1. Hi Christie – thanks so much for including me in your “messy” list – I sometimes wonder if I should share the messier side of things – leaving a toxic job due to almost falling apart at the seams for starters, and the ups and downs of getting past all that was a bit of a risk for me, but I love that I hear from others about how they’ve been through similar experiences – there are a lot of us who’ve had to deal with other people letting us down, and rising up from the mess.

    I’m not a fan of shiny, fake stuff – which is why I avoid IG and it’s “influencers” who all look the same – I like real, nitty-gritty life and it’s when we get real that connection starts – and we share our stories with those who are also figuring their way through their ups and downs – it’s a type of synergy really and I love that – thanks for being part of my synergy xx

    • You’re welcome Leanne. I couldn’t agree more. Authentic communication requires vulnerability and messiness, and that’s where the meaningful connections happen. That’s where we help each other and ourselves. I make a conscious effort to focus on the positive, but that doesn’t mean I ignore the difficult or challenging…that I pretend nothing bad exists. If people think I am grateful because my life is easy or perfect, I’m not doing anyone any favors. If people see that I struggle, that I get knocked down, that I make colossal mistakes, but I still find life worthwhile and joyful, maybe that offers some hope…or at least the comfort of knowing we are all in this together.

    • Thanks Donna. I know there are so many others that could be added to this list. These are the ones that jumped into my mind–probably because I’d recently visited them. I hope you enjoy Ashley’s blog. I’d love to hear of any others you’d add.

  2. Cindy

    It’s not a public message, but I know my cancer gave me something to share personally with others who have cancer. The experience gave me more compassion and some understanding of what they are going through and I try to give support, love and hope.

    • A good point, Cindy. Not all messages are public. Some of the most authentic, effective communication happens one-on-one. You are one of the most compassionate, supportive people I know. XO

  3. I love the idea of “the mess being the message”. I hope I don’t shy away from the reality of life in my blog. I know I’ve talked the “down moments” … hey, I get a call from my mom and my sister, and direct e-mails from friends when I’m not being my more usual (working on it) optimistic self! I think being real, mess and all, can help others feel they are not alone – with their own mess, challenges, etc. Thanks fro sharing another tidbit from the MasterClasses you’re taking!

    • I feel the “real” in your blog, Pat. I love that your family checks on you if they sense something is off with you from your blog. I also try to be optimistic and grateful–in my blog and in life–while at the same time being honest about the challenges. Here’s to our beautiful, messy lives!

  4. Christie, thank you for collecting the inspiring stories of women who have made their mess their message. I love that line. I have been writing in my blog lately about dealing with anxiety that surfaces when I run. It is a little mess, to be sure, but it affects my outlook on life.

    • That’s so interesting, Laurie, that anxiety is arising when you run. Most of us think of releasing anxiety with physical activity. I must say I often get a little anxious before a run–even an easy run that isn’t training for anything. I’m not sure what that is about.

  5. Spent longer than usual hopping about Ashley’s world, getting to know her. Hope she is continuing to do well and move forward to realizing all of her dreams. I noticed it has been a few months since she posted. Hope she will do a check in post!

    I remember reading the posts of the other 3 women and the messes or difficulties they have endured and surmounted. Amazing. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? But sometimes we get weary.

    I think we can all claim the mess of this virus…the weariness and worry. Many of the bloggers I follow have begun expressing their exhaustion with this long journey that is 2020. Hope we can look to brighter days in the coming year…just a few more weeks.

    • Ashley is doing well, Leslie, just very busy with a full-time nursing position and three children. She promises a new post is in the works and coming soon. You are so right about people being COVID-weary. I know I am. I miss the easy human connection, and I’m tired of the constant worry in the back (or forefront) of my mind…worry for myself and my family…worry for our hospital system…worry for people who are losing their livelihoods…the list goes on. I don’t want to have to weigh the benefits of spending face-to-face time with my loved ones against the risk of illness. I am hopeful that there is a vaccine on the horizon that will be safe and effective. In the meantime, I will do my best to take care of myself and others. Hang in there! This too shall pass.

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