“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without effor and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails at least fails while dairy greatly, so this his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
I first read this quote after reading one of my favorite books suggested to me by a friend. The book is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and if you have not read it or listened Brene’s CD The Power of Vulnerability, I strongly suggest you do. I listened to both during a time of finding myself again and having the courage to be authentic. This journey has been going on for the last three to four years and I’m learning it’s a continuous challenge, but oh, so worth it. I am learning to listen to my voice and not the critics. If you know me from when I was younger, you know that I was a very outgoing, confident, curly haired girl who was comfortable on stage or leading a pep rally. What you might not know is that somewhere along the timeline, I became an anxious, insecure, introverted person who would rather sit in a corner with a few people I know instead of making new connections. Instead of treasuring my uniqueness, I began to blend. It was easier that way it seemed. I lost my confidence and then slowly lost sight of myself. I got wrapped up in the rolls of motherhood and marriage, doing what I thought I should do to make others happy. It wasn’t about me so I thought. Fast forward and here I am re-inventing myself. The real me. Yes I am a wife, a month of two extremely active kids in sports, a coach, volunteer in the community, a cook, a house keeper (not very good at that one), a daughter, sister, an aunt, etc.. Oh and I have a full time job that I commute to every day. Sounds familiar to many of you I’m sure. With all of that responsibility, I have learned that I am still an individual. I am a soul longing to live life on purpose, spread as much light and love as possible and handle of the craziness in between.
I am in this amazing time of my life now. Discovering myself again. Making time to do things that STEFF wants to do too. I run (doing a half marathon next week), try new things, avid learner for health and natural medicine, I read, step outside my comfort zone whenever possible and I’m enjoying every step along the way!
Dont get me wrong, the rest of my life is awesome too. Crazy busy, but awesome. I have a rock star family and when not at a sporting event, we make the most of our time – biking, hiking, boating, chilling by a camp fire or watching movies. Almost all relatives live within 45 minutes, we spend a lot of time with our parents, I have a great job working for really good people and I have the best of friends. They’re weird like me! (More on them another day.) I’m not perfect and neither is my family but we like it that way.
So…what else would a zen seeking – crazy scheduled – some days on the brink of insanity – light worker want to do? How about start a blog? Yeah, that’s a great idea! So here it is. Day One post of Authentically Steff. It will be exactly that. My life…pretty much unfiltered, sharing my challenges of being my true authentic self while also fulfilling the other roles I carry. I’ll share whatever I feel that day. It might be something about self discovery or spirituality. It might be a proud momma moment or something incredibly silly my family did that day or perhaps my take a-ways from a book I’m reading. I’ll also share the things I’m learning – courage and vulnerability, essential oils & natural medicine, homemade cleaning products, home projects and crafts. Just whatever the day might bring. No hiding our crazy family schedule. No hiding my mistakes and failures as I fumble through life with my family. After all, it’s my mistakes as well as my successes that have lead me to where I am today and I am loving every minute of it.
I appreciate you joining me in this venture!