Why 'growth arc'?

It took me f o r e v e r to decide what I was going to call this project of mine. Choosing words is always a battle for me. I'll argue syntax, connotation, denotation, and etymology all day with the best of them. I mulled over possibilities and then it hit me- stories! I need something that aligns my passion as a k-12 educator AND my desire to help people grow! 

I stumbled upon the definition for the popular story arc, a Growth Arc, and knew immediately that this was my brand. In literature a story that follows a growth arc is one in which a character overcomes an internal opposition (insecurities, fear, the past etc.) while facing an external opposition, and as a result,  they become a fuller, better person. 

While working to be who I am today I was doing exactly that! I was battling past trauma, shame, and fear of abandonment while also facing the external pressure of societal expectations for how I "should" live. It was pushing through these oppositions that I learned to not repeat a trauma cycle, rid myself of shame, and allow those in my life who love me for who I am and became a fuller, better human being. 

We're all at different spots in our growth arcs. Allow me to help you grow on yours. 

love more

Loving more. 

My whole life I've felt I wanted to love more. I loved everyone. I didn't have a best friend. All of my friends were my best friends. I didn't like having to pick teams or reduce my birthday invite lists. I still don't like to. Everyone is invited. I love you all.  

While finding ethical non-monogamy I did a lot of reading about what it was and 'how-to' do it. During that time, I remember setting my copy of Easton & Hardys' The Ethical Slut down next to me and astonishingly sighing, "Wow. Yeah." after reading the lines: 

Many traditional attitudes about sexuality are based on the unspoken belief that there isn't enough of something -- love, sex, friendship, commitment -- to go around. If you believe this, if you think that there's a limited amount of what you want, it can seem very important to stake your claim to your share of it. You may believe that you have to take your share away from somebody else, since if it's such a very good thing, someone else is probably competing with you for it. Or you may believe that if someone else gets something, that means there must be less of it for you. 

It is with this passage that I have found a lot of help when dealing with that icky socially constructed yuck -- jealousy. That feeling of attachment that is so hard to shake! (It's a daily practice for me still), If you can work on realizing that there IS enough love to go around and that more you love the more love you get. You'll find yourself more at ease. 

Try loving more. 

an 'about me' vignette

In November of 2013 I sat my husband down after we put our son down to sleep and I revealed a part of me to him that he had never seen. I told him I wasn’t the person he thought I was. I wasn’t the person many people close to me thought I was. I had been living a sort of separate life- a life full of hidden action, distorted words, and lots and lots of covering up. I bared to him that since the beginning of our relationship I had never been with only him. That I had, had multiple partners, told numerous lies, and I didn’t really know how, or if I wanted to, stop.

Many people who have met me in the past four years have stated that they believe that I am this bubbling, confident, extremely strong, and authentic person. I have had strangers coming up to me to tell me that they have seen me and my posts on social media and that they believe I am a strong feminist leader and role model.

I have new friends who will be sitting and listening to stories from my past with their mouths open wide, not believing I am telling a story about myself. I am always blown away. I know how I got here, but I do not always believe I have arrived.

Through an immense amount of therapy, a thousand lessons learned through mistakes, and a crap load of reading and researching, I have found me. I sat here writing this introduction, and a lot more of my stories, not recognizing the person who I was- who I still could have been without all of the work I have put into becoming who I am now.

I am so grateful for all of the experiences I have been through. I am forever surprised that I have made it here. I am thankful for the large amount of learning and support that I have received from everyone- my ex-husband, my friends, my therapist, my professors, my coworkers, my family, my lovers, and myself. I am so lucky to have a huge amount of support from my community. 

I will forever question my path to make sure I am doing things that are true to me. I will continue to push myself to keep learning and helping others through my learning. And, I will always take the time to be honest with myself and those around me. I will be growing and thriving and I look forward to you being a part of that process.