Prologue

I am a very average 37-year-old mother of three kids. I’m married to a great guy, live in a nice house in a safe part of America. I’m a family lawyer by day and I practice at the firm I started four years ago.

In my free time, I like to write. I never thought of myself as a writer. I think of myself as more of a thinker, a deep feeling person. I just happen to process my thoughts on the page and have the weird proclivity of sharing them publicly.

My life is good. I am safe. I am healthy. I am deeply loved. It hasn’t always been this way. The highlight reel of hurt includes cancer at age 33, infertility, an eating disorder, an abusive relationship, abandonment and neglect, homelessness. Better people have suffered worse, but pain is pain and I carry my own, that is for certain.

I also recently lost my best friend, my person. When she died, a part of me went with her. A hole blown through my chest, there’s an empty space now. I’ve been searching, feeling around in the dark for healing in the wake of her loss. The best I’ve been able to muster so far is to be mostly functional, to find some joy again and to participate in the miracle of life.

There were weeks when she first went away that I couldn’t feel anything. I laid in bed, pinned down by grief. I did the best I could, and it hurt in a way I didn’t know I could hurt.

Since her death, I’ve thought a lot about life. I’ve felt a lot of gratitude. I’ve reflected on big dreams and small miracles. I appreciate more, take less for granted. I feel more. I am awake.

This could be mundane, but recently I’ve felt a change. I feel called to be more, to do more. I shifted inside and cannot go back to being the person I have been. Life is daring me to come alive.

I’m thinking about what to do with the rest of my life. A life that will be punctuated by pain, no doubt, but that can be lived in a jungle thick and lush with beauty and bravery. I don’t feel unhappy or incomplete, but I do feel like there is a lot left to do. There is a lot more to be. There is a lot more to say.

I am thinking about becoming the person I have scarcely dreamed of becoming. I am so ill-equipped in this dreamscape that I can barely see the outlines of who that might be. But I want to fall in love with myself. I want a life that makes me swoon. What could the bravest, most creative, deepest loving life look like?

I am not desperate. I am not afraid. I am curious. I am resolute.

This is the question as old as time. I don’t know where I am going. I certainly don’t know the destination. I just know I’m willing to change it all to figure it out.

Give ‘Em Hell

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