I started Stuck in my Bra in 2011. Like most women I know, I’ve worn a bra since I was 12 or 13 years old. Personally, I have never been terribly happy about it, but I still need one. You get me? In the summer of 2011 I was on a week-long surfing retreat with a group of women. None of us knew anyone else on the retreat until we got there. Every day I struggled to get myself in and out of my swimsuit, my rashguard, and my sport bra while I was wet, sandy, sweaty, and exhausted. It was then that I realized that my relationship with my bra was a metaphor for my life. I was determined to never get stuck again.
At the time I met these amazing women, I was somewhere near the beginning of what turned out to be a difficult end of my marriage to the father of my three children. We knew each other since we were young kids, were married for a total of 12 years, and the last three were really miserable. We had separated and were battling. My therapist essentially prescribed my surfing trip. I had been ill for all of the years of our marriage and I needed to gain my strength back so she wrote me a simple prescription to (1) go outside every day and look up at the sky, (2) get skin to skin contact, and (3) take a two-week vacation by myself where someone else takes care of my needs.
I did the best I could to follow the prescription. I spent one week lying on a surfboard in the ocean, floating in the water, using all of my strength and balance and will to learn to surf, staring at the water and the sky, laying in the sand, doing yoga, eating raw, vegetarian food prepared by someone else, getting massages, and spending time with these women who were all doing the same thing. These women encouraged me to share my thoughts and my stories. They told me my words were powerful and thought that I was funny. “Offensively hysterical” were the exact words. These women encouraged me to write.
Since then many others in my life have encouraged me to share my story, start my own non-profit, run for public office, write a screenplay, do standup comedy. . . it goes on and on. People tell me I am witty, funny, strong, fiercely independent, deep, inspirational, energizing, kind, committed, supportive, crazy, too serious, too sensitive, a visionary, a good friend, a good mother, a strong advocate, a sounding board, a rock.
What I know about myself is that I know who I am and what I stand for. I stand up for myself and for others and I strive to always do what is right. I also absolutely understand that my perspective is only that . . . my perspective. My truth is only mine and no one else’s. I am a mediator in my bones.
I have known I am a writer for as long as I can remember and I have wanted to write a book since I was a young child, but instead I’ve written legal decisions and briefs and kept my ramblings largely rolling around in my own mind. I now realize that I have never had a choice in the matter. I need to write whether anyone ever reads it. These people are all giving it to me straight and I am taking their advice. I might as well spit it out.
I have always felt compelled to share my experience. The problem I have had is that it can make people uncomfortable. Sometimes I can be too personal and too blunt. I dislike the use of labels, but I identify as neurodiverse. That means autism spectrum. I don’t mean to make people uncomfortable. Throughout my life, my sensitivity to how my sharing makes people feel has affected the way I express myself, but it has not been good for me. I believe it has actually been a key factor to what has made me sick at many times in my life. I don’t ever want to be sick like that again, so I am going back to who I really am. Someone who shares. This is my life and this is my perspective. If my thoughts somehow make you uncomfortable just don’t read this. That’s my best advice. I do not ever mean any harm.
So these are my thoughts. This is my truth. This is my contract with myself. This is my advice to my children. This is who I am and what I stand for. This is what I know right now. This is what I believe. This is what I’ve learned. This is my therapy. This is my caring bridge. This is my holiday card. This is my chat with friends and family I don’t see or speak to often enough. This is my thank you note. This is my apology. This is my collection of thoughts. This is my book, my series, my movie, my play, my blog, my newsletter, my poem, my art. This is my manifesto. This is my platform. This is my masterclass.
This is my gift to myself and to the universe.
In peace and love always,