Hello and welcome to my blog, Small-Town Girl at Heart! My name is Charlene and I’m a writer and crafter. I grew up in and around a small farming town in southern Manitoba, Canada with my parents, two sisters and one brother.
Living in the country required a creative imagination to keep my siblings and me entertained, so I started telling stories and brought them to life by “directing” fantasies for the entertainment of my siblings and the neighbour kids. Once I learned how to read and write, I began writing my stories down on paper and wrote faithfully throughout my childhood. By the time I turned eighteen, I had written twenty-two fiction novellas and started four others which I never completed. In university, I took creative writing courses to improve my writing skill and began to seriously contemplate publication.
When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I have only ever replied with three different answers: an archaeologist, a singer, and a writer. I abandoned a singing career path when I developed stage fright in my teens and later abandoned an archaeology career path because I had terrible science teachers in high school and university which deterred me from pursuing a degree in the sciences and instead prompted me to pursue a degree in the arts.
I left university intending to pursue a career path as an academic and writer but ended up choosing financial security over passion when I accepted an administrative position in a credit union. My writing moved to the background as I worked in the financial sector for twelve years expecting to find happiness in career success and financial stability. Instead, I overworked myself and collapsed from exhaustion, also losing the battle with the anxiety and depression that I had been suppressing since my teenage years.
It was during the darkest times of my life that I returned to my writing to carry me through the depression. Without this creative outlet, I wouldn’t be writing this story now because I wouldn’t be here. Writing gave me the space to explore several much-contemplated questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose? Why do I feel empty? Why does life feel pointless?
It was through this search for meaning and purpose that finally helped me to face my “demons” (anxiety and depression) and to confront society’s idea of a life well-lived. It was through this search that I learned the purpose of being human—that I was created to live a life in a loving relationship with God, my Father, his Son, Jesus, and my fellow human beings.
This revelation has changed my entire outlook on life and has set me free. No longer do I have to live as a slave to the success, achievement and productivity that society says I need in order to live a life worth living. Life is already worth living when I live in loving relationship with others.
I have joyfully returned to my childhood roots, to my passion for writing in the form of this blog, so that I can spread love to you, dear reader, and bring you encouragement. Whatever you may be struggling with in your own life, whether it is anxiety and depression, chronic illness, loneliness, or uncertainty of purpose and/or direction in life, I’m here to tell you that you are not alone.
In fact, you are loved, and I will tell you why.
It’s because of a man named Jesus who gave his life for you over two thousand years ago. He loves you with all of his heart, all of his soul, and all of his mind. Unconditionally.
And you never have to go through life feeling alone or unloved ever again.