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2014: Everything’s OK

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

In 2013, it was when light shone in the face of despair. In 2012, it was when I stood up for myself. In 2011, it was a moment of clarity, sincere belief and friendship. In 2010, it was an action of commitment.

At first, I wanted to talk about how my confidence returned in mid-summer when I heard: “I emailed you, because you’re the best.” A short sentence that provided validation that I hadn’t fallen off the deep end into incompetence.

But it wasn’t that. On the last day of the writing workshop in Maine, we were given an assignment to write in a point of view that we didn’t use regularly and a character different from our natural selves.

For the past few days, and really the past few months, I felt my writing shriek awkwardly across the page. I constantly repeated the same stereotypes and leaned heavily on cliches. The words felt stoney cold and not the warm ooze of comfort that came when the words seem to fall perfectly on the page.

That day on the windjammer sitting on a finished wooden bench, I poised my pen above my notebook and began writing. I was underneath the deck and huddled with my notebook and pen. Despite the cold and shivering in front of the small heated lamp, my ideas suddenly flowed easily. I had a narrative arc that poured out of me. And as I weaved a story from a small moment to another small moment, I felt the ease that I had. I felt the life that I had written and the vulnerability revealed. A gentleness that I sought.

My ability to write returned full force. It had never left me. Because in fact, all it needed was a little bit of coaxing.