Hello, My Name Is…

Hello! Welcome to my blog!

Some of you who are reading this are my friends and family. Some may be new friends who don’t know much about me yet and some of you don’t know me at all. Please allow me to tell you a bit about myself.

My name is Erin. I was born and raised in Michigan. I’m the middle of three children in my family. My sister is 17 months older than me. My brother Joshua was born four days before my second birthday. He was born with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy, and was a spastic quadriplegic, i.e. for the most part, he was bedridden and confined to a wheelchair. He passed away in October of 1997 when he was 11 1/2 years old. (More on this part of my story in future posts.)

Siblings
Debbie, Joshua, and I; Christmas 1996

I love coffee and tea. 

My favorite fruit is strawberries and my favorite veggie is broccoli. 

I love classic country and modern country with a classic feel, bluegrass, and Irish and Scottish traditional music. 

I love hiking, especially in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s one of my absolute favorite places. 

Hiking
Hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park last year

I’m kind of a bookworm. I’m the girl in the checkout line at the grocery store who’s generally okay with the line moving slowly because she’s reading a book via the Kindle app. 

I’m a musician. I started playing flute when I was about eight years old. I’ve been playing for about 26 years. Nowadays, I’m focusing on bodhrán and mandolin with a bit of tin whistle on the side.

Bodhrán
Me and my bodhrán

I like playing board games.

I’m learning my fifth language: Irish Gaelic. My previous four: English, German,  Ancient Greek, and Ancient Hebrew. I think learning new languages is fun!

I have the cutest dog ever. Seriously.

Abby
Abby

I’m a third generation immigrant descendent. I’m proud to be American, and I’m equally proud of my Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and English heritage. 

My sister likes Guinness. I like cider. 

I love Bing Crosby movies and look forward to watching “White Christmas” and “Holiday Inn” every year during the holiday season.

And one more thing:

I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD for short.

I started talking openly about it just within the last year, although I’ve had it to one degree or another for most of my life.

It’s a long and complicated story and one into which I plan to delve in this blog.

The seeds of this blog were what I called “Super Honest Posts”on Facebook in which I shared a little bit about my struggles with PTSD. Each time I did, I found I had so much more to say than what could fit in a single, lengthy Facebook post. With each post, I received an abundance of positive feedback, including people telling me their #metoo stories and sharing with me that my posts had helped them. As a result, the idea for “Courage to Fly” sprouted and took root.

A blog gives me the opportunity to write even more than what I already have on Facebook, to share my thoughts and experiences with others, and to have all of that available in one place. In “Courage to Fly” (we’ll get to the story behind the title in a future blog post), I’ll be sharing about my journey through PTSD, music, travel, etc, because for me, it’s all connected. It will partly be about my own healing journey, but it’ll be more so about community. Rallying around each other and supporting each other has never been more important. We have a mental health crisis in this country, and perhaps even worldwide, whether we want to admit it or not. We need each other. We need loving kindness and compassion to rule our thoughts, words, and actions. 

I hope that you, dear reader, will find something of use to you on the blog. Please, leave constructive comments or contact me if you’d like to chat. My goal is to create a safe space for anyone to share their own stories, experiences, struggles, victories, concerns, tips for coping, encouragement, etc. I hope with your help, dear reader, to build a community that is kind, compassionate, and supportive. As a friend often says, “Sometimes you will be the light, and sometimes you will need someone else to be the light for you.” Let’s do this! ❤️

“What if I fall?” “Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”

~ Erin

Hyacinth Macaw
Hyacinth Macaw at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; favorite bird ❤️