It’s been a day. I’m not in a place to write, at least not my preferred space—but maybe that is the best space to be in. 

I’m moving, again, for the what feels like the one millionth time in the last three years. I’m packing and sorting and donating and selling all my belongings. And I’m budgeting. I’m squinting my eyes and scrunching my nose as I try to understand all the numbers. All the bills and statements and balances that look like boring numbers on a screen but really hold a lot of value since they determine how I will eat, sleep, and survive in the world’s most expensive country. Why isn’t there another zero? I think. Shouldn’t there be another zero? 

Today I let my emotions get the best of me. I should have stopped, breathed. I should have grabbed my yoga mat at the first sign of craze and forced myself to slow down, close my eyes, and breathe. I didn’t do that. Instead, I let my inner crazy free. I yelled and vented over texts at my husband who is fishing in the middle of the ocean. Can you imagine? He’s literally standing on a boat in the Pacific as his phone dings every few minutes with frantic messages from his stressed out wife. 

And then I cried. I felt it coming on early in the evening and, when I found out my plans for this weekend aren’t going to go as planned, tears began to stream—no pour—like a dam that needed to be set loose months ago. It was the tip. It was that one thing that doesn’t really matter but sets loose all the other things that don’t really matter. The last straw to break the camels back. Except it’s my back. 

And like a tidal way, it all hit at once. Have you ever experienced that? You are standing in the ocean, playing in the waves like a carefree child when all of a sudden a monster rolls in. It’s unexpected and angry, clawing for you as it approaches with a possessive roar. You don’t have time to run—you barely saw it coming—and so you brace; you let it hit. You are tossed and thrown, sand and salt seep in your mouth and eyes and lungs and ears. You can’t hear, let alone see or breathe. You must let it take you. As much as you want (or need) control, you are forced to be overcome.

I feel all of this right now. This wave, the one that came out of nowhere. It’s knocked me to my knees and forced me to surrender. It hurts and frustrates me. I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I’m choosing this path. I’m not allowed to complain or feel anything other than bliss and joy and gratitude, right?

Blah. 

Blah. Blah. Blah.

I don’t think you are supposed to use Blah in writing, but that’s all I can think to type right now. Life is hard, but it’s not. The future is scary, but it’s not. I need to breathe, to ground myself in the present moment. 

But sometimes I feel blah. And I feel like I’ve been tossed by a wave. I want to cry. Is that okay? Am I allowed to cry? To rage, even if only for a minute? 

(deep breath)

To anyone feeling the pounding in your head tonight, the tears hot behind your eyes—here is your permission to do whatever it is you need to do. Breathe. Rage. Meditate. Drink wine. Whatever it is, do it. Whatever you feel, feel it. Sometimes the dam needs to be set free. Sometimes the wave will come. Thankfully, relief follows. Grace and self-love and the reminder that every day is a beautiful gift comes. We’re only human. Blah or bliss, tears or smiles, let it be. Just let it be. 

My gut is telling me to wait. Hold on. Brace for impact. Be still and hear the tiny, beautiful whisper, soft and sacred in the wind. 

Patience is not a virtue, not one I possess. I’m impulsive, driven to a fault, always ready to sprint, but quick to burn out in the middle.

Middle. 

It’s the scariest word I know. It feels like failure. Waiting feels like the inability to make a decision.

The doors continue to swing, I beg them to stop. I want them closed, an obvious answer to my pleading question.

Make me go. Force me to move. 

But the doors that open ask me to wait. They ask me to be present. Be here. Be in your body, in your mind, in your soul.

Exist apart from your world, exist and be beautiful right where you are. What you ask for will soon come. Just wait for one moment longer. 

Community is not found but built.

It does not often look like parties, dancing feet and wild laughter (although sometimes it does). Community warms your skin. Like the fading sun on a sweet summer night, it pours gently on the walls of a tiny room, enveloping the few who gather with open ears and honest hearts.

Community sounds of stillness, of gentle tears, shed over raw, scary truths. It sounds like silent cheers and kind permissions, space created so we don’t have to face life alone.

Community is everything we need, and it is everything we fear. It requires us to show up in ways that stretch our souls and expose the truths we work so hard to hide.

And community is grace. It is having grace when grace isn't given. It is showing up, despite humanity, and believing in the power of interlocked fingers and tender hugs.

Community is built, not found.

Brick by Brick

There is a wall in front of me; it stands in the way of my writing, my creative soul. It towers high and casts a frozen spell, no life can grow within its perimeter. The wall does not budge when I push against it, It stands proud, like a bully with a puffed out chest, blocking my way. A fire breathing dragon, the bully spews ugly lies: Stop creating. Stop Writing. You’re unworthy. You lack what it takes. 

I built this wall, with the help of others. The bricks are thick and heavy, made from my doubts and fears, my insecurities. Scattered in are bricks made of rejection, failure, and broken dreams. The borders of the wall were laid by my helpers, the critics—and not the constructive kind.

The wall is too big for me to knock down. I have built it for too long, its foundation is married to the earth. Even with a bulldozer or a thousand men, it will not budge.

To tear it down, I must take the bricks off, one by one. Each stone demands to be removed in the order it was placed. This is painstaking work, as one can imagine. It requires strength and will, persistence and time. For every brick removed, I must climb among my fears and doubts.

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The End is the Beginning

My toes dug deep in the cold sand; my overgrown traveler hair swept carelessly across my naked back. The night was dark, except for in the sky, where the brightest stars I had ever seen brilliantly gleamed above me. I laid back in the sand to observe their dance; behind me, the palm trees towered and swayed. I could hear the waves ripping across the water, slowly crashing in a hypnotic rhythm along the shoreline. I closed my eyes to whisper a prayer of gratitude. I wondered how much of the scene I could bottle up and bury in my soul.

Twelve months earlier my husband and I boarded a plane to Madrid, Spain. Within only a few months’ time we had quit our jobs, sold our house, and packed sixty liter backpacks for a year of travel. 

Drowning is the only analogy I can think of to describe the life we left behind. After marrying young and graduating college, we were building our empire upon cushy jobs and suburbia. We had traded our youth for salaries and our marriage for a kitchen remodel. One by one we were checking off the societal expectation boxes. After four years, we could barely breath. Our world revolved around desk jobs and Netflix. I didn’t recognize my life or my husband, and I certainly didn't recognize myself.

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Life Doesn't Choose Us

The light, it dances. It bursts and flows through the field. The flowers turn their faces towards the sun.

We are free, children dancing in the grove. 

For so long we forgot how to play. Our memories remind us and it feels better than before. We can't help our bursting souls—so we fly. This is heaven, our waking melody.

We learned early on that we are not chosen. Life spins and spins in selfish circles, never asking who we are.

So we pack our bags and sail away. Deep into the night we go, following only stars. Love guides our feet, pulls us along. 

We’re deep now, buried in the woods. Magic swallows us whole. 

With every sunrise and holy night, we age 100 years. Our days have meaning once more. We dance and dance and dance, never afraid to live again. 

Promises from the Sea

The roar of the rip current catches me by surprise; I lose my breath. 

The foamy sea surrounds me, threatening to devour once again. I brace for impact. My limp body is still recovering from the last beating. The drowning sensation, now so familiar to my lungs, creeps in. I’m a rag doll, helpless as the walls close in.

I look up, searching for the light; it’s dark from beneath he waves. My eyes find a sliver of the sun; a faint glow, it is miles away from where I tread. It lures me, begging me to resurface on my own. I have no power here. 

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