My name is Annabel Ruffell and I am the founder of Journey for Earth, a global awareness company committed to inspiring change for humanity, the environment and animals, one choice at a time.
I discovered Lauren’s website through a piece she wrote for the Huffington Post and I loved it. How could one not when it was all about a journey into honest living? About things being perfectly real?
Lauren is a wife, mother, and lifelong Mainer who recently added writer/blogger to her resume. On her blog, Oh, Honestly, she shares her real life struggles and successes, trials and triumphs in an effort to encourage others to realize that no one has it all together and our deepest connections form when we are real with one another. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode, and more.
1) What Journey are You on?
Since I began blogging, I’ve been on a journey of authenticity. I started my blog when I realized how foolish it is to pretend to be one way when we’re around people and to be a different way when we’re alone or with family. I think everyone does it to some extent, but I don’t want to try to make it look like I have a perfect life or that I have it all together. The fact is, no one has it all together and when we hide our imperfections and the quirks that make us us we’re denying ourselves the blessing of community. Since I’ve started sharing my real life instead of a perfect, made-up version, I have had so many people tell me that they have the same feelings and struggles as me. The only thing that happens when we hide our true selves is that we isolate ourselves. It has been so refreshing to know that other people have the same issues as me and that I am not alone.
2) What has been one of your greatest challenges over the years, either with the work that you do or in another area of your life, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest challenge has absolutely been parenting. Nothing prepares you for it, the only way to learn how to do it is to do it, and every time you think you’re getting the hang of it, something changes and you find yourself in completely new territory. It is an every day, moment by moment challenge. Some days I hit that ball out of the park and some days I strike out terribly, but thankfully, every day I’m allowed up to bat again.
3) Name one of your most extraordinary moments…
I know this is cliche, but becoming a mother was absolutely one of the most extraordinary moments of my life. I thought I knew what love was up until that point, but the moment I laid eyes on my son I was completely overwhelmed by a love I never knew existed. It is an all-consuming, all-encompassing, unconditional love. It gave me an entirely new appreciation for my parents and for God too.
4) What 3 things that you have learnt in life would you pass on to your younger 16 year old self?
1. Stop being so self-conscious. I’ve always been really shy and worried about what other people think of me. It’s something I’m still working on, although I’m slowly becoming more confident. The thing to remember is, most people are so focused on themselves that they have very little time to think about me. And even if they are thinking about me, as long as I’m doing what I should be doing, it doesn’t really matter what they think of me.
2. Stay flexible. Plans are great and I love to make them, but life doesn’t often go as planned. If I’m willing to go with the flow when life seems to veer off course, I’ll be in for a much smoother ride.
3. Life is full of seasons. It’s important to remember this for two reasons. First, when I find myself going through a rough patch, I often think that it will never end. My mom has given me this sage advice many times and it has become one of my favorite sayings: “This too shall pass.” The hard times always eventually give way. Second, the good times won’t be indefinite either. That may sound depressing, but knowing it reminds me to really soak in those moments and not let them pass by unnoticed or unappreciated.
5) What is your greatest hope for our planet at this time?
I know this one will probably get a few raised eyebrows, but the only hope for our planet is Jesus. You look around and yes, there is a lot of good, but there is also a lot of bad. All the wonderful things we do (and of course we should do wonderful things!) will never rid the earth of all the horrible things that happen. If we leave those two forces on their own to duke it out, the good will never overcome the bad all on it’s own. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to. Jesus is perfectly good and he paid the ultimate price to defeat the bad, once and for all.
What Journey are YOU on?