Thanksgiving

BookcoverI have so much to be thankful for this year. On Monday, I received word from the publishing company that Caroline’s Lighthouse was available on Amazon and the Archway Bookstore. Very briefly during the second day after announcing its availability via Facebook and Twitter, my Book was #95 in the top 100 of one of my categories. I’ve dropped out of that now, but I was there! Soon, the Ebook version will be available, which will be a cheaper option for those who wish to read it in that format. screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-10-22-17-pm

I am thankful for the amazing support of my friends and family and humbled by the positive messages people have sent me about their wishes for the success of my book. I sincerely thank everyone who has cheered for me, shared the link or purchased a copy of the book.

I also appreciate people who are reading my blog posts and taking time to let me know that I’ve reached them in some way. It took a long time for me to gain the courage to put my thoughts out there for the world to see. I am diligently trying to write the truth about my feelings without hurting others, which is why I have not used names for certain posts. According to Google Analytics, my personal posts are getting the most hits. My love history, my ugly post, my love post and my recent post on fear have been the most popular.

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My biggest fear

Fear. It can be crippling. It can also change as we age. What’s your biggest fear right now at this moment? Will you have the same answer tomorrow?

When I was little, my biggest fear was abandonment. After my father passed away, my mother remarried the man who would end up raising me and shaping my life in ways I didn’t know were possible at the time. I was only four, which is how old my daughter is now. I didn’t understand everything that had happened. I just had a fuzzy memory of my mother holding me over the side of my father’s hospital bed and telling me to say goodbye. I hadn’t said anything; I’d just waved. Waving instead of speaking is something my daughter does sometimes when she’s apprehensive about something. She’s afraid of the dark and worries when she thinks I am mad at her.

Not long after my mother and stepfather got married, I began having a recurring nightmare. I think I was about six when it began and it happened several times during the next few years. I dreamt about having to go hunting with my stepfather, just the two of us. In the dream, he made me stand under the water in a creek so that he could stand on my shoulders and look for deer through his binoculars. When I couldn’t hold my breath any longer, I pushed him off my shoulders, and he fell into the water and hit his head on the rocks. He wouldn’t wake up. At that point, I would always wake up crying. Pretty twisted for a kid’s dream, huh?

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I grew up feeling ugly, did you?

Toddler Brandi
Meredith-Age 3

I went through some old photos recently in preparation for my post about my daddy’s guitar. As I was looking at my baby pictures, I thought I was pretty cute. I see how much my daughter resembles me and I think she is beautiful.  When I was about 3, the age Meredith is in the photo, I had to start wearing glasses. Glasses for kids back in the early 80s were not near as attractive as they are now. They pretty much looked like old lady glasses. Like Sophia on “The Golden Girls.”

Brandi-Age 4
Brandi-Age 4

I hated my glasses until I got the pair that had little strawberry shaped enamel decorations on the sides, so my mom told me they were Strawberry Shortcake glasses. For a brief time, I loved them.  I think it was after then, when I started school and the first boy called me ugly that I started to believe I was ugly and my glasses were too. I still remember his name. He was mean and hateful. Now I can see, based on his Facebook profile picture, that the past thirty years have not been kind to him because he looks so much older than 35. But that is another story.

Me in first grade
Me in first grade

So was it the glasses or a self-esteem problem that made me feel ugly? Self-esteem. I never liked any of my school photos. It didn’t help matters that the photos were about as flattering as mug shots for everyone. Plus everyone except for the elite few goes through that awkward period from about 8-14 or so. Almost everyone has something during that time that isn’t flattering. Too skinny. Too chunky. Too tall. Too short. Teeth too big for your mouth. Too flat-chested if you’re female, not flat-chested enough if you’re male. Out of control hair. Acne. You get the idea. Don’t we all feel that way sometimes? I bet even some of the most physically beautiful people have flaws and self doubt. Continue reading “I grew up feeling ugly, did you?”