writing my memoir: researching myself

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i’m doing it. i am making it happen. that book of mine… preparations are underway. i’m all alone this evening, so i am making the most of my time. and i am loving every minute of it. and i am telling you about it so that i am held accountable. i need that… so, push me + cheer me on anytime you want. it’ll only get me to write faster (and i’d be ever so appreciative)!

anyway, tonight i have pulled out all of my journals + my past blog posts, and i am researching myself. I’ve gone all the way back to 2007, the year that I “died” and began a new life. i am perusing through old memories, reading old words that i wrote, feeling old feelings that i felt, and putting it all together in my head. making it make sense. organizing it and creating my own memoir – my lessons on being, loving + living. everything that i have learned about stripping myself down to nothing, to becoming an empty shell of a human, and then, from the empty place, ready to grab life and discover my passion – ready to finally live a completely free + authentic life. a life that is true to my soul.

i am overwhelmed + extremely emotional right now. but, it feels so good. and from here on out, this is going to consume me. until I freaking get it done. because, in my soul, i know that it is time. it is time to tell my story.

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light + love to you all, dear readers.

making me all weepy.

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think of this post as a little celebration on a completely random day.

one year ago today, i wrote an important post (click here to read it). it may not have been important to anyone but me. but, nevermind that. it was one of those serendipitous days that occurs every so often when you just know that everything is right. when your soul is not whispering to you, but shouting with joy and you feel as if you might burst. a day when everything makes sense and life seems exactly as it should.

it was a very powerful day for me. a day where i realized that i was ready. ready to really chase my dreams. ready to accept and understand and move forward. ready to admit that i would never go back – i could never go back – to simply living my old, “regular” life, but i knew that it was time to embrace the calling and the feeling that i was meant to write. no matter what.

and while it made sense to me, how any of that would be possible, i had no idea. i knew that i was going to do it. i had no idea how, but i believed. lina and i were already committed to moving to asheville so that lina could follow her dreams, but this time last year, i embraced that this move meant that i would also be following my dream as well.

it was as if i gave myself permission to just jump. to take a leap of faith and risk it. and that’s what last year’s post was all about.

this week, Facebook turned 10 and they created little videos for users based on their photos and updates – things they had posted on Facebook since they first began using it. i joined Facebook in 2007, just a few weeks after meeting lina. and i actually joined so that lina and i could keep in touch. so, our entire relationship was based on a friendship started in sweden and developed through Facebook messages and webcam chats.

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when i clicked on my little one-minute video to see what Facebook had created for me, i was brought to tears by the photos and words that appeared before my eyes. it was a collection of beautiful moments from the very beginning of our relationship to now, in addition to some great highlights of my family and other amazing memories. i was so touched by my little video, and it brought to mind this incredible journey that i have been on throughout the past year. well, actually the past seven years…

so, i just had to share it with you. i wanted to share it as a way of honoring my life and reminding me of how overwhelmingly grateful i am. i wanted to share it with you to “prove” to you that you can make your dreams come true, that it is possible to live the life that you dream of and to find your passion. and i wanted to encourage you to never give up.

i hope that you, too, can look back over your life, whether it be 10 years or 10 days, and find things to celebrate as well. but, more than anything, i wish for you to feel hope and excitement and peace as you look forward.

click below to watch the video:

 peace & love. xx

the day i decided to just go for it.

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it’s my brother’s fault. he got all inspiring on me last week and mentioned why didn’t i just look for a space on craigslist? he knew that there were places available for pretty cheap, right in the middle of everything. and he said that it’s be a place dedicated for me to work on writing and perhaps even mentoring/counseling at some point. i took him seriously, but didn’t really think about it… until thursday night.

i have no idea why, but i found myself on craigslist searching for downtown asheville office spaces for rent. never in my wildest dreams would i come upon one that said this:

“Flat Iron Office Spaces for Rent. Small, fully furnished, ideal for a counseling practice and/or one person who needs to meet with clients, work on the computer/phone, etc. Could also be arranged to accommodate a massage therapist. Sofa, desk, cabinet, rug, etc. All of the basics are in there, but not many personal touches… YOU ARE WELCOME TO ADD YOUR OWN. I only need this office on Mondays, so you’re welcome to it the other six days of the week.”

IMG_3875the flat iron building is a very famous, historic building built in the early 19020s in the heart of downtown asheville. the building is in the shape of an iron (hence the name!), and just outside the building is a sculpture of an iron – an unspoken gathering place for local musicians. there is pretty much never a moment when there is not someone playing some instrument of another. the building’s architecture is amazing, with the bottom floors filled with shops & cafes, and the other 7 floors rented out as business spaces – web design companies, counselors, massage therapists, a rooftop bar, health care, lawyers. it’s a dream to have an office in one of these historic downtown buildings.

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to think about having my own office in this building blew me the freak away. and it seemed so possible because it was so cheap. or was i just crazy? well, before i knew it, my fingers were dialing the number in the ad. i couldn’t believe i was doing this! i had to leave a message, and then i didn’t think about it again… until morning.

for some reason, as i was checking email and such on friday morning, i decided to look on craigslist again. and, again, this ad popped up. again, i found myself dialing the number, this time to hear the voice of a sweet man answer the call. we chatted for a moment and then he asked me when i could meet him. on the same day. so, i set up a time, took lina to school, and then drove to the world coffee cafe (my latest fika experience) to meet up with perry, a nice, bubbly, friendly man.

he whisked me away after greeting me and we headed into the historic building, taking the elevator to the 5th floor. directly in front of us, when the elevator man (yes, there is a man that works the elevator full time!) slid open the doors, was room 516.

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perry put the key in, pushed open the door, and in front of me was a little, fairly sparsely furnished office. a sofa. a desk. a chair. a bookcase. and a window. though there wasn’t much to it, it felt good. it had good vibes & energy. and the colors were warm and inviting. could i actually rent this space and write here?! IMG_3862 IMG_3864 IMG_3863

perry and i chatted, and i could tell that i was already approved to be the sub-let tenant of this office space. the lady who rents it had written me a letter letting me know that i could do whatever i needed/wanted to with the space. and, it was true, she only needed it on mondays. wow. and it was dirt cheap. have i said that before?

we headed outside on to the fire escape and upstairs. there are tables & chairs for relaxing on the fire escape… and on the top, there is a bar. it’s crazy awesome. of course, with the rental of the office, i would have access to all of this, all the time. my little secret hideaway. in nature and yet, in the city. oh my gosh, and the views were indescribable.

i told perry that i’d be in touch after the weekend. i needed time. time to not think i was crazy. and time to do the budget. even if was dirt cheap, i felt the need to go through all the finances. he was fine with that and told me i could call whenever. of course i wanted it, but… there’s always that damn “but”.

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i woke up this morning, not having thought about it much during the weekend, feeling stressed. i was frightened of what others would think about this decision of mine. god, when will i ever stop feeling that way? this is one of my demons. ugh. but, when i took some time, closed my eyes, breathed really deeply, then i knew. i knew i had to do this. crazy or not. this opportunity presented itself to me, or i stumbled upon it, or the universe brought it to me, whatever… and i could not just ignore it. i could not turn my back on this chance to seize the day and follow my dreams. this chance to take a step further into becoming that published writer i want to be. i knew it was right.

so, i called perry this morning. and an hour later, i was meeting my new office partner so she could give me my keys. and, by the way, she and i clicked. like big time.

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so, there it is. right up there. i am overwhelmed and excited and scared. i cannot believe that i have my own office to retreat to in the middle of downtown! now, let’s see what opportunities come my way next… ( i have a meeting/interview at website company on thursday to perhaps be a contributing writer for their asheville website) but, before i get ahead of myself, tonight, i am just slowing down a bit, being thankful for the possibilities that are out there. for the people i keep meeting. for the dreams that are coming real, one little step at a time.

the thing is, all we have to do is listen. just be still and listen. listen to that inner voice, feel that inner light. all we have to do is be authentic to who we are. all we have to do is simply be. the answers will come. the opportunities will present themselves. and we will know what to do. and whatever plan you have figured out for yourself, let it go… because the universe, or God, or whatever will have an even better one waiting in the wings. allow yourself to be transformed. allow yourself the joy of creating dreams and chasing them to the ends of the earth. keep dreaming. keep chasing. and, when you reach one, dream an even bigger one. because, you, are amazing. and you deserve all of the happiness and joy and, most importantly, inner peace that exists.

i just want to thank all of you, you who read this blog, for your encouragement, support, words of wisdom & inspiration. i am truly blessed. and grateful. you guys are simply the best! you are my inspirations, along with my wife, who is my true inspiration – the strongest, most amazing woman who kicked ass to get her life back and follow her dreams. one year ago, i would have never imagined that we’d be where we are, doing what we do. but, here we are. and life is amazing. but, we didn’t quit. we didn’t give up. and most of all, we envisioned and believed… in ourselves and in each other.

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now, i want you to do the same. and don’t be shy. stop by the flat iron building and come on up to see me so we can chat and fika together.

peace, love, & dreams.