I am Her and She was Me

So, I actually hired a very interesting business coach today who is going to whip my ass for 69 days while I get into a pattern of writing the stripper memoir I have been talking about writing for damned close to 20 years.

A 20 year wait.  Man, that even sounds embarrassing.  But don’t forget I was drunk for 8 of those years and had a hangover for 3 or 4 after that.  It’s taken me a while to figure out who I am and I’ve taken a lot of REALLY unexpected roads.  It’s finally time to get out of the car and look back at where I’ve been.

I’m excited about what’s coming.  It’s all been very serendipitous and yes, I feel a bigger hand is guiding me.  I’m not going to name that hand but I am going to say thank you for leading me where you have, thank you for my life.

I read a complete stranger’s stripper blog tonight.  Looks like she hadn’t written in it for over a year but I so enjoyed stepping back into that world for a while.  And I remembered some of the odd things I experienced, some of the beautiful happenings, some of the fun, and some of the violence.

When I moved to Christianland, not long after quitting the biz,(I have retained my passport and am visiting other lands right now  – I also have many friends who still live there and I love them very much) I felt that I had to renounce my past.  I had to call Paula Scott (my stripper name)  a very bad girl who was clearly misguided and in desperate need of Jesus.  And in many ways, she was.  She was pretty messed up folks.  But she was honest, and interesting, and she did some pretty amazing shit, even under the influence.  I won’t throw her under the bus anymore.  I love her.  She tried.

It’s been 12 years since I left the business and oh yes, a lot has changed.  But reading that woman’s blog showed me that not much has changed at all.  It’s still a really hard job and it’s still really hard to talk about it with ANYONE who wasn’t there too.  And when people are at a party and talking about what colleges they went to and how they spent their 20’s, I mostly don’t chime in because I don’t know if judgement will be there or if I’m just imagining it.  And it’s really just kind of awkward.

But I do know that I am 47 years old and I was in the business in one form or another for 16 years- a full THIRD of my life.  I’m tired of dodging questions, being afraid of what people will say or think- and it’s a very real fear.  I teach public speaking to kids.  I can only IMAGINE what people think.

And therein lies much of my problem.  I do too much imagining.

So I’m on the back nine here folks, I don’t have time to dick around anymore.  I want to live my life with as little fear and as much love and integrity as possible.  I am still teaching myself this.   It  is REALLY hard sometimes to be honest.  It’s sometimes easier not to say anything at all.

Until is isn’t.  So I’m throwing myself out there into the world, at the mercy of public opinion, risky to myself AND my family.  But the bottom line is I have to live my life with integrity or I’ll literally make myself sick.  I have to be able to look back without any more regrets. It’s a one-shot deal people.

I love Paula Scott because I am her and she was me.  I’m going to write about us and let us be free.

Paula Howley ex-stripper

Fly! Be Free!


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18 comments on “I am Her and She was Me”

  1. Dave Reply

    Can’t wait to read your book! I’m looking forward to perusing your WCPS journey on your old website, too! Love your style!

  2. Joe da Silva Reply

    Paula your honesty, courage and integrity should be an inspiration to all. For those that may want to judge your past, I believe ther is a scripture all about judging other least they…. Sure you know the rest. I will be looking forward to my autographed copy. Strong women like you are a force to be wreken with. Therefore stay strong.

  3. Carol Carter Reply

    V is for Vulnerability. I am cheering you on, knowing that some of your biggest fears will be realized. I hope you accept that and keep doing what you feel is right for the right reasons. What do you want your readers to walk away thinking, feeling or doing differently? What is your ultimate goal? Know that and keep looking at it every day. You’ll need it. You go girl!

    • Paula Howley Reply

      Yes, you are right. Some of those fears WILL be realized. I experienced that tonight as I went through my list of ‘friends’ and realized that I still didn’t want quite a few to even know about this. lol
      Thanks for those questions- they are the most important of all. Ultimately Carol, as strange as this may sound, I want my daughter to read my book so she can understand why I am who I am and therefore why she is who SHE is. I think I’m going to tape those questions on my wall.

  4. Lorna Reply

    This is great Paula! I agree with Dave. You do have a terrific style, the honesty is compelling and your quirky humour will take you a long way with this project. Can’t wait to read more!

  5. Terri -Lynn Reply

    Paula thank you for being willing to bear your soul to everyone so that the ones who want to love you can do so more deeply. I have a feeling you could teach us all the meaning of unconditional love and for this I thank you. I also look forward to reading about your journey. I love that your keeping it real. 🙂 Hugs, and best wishes.

  6. Traci Reply

    Congratulations Paula! You’re such and inspiration for me and many others. We all have skeletons in our closet but only a select few are willing to really put it all on the table for others to see. The fear of judgement is too big a price for most of us to pay. I’m confident that your book will not only help heal you but it’ll most likely help heal others too.

  7. chelsea @ the new wifestyle Reply

    i am SO excited about this, paula! you are such a badass and i absolutely love that you are fully embracing who you were, who you are and where you want to be going. you inspire the hell out of me and i can’t wait for more posts!!!

  8. jane Reply

    I love to hear real people’s real stories. This just makes me want to know more about you and your journey . Way to be vulnerable. I hope saying things out loud has given you a sense of freedom. I have found that getting out of our own heads and saying things outloud banishes shame and connects us. bravo!

  9. Lori Reply

    Congratulations on hiring a coach to help you fast track your book to the next stage of completion! I can’t wait to read it! Your honesty, vulnerability, courage, and style will make this book an irresistible read! I think the voice you write with is captivating and unique so readers will recommend it. Your strength, determination and humor will see you through any challenge and open the way for your awesome success. IMHO… which may mean succeeding in writing the book you dream of writing and/or selling zillions of copies 🙂

    • Paula Howley Reply

      Lori, for years you have been such an amazing source of support for me. I have always valued your opinion highly because of who you are, so I thank you for your vote of confidence!!!! yes- hoping for a zillion. lol

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