26 Apr These Seven Words
“You don’t have any interests or hobbies.”
These seven words, spoken by a girl who was supposed to be my friend, have haunted me for the last two decades of my life. I remember that day clearly. It was June. The cold morning gloom had melted from the sky and given way to a warm breezy afternoon. School was out for the day, and summer was only a few weeks from beginning. I was a junior in high school at the time, and she was a senior, nearly ready to graduate. We sat in the school’s amphitheater, talking about our futures. Her plans for college, my sadness about her leaving. “What was I going to do without her?” I asked.
And that’s when it happened. The moment I learned I had no hobbies or interests of my own.
I was a follower.
To say these words hurt, would be an understatement and we’ll leave it at that.
Five years later, I saw her standing in line at Target on Black Friday. I’m not sure if she didn’t see me or just didn’t care enough to say hello, but either way it doesn’t matter, we both went our separate ways. I went home to a sleeping husband and baby. And she went… well I really don’t know where she went because a funny thing happened after high school. We lost touch. Shocking I know. But before facebook became FACEBOOK, that sort of thing happened. People let go, moved on, grew up. (Fun fact: I didn’t create any type of social media account until about two years ago.)
So why am I telling you this mean-girl story without a happy end? Because since leaving high school and becoming a writer I’ve learned a few things. First, forming meaningful, deep relationships requires vulnerability. The courage to put your true self out there and say: This is me, this is who I am, and hope they’ll like you enough to stick around–even though you know not everybody will. (NOTE: Even writing this, I fear people still feel this way about me. Sigh. One day I’ll be able to let that go. One. Day.)
Second, thanks to these seven words, I’ve gone on a journey worth sharing. I’ve tried tap, ballet, piano, photography, blogging, cooking, yoga, jogging, cake decorating, scrapbooking, brush lettering, gardening, (I could go on, but I’ll spare you the heavy reading) all in an effort to figure out who I am, what I like, and what my hobbies are, and it turns out, I like a lot of things (yoga is not one of them) and guess what? It’s okay that I didn’t know what I wanted to do fifteen years ago. I mean, who really knows exactly what they wanted to do with their life their junior year of high school anyway? Just saying. But there is one thing I’ve found, and completely by accident AKA divine intervention, that I’m passionate about: writing. I love it. It fills a place in my soul like nothing else, and I want to share it with you.
Yes being vulnerable is scary. Because, no I’m not perfect and sadly neither is my writing, but I’m willing to be vulnerable to form the types of connections I desire to have with my readers. So hello, dear readers, *waves*, this is me! I hope you’ll stick around and read my blog as I prepare to release my first novel, Love on Pointe on June 1, 2017.
In this blog, I will share my love of writing, and what I’ve learned from this crazy journey called publishing. I won’t post everyday, probably not even every week (moderation and consistency are a blog post for another day), but I’ll be sure to let you know about important updates, share meaningful links on writing craft and creativity, and I’ll even do an occasional giveaway. Thanks for reading, and don’t be afraid to be drop me a note to say hi! I’d love to hear your stories too.
With love (and vulnerability),
Wendy JessenPosted at 21:19h, 26 April
I’m so glad you’ve found a passion in writing! And that’s how we met, so I’m particularly fond of this interest of yours! xo And beautiful site!
Tiffany OdekirkPosted at 04:20h, 27 April
Thank you, Wendy! This book wouldn’t be half as good if it weren’t for you!
ChandraPosted at 21:59h, 26 April
You are an amazing writer! Even just your blog, I could hear your voice as I read it! I’m excited to get to read your new book once it’s published. The best part about likes, talents, interests… they’re always changing, growing, and expanding. thank you for sharing your talent!
Tiffany OdekirkPosted at 04:16h, 27 April
You are so right! Talents and hobbies change so quickly–I think that’s one of the beautiful things about life. So glad to call you my friend! PS. I think I’d love the type of yoga you do! Acro (?) looks like so much fun!
Vickie WagstaffPosted at 00:34h, 27 April
Congratulations Tiffany! I can hardly wait to get your book.
Tiffany OdekirkPosted at 04:18h, 27 April
Thank you, Vickie! It’s been a dream of mine to finally see this book baby of mine in print, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on it too! Thanks for sharing in my excitement!
Angela WatkinsPosted at 03:23h, 27 April
I can totally hear your distinct “Tiffany” voice while I read your blog. I love that! I look forward to following along and continuing to watch your beautiful dreams become a reality. This is my first time to actually read your words and I can already tell I’ll be a fan of your writings. Thanks for being vulnerable, you dear friend!!
Tiffany OdekirkPosted at 04:19h, 27 April
Oh how I wish we lived closer! I adore you. Thanks for reading, dear friend! <3
Christopher BentonPosted at 04:23h, 27 April
To an inspiring Author and phenomenal Mother, Thank you for an attitude of eager enthusiasm and an admonition that we all feel at times uncertain of ourselves. It was much needed today ^.^ I look forward to seeing your work published!!!
Tiffany OdekirkPosted at 04:27h, 27 April
I would say you are the epitome of eager enthusiasm. I absolutely cannot wait to see where your dreams will take you! Thanks for visiting. I hope you won’t be a stranger. 🙂
CarriePosted at 11:17h, 27 April
I can’t wait to read your book! I was literally just thinking about this concept of vulnerability today, and love that you’re brave enough to share. I’m so happy for you that you’ve found something you are passionate about, and that you can make it work in your busy life-which makes it even that much more impressive!
Tiffany OdekirkPosted at 22:58h, 27 April
This book wouldn’t even be coming out if it weren’t for ALL of the service (and motivational chats) you’ve given me over the years! I miss you so much! Can’t wait to see you in May.
Heidi VetterPosted at 14:23h, 27 April
My friend! I loved this post and I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait to snatch up your book!
Tiffany OdekirkPosted at 23:01h, 27 April
Thanks, Heidi!! I’ve loved watching you grow your photography talent and business over these years too! You are one talented lady. Thanks for supporting me! <3
Karen StrawPosted at 16:23h, 28 April
How exciting Tiffany! We need more honest people like you. who allow themselves to be vulnerable and real. That’s the stuff people relate to! I’m so excited for your new novel and will definitely be getting a copy for myself! ????
Tiffany OdekirkPosted at 16:30h, 28 April
Thank you, Karen! You are a wonderful example of being real and willing to share! <3
Judy Farrell Grandma - GGPosted at 20:29h, 28 April
I am wiping the tears from my eyes. I am so incredibly proud of you! Proud that you are my granddaughter, proud of the mother and wife you’ve become, proud of you as Primary President, proud of you as a person and now proud of you as an author. What grand accomplishments. Like you I am waiting and counting the days for the big occasion. Your book will have a place of honor for all to see here at Grandma’s. Thank you for letting me share in your journey. Love you so very much! GG
Tiffany OdekirkPosted at 02:16h, 29 April
Thank you, GG! It’s been quite the journey. You’ve always believed in me and encouraged me to follow my dreams. I think I got much of my writing talent from both my grandmothers. I am so lucky to be a member of your family. I love you!