Yes friends, you read the title right. One book. One voice of another person who was saying out loud everything I was screaming inside my head. A stranger who seemed to know me better than my closest friend. That book and that person was “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Yes, she does not know it, but Elizabeth Gilbert saved my sanity and helped me replace the noise of uncertainty, of despair, of loneliness, of the lies I told myself, and so much more, with a soundtrack of hope and possibilities. How, you ask? Well, let me start from the beginning….
The year is 2009. I have secured a spot in American success as a stay at home mom to 2 great kids, a husband who had a good job, spending my time volunteering in many areas of my local community, and coming home to a golden retriever who topped the whole “happy” family off. Yes, I was happy. Yes, I was happy, so happy, so very happy….at least that is what I kept telling myself and others (on repeat).
How could I tell them anything different? How could I tell them that I was actually suffocating inside? That I would rather stay home and have another glass of wine at 2 in the afternoon than give myself to another person, or cause, or whatever….I was depleted. You see, in the search for a “successful” life, I had slowly but most certainly forgotten about one very important person: ME. With the giving of myself to so many different people over the years as wife, mom, friend, volunteer, etc…I was slowly stripping away who I was. In fact, by 2009, I couldn’t even answer you if you asked me who I was. I definitely defined myself by the roles that I had in life, but the roles were not and could never be WHO I was, but without them I was scared to death. How could I be 38 years old and not know who I am? This was embarrassing to say the least, so I just kept pretending. Then one day I picked up a book at Barnes and Noble that helped me answer that question. Eat, Pray, Love.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s brave journey into searching out her own version of a happy life was both terrifying and extremely exciting to me. I remember reading the book in 2 days with tears, laughter, more tears and a feeling of “YES”!! Me too!! Isn’t that what we all want to hear from someone else, “Me too”?! We don’t ever talk about the scary feelings. We are so worried about being accepted and not making waves, that we go on living lives that are not authentic. (I could go on and on about that, but I won’t for time purposes, but I know you know what I mean)…anyway….I realized at the moment that I read the final page of Elizabeth’s book, that I was worth saying “yes” to. That I needed to learn to start saying “no” to others so I could in turn say “yes” to ME! This included my children, my husband, and everyone and everything I had built my life on. I was sick to my stomach scared with the thought of showing my true self, and realizing that I was at risk of losing everything if I did. I also knew that I was at a greater risk of taking myself to a deeper and darker place than I already was if I didn’t. Things needed to change, and that book gave me courage to start making the changes.
June 2009 I set off to Berlin, Germany for a 2 week sabbatical of my own. A little less dramatic than the year long journey of Elizabeth’s, but nonetheless, just as important and impactful. During those 2 weeks I re-introduced myself to ME, and actually loved the Kalee I got to know. She wanted different. Not more than where I was, but definitely different. That trip was the catalyst for where I am today, and for me being asked to now write a blog about it for HeartStories. The past 5 years have been full of many life changes, good and bad, but all worth it.
But enough about me…how about YOU? Who are you? Are you living your soundtrack authentically and loudly? Believe me my friend, there is no better dance moves you will make than the ones you do withyour own soundtrack. Be brave. Create it today.
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
Friends, if you would like more information about me and what I have been up to the last 5 years, please check out my website: www.truly-possible.com, or I would love to have you as a friend on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrulyPossible. Big love from me to you! XOXO
Kalee Wulfers is a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend who has a passion for people and travel. She is founder of “A Truly Possible Life According to Kalee” and aims to wake up and be a positive source for you, to encourage you to create a life you desire (whatever that looks like to you!), and share her journey of life with you along the way.