Four years ago and a few months, I moved across the country to a city I knew nothing about and where I knew not a soul. I did it all without much thought. A job opportunity presented itself and I leapt. I closed on a house in twenty-eight days and began what was the most difficult year of my life (to date). That year (the dark one) taught me more about myself than any other year of my life, and the lessons I learned have fueled what have become three of the best years of my life.
Before the tremendous job opportunity came along, I felt cramped in my old life, a life where everything seemed defined already—me most of all. I was my parents’ daughter, my brother’s sister, my friends’ friend, my employers’ employee. I was fixed, like a dead butterfly on a biologist’s cork board. No one made me this way, it was simply that nothing had challenged the definitions by which I saw myself. The move fixed all that. All of sudden, I was flying (and occasionally crashing). I was alive, even in occasional misery.
Over the year and the ones that followed, I became myself, not anyone else’s definition of me. I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately as I move into a new time of transition, the point where change is fueled by an internal wanderlust.
I’m not moving again, nor do I find that I really want to (after years of wishing I could be closer to family and friends again). My life is here. My wonderful, modest heaven of a house is here. My seasons. My new friends. I am home.
But that doesn’t mean that I am fixed in place. I’m not. My mind lately, since I’ve been on my writing hiatus, is crafting and planning, wandering through other dreams and goals from years ago, looking at all the ways my life can flourish for a new season of change. There are things I want. Goals that haven’t been touched. Writing is still chief among them, but I’m thinking of writing things I never would have dreamed I would touch. Darker things... more fixed in reality. I love the fantastical worlds that I’ve been privileged to create, but new voices are wandering into my thoughts, voices yearning to find their way onto paper.
We mustn’t ever stop pushing ourselves to be more, to grow more, to discover more. Stagnation is the enemy of all creative people, but my goals don’t just include writing. My mind is restless to learn new things, to delve into fields of study, to push to know more about this world. And in other ways, I feel my life opening to greater changes than I’ve ever known.
When I began my writing hiatus, I thought it was due to bitterness, but I was wrong. I just needed some rest after working myself into disillusionment. And now, without stories filling my head and every off-work minute of my life, I’m discovering blossoms inside myself, growing in the shadow of the fictional worlds to which I’ve been devoting my life. Without writing, I can give the buds some sunlight, allow them to bask and grow, and together, all my goals and I can make a plan for the new adventures waiting just around the corner.
Quote for the Day from Helen Keller
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”