Part One: Creating a life that fits like skin How it began

I hate to shop. But that day, the day it all started, I was shopping. As I thumbed through the racks holding too many choices, my eyes stopped. My thumbs kept going, but my eyes stopped. The fabric shouted drama. Black and white dots, red roses, scrolls and vines had caught my attention and held it.

Logic said, “No, no, no! That isn’t you.” And it wasn’t me. It wasn’t the well put together, careful, classic me that I knew, the Ralph Lauren me, the Ann Taylor me, the boxed-up-and-labeled me. I pulled it out to study it more closely. It was flowy. Loose. Light. I wasn’t. I shoved it back into place, shaking my head. “Moving right along…” I thought to myself and left the clothing.

I picked up a few gift items, browsed jewelry, and headed toward the cashier. That took me back past the racks. “One last little peek,” I thought as I veered off course and re-entered garment land.

No thumbing this time. I bee-lined for the rogue blouse, hoping in some corner of my brain that it would have lost its charm. As I fished it out, the label faced me. BoHo Chic, it said. “BoHo Chic,” I repeated, then again, “BoHo Chic?”

I found myself at check-out with BoHo still in my hands. “Nice shirt,” said the cashier. Was it?

“Thanks,” I said.

At home I stood in front of the mirror. BoHo stared back at me. “Who wears this?” I wondered as I studied the untamed look of that blouse with me in it. The style, the colors, the complicated pattern, unsettled me. Why had I been so drawn to it? I couldn’t say. And yet I was.

A nervous agitation buzzed through my body like too much coffee. BoHo had stirred a yearning that I couldn’t name, and part of me didn’t want to. But the next day, as I sat with my notebook for the morning discovery writing, questions tumbled out. Why do you love that shirt? I scribbled. Because it represents something I’m not, I scrawled my answer. What’s that? What aren’t you? I questioned again. I’m not…. Whatever I had intended to write didn’t make it to the page. The word that came was like a blue-light special, blaring over the loudspeaker of my mind. FREE! I’m not…FREE! Why aren’t you free? I wrote. That opened the floodgates. I hate my job. I feel trapped in a life that doesn’t fit me. I used to draw and paint. I used to play the guitar and sing. I used to write poetry. What happened to THAT me, the Bohemian me? The blouse with its quirky label scrolled across my thoughts. BoHo Chic…Bohemian Chic…a lump rose in my throat.

Awareness came first, then choice. Do I deal with this? Do I allow change? Or do I close my eyes, go numb, and forget I had this conversation?


Living life fully ALIVE

Recovering my lost self and reshaping it to fit who I have become was a mind blowing experience. Over the following eighteen months, I literally wrote a new story, the story of a life that would fit who I was at my core, reflect my truth, and utilize my abilities, a life that fit like skin. As I wrote, what I wanted became clear. As my wants became clear, doors opened. As doors opened, dreams manifested, dreams that I didn’t know I had.*

Part Two: “Why Bali?”

There’s more to this story. Stay tuned!


Bali green





2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan
    Nov 26, 2013 @ 23:46:55

    I remember this blouse…..and coming to hear your reading and others, in the tiny back room of that cute Edina gallery. You had finished a writing class…..and it became the start of a whole new journey, across the world….a whole new life, and the special falling-in-love with the place that called you away (“here am I, your special island, come away, come away”).



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