Friday, October 7, 2011


Hello. Is there anyone out there? This has been, and continues to be, the most solid writers’ block I’ve ever experienced. What could be the cause? The last time I had a writers’ block, I was in my early 20s…. and at a crossroads in my life. Perhaps I’m at one of those transitions now. Perhaps it’s a “once a decade” kind of affliction, ehh?
In my early 20s I was going through a crisis of sorts. It was emotional, physical, and spiritual. I was afraid that all the most precious things I had dreamed of were going to end up a pile of rubble. It was only after throwing myself out in the world, meeting a bunch of new people, and exhausting myself on behalf of others that I experienced the most profound healing journey I’d ever known. Oddly, the epiphany I experienced was also described in a book that I finally just read: “Eat, Pray, Love.” While I’m firmly Christian in my beliefs, I found the book to have many cross-cultural relevancies that are inspiring and delicious in nature. The author seeks to find her own healing and finally does so in a manner similar to my own. It goes something like this: If I was so lonely, so heartbroken, and so scared, it mostly came down to love, or the lack thereof. I was so horrified that my life would be barren, both physically and emotionally, that I was frozen in grief. What finally came to me, during a quiet and solitary night, was the idea that I was responsible for 50% of my loss. I may not have love coming in my direction, but the love flowing from my own actions was completely up to me. I could choose to love. I could choose to throw my love out to the universe and not expect any of it to bounce back at me. Just the giving would be a joyful act and a reason to keep on going. So I did. I fell in love multiple times every day. I loved my volunteer work. I loved the crazy folks I met there and the broken and abused animals that I helped piece together. I loved the dirty, sweaty work and the physical challenges. I fell in love with my home and the process of doing my daily chores. When my work became a kind of prayer, I ended up having a home so tidy and clean that I could never hope to duplicate the same standard these days. I loved my job, my coworkers, and my students. I loved to coach, getting to know the families and teenagers as they worked towards their personal goals and self-confidence. I poured love upon my pets and the feral cat colony I cared for at a nearby park. I loved to exercise, to grocery shop, to curl up with a good book, and to sit down to a favorite TV show. Every day was a little love story. I was happy. And I healed.
Now, 31, I think I’m going through another transition. This time, I think I’m simply growing up. Although it is invisible, and would be surprising to those closest to me, this year has been about alignment. It’s been about aligning my greatest priorities with my actions. It’s been about giving a little more. It’s been about forgiving myself for all those traits I dislike most. It’s been about appreciation and warmth and about being a woman. As subtle as it has been, it has also been about growth and about keeping my path steady and sure, even when so many things seem to knock me off course. I’ve learned that most of these come naturally and easily. Forgiveness, however, takes an almost constant meditation. So many moments of the day I have to forgive myself. For not being thin, for not being more successful, for not being more artistic, or smart, or funny, or confident. I continually have to forgive myself for standards that I would never dream of imposing on another woman. I love women who are comfortable in their own skin. I prefer women of great substance, bold flavors, and vibrancy. I love women who are cerebral, feisty, and ferocious. I love a woman who can laugh loudly, strut proudly, and give of herself extravagantly. I see this woman emerging in my daughter, and I fall more in love with her everyday because of it.
So, my absence from the written word seems to be due to a preoccupation with living. I have been embracing the everyday absurdities, the tiny triumphs of parenting, and the memories I’ve been making for my little family. Sticking dinner in a crockpot becomes an act of love. Teaching a boy how to tie his shoe is a reason to celebrate. Cleaning a closet is a laughable moment of motherhood. Throwing love out to the universe, and getting so much back in return, is helping me align myself. I feel aligned with other women, with all of creation, and with my God. And for this, I am thankful. In all of this living, I'm learning to live with myself.