Embrace Your Stink


I learned in a public speaking class before this tour that our most vulnerable pieces are the ones that resonate most, so here goes.

I've been sitting on this since October. While I should be celebrating the wonder that is my life right now, I've been mostly a hot mess with spurts of sunshine. Terrified to share. Afraid to fully step into the human I am becoming because she looks so different from past versions of me.

I have no problem sharing this story in person, in writing, on a podcast, or in interviews. When you're in the room (or on the phone), you get it. You can feel it.

If you know me, you know I can be both high energy and very grounded, sometimes within the span of seconds. This makes for an entertaining 45 minutes as I recount the hardest things I've ever done: allow myself to love myself and use that love to replace the fear that had been directing my life since I survived the rape 12 years ago.

All that said, I have been terrified to post a clip. I've been telling myself I'm scared to post because I want you to know the whole story. To have the full picture. I want you to know all the parts that get me to this part of the speech and I want you to know all the parts that follow.

As I was getting ready to go around the country to share this story, I realized I need to get out of my own way here. It's not actually about context for me, after all.

The big root of my fear is this:

When I showed my family the video of one of my talks, they lost it.

My father - after recording the most difficult and intimate conversation we've ever had without my consent and then threatening me with the recording - told me that I'm fabricating my childhood so I could be relevant in a competitive world.

(This made me question my lived experience and every decision I've made in recent history. That is gaslighting.)

My sister said my story could potentially drive my father to suicide and that she just couldn't live with herself if that happened.

(That made me censor myself. That is abusive and manipulative behavior.)

In October, I put up firm boundaries with my father and sister.

My mom played Switzerland for awhile, sneaking out at work and home to take my calls. In December, she told me if I want to update her, I need to update the whole family, that she wouldn't keep sneaking around to hear my updates.

(I don't do ultimatums, especially when they are rooted in challenging the boundaries I've set to protect myself.)

Now, if you know me from before this chapter of my life, this may come as a shock. I've always been vocal of how tight my family is, how we share everything with each other, and how they are the most solid foundation a girl could ask for.

And I truly believe that is still the case. I hold the vision of our collective healing every time I share this story because it is my purpose on this planet to break the cycle of generational trauma.

It is my purpose to share my deepest darkest truth so maybe you can feel comfortable doing the same someday.

So with that, and a giant gulp before publishing this, here is 2 minutes of the talk I am giving on my speaking tour at REI stores all around the country.

In this clip, I share the process I went through up one of the hardest parts of the Trans-Catalina Trail in order to reclaim my shine.

And if you have some reclaiming to do for yourself, take what works for you and leave the rest.

I hope to see you on the road or on the trail. 💚