Return to Yourself
Contributor
Written by
April Sweazy
September 2010
Contributor
Written by
April Sweazy
September 2010
“Don’t be afraid to be weak, don’t be too proud to be strong, just look into your heart my friend, that will be the return to yourself, the return to innocence.” - Enigma Following dreams or really even having them was considered foolish and naive in the environment I grew up in. Keep your feet on the ground, head out of the clouds, that was the general idea. “Be yourself” wasn’t exactly part of the idea, “Be practical” was far more efficient. "Don’t consider what you want, consider what makes the most sense", was another rule of thumb. I pursued a line of work that everyone, including myself, expected of me. Life events and occurrences dictated which way I should go and why, and it really made sense so why question? Writing wasn’t considered practical, so I left it on the shelf to go a different way that was deemed more realistic. I’m very passionate about my work and its been quite rewarding and taken me in directions I never anticipated ten years ago. But there’s always been a nagging thought, a what if consideration that followed me through the years. I kept it mostly to myself, too afraid to dream of bigger possibilities because I had been taught to carve out this comfortable little box to live life in. It took me quite by surprise when a door to my dreams opened wide in front of me less than a month ago. Its really quite amazing how things happen, and how things change, and how we as individuals change and grow and return to ourselves. I read a book, it moved me beyond words. I emailed the author and told her so. She emailed me back, much to my surprise. Correspondence kept up, I found her to be inspiring. The nagging in the back of my mind to at least give a little attention to writing in some form got louder. I drove 7 hours to attend a book signing, this was viewed by those around me as impulsive and nonproductive. The book, by the way, that sent me into this frenzy of activity was The Language of Trees, by Ilie Ruby. I was entirely unprepared for how that book was going to change my life. Truly, there are no words. It rendered me speechless and really altered my whole way of thinking, about life and about myself, in a way nothing ever had. I was a nervous wreck. I asked a friend what I should say to this woman who I found myself looking up to based solely on emails back and forth. Be yourself, my friend said. I wasn’t entirely convinced being myself was going to be enough but she assured me it would. An impromptu trip to another state for literally less than 24hrs certainly wasn’t practical, but I had to know if there was more out there in life for me than what I had been doing. And I recognized this as the opportunity to discover that. “If you want then start to laugh, if you must then start to cry, be yourself don’t hide, just believe in destiny, don’t care what people say, just follow your own way, don’t give up and use the chance to return to innocence,” is a line from a song by Enigma. I listened to it on repeat the entire drive. The door opened wide for me that trip. Sometimes all it takes is one person standing on the other side of that door beckoning you in and believing that you can do it, to make a difference. Behind me was everything practical, everything that made sense, everything that was safe and involved no risk at all, and it all called to me and told me not to be foolish. Fear of the unknown (and a disbelief in myself) had kept me captive for far too long. It only takes one thing to make a difference in a persons life, to return them to themselves when maybe they’ve been lost for awhile. One book, one email, one person, one trip across the state line, one conversation with a kindred spirit, one moment to truly fly on a wing and a prayer and see where you land. There’s a time and place for practicality, and an equal time and place to harness dreams and embrace the things that make us who we are. Going through the open door isn’t the beginning of the end (no matter what anyone says), its the return to yourself, and perhaps, as the song says, the return to innocence.

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Comments
  • Ilie Ruby

    You are an amazing powerful woman and a beautiful writer. I'm so glad you took the chance.

  • Diane

    I am also glad to meet you - although I fear my door is only slightly opened. Someday, perhaps. Sites like this are definitely a boost.

  • Ilie Ruby

    Glad I could meet you on the other side of the door. xo