Our next guest in the LOL series is Catherine, someone who has been personally inspiring ever since I found her blog. This is what Living out loud to her is:
Hi, I’m Catherine! I love to write, paint and photograph fairies. I’m an avid reader of how-to books, memoirs and children’s fantasy. I get uneasy when there are no books on hold for me at the library. I have a deathly fear of heights which developed late in life and I may’ve had a tiny meltdown hiking through the Grand Canyon (just ask the two old men I croaked to, “Please step away from the edge!”). I love all veggies ~ except beets. I love to relax with a hot bath, new paintbrushes, snuggles, homemade gingersnaps, family, and coffee anything.
I love this concept of living out loud. To me, living out loud is simply: to love extravagantly. It’s going out of your way, sacrificing wants, and reaching out when no one’s reaching in. I have fumbled along and loved hesitantly, conditionally, minimally; but to love extravagantly is something I’m still aiming for.
Four years ago, one of my dearest friends found out she had cancer and after she told me, I busied myself for a few weeks and avoided her. I eventually came back around and apologized for deserting her. She told me she assumed I was dealing with the hard news the best way I knew how. Even in her darkest moment, she didn’t hold it against me or refuse relationship based on my reaction. She loved me in spite of my actions and was willing to hold out her hand when I came back. That’s extravagant.
Her reaction changed my perspective of love. It taught me honesty at a level I had never experienced. It made me realize that living out loud meant grabbing hold of each moment (including the bad ones) and considering those in the moment with you. It meant offering grace and laying out your heart at the cost of rejection.
My friend eventually passed away. I was there beside her in the last months, weeks, and days. She’d shown me what it meant to be brave in the face of fear. She walked that path ahead of me and put footprints in the sand of where I needed to go. There is a quote I love from Natalie Babbitt in Tuck Everlasting that completely describes my friend, “Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.” And she did.
And I want to.
On this pursuit of living out loud, remember to love extravagantly. Go beyond what is expected, reach beyond what is sought, and forgive what hasn’t been asked of you. Don’t be afraid of the unlived life; you have this moment to live it.
Thank you Catherine for sharing your LOL journey. You can find her blog here.