I’ve been flirting with the idea of starting a blog for some time now, but never actually went through with it until this summer. Between procrastinating, working, traveling and being reluctant to let people into my life, it has taken me forever to get my blog going. Oddly enough, I think that the delay in getting things started has actually propelled me in ways that I never imagined.

Friends and family have recently asked why the sudden push to start a creative venture. They have asked me what is different about “this time” and what is driving me to keep up with it since I have started. The answer is really simple; this time I’m ready. The delay I talked about earlier has allowed my curiosities and passion for writing to mature and given me vision and direction with my creativity. I am older now and my experiences have broadened my horizons and sharpened my perspective on life.

I turned 30 last year, and it was then, literally that day that my eyes were opened wider than they have ever opened before. I woke up on my 30th birthday in a calm, swaying cruise ship cabin on the shore of Sicily, Italy. The sun had already revealed a mountainous, quaint Palermo city, and I couldn’t wait to see what it had to offer. I played some music, checked my phone (which was already chiming with birthday wishes), and got ready for breakfast. It was in these early moments of that day that I thought, “this is IT. THIS. IS. IT! I thought about having reached my prime, and that these are the moments I will remember and cherish the most when I’m older.

Almost exactly four months after my 30th birthday, I lost my father. There’s nothing like a tragedy to test your will to keep on going. These two pivotal events in my life having happened just months apart of each other truly changed me. My zest for living, my passion to learn new things, my desire to explore and experience have grown exponentially. I have become more open to change and more willing to accept that things are never going to be perfect-that LIFE will never be perfect.

I thought about John Mayer’s song “Stop This Train” where he sings about a train as a metaphor for life, and how it stops for no one.  He wants so badly for the train to stop, to start all over, and how he’s not ready to deal with some of the things that the train is headed for.  I thought about how time flies, like John’s train, and how it seemingly moves faster and faster as we get older. Ready or not, here we come.  Mayer’s powerful lyrics resonated so clearly in my thirty-year-old head:

“So scared of getting older
I’m only good at being young
So I play the numbers game
To find a way to say that life has just begun”

I remember thinking to myself “if life is like a train that’s headed for one final destination, I had better make sure I enjoy the ride!” Hearing that song, on that morning in that beautiful place changed me forever.

When people ask me “Why now?” I’ll tell them it’s because I’ve learned that there is no better time for me than NOW. If not now, when? Now, at 31, through all of the heartaches and triumphs, I have developed the strength and the confidence to express myself in ways that I never have before. Being able to share my experiences, my thoughts and feelings through words, photos and videos has been so cathartic for me. I have always had a voice, but being able to share it on such a public platform has given me wings to reach new heights and allowed me to find an elevated meaning to life. I truly hope that The JWORD offers you some sort of insight, encouragement, or entertainment, or is just as enjoyable for you to read as it has been for me to write. I can’t stop this train, but I hope you can join me for the ride.