As we delve into more project groups and more discussion about the project in general, I really want each of these ladies to get their story released on its own merit. I know how intimidating it is to sit down and read an entire blog post, let alone one that contains eight or more ladies’ stories to read. We have about five minutes sometimes, and I want you to have the chance of making five minutes of your day a beneficial, uplifting read. So, re-releasing the fifty-one participants’ (so far) stories as singles is what I am doing. I even downloaded a handy ol’ “number generator” app on my trusty lil phone to do so (because I am a genius AND because I’m bad at making decisions).
I will not insult your intelligence by posting my various thoughts on each group with each ladies’ story. What I will do is include the link to my blog about that particular group and that particular night, and you can feel free to check that out if you feel so inclined. What I will include with every post is the link to the blog from our original group, which has the explanation behind the reason for the project and how it goes about. You can find that here: Women. Raw. Honest. Loved. Group 1.
Today’s lady: Tiffany (Today, this is one of two stories I’m posting, as Tiffany and Rosie were just interviewed with me on a little local radio show that will air on Sunday. They talk about the effect the project had on them both. It’s some good stuff. They both made me cry. No joke.) – Tiffany was part of Group 5 .
“I believe that my biggest insecurity is to be unlovable – or insignificant.
When I was 16, my mom informed me that if she had it to do all over again with me, she would have chosen to have an abortion. She perhaps had made the wrong choice to keep me. I was just too much. Too hard to deal with.
In my head, I read that to mean, unlovable.
When I was 21, my mom sent me my own “special” holiday letter. It was on neon pink paper. She informed me that ‘I must think I’m pretty special with all of my friends and family by my side – but one day they would all leave me. One day I’d die alone.’
I’ve always been so terrified that that was somehow some horrific prophecy. That I would be a terrible friend and people would just drop like flies and I’d end up alone and unloved.
I lay awake at night and critique what kind of a friend I’ve been. I worry that I have not given enough, or done enough, or perhaps I’ve taken too much. Perhaps I’m truly not good enough to have the friends I have, or the family who loves me.
Perhaps deep down, I really am a very unlovable person.”
Tiffany’s friends and family –
“Hello, I’m Tiffany’s cousin, Heidi. When I got the email about this project I was SO excited at the prospect of writing something that is true and amazing about her and her reading it and fully ingesting it. And the timing is good too, because I just had my birthday and she sent me the sweetest, most heartfelt message that I did not feel worthy of. So here’s some payback:
Tiffany is immensely kind, fiercely loving, and probably the single most unselfish person I know (really, it’s true). She acts out the love of Jesus in a very real way and is always, always ready to put someone ahead of herself. She has empathy deep and wide; real, raw empathy – the kind that is able to take a relationship deeper and into a more caring place. I love you as family and I love who you are!!!! You are so perfectly you.” – Heidi
“Hello there! Here are some words about my insanely awesome homegirl, Tiffany.
Love the project! Cheers!” – Lauren
“I’ve known Tiffany since we were six years old. She is one of the best listeners that I know. She’s never made me feel like she doesn’t have time for me even if she’s dealing with her own issues. She has a huge, compassionate heart. She can knit. She’s crafty. She cooks. She’s clean & organized. She’s not afraid to take chances. She is brave & bold. She’s been through a lot and, while it may hold her down for a moment, she never lets anything keep her down. I’ve seen her confidence soar as a writer and a mother. She has gorgeous, sparkling eyes, the sweetest button nose, perfect teeth with the most inviting smile. Her skin is absolutely flawless. She has a wonderful fashion sense and fierce loyalty to those she loves. When she sets her eyes on something, you cannot get in her way. She’s feisty and intelligent. Her husband and daughter are extremely lucky to have her and I’m lucky she gets my humor & calls me friend.
xo to infinity (or google, whichever is longer).” – Rosie
“This is really inspiring! How do you always know about this cool stuff?
I would love to say nice things about you, I do it all the time when I tell people about my friend Tiffany. I just hope what I have to say makes sense.
I think you are strong; the way you have handled some of the challenges you have faced – how you keep trying; keeping an open dialog about what you’ve been through, in hopes that you might inspire someone else to be strong – that takes the kind of inner fortitude people can only respect.
I think you are brave. To try where you have failed before; to question yourself, your beliefs, and push past the negative to create and become something positive and beautiful – that is spirit to inspire even the most fearful.
I think you are pretty; not just because you are my friend, and not just because you have nice features – like your sweet little nose and puckery lips – but because you care about how you look. It’s not the most important thing to you, and some days just aren’t as good as others, true for all of us, but the things you do to express who you are through your looks – fun necklaces, bright knit sweaters, printed tights – are just examples of the types of uniqueness that bring out your inner beauty.
I think you are diverse; with your vitamin/personal pharmacy bag, false eyelashes, whole foods, tattoos, cloth diapers, shoe collection, owl items, unique bags, breastfeeding, on and on…all of these pieces make up your amazingness.
I think you are selfless; way more selfless than most I know, including myself. The dedication you have to your family, the sacrifices you have made for your daughter, the energy you give to the work you do – these all could only be understood by someone who truly appreciates how rare these values are, especially all in the same person.
That’s probably more words than you need…and I could go on…but I probably ought to get to sleep. Please let me know if there is anything else you need!” – Lisa
“As I sit here thinking about what to write about Tiffany – it makes me laugh because there are so many amazing things about Tiffany that when I try to come up with the ‘most perfect thing to say’ – it makes me want to call Tiffany and ask her because she has an amazing way with words! LOL!!
Tiffany is real. Real in everything she does.
She is a friend – a true friend.
She is an amazing Mom – who does not take ONE SECOND of that for granted and for that (and many other things) she makes the world a better place.
She is honest. I think that is something that has become a little ‘gray’ over time – not with Tiffany – SHE. IS. HONEST. And I believe honesty and trust go hand in hand. If you know someone is honest – you can trust them! I trust Tiffany with all of my being. She is ‘that guy’! 😉
Her humor is, well, there are no words. SHE IS HILARIOUS!! Her descriptions of things just kill me! I should just call her ‘Thesaurus’ with all of her descriptive words – – words that no one else would’ve thought of! She NEVER fails to make me laugh and I love her for that.
I also love her heart. Tiffany will cry with me – that’s a sign of empathy. She has a very deep heart and a kindness about her that seems to be missing in the world nowadays – not with Tiffany though – it’s there.
All of this wrapped up in to one happy, full of laughter and kindness – BEAUTIFUL PACKAGE. 🙂 And God blessed her & Dave with Presleigh = = that just made the world a better place. Tiffany is an amazing Mother that most people could learn a lot from. God love you, Tiffany – you are one of a kind and absolutely amazing and I love you to the moon and back. I’m beyond proud to call you my friend. God bless you. :)” – Kristin
“Hello, my name is David. I am Tiffany’s husband. I was very happy to find out that she decided to participate in this project. For too long I’ve been saddened by her less than stellar opinion/image of herself. She is usually willing to offer 4 negative things about herself to 1 positive thing. She is in my opinion, the only one who believes these negative things to be true. If she can obtain a level of peace with herself, or perhaps a better understanding of just who she really is and how others truly see her, then, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend an evening of her time.
My wife is quite possibly the most kind, generous, stubborn, and unselfish person I have ever met. All of these traits, especially the stubbornness, have allowed her to be married to the likes of myself. Her kindness is displayed daily by how she treats those around her. She is quick with a smile, and to help those in need whether there will be reciprocity or not. She is generous with her spare time (of which there is little with a 9-month-old toddling around). She has volunteered to help the homeless, and was all set to volunteer at a shelter that provides temporary/emergency housing for child victims of domestic abuse if and when a parent gets hauled off to jail and CPS is unavailable due to the late hour. She would have followed through with that except that we found out to our extreme joy that we were expecting our own child, and thought rest a more prudent course.
Her stubbornness, I believe, is what has carried her through to where she is in life today. Being born to an extremely selfish (sociopathic, in my opinion) mother who ripped her away from her loving and adoring grandparents at whatever whim she deemed appropriate, so she could “play” mother , and take her into whatever drug-addled, abusive relationships she was in at the time could have sent her down a terrible path that we see too often in our society. Instead, she persevered; refused to repeat the cycle. She yearned for, and learned a better way to be. She refused to be like her mother and was too stubborn to falter from her decided course. She was born with hips that weren’t perfect, a fact that has caused her agonizing daily pain. She could have given in, become sedentary, and turned to alcohol or drugs to keep the pain away. Instead, she tucks her chin down, and continues forward with her life. She accepts the pain as part of being alive. She hardly even says a word about it.
She displays her unselfishness to me daily. We (mostly she) have decided to raise our daughter in a more natural way. From breastfeeding, to higher quality foods with ingredients you can pronounce, to cloth diapering. All of these things are not the easy way. We both read a lot in our spare time. While I am usually checking out the latest effort from Tom Clancy or John Grisham, she is reading about better, more natural ways to feed and take care of our family. She is reading books about how to teach our daughter sign language so she can communicate with us before she can talk. She is continually thinking about how she can make me happier, or what new and exciting recipe she can try to bring a smile to my face.
I’ll wrap this up with these final few thoughts about my wife.
I have never second-guessed my decision to ask her to marry me. It is, and will remain forever, the single best decision I’ve made in my life.
She is my moral compass.
She is my lighthouse on a foggy night at sea that keeps me off the rocks.
I don’t know, and don’t want to know what I’d do without her.
Selfishly, a part of me hopes that she never does figure out what an amazing person she really is, lest she wonder what the hell she’s doing with the likes of me.
Thank you, Alana, for doing this – I think that it is a great venture. I sincerely hope you’re able to get all the support and traction you need to turn this into a bona-fide movement. Perhaps Oprah will come out of retirement and invite you to her couch one day to sing your praises.” – David