be true

Nearly 2 years ago…

I pulled out a dish from the dishwasher and banged it onto the counter. I yanked open the cabinets and shoved in the mugs until they clattered loudly in protest. When I got to sorting the cutlery tears filled my eyes and I sighed, defeated. I’m crying. Again.

I was guilty.

Exercising deep breathing I leaned against the counter, my back to the dishes and stared at my fridge.

Among school photos of my kids and their friends, photos of families that no longer lived near us, magnets with clever quotes from unknown authors the letters that spelled story stood out. Write me. Pursue me. Be true.

Story had been stalking me for almost a year. I had reasons to run. What if it’s just too hard? What if dredging up the past is damaging? What if I’m not a writer? What if it’s for nothing?

Compelled, called – whatever the word was for this thing I couldn’t escape. Passion, dream. Nothing made me the feel the way writing did, like it was an answer to every question I ever had. Could I follow a dream not knowing where it would lead? Would I surrender to the unknown? Unable to commit I became busy with a job, my family, and distraction.

Not following my heart began to hurt. Discontent seeped from my eyes, squeezed my chest in every dark corner, at every quiet moment. Be true.

I walked over to the fridge, peeled off each letter and lay story in the palm of my hand. I sorted the photos, quotes, my life to make room; and letter by letter I placed story in the center, where I knew I could find my heart.

Swept Up

In the Valentines my kids gave me
Annie made our family a giant Valentine and Benjamin handed me 7 pennies along with 3 kisses. Before you think Scott is a schlep, he gave me a dozen gorgeous red roses, which are not featured here but displayed on our mantle.

16 thoughts on “be true

  1. IntenseGuy

    Already, “story” isn’t “for nothing”. Already, “story” has had an impact more that you know. Already, “story” is set to become something more.

    Happy Valentines. 7 pennies and 3 kisses makes you a “a much loved” woman.

    1. heidi

      Yes, that’s what I’ve come to realize – that it is and will hopefully continue to be worthwhile. Thank you, Toriz, for being here and for all the good you bring me.

  2. Kate Coveny Hood

    “Be true” reminds me of the original valentines – conversation hearts before new messages emerged from tacky current culture (hey sexy…text me). I like the old sentiments like “be mine.” And “be true” is a lovely one. Especially when you apply it to yourself and your exceptional talent.

    1. heidi

      That’s what I thought! Just like the candy hearts when they were cute and sweet, and not completely ridiculous. I miss those.
      Thank you, Kate. I feel like you have really weathered this whole ‘story’ with me, encouraging me and supporting me. You’ve been here for me. It has meant so much to me – more than I can say. I can’t wait to meet you.

  3. christy

    I am SO GLAD you decided to write your story. And I LOVE the valentines from both of your kids. So freaking cute. Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo

    1. heidi

      Those Valentines couldn’t be more opposite. Annie had worked tirelessly on that card last night and presented it to us with a flourish this morning. Then Ben ran upstairs to raid his piggy bank and gave each of us 7 pennies. I laughed so hard. Behind his back of course.;) Hope you had a great day today, Christy!

    1. heidi

      Anna, can I just say how much I light up when I see your name in my inbox? So, so much.
      Your story, your writing mean so much to me too. I’m with you and for you. Always.

  4. IntenseGuy

    I just read this on another blog – it made me think of you –

    “Words have power. And when you put them out there, it makes them real for other people, and maybe it changes the world a little… Or maybe it changes you.” – Debora Geary

  5. Anna Lefler

    What a lovely post.

    You know what they say – the thing that freaks you out the most is definitely the thing you’re meant to do.

    Hang in there and press on!



    1. heidi

      Hi Anna,
      I should have prefaced this post with, this was me almost 2 years ago until I listened to that ‘call’. You are right though – it is almost always the thing that scares you the most you should absolutely pursue. It just took me a while to learn that lesson.
      Thank you for your kind words.:)

  6. Alexandra

    Never give up.

    I will do anything I can do to help.

    Including asking you about it.

    Your story is too important to not be told.

    I’ve already told it to my two teen boys many many times.

    About how you do what we think we can’t. About how life has made you into someone you never imagined yourself to be.

    About never stopping, and of how I don’t know what it takes to do what you do.

    Your story…your story has to be a story , for all of us, waiting.

    I don’t think I could be prouder than I will be that day of the hard cover arrival at your door.


    1. heidi

      Alexandra! It makes me so happy when I see you here.
      Like I mentioned to Anna L I should have prefaced this post with 2 years ago… I can’t get away from story and I tried, but here I am! And it is the right thing for me to do right now.
      Thank you for your incredible thoughtfulness and generosity. It means so, so much to me.

  7. Pingback: part 2 – be true – your life is a story | Fancy Feet

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