It’s been awhile. Instead of listing reasons why it has been so long since I’ve last written, let’s just get to the point. Life, for me, has gone in stages. Stages of times where all I want to do is write, paint, and bake, and stages of times where those three things become rather intimidating for me because the Internet is swamped with blogs about baking and plus, how can people afford to bake all the time? Then again…those are just more excuses…
It’s been almost a year since I’ve begun my new job as an executive director for a non-profit. And boy, I’ve had far too many days and nights where a few tears may or may not have been shed, especially when the realization of “man, the whole weight of the organization is on my shoulders” hits me out nowhere. (P.S. Why do
we I start thoughts with man?) I figured by now I would be past the initial surprise of that statement, but no…still a shock each and every time. But it is OK. I’ve learned so much within this year from starting a non-profit to building relationships to public speaking to networking with strangers to recruiting, screening, and training volunteers to now supervising them, or as I’d like to say… coaching them. I’ve also learned so much from my volunteers and their stories they all have been brave enough to share with me. That’s been one of the most beautiful parts of this journey. In addition, to the grace and encouragement they’ve extended to me. I’m amongst one of the most humble groups of individuals that I get to see each and every day make an impact in a child’s life. It’s truly rewarding.
Yet, I find myself drifting again into a new chapter…a chapter I am only in the brainstorming phase of, a chapter that also involves my best friend, M. It’s a phase that requires patience, self-motivation, and a lot of leaving your comfort zone. It’s a phase I’m planning with my M. It’s a phase we are going through together in some ways similarly and other ways differently. For me, this phase has required learning to let go of some of what has occurred in this past year, learning to forgive myself for those things I am learning to let go of, and truly understanding what it means to extend grace not only to another, but to myself. It’s a phase that has allowed me to truly understand what it means to be loved by someone. It’s a phase that has caused me to become more curious–asking questions about my faith, seeking to understand happiness, and questioning whether or not I am confusing happiness with wholeness, and wondering if maybe this entire time it’s wholeness that I should be seeking. It’s a phase that I have not gone through and done the “work” along. I’ve had M by my side the entire time, in addition to my family, and some authors’ inspiration, especially words from Anne Lamott on forgiveness: “Forgiveness is release from me, somehow, finally, I am returned to my better, dopier self, so much lighter when I don’t have to drag the toxic chatter, wrangle, and pinch around with me anymore.” Anne Lamott also taught me what it means to open myself to my own love and to life’s tough loveliness, but that’s a whole other chapter.
M and I continue to have conversations about finding ways to do what we love in new places. And as the time to begin writing this chapter grows nearer, I am finding myself a little more ready mentally and a little less intimidated each day. In the meantime, I am going to spend my time learning what it means to be and feel “whole.” I think I will start with no longer allowing intimidation to stop me. First…I am going to start diving into the baking realms of making dough. Yes, you heard right…dough. Who doesn’t love a good croissant or danish? Or, even just a solid loaf of bread that I can slice and either dunk into some soup or rub tomato and olive oil on just like I had in Barcelona. Second…I want to begin painting on a more frequent basis and allow my style to develop. Third…I want to follow-through on learning how to skateboard. I’ve now learned how to get on and off of the board without falling, ride fairly well down hills, and am beginning to learn how to turn more smoothly in both directions. All thanks to the best teacher ever, M. I had forgotten the feeling of what it was like to learn a completely new and foreign activity, and one that was intimidating to me. You can ask M… but sometimes, when I talk about what I’ve learned thus far on the skateboard, my eyes begin to prepare for tears. When you are a child, you are either too young to know any better or forget by the time you are an adult the feeling of learning something new. It’s literally the best feeling ever. And, while I don’t know for sure, I’d be willing to bet this new chapter M and I are preparing to write will involve lots of learning, the type of learning you do as a kid growing up but as an adult sometimes forget to continue.