But I am not the same person who launched a blog, with her infant daughter, in a bouncy seat at her feet, in that teeny apartment once upon a time.
I have been thinking a lot about writing lately. I miss the way that I used to work through thoughts as my fingers flew over letters. I miss capturing moments, and finding the extraordinary right inside the ordinary. I want to get back to that, but I have been hesitant. In some ways I don't know how to start again. When I go through the catalogue of old blog posts here, I cringe. Some part of me wants to delete them all away and forget how self-righteous and bitter I became in my journey. There is an arrogance that I read into those words from my younger self, a surety; one that I no longer feel. There is passion and fire, and there is icy coldness. I voiced a tiny bit of this feeling to Jim today. I told him that I wanted to start all over again, in a new space, because the truth is, I was born to write, but this space doesn't seem to fit me anymore. He urged me to stay and to pick back up my writing. As I have thought about it, I realized that while I have gone through a metamorphosis of sorts, it's all a part of my story. Even those embarrassing posts, where my passion was most definitely misguided, has shaped the woman who sits on the other side of this screen today. I cannot delete my story. I can only do better when I know better.
So much has changed inside of me. I have been bruised and battered. I am more courageous and more fearful. I am louder and quieter. I am determined and unsure. I am growing older, time is passing me by, my children are no longer babies. I have spent a year on the mission field in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and stripped of all that was familiar, I understand who I am better than ever before. But I am also still discovering me, and who God desires me to be. I am not yet old, but I am no longer young. Friendships are more important to me than maybe ever before, but this year I experienced the ugly side of a fraudulent one that makes me cower from women and put up thick, heavy walls. I am guarded, and I am wary, and I need God to show me something different. It also made me seek out grace and forgiveness with an old friendship that I had single-handedly damaged in the past. But some things don't change - my desire to follow Jesus - even though that desire surely manifests itself in new, different ways, my love for my husband who gets me on a level that nobody else could, my absolute joy in being a mom and raising these children, and my penchant for writing, cooking, wearing gobs of mascara, and drinking coffee. All of those parts of me remain intact.
So I am tentatively trying again. It's kind of scary to open up my life and heart once more in this space that holds so much, but there is just so much to share. There is still story to be told. Someone might connect with my story and find solidarity here in these words. So, I will write again, because the truth is that I love to write. There will always be better writers, but I am done struggling with that, because nobody else can tell my story. There is space for me, even if I am not the best. My grammar will drive grammarians crazy, because although I am a perfectionist, I am also a creative - especially when it comes to writing. I want to fall back in love with writing. I have never stopped writing, but the story has been muted here, it has stayed in my head or in my journals, but it never, ever stopped. I am proud of that, but now it is time....
It's time to let the story back out.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. Maya Angelou
A few of my favorite characters in this story.