Have you misplaced your MUCH'ness? Or have you lost your way? Have you forgotten who you ARE, or what you want to say? Are you the Great Pretender, pretending that you're fine... while hiding and surviving, being too afraid to shine? I hear you and I see you! I GET what you go through. For all the folk who hide their light, I wrote this book for you! This book is my story, written in the form of an illustrated poem. Hello and good greetings, my name is Hat... though it took me a long time to call myself that... The book begins with a tour through my childhood when I was most authentically ME. An adventure-loving, mess-making artist and musician that everyone called "Hat." A wild-child. A tomboy - with crazy dreams and big ideas. As the years went on, it slowly began to dawn on me that I wasn't fitting into the middle-class community where I grew up. School peers, teachers, pastors, family members... almost everyone seemed to have something to say about areas of my life which they felt ought to be 'fixed' or 'changed'... so that I could be the acceptable, respectable, responsible, presentable young woman that good-girls-ought-to-be. At first, I brushed off these expectations - but slowly, I began to consider the idea that; Perhaps they are right. I'm sucking at schoolwork, I'm just getting fatter, I'm good at the stuff that does not seem to matter. Perhaps if I FIX myself, all will be well... 'cause people want 'normal' from what I can tell. If I tone myself down and reprogram my mind, then I'll be like the others, and all will be fine..". And so I changed. I changed everything. And I did it because I felt it was the-right-thing-to-do... because it was expected of me... because I ought-to. As the years of life rolled by, I lost all sight of young-Hat. And I became invisible. Plodding dutifully along, slotting in, working hard, doing all the done-things... all the while becoming ever-more depressed and despondent. ...and she tumbled down in to a pit of despair, and binged on cheese pizzas and plucked out her hair, and piled on the kilos and tried not to care, and punished herself for her husband's affair... and diminished, diminished, diminished some more... until nothing was left of the Hat from before. Until... ...through a series of extra-ordinary events and choices... I re-discovered my HAT'ness. And I found myself again. And everything
changed after that. Can you remember who you were... before the world told you who you should be?