Guess I really am writing a book now. I just admitted and acknowledged it before another human being who was neither a friend nor a family member. It was the barista at a local coffee shop. She actually asked me what I was studying. Score one for looking younger than I really am! But, I digress. I told her I wasn’t studying.
“I used to be a teacher. And now I’m not teaching. I’m working on a book.” Yup. There they were hanging in the air. Words strung together inciting ownership and angst. I had just admitted to another soul why I was there at the coffee shop. There was no denying I said it. It was too late. I couldn’t believe I spilled the beans and almost without hesitation. Her response? “Oh really, that’s cool. What’s it going to be about?” I was nearly dumbfounded.
My mind immediately did one of those um-well-you-see-uh-umm kind of things. She had me there because up until that moment, I hadn’t confirmed the topic. In fact the only people who knew what I was writing about were my story coach, my brother, and a friend. All of a sudden, I found myself face to face with the reality of what I was really embarking upon.
If my writing is really going to go somewhere, I’m going to have to own it, be accountable, work at it, and get the words out of my head and onto the page. Yes, that was an AHA! moment. I found myself saying, “it’s about identity and being yourself. I figure I can do it because I used to encourage my high school students to be more, do more, and to believe in their dreams.” Strangely, this barista encouraged me just by nodding in agreement and then “good luck.” The funny thing now is I have to do for myself what I did for my students – believe in this impossible dream, that I can do it, and that I will finish it.
I didn’t know how uplifting that moment would be, but it happened. Now I am also faced with the daunting task of owning it. The dream is now longer floating around out there in the ethereal realms nor is it harboring on the edge of my heart. It is becoming tangible. I was in this same café a week ago and for several hours. I wrote and wrote and wrote until I had nothing more to say. Twenty three hundred words later into the afternoon, I had done what I had not thought I could do. This writing-a-book thing was becoming a reality.
I contemplated getting up and leaving even before I began to write again, but the thought of not starting and allowing more pressing issues to intrude gave rise to a much-needed come-to-Jesus moment. In that moment, something changed. Something clicked. Something in the cavern of my soul came to light.
I was different. It may have been imperceptible to the human eye, but a change occurred. It was profound within my soul. The moment I decided my dream was worth it was the moment words flowed. This is who I am. It was always who I have been. It is who I will always be in some way, shape, form, or fashion. I am a creative being. I’m owning it. I am willing to make this investment in myself because I am worth it. But, it wasn’t always this way. It didn’t always come easy for me to believe. I struggled. It was far easier to believe the good and best for everyone but myself, but old notions are dying.
I have always liked to write but I hadn’t quite figured out how or if I should write about me. I wasn’t even sure where the value would be. I didn’t even know where I would start. I was hoping to learn how to find my voice and write from that place even if it didn’t mimic the world around me.
It is amazing what time and distance can do for one’s perspective. Getting shaken and rattled, though ferocious and unwelcomed storms has culled out false self-belief and mistaken identity. What was I? Who had I been? Who was I becoming? I am a woman who believes in the power of her dream and vision. I hope to be able to fashion my words in ways that reflect who I am and who God is. I hope to be able to better express my thoughts and passions in ways that encourage others. There you have it – why this book. Of course it’s more than the journey of writing. I am also discovering things about myself that I either forgot, repressed, or dismissed. Nothing in my life is worthless or an accident. It all has value.
The actual birth of the write-a-book notion happened one Sunday afternoon while attempting to nap. Seems that some of our better ideas come when the mind is winding down, and I am so glad for it. I had been pondering what specifically I would write about before I really got serious about doing the writing thing. I cried, prayed, and journaled. In the middle of another thought, it came to me. It was more like a heavenly whisper, “The journey of grace and becoming, of being who you really are. That’s what I want you to write about, daughter. Because that’s who you are. That’s the journey you’re one” I knew it was His voice – God’s voice. The Shepherd spoke to me. It was an arresting moment because I knew that I knew that I knew it was the truth. It was the reality of my dream. From that moment sprang a new believing faith in the impossible. I couldn’t have come up with it own my own because I was so busy searching elsewhere, trying to sound like the rest of the world, trying to make myself fit, trying to lesson the authenticity of the dream. My mind was filled with woulda, shoulda, coulda. It wasn’t filled with just “be”-ing.
There is something sacred and holy about a dream born from the lips of God. He calls forth life from depths of which we are often unaware. I’m so glad for it or else you might not be reading these words now. I hear his whisper repeat, “you’ve sown into the lives of so many. Now let me sow into your life and breathe life. It’s time for you to fly. You’ve taught others to fly, and now it’s your turn.” Only a father like God can speak to such a want with life-giving impact. In all my humanity was a desire to hear the Father speak. I didn’t even realize I needed to hear His voice. Perhaps there is a veiled place in each of us that only God the Father can speak to, and when He speaks stuff happens. We see. We hear a new song. In an instant, we change.
The signs around me have consistently foreshadowed this message from sermons on being and belonging to the business marquis that said “identity management.” I think the message is clear. I get it. Well, at least I’m beginning to get it. I know it began before I was born. I know it was in me when I was born, but I was not walking it out in life. Since I have begun moving in this writing direction, I have more peace. It’s settling in. I’m owning it.
Self discovery is different for each of us. We each come to a moment, a fork in the road where we must choose: “what will I be?” The question really wasn’t “what will I do?”
Chew on that for a while. I am.