My office….Business cards. A dirty coffee cup. Magazines. Vision boards. An almost gone $6.99 Lavender Lilac scented candle. Paper clips. Affirmations. Post its. A Dollar Tree wall plaque that says ‘Never Stop Dreaming’. More post its. Fake purple flowers and notebooks….AND MORE NOTEBOOKS….full of words- words that inspire, words that sting, words that soar on a little girl’s dream, words that were choked out of pain and brought back to life time and TIME again. My thoughts. My musings. My poetry. All in NOTEBOOKS. My Soul On Paper- from elementary school to now- NOTEBOOKS. Full of me…full of my life…full of questions about love and strife…full of the pieces of me and secrets never told. My NOTEBOOK- my best friend, confidante and constant companion, and why is it JUST NOW that after all of those NOTEBOOKS that I understand how writing has saved my life?
As early as I can remember I loved to write! I wrote everything I could think of from poetry to comic strips (thank God I didn’t have to draw the illustrations), and I fell in love with the written word. There was something about creating a picture with perfectly chosen words that made my heart skip to the rhythm of my pen. I could not get enough of writing, and I wrote in my journals constantly to keep track of my head and my heart in a world that was so unforgiving of transparency. There, in those notebooks, I could be me. I could release. I could scream and be angry and be whoever I was at that moment of madness and mayhem or sadness and confusion and even do run-on sentences (just like this one) and not be judged or looked down on or ridiculed for being an English teacher who can’t edit her own writing. Writing allowed me the time and space to reflect on who I was, where I was and where I was going. It allowed me the freedom and the fortitude to face myself- embrace myself- ALL of me and do it in a way that was loving and unapologetic.
Fast forward to the present- navigating through divorce, church relocation, my mom’s death, a child’s graduation, failed relationships, self-discovery, job changes and all the glorious changes that life brings. My writing has brought me solace. It soothes me like the sound of the ocean cascading against the distant seashore. It comforts me like a warm cashmere blanket on a cool autumn night. It shelters me like a strength of a mother’s hug. I had not realized how much I needed to write- that not writing, not purging, not expressing myself, not allowing the words to flow from my heart to my hand and spill onto the paper- would be like not breathing. In everything I have ever suffered or celebrated, there was writing.
What about YOU? What can really take you away from life or bring you more closely to the joys of it? What do you love to do that you would do for free? The rat race of life can entangle us so that we neglect to make time for the things that bring us the most joy- the things that fill us up so that we are able to pour out to others and be the blessing that we need to be. It is not selfish. It is self-love to find what you love to do and get lost in it. Trust me, you won’t be lost for too long. Life has a way of snapping us back into reality, but while you are there ENJOY IT. Is it gardening? Volunteering? Swimming? Writing? Cooking? Singing? Dancing? Knitting? Drawing? Doing hair? Decorating? What do you ABSOLUTELY LOVE to do??? STOP GIVING INTO THE LIE THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TIME TO DO THE THINGS THAT YOU LOVE. You cannot afford to keep giving, working, providing and living and not invest in yourself. Doing the things that you love are an investment in yourself. It builds you up so that you can build others up. It makes you happy so that you can spread that joy to others. It gives you clarity, peace of mind and purpose. It is a necessity.
Find your passion.
Rediscover what brings you joy.
Look for it until you find it then DO IT. Simple. JUST DO IT. You deserve it.