TweetI’m thinking about a class I just taught.
It was a reflection and my end point was that to be truly present to another human being, we have to be able to choose it despite all the things going on in our lives – suffering, pain, distraction, obligations – and choose to give ourselves to another by our presence. That actually wasn’t what my end point was going to be, but something inside me led me to bring it up and I went with it. I ended the class asking for them to think about someone in their lives who truly needs their presence to be fully engaged and open to …
It’s been about three hours since that class ended and I feel somewhat in a fog myself, not really sure if I know who I want to be present to because, in all honesty, the person who I most need to be present to is myself. There isn’t a moment in the day where I am able to truly give myself undivided attention to what I think my great purpose is, what I believe is my greater calling, and create a plan to make that happen. So much of my life as a parent, as a minster, as a human living in the moment is taking the sacrifice of not being able to plan a future.
I’ve had very little time to write lately and I find myself slipping away, emotionally, when that happens. Like a boat with no anchor, a body with no gravity, a balloon with no string to tether me to the earth. I am floating, gracelessly in my life. Full of purpose but with very little action to piece my purpose into reality.
I love my life. I love everything about my life, but lately I’ve been feeling an itch to be bold. That phrase keeps popping in my head, “Be bold.” I think when I love people in my life I will do whatever I need to do to circumvent disappointing them or letting them down, to the detriment of my own dreams. Since Mike died, I’ve had this house-sized billboard across the street reminding me: LIVE YOUR DREAMS. We don’t know when our time to transition out of this life will be and I feel I have so much life still unloved, dreams unspoken that need articulation, and stories to write on paper. To make that happen I have to say good bye to all the things that eat up my time, even things I love. I have let go pieces of my time with painting and photography and cropping into my schedule are new obligations: family gatherings, weddings, birthdays, graduation parties, sacramental celebrations, lunches, coffee dates, playmates, travels…the list is endless.
I’ve found that it’s not enough to let go of things, but working toward your dreams also means being bold, saying no to what does not feed the dream, and saying goodbye to distractions. If we only say goodbye but do not fill those spaces with intention, those spaces quickly fill with eager people and appointments. As an adult, there’s no such thing as free time. Everything comes at a price.
I need to be clear with myself, reminding my own two hands that I am not here to be a blogger*. I am not here to have the greatest Pinterest account. I am not here to garner five digit twitter followers or be the greatest facebooker ever. I am not here for that. I am not here to be an assistant to anyone but a manager of my own destiny. It’s taken me 33 years to know who I am and who I am not and I need to be bold and say goodbye to wasted time reading op-eds that pull me in opposite directions instead of books that enrich my knowledge. I need to stop collecting pictures of “cute” and “pretty” things that aren’t even real. They’re ideas, concepts. THings that I don’t even have time for, yet I am spending a portion of my life letting OTHER people know that I “like” how something MIGHT look on me IF i decide to buy it someday. Is it just me or does that sound crazy?
I need to hold that balance that social media is most certainly a tool for connection, but those “relationships” are to people who haven’t seen me in at least a decade, sometimes two decades. My responsibility is not to them. My work is not accountable to them and while I treasure those individual people, as a whole, I refuse to spend more of my time that has nothing to do with purpose; things that will never make it to my obituary. Things that matter only to Statcounters and faceless commenters, but not to me. As luring, as tempting, as fluffy fun and empty headed and easy as it is to lose myself in social media, it’s time to reground myself and grow elsewhere.
My purpose is like anyone else’s – to not only find but USE my most authentic self and expand with confidence. My keyboard has been used much but not for the right purposes.
I am a writer, not a blogger. I am a mother, not a mommyblogger. I am a feminist, not a media junkie. I am a social critic, not a twitter whiner. I am an artist, not a Pinterest collage. I am invested, not LinkedIn.
This is who I am. To those other things, I bid farewell.
* My definition of a blogger is a person who writes for internet publication and engages in the threads (dialogues) and comments/ feedback of their readership.