Kitty Posters & St. Simon’s Island

Machel Shull (Ma-shel) This photo is from Memorial Day weekend at St. Simon's Island.
Machel Shull (Ma-shel) This photo is from Memorial Day weekend at St. Simon’s Island.

I haven’t written here in a bit. I needed a break from all, I guess, even the mango writing column thing. Yet, while I was on the Island of St. Simon’s, my heart felt happy to know my fingers would be returning here shortly for a quick write when I returned home.

Nourish the soul they say, Or at least I have a dozen times on Pinterest to Twitter to one of my three books. I realize now that that saying is hard to conceptualize, or understand. It’s a bit ‘touchy feely,’ maybe in the wrong way. Too much fuzziness in a quote, writing, place or thing and you lose the focus. Have you noticed that? How when you try too hard that sometimes you end up empty, with a bit of ‘trying too hard on your hands?’

Self-discovery is like peeling layers of clothes off to discover what you already had known or somehow forgotten along the way. And, I always reference my son becoming an adult-thing, but this was the trigger for all of this new inner awareness, self-discovery thing. I mean, it’s exciting when you can  look squarely at the truth of things without mincing words, or glossing over the reality with tidy adjectives.

St. Simon’s Island, GA.

I may have discovered the most important discovery of all when it comes to self-examination. You see, I have this tendency to mold into many different worlds. You know, try on lots of clothes at the clothing store and become the clothes I am wearing because it’s so much fun. I’m not sure if it’s all those acting classes in Hollywood or my love of  uncovering new things, I have always loved molding into someone new. I can look back over my life and see a plethora of immense changes that resemble many variations of myself.

Is this wrong? I don’t think so. I’m not critiquing my past, I’m not one to indulge in past regrets. I’m only giving you the set up this DISCOVERY that feels immense to me, as almost like I am free. Who am I? On a side note, that three sentence question I just asked is the opening line of the Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. I am that girl from an idyllic farm that loved to snuggle her kitties during snowy winters. I am a girl that road horses across open hay fields, so she could dream beneath her favorite maple tree on the back of her favorite horse Patches. I am ultimately the girl that just wants to dream, be snug and to be cozy in her flannel pajamas.

I remember being only 13 and seeing skyscrapers for the first time on the horizon in Kansas City. I had this intense desire to beg my parents to re-route to downtown so I could be below the building and look up at them from down below. I was that little girl that grew up to be a dreamer that dreamed many dreams over, and now I am here writing under the mangoes.

As I write this I find that my eyes are a bit misty because it’s so nice to be at peace with the inner me. I think that’s why creating MANGO JANE has resonated so deeply with my soul. I get to read, be snug and  create new worlds here and it feels good to keep dreaming. I now understand that when we love the deepest part of our inner self, the struggle fades. You know,  the worry or trying to hope others view you a certain way ceases. So if I could ever give any new piece of advice, dig into yourself and try to pinpoint the real you, the one you love the most. The one you were as a child, before the world told you to be something else. Find that person and pour heaping’s of love onto your inner child. Love that child that just wanted to be snugly with their kitties, while the world did not exist and you simply were just you. 

As I rode bicycles under the Spanish moss next the beach, I found my heart growing. I found myself tapping into the innocence of who I once was and who I still am. I found myself smiling so wide, happy and free, I think for the first time, my Mantra in Spiritual, is resonating so deep my bones are filled with love.

I am happy and free. I am under the umbrella of Divinity. – Spiritual Mantra

I dug up the part of me I was told  to grow up, like that time I lived in Shawnee Kansas.  I lived in Kansas City when I was only 18 years old, right after high school. I was a model for Hallmark and had these other models that ended up staying at my apartment. My agent asked me to come in. I figured it might be a booking or such, but he sat me down to tell me it was time to take the kitties off the walls (I had posters of cats on my apartment) and I had to grow up and become a woman. I remember feeling so embarrassed about my cats. I felt embarrassed about being me. I remember driving toward this little studio in Shawnee, Kansas next to Kansas City with the fake waterfall by the pool and hoped with all hope those girls would move out soon so I could keep my kitties up on the wall. Meanwhile, it was my apartment, my rent, my place, but I let my modeling agent and cooler chicks come in and squash what was left of my childhood. Yes, we have to grow up. We have to move on. But who we are on the inside should never be denied or banished to leave the building because being an adult requires tough love.

Back to St. Simon’s, the moss that dangles from the trees, the humidity, the frogs that sing at night, the hot air that reminds of summers in Missouri, I love it there. I love to visit my sister and her cool husband and enjoy the beauty of time with my two nieces and nephew. We love to stay up late drink coffee and ponder different philosophies, tell stories into the wee hours of the morning. Oh to be with those we love that honor us best? What can be better?

Maybe a soft kitty? (Wink.)

I have cats still. I have always. Where would I be without the soft love of my kitties? I don’t know really. I remember my one kitty Krissy use to allow me to hold her tight while I sobbed during some harder times in my twenties. I would then make a big thing of coffee, read books and pep-up. Thank goodness for my kitties. The kitty posters were removed from my walls.

However, I was smart enough to know life needs a soft kitty to love because life can be tough.

Life can be raw. Life can be real. And, life can be a fun mystery of reinventing yourself because you love to dream. The trick is to not forget the inner child that just wants to be snug.

Being a mother has taught me so much. I hope I can continue to being a great mom to my son and give him good advice…not the kind we think of when someone launches into adulthood…you know, degree, work, money, becoming who you want to be. I want my son to remember who he was so he can always love himself unconditionally.

I hope I can do that. I know that as I rode bicycles at night on Memorial Day, that I felt so good, whole, and perfect, I reminded myself to tell Jackson: Go easy on yourself.

That’s what I was thinking on St. Simon’s Island. I wanted to tell him that life is still beautiful even when it hurts, even when you have to grow up and push aside your boyhood dreams. Those dreams are not dead. They still live in you. And the boy you once were, will always remain. Love him deeply, because he is you.