Photo Credit: Thought Catalog,

It’s been years since I felt the sting of being ostracized. When you’re young you think no one can stop you as you make plans for a bright future. Working hard, following the rules, and reaching for the stars, were the qualities I lived.

As a teenager growing up in Southern California, I had the world by the tail. Then my dad sprung this idea on the family to start a completely new life. This life would take us all from the school where we had many friends and the familiarity of the surroundings each of us enjoyed would be gone.

Dad had always loved getting his hands dirty, working in the yard, planting, raking, and gardening. Everything in the world of green plants thrived under his watchful eye.

I recall everything my parents did for the love of family required incredible sacrifice and hard work.

A New Way of Life

Dad wanted to be a farmer. Call it a mid-life crisis or just something a guy had to prove to himself. The move brought us to a town that was quiet and far removed from the city life we all knew.

My brothers weren’t interested in making such a drastic change. However, the matter was decided and the move was made.

Sometimes changes that take place in your life can be a bit unexpected. Becoming a farmer’s daughter was definitely not something I had anticipated.

Probably one of the most unexpected things that happened to me–in this new town that my dad had such high hopes of good things taking place for each of us–was the judgment I, in particular, would suffer.

Deepak Chopra explains that “if you’re in the right, you put someone else in the wrong.” This is exactly what happens when the power of judgment occurs.

As an impressionable teen, my heart was open to making new friends and experiencing good things. However, the time I spent in this new environment was often a hardship. Working on the farm was backbreaking labor and consumed many hours every day.

I didn’t mind the labor so much. I loved my dad and mom and I wanted to do everything I could to help them make this new life a success.

The tough part was being rejected by the kids at school. It was difficult to view people in my life as kind because their judgment and lack of acceptance were overwhelming.

Prejudice was something foreign to me; and for the first time in my life, I felt different and in some need of understanding.

Finding Your Inner Strength

There’s a silver lining! I learned the meaning of strength. Not in a physical sense, but rather the kind of strength that carries you through life and times that test your fortitude.

As a writer, my vulnerability endures, thanks to living through difficult times that created opportunities which helped me become a better person.

Setting aside your fears, and stepping boldly into the abyss is what makes writing exciting and rewarding for me. What energizes you about your writing?

Jennifer Hyman said,

“I think that life is difficult. People have challenges. Family members get sick, people get older, you don’t always get the job or the promotion that you want. You have conflicts in your life. And really, life is about your resilience and your ability to go through your life and all of the ups and downs with a positive attitude.”

Here’s your writing invitation: Challenge yourself to step boldly into your writing this week. What life experiences have impacted you for the better?

Let me know your thoughts today with a comment below or write to me at [email protected].

Photo Credit: Thought Catalog,