First, I have to say that this is not the post I intended for today. But what I’ve quickly learned through this process of blogging, is that some posts I’m really excited about don’t resonate when I go back to them later and some posts that I’m indifferent toward end up taking shape in unexpected ways.
So I’m going to go with it, be brave, and give you the following…
I’m in a really good place at this moment. I’m doing some really cool things. I have even cooler things planned.
I’ve started this blog and I’m finding my voice in my writing. I’m reconnecting with my network of friends and colleagues and finding a voice there as well. I’m working hard and dreaming big and not letting doubt or fear interfere with my vision of where I’ve decided I want to go.
It would be easy I think, to see this and forget that getting here did not just happen and it certainly didn’t happen overnight.
Getting where I am now took work, people; hard, hard, grueling work. It took, among other things, leaving a relationship and a life that I didn’t want to leave, facing sadness and loneliness and fear that I didn’t want to face, and remembering hard thoughts and experiences and memories that I didn’t want to remember.
It took overcoming a crippling lack of self-confidence and a paralyzing, negative self-image. It took making myself uncharacteristically vulnerable and taking terrifying risks. It took therapy and reading and journaling. It took thinking and analyzing and processing. It took silence and staring into space. It took Milanos and West Wing. A lot, a lot of West Wing.
And that only covers the last year.
What I’ve learned in that time I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have learned. It’s what has driven me to start this particular blog at this particular time. And while I didn’t think I was ready yet to say what I’m saying right now, recent events have conspired in such a way that I feel an absolute imperative to share what I know.
An ending is just a beginning and not all sadness is sad.
Whoa. Let me just tell you, when that little light bulb went off it was like seeing technicolor. It was like the moment when Dorothy steps through the door and all of sudden her world is no longer gray. (The moment when my Dad always says, “BOO!” even now when I’m forty-one.)
I’m not saying endings aren’t hard; the ending of some things can actually feel like the end of the world. And I’m certainly not saying sadness isn’t hard; I have felt sadness so deeply that I was certain I would never get past it.
What I am saying is that nothing is permanent. I’m saying that whatever it is, it’s not the end of the world and you will get past it. I’m saying if I can do it, you can do it. I’m saying to live your best life you have to go through some crap. But I’m also saying that going through the crap can actually be a really beautiful thing; that it can give you a grace and a resilience and a confidence that you didn't know was possible.
It will take work - don’t forget - hard, hard grueling work. It will also take your dessert and Netflix program of choice most likely, but it will happen, in time.
And as much as I’d love to have the perfect words for what comes next if you let it, Ernest Hemingway actually beat me to it:
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”