A Request for Your Honest Story

One of my favorite things in the world is stories.  I have an affinity for words, novels, short stories and tall-tales.  But more than that, I love to hear people’s real stories.  I am that friend that you mean to have a quick coffee with and somehow end up amazed when five hours have past – filled with moments of laughter, tears and a deeper friendship-connection.

I believe that we grow stronger and more compassionate with each story that we hear and with each that we share.  My plan is to gather a collection of life-stories.  Real stories.  True-blue experiences that have happened to you.

Yes, there are many sides to a story, but the side I want is yours.  What it was like for you. Include the “facts” of what happened, but more than that, how did you grow from this and how did/do you feel?

Now, I know you may be thinking that you aren’t a writer, but that doesn’t matter.  That isn’t the point.  The point of this is not to collect flowery, poetic, eloquent tales – the point is to hear what you have to say.  Plain and simple.  The world wants to hear your words and so do I.

Here is what I am looking for!

The Prompt:     Select one person that has greatly impacted your life.

  • What impact did/does this person have on your life?
  • How has knowing them changed you?
  • When did you realize the impact this person had/has on your life?
  • How specifically did you meet? What are the details?  (Follow the bread crumbs backward)
  • How did you feel about the person then versus how you feel about them now?
  • What was going on in your life when you met them?

This person can be a best-friend, significant-other, boss, stranger, neighbor, mentor, family member, lover, ex-friend/ex-lover/ex-significant-other, teacher, rescue worker, etc. 

one in million_193915

I want to know how this person came crashing into your life like a ton of bricks, or slowly making their way in, like the last drop of honey from a jar. Tell me the good stuff. How did it happen? When did you realize this connection was special? And more-over, how has knowing this person changed you?

Here’s what it should look like:

  1. 500 to 1,500 words
  2. Honest story telling.  Less perfect grammar and more genuine expression!
  3. Choose a title.  “Meeting Mr. Right,” “Me and My Mentor,” “The Day That Almost Didn’t Happen.”  Whatever you like! (I advise selecting the title at the end)  Or you can always select “Untitled.”
  4. Author Info: Name, Age, City, State, Country.

I am casting a net far and wide, to my loved-ones and theirs.  My plan is to gather your tales, weave them together with my words and insight into life and publish a collection of TRUE LIFE STORIES.  Not from formal writers and poets, but from the romantic souls that often leave their stories untold.

My hope is that through publishing these stories, people around the world can open the pages to words that sound much like their own and feel connected.  That through the telling of your stories on paper, eyes may find them and hearts may open to the beauty and magic that lies just around the corner.

I know that this will require a fair amount of effort, self-reflection and vulnerability.  But what a lovely thing to share!  Please take your time in crafting your tale.  You can write it to me in the body of an email or attached in a document.

There is no financial compensation for this, however, should my hope come to fruition and a collection is published – your name will be printed by your story and a grateful dedication printed in the first few pages.

Thank you.  From my heart to yours!

Yours Truly,

Miss Erin Terese

P.S.  Please email submissions to misserinterese@gmail.com . Thank you and I look forward to reading your story! xo

My Relationship With Silence

Silence can mean many things.  It’s not just the absence of sound, but can mean so much more.  A purposeful retreat.  A kept story.  Hidden truth.  Stifled memory. A chapter sealed shut or a precious moment locked away for only your viewing pleasure.

Silence and I have experienced all of the above.  For better or worse, Silence and I have shared them all.

I would love to say that Silence is good or that Silence is bad.

Don’t we always want the black and white?  The right and wrong?  The clearly defined choice?  But the truth of the matter is, Silence lives in the gray.  There is a time and a place.  It serves a purpose.  It can be our friend or foe, but just like real relationships, it exists in our life to teach us a lesson.  When we look back, we can see how Silence was there to help us.

I don’t even need to dig far back into the memory files to give you an example.  I can rewind just the past few days and examine the relationship I have with Silence.

Typically, I am a sharer.  I open myself to others.  I listen to their stories and readily share my own.  Many people struggle with sharing their deep and intimate thoughts, but I share them frequently with my loved ones and often with strangers or new friends that I consider to be kindred spirits.

And since you, dear reader, are a kindred spirit, I will share with you a few details about my relationship with Silence.

silence

Silence Example #1

I am currently in the beginning stages of a budding romantic tale.  A new love interest has entered my world and I want to share all of the beautiful details with everyone I know (and there are many), but they are mine. And his. Ours. And so it goes that I give the bullet-points and highlight reel to a select few confidants, and the rest stay sealed away for myself.  They are far too precious and too valuable for sharing.  Outside of he and I, those moments are silenced.  Kept fresh and locked away with the valuables – unwilling to let words or time wear away the gleam.

Silence Example #2

Someone I hold dear to my heart contacted me the other day. We have a strange relationship, he and I.  Once lovers, now friends – but walking that fine line of how much is too much communication and what does friendship look like, post-romantic-relationship?  I was almost silent. For hours I rolled around whether or not I should respond.  Whether I should remain silent and seal our relationship shut (since this awkward phase frustrates me), or whether I should answer my friend and try to navigate this new terrain of friendship.

After hours of deliberating, I wrote him back.  For me, purposeful silence feels like punishment.  Not everyone perceives it that way, but I do.  And since I do, I simply will not do that to someone.  I either tell the person I don’t think we should remain in contact or I open a dialogue and work on mending the relationship.  But he is far too special not to at least try navigating this new friendship terrain.  Ultimately, we had a pleasant chat and made another small step down our new path as just friends.

Silence Example #3

My poor, sweet, patient mother has been dealing with my silence.  About six months ago I moved cities, changed jobs and all but altered every single facet of my life.  While this change has been welcomed, and wanted, and I am more than grateful for every ounce of change – it has also been extremely exhausting.  Unable to do any single daily task on auto-pilot, I was left drained and in need of more “me time” than I have needed in years.  Prior to my move, she and I would chat regularly and text often.  After my move, I all but fell off the face of the phone and went silent.

In reality, we exchanged a few texts a week and a brief phone call once a week, or every other week, but for her it was as good as silence.  We had a nice long chat tonight and I explained my silence and my gratitude for her patience.  I am well aware that silence can seem like abandonment, but I needed to retreat. My own personal silence was necessary to process all the change in my life.  So my personal silence, my walks in the park and books by dim lighting, resulted in a restful mind for me and worry for my mother. But she kept silent, out of respect for me and waited for my return and our lovely, silence-mending conversation we had this evening.

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We all have a personal relationship with Silence.  We share different experiences and view Silence under different light. It’s amazing really – how something that seems like such a simple concept, can take on so many forms.  Isn’t it?

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

P.S. This diary-like post was inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge posed by the Daily Post on “The Sound of Silence.”

The World We Live In. And How You See It. The Choice is Up to You.

It is an unfortunate part of life. Well, not so much unfortunate, as difficult. Challenging. Heartbreaking and gut wrenching. Tear jerking and mascara smearing. Stomach knotting and fist curling.

It’s tough.

But we are fortunate to feel it.

That which breaks our heart and pushes our mind to the brink, is that which builds our character and shapes the world we live in.

If you have fallen on hard times, you know this to be true.

If you have found yourself in a moment that you never knew existed, or in a scenario you never could have imagined.  If you have found yourself frozen in a moment where all you could do was remind yourself to breathe. If you know what I mean, than you know how lucky you are. Yes, lucky.

I am saying it again.

Lucky.

These moments. These awful, horrible, disgusting moments are what shape you. They bring you to your knees and show you what matters to you. Your heart breaks and your soul quakes because you are learning what you need. Growing your character, growing your mind and growing in compassion. By leaps and bounds, you are doing this. You are not learning by the slow tick of the clock, or turn of a page – you are learning from down in the dirt. Fast-paced and bloody. Beautiful and broken. You are on a crash course, on the high-speed track to freedom.

Personal freedom.

If you have yet to realize this, just wait.

It’s coming.

One day you will open your eyes and the world will seem bright and bursting with color. Faces will be beaming and arms will be reached out to you, offering a warm embrace. The world will spin and sparkle in a way you never knew it could.

But the leg work is yours.

You have to find the pieces to put together, and the roads to walk down.

You have to look in the dark corners, and seek out the light.

This is the nature of the world we live in.

It’s how you see it.

What you make of it.

How you let what happens to you shape your world.

And how you shape the world we all live in.

The World

That is all for now, my lovelies. Just a quick thought for you.  From the world, the way that I see it.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

It’s Hard Sometimes

It’s hard sometimes.

To say what we mean.

And mean what we say.

To follow our heart.

And show it the way.

To live for today.

And plan for tomorrow.

Letting go of the past.

And all of our sorrow.

With each ounce of pain.

And every tear shed.

Is an ounce more of wisdom.

And pleasure ahead.

For each stone over-turned.

And pathway walked down.

Will lead you on home.

With the joy that you’ve found.

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Yours Truly,

Erin Terese

P.S.  Hope you enjoyed this mini poem and that you enjoy this big, beautiful, broken, bountiful, breathtaking, beautiful, bold world.

Coming Home

Home is where the heart is.  We all understand that, right?  We have heard it a million times.  We know the concept.  But where is the heart? Where do you place it?  Where have you anchored it?

I believe the reason that our house and our city and the people in our lives may at times begin to feel distant is because we move our heart.  We pack it up, move it out and start heading out of town…often without consulting the people in our lives and without much thought as to why and where we are heading. We grow and change and our heart wants for something more.  Something different.  Something other-than.

It can be a saving grace, a scapegoat or a ticket out of dodge, but the heart has a way of leading us.  At times we know where and when and why, and other times we are like children “playing pin the tail on the donkey” – spinning around in the dark just hoping we land in the right spot.

My life this year has been a bit pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey-esque. 

All of a sudden, my home was gone.  While my loved ones and beautiful house and all I had know for the last 11 plus years was still around me, my sense of home was fading.  I felt like a visitor in my own town.  And just like that, I knew it was time to go.  My heart was leading me somewhere else.  It was time.

Many times before, I had dreamed of moving to a new city – but for reasons neither here nor there, it never came to fruition.  Maybe it was because I was running away.  Maybe it was because I had more to learn, more to love and more to see there.  Maybe it just wasn’t time.

Explaining my desire to move wasn’t the easiest thing.  I framed it by saying it was a strategic career move, that I needed a larger city with more culture, and somewhat jokingly that I had dated my way through the city and that there were no men left for me to meet.  But the truth of the matter is, and was, that it was no longer my home.

For eight months I searched.  I drove hundreds of miles for “meet and greets”, networked my little heart out and all but tattooed it on my forehead that I was trying to move – and yet it didn’t come.

Was my heart steering me wrong?  Was my gut lying to me?  Was I wrong?

Then I got quiet.  I went back to the drawing board.  I laid it all out on the table and took a good hard look at my motivation, my inspiration and what would be a logical next step.  I had felt so compelled. So drawn.  So lured, that I had gone sprinting into the night without my flashlight or road map or cell phone.  I was blindly chasing my winged-heart.

Once I centered myself and tried again, I came up with a new plan.  A new thought.  And just like that, the pieces just fell into place.  In a turn of events that can only be described as magical or fated or destined, my city found me.  In just under one month, my thought had become my reality, and I was home.

I remember when I visited San Francisco for the first time.  I was eleven years old and my family and flown in from Wisconsin to visit my aunt and uncle in the city.  It was unlike anything I had ever seen.  To me, it was like a dream. I remember white lilies, steep hills, bustling crowds and breathtaking beauty everywhere we went.  I vowed right then and there that I would one day live here.

But like so many childhood dreams, it was put in a box on the shelf and long-ago forgotten about.

coming home

I have lived here for 24 days now and already this is my home. 

During my first week here I met with a dear old friend who upon seeing me, said “Welcome home.” Tears welled in my eyes as I realized it was true.  My heart had not taken me to a far-off destination filled with adventure and culture and new loves to be had (though I do hope it will), it had taken me home.

And while I do understand that home is where the heart is (and you carry it with you), it will also guide and lead you, and sometimes you have to answer the call.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

Song on the Wind

My dearest love,

The song of change has begun to play. Again.  We have heard it before, you and I. Have we not?  Have we not laid in bed and listened to the birds begin to lift their voices in the sweetest melody ever heard?  Have we not heard it again as we strolled through the aisles of the grocery store, listening to cans and boxes and melons tumble to the tile?

And now as I sit here, knowing you are sitting somewhere looking at the same blue sky and the same puffy white clouds, I can hear it begin to sound again.  Can you?  Do you hear it, my love? For me it sounds of motorcycle rumbles, trains on tracks and planes overhead.

Whistle me a tune, dear, and send it on the wind.  Tell me what you hear, have heard, and where you’ve been.

The rustle and volume is rising…and I know you hear it too.  What is the sweet song of change now telling you?

song on the wind

Sending you my love, on the wind and wings of butterflies.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

Letting Go of Relationships Past

Everyone needs closure.  For some it comes in the form of a conversation, some in the form of silence and others by action.  Since I am a person who relies heavily on words, and feels their weight as if they were tangible, I need the conversation.  I need the explanation.  I need to hear that you don’t want me and why.  While it may seem cruel to say such things, for me it helps to let go.  Since most men rarely give such explanations, it takes me far longer to release them.  I do believe I am at a place in my journey where I am learning to release and let go far more easily, but this person was in my life before I learned to be centered and release.  Before I truly understood that all people are here to teach us lessons and that we should be thankful for our brief time with them and the lessons we learned.

 

Last week while I was sitting at my desk, typing away and letting my mind drift, one of my Exes popped into my mind. As if out of nowhere, I had the thought that even if he walked into my office, sat at my desk and explained that he realized he had made a mistake in letting me go and wanted to try again, I would say “No.”  For many months I had been trying to shake him.  Trying to let go of the attachment I had made to him and the idea that we might one day have a chance to try again.  And finally, he was gone.  I had finally released him and the idea of a maybe someday us. He was the last one I had been hanging on to and I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to let go.

Letting Go

Honestly, it makes it hard to date when you constantly compare your date to an Ex.  It’s simply not fair and does more harm than good.

 

Now that I have officially let go of all of my Exes and feelings of “maybe someday” or that any were “the one that got away,” I can move forward and truly give people a chance.  A fair chance.  A chance to know me, sans baggage – without judgment or comparison.  Without hidden texts and lies of “we are just friends.”  Not that I was a cheater, but when you have lingering feelings for someone are they really just a friend? I don’t know what the appropriate term is, but it certainly isn’t friendly and it’s not fair to the person you are dating to hold on to someone like that.  You simply cannot give yourself fully when you are hanging on to the idea of someone else.

 

I often wondered if you could really and truly release all of your Exes without someone new to help push them out. And now I know you can.  Not only that, but it allows you the chance for a healthy relationship.  One that can start without the burns of relationships past and comparisons to what He would have said or what He would have done. 

 

I have already had a small taste of what life will be like now that I am no longer holding on to the idea of an Ex. This past weekend I went on a first date and was able to be fully present.  I was able to enjoy myself and my time with him without using any Ex as a barometer of how he measures up.  I was able to take our date for what it was and how he might fit into my life now – for who I am at this moment and what I am looking for now.  There is an ease to it. An excitement to it. An empowerment knowing that my choices are based solely upon who I am as a person and not based on feelings I’ve had in the past.

 

While I am still not sure exactly what it was that finally shook my Ex free and out of my thoughts, I am grateful he is gone.  That I can legitimately call him a friend and that I can offer myself as a fully present and healed partner to whomever I choose to date.

 

So the point of this post, I suppose, is to encourage you to shake your Ex free.  Let him/her go. Know that when you do, you will open yourself to a sense of freedom and the ability to be open and authentic with your future partner(s).  Whether you need to have that dreaded conversation or stop talking to them entirely or write them a letter and burn it – try to find your closure.  Because the thing about closure is that once one chapter closes, you make room for a new one to begin.

Yours Truly,

Erin Terese