When I began accepting my quiet self, I began to experience freedom. If being quiet was true about me, I didn’t have to force myself to be louder than what felt natural. I didn’t have to try to be more fun at parties when I didn’t know how to be. I could start to discover who I truly was, quiet parts and all.
The desire to use a “four corners offense” or “prevent defense” in our lives can be strong. We rack up a few points in school, some more at our job, and a few more with our families, then want to sit on our lead. We try to run out the clock only making safe, predictable moves. The problem with such a strategy is that we really are not actually sitting on a lead, and we have no idea when the buzzer will sound ending our time on earth.
For me, it comes down to making a decision and not looking back. When all the options are very good, I no longer spend time figuring out which option is the best. That would take too long because anything can be looked at from too many angles. So instead, I’ve begun to place value in just moving. A good plan executed is better than a great plan mulled over for centuries.
There is a path we all walk in life. All the places we go when the path gets too rocky and exhausting and brutal and beautiful are dead-end detours. If you take these detours you are not bad, but you are wasting your time and energy. The path looks like this: Come back to the […]
To be honest, my small group, a group I adore, has not been an easy nut to crack in terms of vulnerability. Some people lay it all out there to whoever will listen. This group is not like that. Again, I super-love them, but spilling our guts is not really in our repertoire. So I’m learning to create the space for it. And then wait. Like you’re waiting for a cat to come out from behind the couch, sort of acting like you don’t even care, but you really, really do.
When I was young, I never understood how Dad couldn’t be grateful for what he did have. Today, I have a lot more empathy for him: I’m nearly his age and I fight the same temptation toward bitterness and regret. So I posted that photo of Dad on my corkboard, smiling at something out of sight. It makes me think fondly of him. Even though I didn’t see that side of Dad so often, it was still true about him. It reminds me to look not backward but forward, to the hope that lies just out of sight.
On the final day of Storyline in Chicago we will host the first-ever Storyline Writers Workshop. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book, this workshop is going to help. Dean Nelson, the Director of Pt. Loma’s Journalism Department, acclaimed memoirist Susan Isaacs and myself will be teaching the workshop.
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