Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What I Know to be True: Part One

At the beginning of April, I started in on the #100dayproject with 100 days of writing. Now, full disclaimer: I definitely fell hard off the bandwagon on this one. I wrote daily for about 40 days and now manage something every two-three days. But still- that's much more than I was doing before and there have been some fun things that have come out of doing this project.

One of those has been this new series that I started sharing on Instagram, which I'm calling What I Know to be True. These are basically just thoughts on things I've learned or what I'm currently working through, shared with some sort of photo that I otherwise probably wouldn't post. It's been a fun challenge and though I always feel a little vulnerable before posting one, the response has been so kind and heartwarming. Today I just wanted to share a little round up of these post here, mostly for documentation's sake. 

So here are the first 4 posts in the series:

1. Everything is a season. EVERYTHING. I know it feels like you will never sleep through the night again, but this is just not the case. One day these nights of rocking baby back to sleep will end and your arms, much as they ache now will be empty again. Give yourself fully to this time. Savor what you can. You've got an infant who insists on racing towards toddlerhood and you could never stop him if you tried. This is right and good. The seasons are sweet, swift and at times, devastating. Summer's relentless heat eventually burns off into glorious autumn if you just wait long enough. But there's no need to worry about that in the spring. Let me let you in on a little secret: this season, this one right here and now, is the best one, because it's the only one you've got. So take a deep breath mama. Pour yourself that second cup of coffee and soak up the sweet spring sunlight. I know you're tired, but you're doing just fine.

2. Brave isn't always loud. Sometimes of course, it is. Sometimes it's standing on top of the mountain you've just climbed, arms outstretched, sending your ideas out into the world. But sometimes it's the hard and heavy work of plodding along the trail day after day. Showing up when the summit is far FAR from sight, when there are blisters and hunger and even boredom to contend with. Sometimes it's not getting discouraged when others pass you on the way, though they may have started out on their journey much later than you. Because sometimes brave looks like letting yourself work at your own pace. Sometimes brave can even mean backtracking. A wrong turn here or there, a creative venture that just didn't work out. In these moments brave looks like learning from mistakes, like taking a few steps forward and then a bunch of steps back until you reach a place where you can move forward again. Because behind all those heart-pounding-palm-sweating-adrenaline-pumping moments is a lot of work and (more often than not) one heck of a long journey. And there is bravery in the quiet of placing one foot in front of the other.

3. You cannot do it all. 
Last week someone asked me how I managed to stay on top of everything. My first response was obviously to laugh but honestly...? It felt good that I could be mistaken for someone who manages to do it all. Because the truth of course is so much messier. Most days I feel pulled by both my ideas and my responsibilities in a million different directions and sometimes it feels like I’m not doing a good job of much of anything. Somehow it becomes so much easier to focus on the things that I’m NOT doing (or what others are doing) rather than keeping my eyes on the task at hand. There’s a fine line to walk between inspiration and overwhelm. At times it can feel like my to do list and ideas are literally laughing in my face while I fight against the clock and struggle to do some form of deep work before the baby wakes up.
Yesterday during naptime I gave myself permission to drop a few things from my list. One was a new idea for a project that I came up with last week and literally could not stop thinking about. The other is something I’ve been dragging around since the Fall that I’ve just not had the time to get to. The first one I’ve moved to the backburner and the second I just finally let go of. It’s amazing how much better I feel already. Rather than making elaborate schedules and lists, trying to fit everything in, I now have more time to work on the things that really matter- the things I WANT to pursue. It’s just not possible to do ALL THE THINGS and that is more than okay. So pick a few things and stick with them. Do them well.

4. It's rarely too late.
In the last ten years I’ve done and been many things, reinventing myself and reorganizing my life to fit around what I’m currently pursuing: I’ve been an English tutor and then a language student myself. I’ve been a youth worker on the streets of East Vancouver, a part time student with no finished degree, a barista in a coffee shop. I’ve had a brief stint as a (mostly unsuccessful) fundraiser. I’ve played jazz saxophone. I’ve been a closet poet and then a performance poet. I’ve opened an Etsy shop and then closed it again. I’ve started and written three different blogs. I’ve published knitting patterns and made so SO many projects- some that have worked and some that have not. I’m currently in the process of beginning one of my greatest creative journeys yet which, if I stop and think about too much, completely freaks me out.
On the one hand this is all completely discouraging. I look back over the past ten years and see, for the most part, a bunch of started and then abandoned pursuits. But this has been my journey. It’s been scattered- a bit of a patchwork mix and match of different things, but it’s also been a lot of fun. I’ve enjoyed every single one of these seasons and I’ve learned so much from each. It would be amazing to be able to say one day that all these things led me to one perfect thing but I don’t know if that will happen.
What I do know is that it’s rarely too late to give something new a try. All you need is a little courage to start and perhaps, the willingness to be a beginner again.

(you can follow along with this project over on Instagram under the tag #whatruthknowstobetrue) 

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this SO much, and I found your wisdom so relatable... particularly the first one about everything being a season - I need to remind myself of that as again I've found myself feeling like things will n.e.v.e.r end... which is silly, because experience has taught me that it's never true at all! Thank you for helping me to savour this season a little bit better than I was doing before I read this post. :)