I shared this post a few years ago of how Columbus Day took on a new meaning of embracing failure. One thing about writing a blog is I live twice. I remember the event first, and what was going on as I wrote about it too. My Columbus Day post began in October 2010, and wasn’t finished until the following year (which might be why it’s so wordy!)
In October 2010, I was a new mom, trying to find my rhythm with writing and having a baby just a few weeks old. I loved new motherhood but had strong feelings of inner creative tension. I was not always where I wanted to be enjoying the moments which define new motherhood. I seriously thought my maternity leave would be a sabbatical when I could write a book in between feeding a mostly sleeping baby. Ha!
Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. It may not have been the journey I imagined, but it was richer than what my linear mind had planned.
October 2011 was a different chapter. I was excited to embark on a 3 1/2 week trip to California. I was gearing up to write my first novel in 30 days as part of Nanowrimo. I was feeling a bit of freedom after a year of babyhood, wondering what would be next for my little family. Our trip opened my eyes to what was possible with a whole new value on time through the eyes of a mother’s first year.
Today my post from the Columbus Days’ past has even more relevance than ever. I didn’t realize I’d be writing words I needed to hear at some point in my life; how going for it and falling on my face are important to grow. Going for something different risks that it might not work. But not going for anything would still have me wadding up papers in the trash, not wanting to share my imperfections with the world. For a girl who really loves choosing her own journey, I have been struggling with my own. I have spent the last few months knowing our family was on the brink of big changes. I didn’t want to make a choice. I wanted more time. I wanted the days to stop spinning out of control.
Ultimately, we had to choose.
My husband and I started thinking about this journey 18 months before. It came following a workshop where we allowed our visions room to breathe.
Here is mine:
This vision board is not always at the forefront of mind. Since March 2012, we have moved 7 times (!!!!) so it has not been sitting on a desk which I see every day and meditate on or do whatever one is supposed to do with a vision board. The same is true with my journals. I have shipped them back and forth across the country, storing them in various places. I often come to the pages where my heart first whispers my dreams, way before they make it to my lips to share with anyone else.
Last night I found this in a journal I had forgotten about:
Create for posterity
to leave beauty
to touch others’ hearts
to heal myself
to find and spread joy
to move into the unknown
to tap into my unconscious and soul’s delight
to bring my unique print and
to breathe the powers that were given to me to life.
We are all special creators.
Our gifts need to be honored.
Creating comes from nothing.
Information overload to the wayside.
Creation is intuitive, not rational.
What about my desire to over-create and do too much?
What gets stumped in the process?
Small baby steps are the way to a new life.
I am shedding layers.
So as I take stock of my past Columbus Days I laugh at the high school junior who had a Columbus Day time capsule and fell flat on her face to pick herself up again. I think of myself in my pre-motherhood days meeting a new writing group at Barnes & Noble reading aloud the story of the show and tell room to a group of men where I wanted nothing more than to run and hide but showed up and told instead. I think of the new mother wanting to desperately find the balance between motherhood and creativity, and then giving herself permission to do something about it seeing precious time slipping away.
My new meaning of Columbus Day is not only about embracing failure, but embracing the journey. It is about the unknown. Trusting the unknown in this moment however it may be unfolding, knowing all will be well.