Sunday, June 10, 2012
It's a New Dawn
I cannot express to you how often I just want to quit. Quit my jobs, quit my obligations, quit trying to make a difference, quit trying in general. So often, I feel like the entire world is against me, that if I continue the path that I'm on I'll fall off a cliff into the ocean, but I'm caught in the midst of a tornado, and I can't turn around because there is a herd of elephants running right at me. Yeah, that's pretty stuck. That's my point. Just because I write an inspirational blog doesn't mean I have all the answers, or that my life is in perfect shape, or that nothing bad ever happens, or that I don't screw up on a daily basis. I am in my hidey-hole right now, snuggled in bed, covered in a heap of pillows with my little dog curled up by my feet, and I just. don't. want. to. get. out.
It's a familiar struggle, I know. There's not a single person I've spoken to in the last year who hasn't felt like this. It's overwhelming, the weight of the world. Not just the murderous rages, the 'zombie attacks', the hit-and-run accidents, the cancer and AIDS, and the rest of such horrible nightmares, but even our daily lives. The anger, the tension, the bitterness, the depression, the feeling that, no matter what you do or how hard you try, nothing makes any difference and you're still in the same leaky boat where you began.
(Um, why am I still reading this? Now I'm even MORE depressed!)
Because, in the end, you know I'm going to say something that will give you a bit of hope, right? And I will. I'll get there. It's just that right now, I want to commiserate a bit. I have these dreams and aspirations that I've worked for all my life. I went to college to become a writer and, after years of trying, I'm doing that. I am, for all intents and purposes, a writer. I have two published books that sell a couple of copies a month. I write for a few local publications and actually even get paid for it. I write on the Journey on a quasi-regular basis. It doesn't yet pay the bills, so I also have to clean houses and work at a coffee shop but I am, in fact, a writer. So why doesn't it feel like my dreams are coming true?
Because I wanted more. My dream was not, apparently, to become a writer. My dream was to become ONLY a writer, a best-selling writer, a writer who made a comfortable living at writing and writing alone. A writer who left the house for fun, for inspiration, for dinner -- not a writer who left the house to go to her other jobs. Here's the other thing, though, the thing that keeps me up at night besides caffeine. As I've grown older, I've wanted more than that, too. I want to be a writer who makes a difference with her writing. I don't just want to write about death and vampires and relationships and sex and best friends and ghosts. Don't get me wrong, I also enjoy writing about those things, and I still do that. But I feel, and have felt for quite awhile, that I don't just have this ambition for the sake of ambition. I feel I am supposed to be doing more with it.
Hence, the Journey.
A Journey of Reinvention began as a blog called "A Year of Reinvention". I'm not even sure what I was going for back then, if I thought I could turn my life around in a year and tell other people about what was happening to me and they'd find it humorous and fun and pass it on to their friends. I spent a year trying to read 100 books and blog about them, and that didn't go well -- I think I read somewhere between 50-60, at least one of which was a Little Golden Book, I'm sure. But at some point, something clicked. It became A Journey of Reinvention for a reason, whether or not I knew it at the time.
Something our senior pastor says on a very regular basis at church is that if you are pointed in one direction, and you take steps that way, you will end up over there <---. If you are pointed in the other direction, and you continue taking steps THAT way, you will end up over there --->. For awhile, he said it so often people laughed, but the truth in his illustration rings out loud and clear. If you allow yourself to wallow in your bitterness, resentment, anger, rage, envy, and selfishness, the end result is an existence so ugly and jaded it can barely be looked upon. On the other hand, if you turn your feet in the opposite direction and persevere, letting your heart be open to forgiveness, humility, joy, compassion, and love, all of the awful things that happen to you along the way will slide right off your back and you will be at peace. You will be more than content, you will be fulfilled.
A Journey of Reinvention is just a series of steps in the right direction.
No, it's not always simple. No, it's not always fun. No, there's not necessarily a million dollar prize for doing the right thing. But, with every step you take, you can feel your heart lighten, your pulse race, your burden slide, and your countenance lift.
It's a new dawn. You can start over, any time. Just turn around, and start taking some steps in the right direction.