“To change one’s life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.” – William James
Well, hello, there. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?! One year and ten months, to be exact. I have to say, I’m not surprised. For one, the last 22 months have been almost overwhelmingly chaotic, filled with many wonderful changes (residential, professional, marital!) and challenges. It’s been non-stop hectic, but I can hardly complain – I get bored easily, enjoy chaos for the most part, and my best friend once told me that my motto should be “too much is never enough.” And, in the tough times, I’ve found that my father’s advice is as salient as ever: GO WITH BEAUTY.
So here I am – back on the blog. Mae West is quoted as having said, “The good girls keep diaries. The bad girls don’t have the time.” As someone who has diaries dating back to age 4, I’d think I’m part of that former group. But, as someone whose diaries generally begin with the sentence “Okay, I’m trying again, in a new book, and this time, I’m really going to be good about writing every day!” and then, after five or ten entries, remain completely blank – I am confused about where I land. Perhaps it is a polarity – I’m somewhere in the middle.
And so, that’s where I will begin, here and now – somewhere in the middle. In the past, when restarting a journal, I felt as if I was required (by who? someone unknown, and especially judgmental, future me!?) to “catch the reader up,” to write up a summary of “what’s happened since [insert date of last entry].” This summary was usually in bullet form, and exhausting to write; many times, I didn’t even make it past the review itself, growing weary of recapping what I hadn’t had time to record in the first place.
Another inclination, from my typical diary M.O., has been to start fresh in a new book. The equivalent here, I suppose, would be a new blog, a new URL, a new way to convince myself that I didn’t really just give this up for the better part of two years – I just wanted something different. But that’s not true. I did give it up, and it’s good that I did – because a lot of wonderful things came about in the in-between.
Just this morning, a few things happened: a colleague asked me to write something for a project that he is working on and may want to post online… and I visited a friend’s wonderful blog and saw that she had a few stop-and-starts on her posting timeline… and I was feeling sort of stressed and upset about some news from my doctor – until I remembered to GO WITH BEAUTY. And then all of these things came together, leading me to type www.gowithbeauty.com into a browser that didn’t even recognize the web address. And why would it?! I’d never even visited my own site on my new laptop.
So, hello, again, to you and to me. Welcome back to my exercise in being patient with myself, in giving myself permission to be human, in playing with ideas and thoughts in a semi-public space, in remembering that starting over isn’t always necessary.
After all, it’s by picking ourselves up, brushing ourselves off, and starting again that we really learn and grow and change for the better, that we move toward beauty. So let’s begin, again, immediately, flamboyantly – no exceptions.