I haven’t written in a long while, I know. I’m sorry.
Almost every day, someone new subscribes to my blog. Usually that brings me great joy – a sense of achievement. Amazing.
Somebody actually wants to read what I have to say. My chest bursting with pride, I would be patting myself on the back. If only, I could.
It’s another opportunity to share my world, to teach, to create an awareness, to touch a heart and change a mindset (hopefully). Yay!
Lately, though, when I get that notification in my inbox, I feel guilt because I know what that means.
It means that I have a new reader to my blog, filled with expectation of I-don’t-know-what but, obviously they have enjoyed what they have read so far and like what they see. I know that they will be waiting, trusting that they will be receiving regular blog posts, conveniently straight into their inbox. I am momentarily overcome by shame, completely aware that I have not posted anything in a while. I hate broken promises.
It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about, I have. Hey, I may spend my time sitting on my butt all day long but, it’s not boring.
Often, I wish it was. Hey, be careful what you wish for, Tracy.
My life is never without drama, unique challenges and erratic ups and downs. Any quadriplegic would be able to testify to that.
But, I do believe that human struggles are all the same, no matter where or how one lives and that is exactly what binds us to one another as a species, whether we choose to believe it or not. Although, I have to add, that there are monsters among us who have no conscience whatsoever, with a cruel ability to abuse children and animals. I have no words for those evil beasts.
Generally, to be human is to be a mass of contradiction. It is to seek peace but to relish argument. To be forever wanting to explode in fury whilst struggling to remain calm and contained. It is to be sweetly open-minded yet bitterly prejudiced, compassionate yet selfish, arrogant yet insecure. It is to smile while feeling depressed, be brave while feeling afraid, and to act restrained whilst passion surges secretly through you. No, not my words but, this is true for everybody, no matter who, or what, you are.
So, I’ve learned that there are common threads and that is why all types of people are able to relate to my stories. I definitely think that everything is worth exposing. You know me, especially if you have been following my blog, I do kiss-and-tell.
It’s just that I have lost my focus – a little. The truth is I’ve been having a tough time the past few months, physically and emotionally. I’ve been caught up in my own inner struggles. Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve been feeling very sorry for myself.
I market myself as an inspirational speaker. I feel like a fraud.
People have put me up on a pedestal, seeing me as a motivator, a source of encouragement, an inspiration. I feel so undeserving.
Over the past month my community newspaper has referred to me as one of its bravest, an inspiration and local heroine – all stories dying to be told. How does one possibly live up to these kinds of accolades?
Initially, I started my blog because I wanted a place to express my anger, joy, frustration, love, tears and pain. I wanted somewhere for my emotions to run wild, to be free. I wanted a place to tell someone, anyone, who was willing to listen, how tough my life is – what a cruel existence it is to be living, paralysed, from the neck down.
Comments flooded in, appreciating my frankness and brutal truths. I was flabbergasted. Still am.
With a renewed sense of intent, I wanted to tell all about my life, with open abandon and raw honesty. I don’t want to hide the good, the bad and the ugly.
It was all going so well. I found my voice, a logical purpose and a place to regain my passion of teaching – albeit to a very different audience in a classroom too big to imagine.
I get many e-mails and private messages on Facebook and Twitter, from people around the world who have discovered my blog (even today) and are reading it (scary), loving it (yay) and wondering why I haven’t posted anything since July. July! What? Has it really been that long? Oh my God.
With an angry-at-myself-reproach, I attempt to start writing a new blog entry. As a result, I now have a folder full of incomplete stories, life experiences and insights that are begging to be shared.
My positive energy has been waning. I use that word deliberately because I do believe that, like the moon, I’ll rise again. Just. Because. I. Can.
Thank you for your messages of love, care and support. You will never know the positive impact they have on my life and how your words encourage me to dig deep, lift my head and look outward again. I appreciate each and every letter.
Hang on, I’ll be back.
I did not panic:) I knew you would be back when you ready, nice to have you back Girl!
It’s good to be back, Moonyeen. Thank YOU.
As always so proud of you my dear friend!
Thank you, my friend. Love you.
Amazing to you, perhaps, Tracy, but the world needs to hear your truth. It does now especially. We’re on the move toward a more evolved way of living. Look at the world events. People are tired of drivel and deceit. We are taking action. We crave authenticity. We want to love. But we want to love safely.
For so long, we’ve been fed what other people decided we needed to hear. Masses are still in the habit of soaking in negativity, nastiness and half-truths through the media. Thanks to the internet, we are finally and freely connecting with the goodness of each other at a grass roots level.
You share your struggles and give us an opportunity to be loving and supportive. We want to share our authenticity, as well. For too long, human kindness has been put down or glossed over. At last we are free to reach out with our hearts true programming. In telling us who your are, Tracy, you are helping us find our truth!
Please speak. Please write. Please trust our authenticity, too.
Your comment touched my heart. It is so true that we have been misguided by people and now through the wonderful medium of technology and the Internet we are able to connect with hearts and souls of real-life people all around the globe. Very special.
Thank you. 🙂
Today one of our students comment that educators take the mirrors before them and convert then into windows. It make me think that there are so many mirrors in our life and we just need someone to show us the windows.
That is such a beautiful analogy, Ina. Thank you for sharing. I hope that I can continue to turn mirrors into Windows. Much love.
Well, I always believed you would publish again when you were ready. You are transitioning from a life full of focus on “doing”, to one more aware of “being”. That’s a complex lesson. Even when you aren’t posting you are still writing your story, by living, by loving, and by what you learn. Aside from some challenges that aren’t average, you also get to wrestle with the challenges every adult faces at the mid-point of life. (Yay?) You are also entitled to get a little tired of the complexity of some of what you have to go through to perform the tasks of ordinary living. But you must face it, my dear friend, you yourself are quite extraordinary. You could have died, and have come close more often than most of us, and you keep willing yourself forward. That gives us all hope for our own capacity to do the same.
You are so right, Mikey, I could have been dead and I would have missed out on 14 years of Chad’s life. What a tragedy that would have been.
I am definitely in a constant phase of awareness and I think that’s a really good thing and a good place to be.
Thank you for your heartfelt comment, as always.
Tracy, for all the reasons you listed as to why you feel like a fraud, those are the very reasons you are what you say you’re not… an inspiration to the rest of us.
We are all afraid, uncertain, pissy, self-interested, unmotivated, pitiful, self-pitying… we just find that when someone else (especially with your particular set of challenges) can admit it, we can admit it to and about ourselves… and honestly, I would find you inspiring even if you weren’t a quadriplegic.
Keep on dear lady! You are not alone!
Thank you, Marsha.
I love your comment… “I would find you inspiring even if you weren’t a quadriplegic.”
I like to think that I am still the same person on the inside despite being trapped in a paralyzed body. But, I would be lying if I said that was true. It is because of the challenges I have had to face, I have gained an emotional maturity that had been seriously lacking in me before. Despite not being able to walk or even scratch my nose, I really like who I am now.
Thank you. I don’t feel alone anymore.
The older I get (which is significant these days) the more I realize that it is from my own pain-point, my own angst, my own doubt that I must speak. THIS is what I most uniquely and profoundly have to offer others. Not my strength. Not my sassy-ness. Not my smarts. When I can sit in the darkest of places and then speak/write from there? The last place I want to stay or be AND the very place from which something of worth and value comes forth.
THIS is what we relate to in you, Tracy. You speak from a place that none of us will ever know as you do and yet it touches, even if only gently on the edges, of what we deeply feel and most fear.
Your courage invites our own. Your tears remind us that we have many yet unshed. Your emotion calls us to a more profound awareness of desire, passion, and life – ironically, all things we tend to repress and avoid. When hearing you, we cannot ignore our feelings…the very nerves that are touched by your words. Ironic. Paradoxical. Indeed.
And so beautiful.
Speak, or don’t. Write, or don’t. Your story is yours to tell and live as you choose. And no matter how that happens, we will not be able to do anything but gasp in amazement…because you told and lived the truth.
COULD NOT BEEN SAID BETTER!
I agree, Karien. This woman has a gift of words.
Oh Donna, your comments always leave me in tears and at a complete loss for words.
Thank you. Just… thank you.
You have no idea how much you inspire me. In my opinion, everybody should be reading your blog. I have learned so much from you.
Tracy when there is a mail in my inbox from Tracy Todd I sit back read it, not only once but a few times and then look at the photos on my wall in my office of my family and say look what I still have a beautiful daughter a loving wife, man I should be so happy there are so many people worse off than me. Tracy you are a wonderful inspiration to so many people, whether its through a live presentation or your words that you have written on your blog. You have no way of counting or scoring your succes rate all that you can do is carry on doing as much as you can but believe me you are helping so many people. I am sure when you finish a talk, the feedback that you get from the audience, whether it be a one on one or as a group is just so big that its difficult to comprehend and to me those are the things that make the difference and make me tick. I hope that you get the same warm feeling in your heart.
Lots of love to you and your wonderful son that makes you so proud.
Gavin….I know it seems you’re heart is in the right place….but that email you wrote above came off completely insensitive. You should really think before you write anything especially the first part
Bob, fortunately I know Gavin personally and he is very far from insensitive. Instead, he is a genuine, special person who has had to deal with deeply disturbing losses in his life too.
I think what he was trying to convey was that people should rather count their blessings and not add up their troubles. And just to be grateful for everything they have.
Thank you, Gavin. We all need to be reminded, from time to time, to be grateful for what we have, not focusing on what we have lost.
It’s true that positive feedback from an audience keeps me coming back, again and again, to speak and share my heart and life experience. It is indeed energizing.
Thank YOU. 🙂
Hi Bob and Tracy
Thank you Tracy, Yes you are correct and have put it so well, with let people rather count their blessing rather than add up their troubles.
I am really sorry if my first mail came across the wrong way.
Sorry once again Tracy
Gavin, there is no need to apologize. I know where your heart is and I know how much you care. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a heartfelt comment. Much love.
You’re not alone. I just checked my blog and I haven’t posted since MARCH!!
For someone who wrote almost every day, how can this be?
There’s a dozens of stories…in my head.
We can do this!
Yeah, Jeanne, we CAN do this!!!
Tracy my girl, hang in there…..
we all love you….
I’m hanging in, Carl. Love you too. 🙂
We would wait until next year July for your next post, promise!
You are and will always remain a true inspiration!
Have a happy day.
aaw Mandy, your patience astounds me. Thank YOU.
Tracy, it’s always worth waiting for you to write on your blog. It really brightens my day when it pops up in the inbox. Remember, there are so many people who would love to share your difficulties and pain, if only we could. I would love to be able to wave a magic wand and take all your problems away. Love you Tracy.
Lindy I’m so glad I have the ability to brighten your day. Your comment just brightened mine. Thank you.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could all wave a magic wand and rid the world of all the bad stuff?
Love you too.
You are always worth the wait! I’ve been reading your blog for over two years now. I love your honesty, your sense of humor and gratitude. You look at life deeply and that is so needed.
a reader in Baltimore, MD, USA
Wow. Thank you for your loyalty and patience, Sharon.
Sending you lots of love from across the ocean.
Tracy, I relate to the waning part. I think any creative process goes through this. Why don’t you start calling yourself a writer and then the ups and downs will fit? Inspirational speaker is a heavy burden to bear. Sometimes, at a low point, I look at a painting I made and wonder who painted it, where did she get the energy and inspiration. I am learning, after 3 years full-time painting, that there seems to be a cycle to creativity. Perhaps you are gearing up for an extra creative cycle and needing to dig deeper and look wider than before. Love, Karin
Karin, I think I need to hurry up and publish my book so that I can call myself a writer. At this stage, I’m merely a wannabe. But yes, inspirational, is at times a heavy burden.
I’m sincerely looking forward to my next creative cycle. It’s time.
Hi Tracy, It has definitely been a long time since we last heard from you, but you are always in our thoughts and prayers. You are an amazing person who really inspire me to be a better person (and I am sure you do that for many others). I love reading your blog. Your honesty and openness makes me realize how many of us are walking around with masks on. Looking forward to seeing you again, when next you are in PE. Love, Wilma
Thank you so much, Wilma.
I think that many of us wear masks every day of our lives in order to keep up with the social and economical pressures of this world.
Hopefully I will be back in PE again soon.
I can imagine that “other” issues will keep you from writing. Who the hell has energy to motivate other people when you have difficulty motivating yourself? The expectation we put on you is probably unfair, but it is probably because we care about you, love to hear what you’re up to and worry when you go quiet. Maybe there is some form of voyeurism at play, who knows?
Knowing you’re OK is great, but reading your blog is GREAT! And no, I don’t particularly care to read about deep thoughts or get some profound wisdom from your blog – reading about some (for the rest of us) everyday event as explained in your special way is great entertainment!
Hang in there – not only for yourself, Chad, your family or Legs, but for all of us who consider you a Special Friend.
Thank you for always being such a loyal supporter and reader of my blog, Anton. You are very special.
Tracey….YOU HANG ON!!!! Its fine to take some “Tracey time!” thinking of you…and remember the old adage…..vasbyt.
Thank you, Lynda :-).
We hanging on, keep writing. you Do inspire.
Thank you, Ian. 🙂
Hi Tracy, just last week I said to Bessie that you’ve been very quiet these past months, and asked her about your well-being. Good to hear from you again. We all go through difficult times….wouldn’t want you to say that all is good if it isn’t……..even motivational speakers can feel down. Don’t feel that you have an image to live up to……just keep on telling it like it really is…that is what we want to know. Keep well and keep writing.
Thank you for your encouragement, Daleen.
We just love you, Tracy 🙂
Love you too, Jacs. 🙂