I have a variety of journals lying around my apartment, all in varying states of use. I kind of put a lot of stock in the type of paper on which I am writing and the feel of the pen on the page, so there are many times when I start out in some new and “exciting” (stationery supplies are very exciting for me) journal that I have found, just to abandon it in favor of something “better.” And while I love the platform that blogging presents, I do still sometimes have stuff to get out of my head and onto the page that maybe does not have to go out to any person who may stumble on my blog someday. I tried a completely anonymous blog for a while (shared only with my therapist and with members of a pro-anorexia community that I used to wander through in an effort to trigger myself into restricting my food intake) that spoke pretty openly about all that stuff in my head, but I didn’t stick with it. It still felt too exposed.
Anyway, now I keep a journal, and my recent favorite version of my journal is a sketch book with relatively heavy paper so I can write in it with Sharpies and gel pens and other such instruments without having to worry about it bleeding through. I sat last night and wrote about eight pages, and some of it is certainly not ready for prime time here on my blog. Some of it will stay between me and the page and my therapist. But some of it can be shared, so that is what this post is about. (There are politics discussed below. If you don’t care to read about politics, maybe don’t read much further.)
“And tonight…I write. Countless topics swirl through my brain. What do I want to pull from the possibilities? And where have they all come from? And how can I reach the rawness and desire and fear of the surrounding emotions and so they can be observed as more than just words on a page?”
“One week ago, Donald Trump was chosen as the President-elect. In the past year, I have gone from being relatively apolitical to being someone who is pretty outspoken about her beliefs. My beliefs have very little in common with those of Donald Trump. I find myself with a strong desire to help make it better…to lend my voice and my efforts and my dollar to teach love. I want to approach every single thing I do from a place of love, which seems incongruent to me because even recently I have wondered what love really is. I have wondered if I was worth that. Well, I refuse to wonder anymore. I believe I was made to love and be loved, by God or Sebastian [this is a Glennon Doyle Melton reference from the event I attended for the Penn Foundation several weeks ago] or whatever name I want to give to this Higher Power. I was not placed here randomly. I finally realize that I am answering to a series of “calls.” I say that I do not create opportunity for myself but am good at grabbing it when it presents itself. How did I not realize that these opportunities presenting themselves were being set in motion by someone greater than I…that this is what it feels like to be called? Of course, I have not usually had the peace and silence in my mind to tune into these messages, at least not to the extent I do now.”
“What do does my particular version of “saving the world” look like? Is it just advocacy? Calling a senator’s office to ask him to act on an issue? Sharing information on social media that is fact-checked and not fear-inducing but lends to a greater quest for knowledge? Wearing a safety pin? My BLM magnet and HRC stickers on my car? Finding a church? What will I be called to do?
I was talking to Silver [my yoga teacher] after yoga yesterday about what has been going on in America this week. And I said to her that I was so glad that if something like this had to happen, it happened at this time of my life, when I am 40. Twenty years ago, I would not have had the insight to see where any of this could lead. Twenty years from now, I may be unhealthy or exhausted or unwilling to devote time and attention to a cause. There is a reason that pertains somehow to me that this is happening now.”
“And speaking of my 20s…what was I doing? When I think back to that time of my life, I really see fear as one of my primary motivators. I was hustling for worthiness, even then. What did I miss out on because I was too scared to follow a path that seemed to be appearing before me? What did I lose by following the well-lit path and others’ footsteps instead of forging my own trail or at least following someone into the unexplored and unexpected? Even though it may have been someone I had 100% trusted 100% of the time?”
And that is what I feel comfortable sharing in this arena. In fact, some of that leans a bit toward the uncomfortable side of my fine line, but I am going to let it lean. This doesn’t feel like a time to retreat. We have too much work to do.