Saturday, May 26, 2012
The Joy I Feel in Writing
Do you ever feel like you're getting to know yourself? Because I do. I think during most of my growing up years I was really sure of myself. I really thought I knew who I was. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I didn't think about whether or not I knew myself well. I just assumed I did. I mean, after all, I'm me, so what else is there to know? I know everything about me.
But, as it turns out, that's not true. And the way that I know that's not true is because, since about halfway through college and for all of my marriage, I've been discovering more and more each day who I really am. I make conscious realizations about what things are important to me and what things aren't. I realize sometimes that I don't like things I always thought I did. I try new things that I used to hate and discover that I love them.
But perhaps the most poignant thing I've learned about myself is this: I'm still learning about myself. And it's okay if it takes a long time.
One thing I've been learning lately is that I try so hard to squish myself into small spaces where I don't fit. But a human array of emotions and interests and loves and dislikes and feelings and preferences and laughs don't fit in a small space. Or at least I don't fit. In fact, I don't fit at all.
I needs space to do and be and create and love and learn. I need a lot of mistakes. I need a lot of successes. I need a lot of time to grow. I am not a seasonal flower; I'm an evergreen tree. My growth doesn't stop. My branches will always need more space. I will always have new interests. And that is one of my favorite things about myself.
One of the other things I've been learning about myself over and over again, but especially lately, is how well my Heavenly Father knows me and loves me and gives me the things I need most. And one of those things is good, wholesome, exciting, purposeful work. I need that so much and it's something I didn't know about myself before, but I know it now.
Several months ago I laid in bed thinking about something that was bothering me and I was blessed with the inspiration to start something new. This new thing filled a hole in my heart that I didn't know was there. And it gave me good, wholesome, exciting, purposeful work to do. In fact, it gave me a lot of work to do. So much that several people asked me why I was doing all that work when they couldn't see what I was getting out of it. But how do you explain the need to feel fulfilled?
Then, a few months ago, that inspiration turned into something new. I don't remember exactly how the whole thing came about, but this idea got into my head to write a book. I had my own ideas at first about what kind of book it would be. They were good ideas, but not what I really needed. My soul needed something else, even if I didn't know it. Heavenly Father knew it and he was slowly, gently guiding me there.
Then, in the midst of all my goals and plans, something happened that I wasn't expecting. I miscarried. It made me so sick. And it made me think about a lot of things. And when I finally felt better and had the energy to get up and work on things again, I began to have a whole new appreciation for how much I needed that good work.
Over the past several months since I miscarried there have been several good goals I have that I haven't met. In some ways I feel responsible for those for-now failures, but in so many other ways the achievement of those goals is so completely out of my hands. I can't make my tummy be flat. Nor can I make it pregnant. And most of the time I'm pretty good-natured about it, but sometimes it hurts deep down. I want to be skinny. But if I can't be skinny I at least want to have a reason for that extra pudge in my midsection. But neither of those things are true. And my best efforts can only take me so far.
I think all those months ago when the wheels started turning on this huge project I've undertaken, Heavenly Father knew that right now I would need this work. He knew I'd have days when I'd need a break from a hard mommy day and be able to retreat down into the basement by myself to be creative and productive and do something with a gratifying purpose.
I think he knew that eventually I'd see women who are pregnant, about to have their babies, and silently my mind would tick and I'd realize that, if I hadn't miscarried, that would be me right now. And instead of coming home from baby showers feeling behind, I'd be able to come home to a sewing room full of projects waiting to be finished and written down. It's okay to think about these things, but I have work to do. I think he knew I'd need that.
My life right now isn't exactly what I had pictured it would be like when this year started out. But I am so happy about where I am and what I'm busy doing. Despite the sadness and loneliness I sometimes feel about not being about to have a baby right now, I feel so much joy in the personal work I've been blessed with.
I'm grateful for all the empty spools of thread I've been burning through lately. I'm grateful for the little notebook full of happy, easy projects. I'm grateful for the purpose and vision I feel as I write. Who knew technical writing for a sewing book could heal a broken heart? I sure didn't know that. But--hey--it's something I'm learning about myself.
So today I'm grateful for time with friends to celebrate the little bundles of joy that are about to come into their lives. And, deep down, I'm also grateful for the little bundle of trash I'll have to take out of my sewing room today. Because it means that I've been busy doing good work. It means that I'm that much closer to finishing my book full of happy, wonderful little projects.
Some goals are good, but beyond our reach alone. Thank goodness for goals that we can reach out and grab with our own two hands. Grab them and hit the ground running.
Posted by Katie Lewis at 1:40 PM