Happy 2016, my friends.
It amazes me that over a year passed since the last time I wrote here. Never did I think as I pressed “submit” on my blog in October 2014 that so much life and time would be lived before I was back to my writing corner.
It was definitely never my intention. I kept thinking I would get back into it once life supposedly calmed down and the distractions weren’t so omnipresent. But the respite I was holding out for never came and, in fact, more challenges piled on. Pretty soon my writing habit became a distant “way back then” more then a weekly to-do on my list.
I could beat myself up about it, but that’s not too helpful to my future. Instead, I look back with a lot of grace for myself.
It’s okay to reflect on what didn’t happen and remind ourselves that we just plain did our best. Maybe 2015 wasn’t all you hoped it would be. Maybe you entered this new year kicking yourself wondering why you didn’t jump on that dream sooner. But I have a lot of confidence that you did what you knew how to in the moments that came your way.
Dreams and visions are nice, but then there’s life and life has a way of interrupting what we’ve neatly packaged. Sometimes life is a welcomed interjection adding excitement and joy to what felt mundane. Other times it totally sideswipes plans and before we can blink we’re on the ground with skinned knees wondering how we fell from that nicely manicured path we easily envisioned for the upcoming season.
The challenges handed this past year were plenty, though they were never dire or hopeless or even remotely as hard as they could have been. But for me they were a mountain range of obstacles that left me feeling exhausted most days by the upward trek and sharp rocky edges to afford myself space to write and process.
But that’s okay. Sometimes you just have to live the season in the most present way you can and then one day you may wake up and feel a little air in your lungs and decide to create again. That’s my today.
I can too easily think I have to manage, excel at, and balance it all. And after spinning my mind totally upside down believing I’m supposed to live that way, an unexpected challenge smacks me upside the head and says, “No, no my friend – the world in fact is not on your shoulders.”
Challenges carry a kindness in their own way. They startle and unravel us, sure. But they also keep us planted, ensuring we don’t start moving so far into believing we can handle more (or all) than the demands of the current day. Challenges require our presence. They also tend to stir up our thankfulness for all that is gifted.
Sometimes a full plate today is the grace that keeps us from believing we’re responsible for tomorrow.
So during my hiatus, I learned to carry what’s necessary, lean on some faithful friends, and trek step-after-step, eyes on the ground, believing a better day comes.
And it did. It’s not easy or perfect today, but it is better and I am breathing. Out of that breathe and all those steps that brought me here, I am writing again. I am whispering some very hope-filled words over myself that say, “Your dream isn’t dead.” Coming out of such a season, I am feeling compelled to open my voice, tell some stories, and maybe exhale a few fresh words.
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photo credit: Diego Torres Silvestre