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All Aboard!


Several years ago, my husband and I visited the Aran Islands in Ireland. After a full day of sightseeing, we rested our weary bones in a pub by the docks as we waited for the ferry to take us back to the mainland.

The bar was just as you’d imagine an Irish pub: dark and crowded, full of rowdy men singing drinking songs, people laughing loudly, a bartender shouting loudly at a football match on TV.


I meekly ordered two beers, painfully aware I was a tourist interrupting these native islander’s daily routine. “They must be so sick of outsiders barging in on their local pub,” I thought, keeping my head down as I returned to our table in the corner, trying my hardest not to bother anyone. “We must stand out like sore thumbs. It’s so obvious we don’t belong here.” Then the ferry bell rang…

And everyone in the pub paid their tabs and walked out right along with us to get on the boat back to the mainland.


I couldn’t believe it. Every person in that pub was a tourist; not one of them native to the island like I’d assumed. And yet I’d been so quick to see myself as the only one who didn’t belong. So quick to think everyone else knew what they were doing there except for me.


The lesson of that day has stuck with me for a long time. I thought of it when I joined a local author’s association. When I clicked Publish on Amazon for my first book. When I accepted an award alongside twenty other authors for that book. Each of those times, when found myself thinking “Who do you think you are? You don’t belong here,” I reminded myself that was only a story I’d made up in my head. And the only one who could make me an outsider was me.


So how about YOU? Do you ever hold back because you feel like an imposter, a novice, like everyone else knows what they’re doing except for you? I’ve got a secret for you…they don’t. In fact, they probably feel the same way as you. Because when you get right down to it, we’re all tourists on this crazy trip called life. And we all have equal rights to explore whatever landscapes excite us.


There are no gatekeepers at the door.

So, belly up to the bar, grab a seat at the table, and sing your song loud. And remember what I learned (quite literally) that day in Ireland: everyone is in the same boat as you.













Several years ago, my husband and I visited the Aran Islands in Ireland. After a full day of sightseeing, we rested our weary bones in a pub by the docks as we waited for the ferry to take us back to the mainland.


The bar was just as you’d imagine an Irish pub to be: dark and crowded, full of rowdy men singing drinking songs, people laughing loudly, a bartender shouting loudly at a football match on TV.


I meekly ordered two beers, painfully aware I was a tourist interrupting these native islander’s daily routine. “They must be so sick of outsiders barging in on their local pub,” I thought, keeping my head down as I returned to our table in the corner, trying my hardest not to bother anyone. “We must stand out like sore thumbs. It’s so obvious we don’t belong here.” Then the ferry bell rang…


And everyone in the pub paid their tabs and walked out right along with us to get on the boat back to the mainland.

Every person in that pub was a tourist; not one of them native to the island like I’d assumed. And yet I’d been so quick to see myself as the only one who didn’t belong. So quick to think everyone else knew what they were doing there except for me.


The lesson of that day has stuck with me for a long time. I thought of it when I joined a local authors association, when I clicked Publish on Amazon for my first book, when I accepted an award alongside twenty other authors for that book. Each of those times, when found myself thinking “Who do you think you are? You don’t belong here” I reminded myself that was only a story I’d made up in my head. And the only one who can make me an outsider was me.


So how about YOU? Do you ever hold back because you feel like an imposter, a novice, like everyone else what they’re doing except for you? I’ve got a secret for you…they don’t. They probably feel the same way as you. Because when you get right down to it, we’re all tourists on this crazy trip called life. And we all have equal rights to explore whatever landscapes excite us.

So, belly up to the bar, grab a seat at the table, and sing your song loud. And remember what I learned (quite literally) that day in Ireland: everyone is in the same boat as you.

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