Every single one of us has a journey to live at some point in our lives it comes full tilt. I'll be honest with you it's truth, truthfully tell you're journey the right way all bare boned and don't apologize for it. Yours is different than mine or is it? I've come to know just by meeting people and talking to them. I'm creating a connection, and along the way I've come to find out their journey is a lot like mine. This is my way to tell my journey in this book.
At the age of 18 after graduating high school I enrolled into college, a technical trade school. My dad felt that I needed additional education, and well it really wasn't for me. I have a learning disability, cognitive in which logical thinking is a struggle. I struggled with courses for years, they never came easy. In fact I was in special education classes from grade school up through high school. It wasn't until high school I had the chance to get into a few regular classes with the assistance from my special ed teacher. I felt as a normal independent student for once. It was all that I ever wanted. College however is far different than high school, you don't get tutored let a lone extra help when it's needed. I had to work extra hard in college, and after 2 and half years I failed and flunked out. I look back now and have no regret of it. It wasn't for me. I had other ambitions I just didn't know how to go about them.
What stopped me along the way was depression and anxiety, and it wasn't a mild case of it either. It occurred soon after an injury that led to arthroscopic surgery. I was out of work for awhile and had to deal with the healing and recovery as to physical therapy. It never did heal and I live with it to this very day. It was a major injury and living with it is what it is. I worked hard, and I believe I did the job well, it wasn't a glamorous job either. Fast food is a tough job especially so working with the public. I bit my lip often, never said anything to get into trouble. Unbeknown to management though it was a different story. The job taught me to toughen up a bit though. I absolutely hated it,and It wasn't the right fit in my life after all I had no way to really step out of my comfort zone to live the life I wanted. The depression at one point became debilitating to the point I wanted to take my own life. I began writing, it was a daily way to really release all my thoughts, feelings and emotions on paper. I never talked about it with anyone, my parents knew of it in my demeanor. I slept, isolated myself rarely getting out of the house, let alone getting out of bed. I wasn't happy, there wasn't any meaning to my life, I was just a living zombie of myself. I went through a terrible addiction. A shopping addiction that led to financial strain on my part. I was stressed often, suffered with migraines, felt the lack of energy, tense and completely on edge most of the time. I walked on egg shells around others as I didn't trust anyone and I couldn't. I had a small group of friends and I liked it that way. I met my dearest best friend at work as I worked once in a nursing facility. She and I, best friends for more than a decade. Times fly by for sure. My other best girl friend and I too both met in the work place, the time spent in the fast food business, although we grew up together not really knowing each other until after high school and my time in college. There was a time there were at least three other friendships. Those friendships turned to dust and ended abruptly. The Lord did me a favor. Friends come and go though true friends have your back when the times get going and times of pure joy and happiness. I wouldn't trade them for anyone else. They are and will always remain.
There were a few jobs I worked through for quite some time, it was though the retail job in which became a roller coaster of sorts which in time I turned to God to get me through each single passing day after my diagnosis with anxiety. It was clear to me I suffered with it not really knowing. It was quite a time for sure. Now mind you I attended church every single Sunday, took part in the community with the church yet something was missing from my life. It was me. I was merely living with the motions, the day ins and outs. The depression, I worked through it with my writing and praying. The Lord came to me when I was about to take my life actually. The bottle of migraine pills in my hand, then instantly someone or something pulled me away from it. I went into the stahl poured the bottle of pills down the toilet and then washed my hands. This happened in between a few jobs I already had and college. Those days I remember so very well. There quite vivid in my memory.
The time I spent on the yo yo train began to make clearer sense to me. Life is tough, difficult, unending, joyful, happy, meaningful, painful. Every single emotion, thought, behaviors, people, family. The list is absolutely endless. I knew of one thing and that was in fact living through adversity and how to get through it with a positive outlook on life. Behind the smile, the laughter was a lost, confused, bitter angry soul just inching to find my way. The toxicity was imensely thick in the work place as much as my personal/private life. What a headache! I kept putting one foot in front of the other though and went with it. There were days I wanted to just get up and walk out. This was the job that would seal my fate to truly find myself and place in life. My writing became more me as I began to enter poetry contests, reading more as to research on publishing companies. Who to reach out to. My first real love and passion is for music though in which I was brought up on. Country music, now that is telling your life story through a song. Ah, the greats Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Crystal Gayle. It was them in which made my heart smile. Of course I lived on several genres of music that would lead me to blogging and connecting with fellow fans just as myself. At the time and during the American Idol faze a young 19 yr. old from a small town of North Carolina emerged as a contestant during season 5. It wasn't so much her life's story it was the fact how real, raw and authentic she is as a person. Kellie Pickler didn't become an over night success story she paid her dues like anyone else. American Idol gave her a boost though. I have a special connection with her and it was in fact her grandmother who practically raised her. It was a reminder how my own grandmother, maternal grandma who took care of me as a child while mom and dad worked their blue collar jobs, I remember those days fondly. I'll talk of it a bit in the next book. The support, faith, determination and dedication I had to promote her via social media pretty much kicked off the buzz and how I'd utilize my musical talent and growing writing career. I needed a big break and I learned the long hard way with no short cuts.
The birth of Country Music City Promotions happened in the spring of 2011. It was a social media outlet to promote rising artists, independent artists, to already seasonal life long professionals such as those mentioned above. The joy, happiness and content I had writing and promoting rare talent was my place, and it was all around the time writing and drafting this very first book. I have no prior experience let alone how to get a book published. It was from an emerging friendship, a quite talented songwriter out of Texas who mentioned ebook. I was curious so I looked into it. I thought to myself, "how can I possibly do this? Am I doing the right thing?" I reached out to small press publishers as well a Christian based publishing company. However those were short lived due to the advice of a lawyer. Scratch that Shellie!, thinking to myself. I'm going head first into researching more what self-publishing detailed of. It seemed easy and I was up for the challenge. Throughout the entire process not only working a retail job I was scheduling artist interviews, writing articles, reviews, attending concerts, updating the website. It brought a lot of attention to me as a rising independent music promoter from North East Ohio. At one point a few other Ohioan based promoters reached out to me introducing local and broad independent acts across the state. I was floored. Several opportunities came from it to the point what I was already tackling in my life. Behind the scenes was a far different experience. I rarely found time to enjoy life and my family. My focus was my writing career and working a stale retail job that would keep me from my full potential to break out of my comfort zone. Living with high expectations from others had put a ton of pressure on me. There were moments of lashing out, to being angry with certain relatives. It finally led me to walking on egg shells around most people, all but a few who I could honestly trust and felt comfortable with. The more I prayed, talked with the Lord a sense of peace came to me. Attending church again began to enlighten me. Sermons reached me deeply, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. WOW! What a feeling.
Once I began to open myself to fully living like Christ I was meeting just every day people in the work place and how they saw a glow in me to even regulars from town. The life experiences I heard were mind blowing. It made sense after awhile that it was the Lord's work to bring those people into my life. Our journey's meet and intertwine. There was yet quite a bit of toxic energy and flow I never could get away from and it was mostly in the work place to private matters of the heart.
Taking time, and boy was there a lot of it. I had to learn the virtue of patience which never came easy to me to begin with. I was never the patient type. All in truth I have several flaws, scars, bruises and imperfection. God created me differently from the rest of the pact, accepting it was on far another level. Looking back and reflecting to this very day I made the decision to stop feeling sorry for myself and to simply live, move forward even when I felt I did't want to.
I already knew the world kept on moving with me in it or not, so here I am giving you a sense of who I truly am. Through all the writing I already wrote made much more sense to me to put it into a collection, and after re-reading all the poetry I knew how to start it. My heart was in it and my mind clearer. All the pain, loss, anger, pity, joy and happiness was a common thread that which emerged. It was in fact God's plans. God's love, as to putting my complete trust in him to get me through every single moment even through those extremely dark days of the depression and anxiety. He called unto me in several ways. The beauty of living is truly excepting ourselves for who we are and to forgive those who've done wrong to us. It grants us to finding a sense of closure and peace.
It is you the reader, your just like me and I want you to know it, it will be alright in time because healing takes a long period of time. Recovery is possible, and your not alone. My story is your story. There is nothing more spiritual than living like Christ, walking with him to act and love like him. It is moving forward making something out of your self. That is what it is. Whether your twenty eight or forty eight life isn't easy we all go through it, and like I said your journey is my journey. Never complete, never unending. It is getting through the adversity and it's not an easy feat to accomplish. The struggle, the hardship, every challenge to face head on, toxic people, doubters, nay sayers only to walking around on egg shells, the lack of trust in them when all who you can trust are few and only yourself. Keep moving on even when all you want to do is simply give up. There is considerable strength within you, and the wisdom, as it does grow and you learn from every pit fall. Eventually the light shines so brightly you need shades. What a light it is and it's beautiful. Joy comes again, happiness and love does happen. It just takes time.
I'm not where I was once before who I am now is far different. I've changed for the better through the years. I've grown spiritually. I look at people differently as everyone is unique in their own special way. I've learned not to judge, to put other's down of their short comings and let people be who they are. Everyone has flaws, scars, bruises and imperfection. It's how we're created, to be different. I know there are lonely bitter souls in the world just wanting to give up not even try and walk with a chip on their shoulder. I know it. I've been in that position. At times I still feel that I am, and I work through it. Why is that? I ask. I don't have the answers. Maybe one day I will. I'm merely moving forward in life and it will knock me down and hard at times. I'll get back up.