Monday, January 23, 2017


The quote here is a snippet of lyrics from Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten".  I think this song resonates with so many because we're always on the brink of something new, and we never know where each day, each moment will lead us.

For me, some significant changes have happened recently that have left me with a lack of certainty about the future.  This isn't a bad thing, mind's simply a departure from what I am accustomed to.  Normally, I am focused, driven, and usually have a clear vision for where I am headed, and what I want from life.  I tend to always have something I am studying - a personal interest, or a business-related course, or something of historical focus. I have always enjoyed learning, and it helps me to balance my life with enriching my knowledge base and indulging my endlessly curious mind.

Right now, however, nothing is on my personal horizon in that regard. Nothing is capturing my interest, nothing is exciting me or lighting a fire in my heart to engage and learn. Two long held dreams - big ones - have become decidedly uninspiring, and that has surprised me. It doesn't necessarily mean those two big dreams have died; I don't know what it means, to be honest. All I know is that the drive to achieve them has waned for the now.

So, here I am, with my life ahead of me, waiting for something to spark, to grab, to enliven.

Many years ago, I worked for a large corporation where part of my duties involved writing a quarterly newsletter.  This was not a small feat, as the corporation was an international one with satellite offices domestically and across several countries. The newsletter was always highly anticipated by those offices, with a great deal of enthusiastic feedback.  That positive feedback was both encouraging and a bit onerous, as it created constant expectations to top each previous newsletter edition.  I would get the current edition finalized and sent out, and immediately begin working on the next edition.

The blank pages of the newsletter template would loom at me on my computer's screen, and I would always have thoughts of, "How am I going to fill this up again?  How am I going to make this edition better than the last?  How will there be enough time in this quarter to meet the deadline and still deliver interesting, valuable content?"

As the days passed, bits and pieces would always materialize. Conversations with co-workers would lead to requesting an interview with someone.  Research on a current project would prompt me to dig deeper and that research would produce an interesting fact for the newsletter. Happy moments such as anniversaries, weddings, babies being born, graduations, human interest stories, etc., were always plugged into the pages.  And almost every single quarter, before I knew it, the newsletter would be full to the brim with articles, news, facts, and images.  I usually would have so much content, it would spill over to be utilized for the following quarter's edition. Still, with each new, empty template to fill, the doubts were always there in the back of my mind.

Life is quite similar to a publication in the works.  As Ms. Bedingfield's song lyrics indicate, we are books, unwritten.

I am a methodical person, and am accustomed to being in control of my life. Coming to such a large space of unknowing is a curious feeling for me. It isn't scary.  It isn't alarming.  It's different. Not quite uncomfortable, but certainly discomfort is there.

Discomfort is a clear harbinger that change, that increase, that a great big amount of new, is on the horizon.  That can cause the mind chatter to begin dancing a jig, dripping gleeful bits of concern, wariness, anxiety, mistrust, and all manner of negative emotions designed to stop us in our tracks.

When those emotions crop up, I remind myself of the old days of writing that quarterly newsletter.  Those questions and doubts would pop up throughout each quarter as I worked on the newsletter.  I learned to brush them aside and keep moving through the process.
So, here I am, with blank pages. Even writing this article here feels inadequate, lacking in the normal flowing, musical ease with which I generally create.  When I mentor writing students, my advice to them is always, "Just write. The questions will be answered as long as you engage in the process." Taking my own advice has me here at my laptop, waiting for the questions to be answered.

Will they be answered?  Of course they will.  It might not be as I expect the movie in my mind to play out; that's the one true certainty in the mix.  Indeed, life rarely plays out as we imagine in our mind's eye, and often that is a blessing. 

Sometimes, engaging the process doesn't mean anything earthshaking. Sometimes, it simply means to keep breathing. Keep living. Keep being who we are, whilst also being open to change. From moment to moment, who we are changes on a cellular level, so you would think embracing myriad changes in the corporeal world would be just as seamless.  Obviously, it isn't! Change is something that tends to instill resistance for the best of us.

Personally, I don't have time for the fears, the doubts, and most of all, I do not have time for embracing resistance.  Part of this whole dynamic stems from releasing a presence that luxuriated in embracing resistance, in dragging of feet, in avoiding feeling emotions, in postponing living in the now. It is a genuine, simple fact that all we have is now, this moment.  We're all aware of this truth, that tomorrow is not promised....the next breath, the next smile, the next could all be final. 

I have a life to live....pages to fill with experiences.  I do not have a single clue where tomorrow leads me. I do not have a single clue what all the new will bring. It is currently unwritten, but I do have the book open, blank page pristine, pen in hand to give it expression.  I expect it to be glorious.