“A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.”― Bill Watterson, There’s Treasure Everywhere
It has been a month of avoiding writing. For a few weeks, I felt like I was herding cats when I sat down to blog. My mind felt connected and filled with ideas. When I would sit to write, they would all come out sideways and upsidedown. I decided to journal more, which would help me find the answer, root around in my mind, and work through my stuff. It was helpful, but not in the way I wanted. I was hopeful my mind would organize, and my thoughts would come together cohesively in a manner worth sharing. They did not. I kept telling myself I couldn’t write, I couldn’t share, I didn’t know what it was I was doing. Perhaps I was right—an imposter after all. Still, the nagging in the back of my mind tells me I’m wrong. It isn’t that I can’t write. It’s that I won’t write. I make up excuses to do the very thing I need to do.
Somewhere in the shuffle these last few months I’ve let myself lose my voice.
I’ve begun to consume a lot over the last six months. I don’t regret the books I’ve read, podcasts I’ve listened to, blogs I’ve looked at, videos watched. They have all given me new information, new insight, ideas I had not been presented with before. I’ve felt challenged and changed. I’ve also felt a part of me go quiet and dormant. It has felt pushed out by each voice I consume. ‘I could write about ___, but ____ did that much better than I could.’ ‘This thought has rumbled around in me for years, but ___ communicated it more eloquently than I could.’ Instead of pushing past my fears and doing what I know I can, and I’ve let myself go quiet. I’ve let myself grow busy with tasks. I’ve stopped making the time or guarding the time in the way I know I should, the way I need.
There is no doubt a lot of my life shifted and changed last year. It started at a break-neck speed, filled with grief and brokenness. It ended much the same if I’m honest. The grief and brokenness had shifted and changed and felt consumed by different sorts of grief, but grief and brokenness the same. Still, the year bloomed with promise and hope. I picked Flourish as my word for the year. I thought that would fill my life with fast-moving, producing, going, doing. Instead, I’ve felt a deep halt within myself. I began to find each time I considered flourishing, an image of deep, dark, strong roots growing in the depths would well up in me. Perhaps flourishing could look different from any way of life I had lived before. I’ve begun to consider that moving at a fast pace, hurry up and get to the end, always moving and going mentality is not how my year should look. It is an idea that has chased me for a while now. This thought of going slow, not moving, taking in the world around me, nothing about that agrees with the culture we live in. Yet, it pushes against me again, and again, and again. When I take the time to let myself grow quiet, the answer is always there. It’s a whisper that captures my attention and won’t let go. I push it aside with the busyness of life and the needs of others. The thing that wells inside me and tells me to go for it, that thing is clearly nuts and should be silenced at all cost. Yet, when I think of letting it go, pushing it away completely, the tears come, the dread, the knowledge I’m giving up on the thing I’m here to do.
There are things in life that we are all meant to do. Love that person. Parent those children. Serve in that role. Share that story. Go on that adventure. Sit with that neighbor. I often wonder if the highest callings in my life are the things I push aside the easiest. The most important part of my day could feel like an afterthought but could mean much more to the one who receives it. Why do I push against these callings? Why do I tell myself I am unworthy, unqualified, simple? What if I am – what if that’s the point?
Instead of searching down a new voice, a new role, a new story to tell, perhaps I am to go and do. To stop avoiding that which could be done.