It’s been years. YEARS. But I still vividly remember pouring my heart out onto the pages of my journal or furiously typing out my feelings on Microsoft Word in the upstairs wing of the library. I can picture me sitting there on a wooden chair—intently focused—the sun sinking low and being replaced with darkness, college students slowly disappearing one by one until there were more vacant seats than filled ones. Where before it was bustling and busy, now it was quiet and calm. That feeling of being in the zone in this peaceful atmosphere—experiencing true flow—would push and propel me forward until my body and mind were exhausted but my heart was full. I would leave the library at closing time on a writer’s high and filled to the brim with contentment, gratitude, love, and awe for myself. It was a familiar feeling I had often experienced during my childhood and adolescence. These were now my college days, when I still had only myself to think about. But even then, with looming deadlines and boyfriends and a million projects to be completed, writing was a rare gift I would give to myself.
But something happened. The rarity of writing slowly morphed into non-existent. I left a part of myself behind on the road to becoming what I thought was my destiny: a wife, teacher, mother. Having three babies and finding myself in the thick of it all (teaching and cleaning and cooking and exercising and ticking off my to-do list a mile a minute) has left me with (what I have continued to tell myself) no room for things like leisure writing. Yes, I have written in my kids’ journals and kept an up-to-date record of our family life, but that in-the-zone writing that once gave me renewed energy and LIFE? The fun, effortless writing where words jumped from my mind through my fingers and onto pages until they settled into my own perfectly crafted sentences full of truth, my truth— the kind of writing that always left me feeling on cloud nine when I finally decide to call it a night? That dissolved like a tablet in seltzer and I’m just now, in this current season of life, making room for it again. It’s been stored away, patiently waiting to be dusted off and awoken.
And really, what I’m realizing as I approach my mid-thirties, is that life is SHORT, and now is now. There is no time like the present to bring back the parts of ourselves that we have abandoned in our pursuit of creating a family, a career, a life. Because what is life without those precious moments of experiencing true joy? We make time for what matters most, and I have finally decided that I am going to MAKE TIME. It won’t magically carve itself out for me, and I have to once and for all bust the myth that a better day will come along. Truly, there will never be a time that is more convenient than today.
Wisdom has shown me that we can’t afford to keep putting off the things we were made to do. Our time is calling, and it’s now.
SO. Bear with me as I start anew, basically from scratch. I may be rusty, but I’m not gone. Stay beside me and offer me grace as I offer my truth. I will promise to write from my heart and to be consistent and honest, and maybe in time this gift I’m giving myself will turn into a gift I’m giving the world. And maybe not, but all the same, my inner writer is knocking and I can no longer ignore her. I will let her gently lead me onto this new path, where family and work and hobbies beautifully intertwine into a full and messy and satisfying life that is truly worth living.
Here’s to the pieces of ourselves that we are slowly picking up and getting back. Here’s to the slow realizations that only WE can make things happen for ourselves, and today is the day to start. Here’s to the pure awareness we used to have in our childhoods of the things that brought us true joy—the things that we clung to like our lives depended on them. Here’s to the artists, digging up their buried creativity and working it like a muscle that refuses to stay stagnant any longer. Here’s to the writers of the world. It’s never too late to write our truth.