Family lore has it that I taught myself to read by age three. I published my first poem in a school newsletter in kindergarten. It was about rinsing apples and washing our hands at the sinks – world-changing literature, for sure.
I have always wanted to be a writer. Yet it has been one of my “dreams deferred” for a long time, while life got in the way.
Now’s my time to live the dream, and I’m delighted to share the journey with the other incredible women of 8womendream and with all of you.
In the next year, I will be completing my first book. I’m exhilarated and scared, thrilled and tickled to be doing this.
I’m fortunate to have a great writing coach, best-selling author Ellen Sussman, and writing peers along the way.
Writing a book is bigger than anything I’ve ever done. I’ve planned statewide conferences, graduated from Harvard, taught swing dancing, organized fund-raisers and dance events, published articles, worked for the mayor of San Francisco. This to me feels more challenging, and yet it’s the only thing I can do now. It’s time to tell my story.
My story isn’t pretty. My life might look good from the outside now, and I am very happy. But my early 20s were like a USA Up-All-Night B-grade movie – full of tragedy and terror, drama and trauma. I barely survived it ~ it’s a miracle I’m here today to tell my story.
Yet I’ve managed to create a wonderful life for myself, despite years of suffering, despite the aftershocks of fear and terror that left me scarred, despite deep-seated doubts about myself. I’ve overcome it all. My life has been anything but typical, and I’m grateful for that.
I am a living example of what is possible when someone truly commits to creating a happy life and realizing their dreams.
Yet it took me years to claw my way out of some of the suffering, years to find a path of happiness, years to realize that I could have peace in my life just by stopping to breathe, just by releasing myself from the grip of my own fears, perfectionism and demons. I had to realize that my fears weren’t real – they were just thoughts. I could stare them in the face, laugh at them, and move on with my life.
I am finally ready to tell the truth about myself and my life, and I’ll be sharing that journey with you.
All I’d ask is that you let my story call you to your own greatness.
What dreams lie dormant in you now that you can bring to life?
What would you do if you were not afraid?
Record it here, now. Put it out there in the world. The universe rewards our boldness.
As Goethe once said, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
Take one small step in the direction of that dream today.
(Lisa has launched her dream by signing up for Ellen Sussman’s “Memoir-in-a-Year” class, speaking her story out loud at a Take Back the Night rally, and committing to a regular writing schedule — 50 pages due by December! Being invited to join 8womendream.com was a dream come true, and she looks forward to chronicling her writing process. LisaÂ is currently bi-coastal with her home in historic Troy, New York and her heart in San Francisco. Lisa’s post day is Tuesday).
Lisa Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on the Madam President Project or watch her TEDx speech on YouTube.
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