I HAD a dream…to take flight on strong and sturdy wings.
I HAD a dream…to stay grounded and anchored by deep roots.
But I abandoned my dreams, and instead I built a wall and hid behind it.
A tall and wide wall erected with bricks of fear, hurt and laziness.
Nothing was escaping it; it blocked you out and kept me in.
Within those walls, I got scared, I got anxious, and I got lazy.
Then I let go of more things and the first was writing.
Letting go was always meant to be a comma, but it morphed into a period.
How is that even possible when the most consistent and incessant voice in my ears whispered “Just Write”? And that I have always done and did! I had a freelance writing and editing business, and I am a writer and editor. I work on writing and editing projects.
I was writing.
Website content. Newsletters. Media kits. Corporate profiles. Professional biographies.
Yet I wasn’t writing.
Consequently with each word I wrote and with each draft I edited, deep within me grew dread, and it only got bigger and bigger behind my tall and wide wall. Eventually, it caused my wall to cave in and crash down last June, and led me to close my writing and editing business exactly five years to the day I gave birth to it. Closing shop gave me a break and the time to think through what I wanted as a writer and storyteller, and I came to some conclusions.
You see, it is important to examine why we hide behind walls and how we get buried under when they fall, but it is of equal importance to get out from underneath the rubble. I had spent too much time wondering, “How did I get here?” instead of doing what I needed to do to get up and get out. So while I peeked from behind my wall and now from underneath their rubbles, creativity and inspiration decided they were done striving with fear and hustle for my attention.
The hustle won EVERY TIME.
Creativity and inspiration got pushed to the end of the line EVERY TIME.
As a result, anxiety and discontentment seeped through EVERY TIME.
I came to the realization that the duo team of creativity and inspiration desired and longed to be explored, engaged and used up, but instead I chose the hustle all the time.
Hustling is important, yes, but hustling is not creating. Hustling is hustling! Income generating, but brittle, writing projects got in the way of creating. I realized fear led me here, but my angst and dread were born of not creating, and not creating kept me here. This revelation was a breath of fresh air, but in the aftermath of it, I was still lying underneath the wreckage of my fallen walls.
And then Alton Sterling was fatally shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philandro Castile in Minneapolis, Minnesota. All around me things and people erupted! A freelance journalist captured the arrest of Ieshia Evans, a nurse and protester in Baton Rouge, who broke away from fellow protesters and stood solidly, but elegantly, before a line of Louisiana state troopers. The image was shared around the world, and Gayle King interviewed Evans on CBS This Morning.
“I am here,” Evans said when Gayle King asked her why she broke away from the protesters.
That statement struck a nerve and stayed with me, well, it wasn’t as much what she said, but the way she said it — with defiance and conviction. Ignoring the rest of the interview, I rewound a couple of times back to the moment before she said those words, and each time I watched her say it, the intensity with which it hit me grew. I whispered it back to her each time and finally I declared it out loud .
I. AM. HERE!
It was simple - I am also here!!!!!
I am still here!!!!
I could either sit with my bleeding hands in the broken shards of my heart and dreams or I could use, recycle if you may, those same pieces to make beautiful things. I had to push out from beneath the bricks, and step back and forward towards the knock on my door. I needed to begin capturing once again the kind of true to self stories that makes me come alive and sets my soul ablaze; stories that make you and I pause, and stories about our hurts, heartbreaks, insecurities, growth, triumph and joys. Yes, I needed to write stories that make us laugh, His story, my story, your stories and stories of ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things because of an extra-ordinary God. I write in obedience and in surrender, I write to heal and I write to simply Just Write.
Thank you for riding along and getting back on the road with me while in the words of Carrie Fisher, I “take [my] broken heart, and make it into art.”
Oh, before you go...I'll like to know if you've ever stayed in and with something —a job, relationship, date... — way past the expiration date? What finally made you get out?
PS: You are Immensely Loved!