Today I turn 38 years old. I love how age is all in your perspective, because 38 seems quite young to me now, but when I was in my twenties I thought it sounded thoroughly middle aged. When you get there, you can't believe how fast it has come, and even though that is a cliche that we've all heard a million times, it doesn't stop it from being true.
It feels damn good to be in such a happy place at this advanced age. I finally feel settled, and understand what it is I'm supposed to be doing with my unique set of gifts and talents. Two years ago at this time I was putting my finger on the missing puzzle piece of my day-to-day existence: writing. Everything was pretty good in my marriage and family life, but I wasn't writing, and therefore every night I went to sleep with that nagging feeling that something big was absent.
I'm beyond grateful to report that my satisfaction level is much higher because I'm writing every day, and I'm growing into my confidence in an entirely new way. Blogging daily and receiving immediate feedback from people has been as satisfying and encouraging as it has been humbling and challenging when some of my opinions and ideas are opposed by others. That's all part of the process and the journey of growing into who I am, and having the courage to communicate what I believe at any given time without fear of reprisal.
I talked about this briefly on the weekend with someone who expressed amazement at how personal my blog posts are. I know that I like to read writing which is thoughtful and personal and grapples with real issues which I can relate to, and that is the model I have chosen to follow in my blogging. I also want my kids to read these posts when they are older and understand a little more about me, and find some insight into what I believed to be true.
Embracing the messiest sides of life has been my favourite part of this past year. I am learning that it's okay to make mistakes, and set boundaries, and resolve conflict to the best of my ability with my family and friends. It's not perfect, but life isn't designed to be neat and clean. It's unpredictable and joyful and distressing, sometimes in the same day or even the same hour.
I'm understanding that going with the current is easier than fighting it, except where I hear that still, small voice and know the time has come to speak up. I am trusting my instincts and how good my God is instead of putting my faith in my own abilities. It's working much better for me.
I think we are all at a pivotal time in history, when our society is on the verge of imploding into itself, and hopefully before it's too late we'll discover a better set of values and priorities. I want to opt out of having the newest generation in technology and opt into more heartfelt communication in my relationships. I want to jump off the treadmill that is envy and greed for material things, and embrace simplicity in the possessions I own.
I want to show my kids that there is a peaceful way to live in our fast-paced world; that we don't have to march to the same drum as the rest of our culture. Even though I don't know all of the answers, I'm willing to ask the questions, and change my beliefs when they don't feel right, and I think my kids are going to be better citizens with this modeled in front of them.
Over this past year I've let go of many of my driving needs to be recognized in some public way for my writing. The drive to be published has been met in small arenas, and slowly I've come to find a new measure of balance to my family and work life. I've turned down the flame on needing it so desperately as some kind of validation for my existence on this earth. I understand now that I'm valuable for who I am and not for what I contribute.
Selling bigger pieces of writing and seeing those dreams come true, one by one, would be the icing on the cake, but the substance and shape of the cake is already in existence. This revelation did not come lightly to me, and had a steep price, but I'm so glad to have paid it. Now to see what the next year will bring.
Thank you for reading, and for your encouragement and comments. You will likely never know just how much your support has contributed to my dream to write.