Showing posts from February, 2023

No Longer Afraid Part 1: The Beginning

I can't believe I'm about to share this. I've only shared it with a little over a handful of people - and it happened over 7 years ago. When I tell people I lived in Tennessee most of my adult life, taught special ed for 25 years, and came back to Birmingham because my parents are at the age they need someone around, I wasn't lying. However, I was leaving out an important detail. One of the main reasons I moved back here was because I left my job. You might ask why that was a big deal - pretty much everyone has lost a job at some point for one reason or another. Personally, I've been devastated some of those times I was fired/let go/was no longer needed. This was different - waaaay different. Technically, I resigned. Technically, I wasn't fired. Technically, it was my choice. But it wasn't. Back in the fall of 2015, I made a mistake. It was a big mistake and it's one that has changed the course of my life in tremendous ways - both good and bad.  Before I

My Introduction at a Pathfinders Meeting

This new group of women that I got to meet today are all P.O.N.F - Paralyzed, Overwhelmed, Fearful, and Needy. In fact, that's why we were all there, including the leader.  I suggested that we call ourselves the PONF Pathfinder People. (Try to say that 3 times fast!) When I saw the question in our workbook that we were to address as we introduced ourselves, "Do you feel overwhelmed, paralyzed, or needy?" (we added 'fearful' during the session), my answer was, "Yes!" There was no "or" about it. My life defines PONF... and during introductions was one of those times it showed its ugly head. The leader of the group, a friend of mine, knew how much I was struggling. When it was my turn to introduce myself, she offered to do so for me. However, I knew she would tell the highlight reel of where I am and I wanted to share where I really am. I tried. Really, I did.  But I had been shaking more and more from nerves as my turn got closer and closer... w

My "Your Voice" Editorial

I was asked to write this for a sidebar about an article featuring the book "Triumph from Tragedy." Little did I know that they would publish it in the "Your Voice" section of the paper... Originally published in The Alabama Baptist newspaper's "Your Voice" on Feb 17, 2022: "TAB Photographer, Writer Shares How God Opened Doors of Opportunity" By Tracy Riggs Freelance photographer and writer Growing up, I had two far-fetched dreams: to be a professional photographer and a published author. However, I wasn’t a risk-taker and pursued a teaching career instead. While in college, I shot some weddings. I was paid, so technically I was a “professional,” but I felt like a fraud. I had no formal training and didn’t have “professional” equipment. Later, as a single parent with a full-time job, I gave up photography work. I took photos of my family and penned long-winded journal entries, but I had no faith