Write more. That was the idea.
An avid journaler for decades, I felt it was time to let go of the words in my head and hear what other people had to say. I signed up for “The Missing Peace”, a memoir writers' group, that I found on Next Door. The group conveniently met less than a mile from my house. Certainly, a commitment I could keep.
“How fun!” I thought. A writers' group to share my ironic and iconic stories from childhood and travel adventures as a young adult. Not bragging, just saying I had some fun stories to share. I arrived pen and paper in hand with intentions to write a crafty, light-hearted story. Possibly about the time I forgot my speech in the Miss Illinois Pre-Teen Pageant or the time I showed up dressed as a clown for a kid's birthday party and scared the heck out of them. No matter what, I was prepared to be funny and "entertain the socks off" this group.
The first writing prompt was given: “Tell of a time you feared for your life.”
I’ll never forget it. My heart raced, my hands sweat, my chest was in flames and my face turned multiple shades of red. The stories I wanted to write, that I was comfortable writing no longer applied. As my eyes welled with tears, I reluctantly began a different story that day. I began to write my story about being attacked on a beach in Mexico. A story I suppressed since it happened. I cried more than I wrote that day and could barely get the words out as I read to this brand new group of trusted witnesses. “Wow, I feel like crap.” I thought as I left that day. Not exactly what I was expecting…but exactly what I needed.
Over the next two years and many painstaking writing sessions later I was finally was able to share the raw and unforgivable events I experienced on the beach in Mexico. I left a piece (peace) of me behind and was ready to move on. I healed that day and discovered the power of storytelling. I focused once again on the stories I intended to tell when I showed up on the doorstep of the writer’s group two years prior. Only now, I realized the stories I aspired to tell from my early childhood and young adulthood were not just coming of age stories, they were full of feelings that I needed, wanted to get out. Not just for me, but for my daughter and for my mother and for my friend’s daughter. The stories were universal themes of growing up a girl. By sharing them, I hoped to bring to light all the crazy wonderful things young women go through. I wanted to inspire a mom to tell her story to her daughter or let a daughter know she was not alone. No matter the decade, while the times have changed, the themes of becoming a young woman remained the same.
And thus, “Advice To Your Twelve Year Old Self” was born.
I have written “Advice To Your Twelve-Year Old Self” as more than just a collection of memoir stories but rather a means to conversation and connection for Mothers and Daughters. As a yoga instructor, professional makeup artist and mom to a twelve-year old girl, I feel like I’ve got a thing or two to say about raising a kind and confident tween girl in a questionably healthy, image conscious world. “Advice To Your Twelve-Year Old Self” combines self-care/beauty practices, yoga stretches and journal prompts for Tween girls and their Moms. Moms who work hard to raise balanced and beautiful daughters and tween girls who strive to gain independence but still want to know that their Mom is there when she really needs her. In a day and age where endless digital information is taking over there is no greater time to build the bond between Mother and Daughter. Through stories, self-care and stretches "Advice To Your 12 Year Old Self" sparks conversation, connection and laughter...hopefully a lot of laughter between Moms and Tween daughters.
So THIS is my story…
I can’t wait to share it with you!