “why would anyone care about what I had to say?”

Yesterday, after a beautiful interaction with a City of Phoenix Building Inspector I decided that it doesn’t have to be for any reason, other than for connection. Connection brought about by authentic sharing. (I promise to share about this interaction another time, because it was unexpected, random and extraordinary.) You see, I think at the end of the day humans not only need, but they crave authentic interactions and connection. I think in this day we look to social media to connect us. We’ve traded phone calls, coffee dates and dinners in our homes for filtered photos with our best angles, showing the very best parts of our lives. We’d rather go to dinners so friends wouldn’t be exposed to our messy homes and our not so picture perfect lives.

It seems nothing is…well…what it seems.

Outwardly, I’m sure people who knew me would say that I had it all. I’d get messages of “you’re so lucky!” “I wish I had your life,” and “I’m so jealous of your adventures.” I’ll admit, I too LOOKED happy and successful and it seemed lead a fun and interesting life. If you were looking at my social media, it would certainly appear that way. There were photos of my dog, the adventures I took, the friends I surrounded myself with, the concerts, the traveling and the success I’d achieved as an entrepreneur.

Truth is... I wasn’t happy. Truth is I had been medicated for several years. Initially my therapist said I had “situational anxiety and depression.” That seemed easier to stomach than just being clinically depressed or anxious. It sounded more manageable. I just need to get through THIS, happiness is surely on the other side, I’d tell myself. Seven years later, I was still on a daily antidepressant. I’d put on about 35 pounds in those years. I didn’t recognize myself some days when I looked in the mirror. Each night I’d lay down, exhausted, only to fight with insomnia. Eventually I started taking Xanax nearly every day - it was the only way I could sleep and it was the only way I could turn off what felt like a constant stream of racing thoughts.

If I had to pinpoint when I really recognized my depression and anxiety it was the day that the electoral college declared Trump the President of the United States of America. Coincidentally, this was also the day that I was on a call with my parents while they were at my dad’s doctor appointment. It was cancer.

This is the day that it all seemed to come undone for me. Sure, there are moments when I look back that I know I was grappling with the same feelings of not feeling worthy, not having motivation, not feeling deserving of love and certainly not feeling like my life had any purpose or meaning. But this is the day, the moment, that I look back on and recognize it.

I have a lot of stories to share. My intent is to share from an authentic and vulnerable place - to share the messy parts and the shadows. To share from the place that finds (or has helped me find) and fosters healing in myself.

I only have my story to tell. I’ve seen, and I believe, that we are all connected in ways we don’t always see. And it’s my hope in my sharing it’ll harness true and authentic connection within my community. If my sharing helps bring healing and connection to one or two people, and that person brings it to one or two people… well then, what an impact we could all make on this world.

My journey to happiness, self-love and self worth has been long. It’s had twists and turns. The stories I choose to share here might not be in any kind of order – they may lack rhyme and reason, but I’m writing and sharing as I’m compelled to. For the last few months, I’ve meditated on trust. Specifically trusting my own knowing… and with this, I will trust that the stories, moments and memories I write are for good reason.

They say hindsight is 20/20 and when I look back at moments, memories, people and stories, it all makes sense. All of it weaves together to how I’ve gotten to this point. This point where I finally feel like I do matter, where I do feel like I’m worthy of receiving love, where I can freely and openly speak my truth (yes, it still comes with emotion and oftentimes tears) and where I’m perfectly content with where I am (even if the planner and organizer in me can’t make sense of it).

While I’m still not sure if I’ll write a book, I’m going to begin sharing from this authentic place and this authentic version of me.

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