The truth is I am deathly nervous. It’s been a while; it’s been so long since I last sat down alone with my thoughts. Listen, writing is not easy. It’s like a wrestling match in my head. I’m in the ring trying to pin down each fleeting memory, each sacred moment. Sometimes I find myself literally banging my head on the table, forcing a word, a sentence out. Or I close my eyes and place my hands over them to block out everything around me so that I can feel the entirety of the thought. It’s easier not to write; it’s easier to say I can just live through it all and call it a day.
But a few months ago, I realized I was knee-deep in untold stories. There were beautiful ones, painful ones, wild ones, ordinary ones – stories all ripe for the picking. Each and every one awed me. How was I going to tell them all? More importantly, could I even give them the justice they deserve? To the nights I cried in pain as I fed my babe? To the moment I wished I was carefree and single again? To the day my firstborn turned one? To the lessons I learned as we had no home? Words had escaped me. Mom brain, I excused myself.
Weeks and months passed as the storyteller in me was in hibernation. Or so I thought it was.
One day, it wanted to come alive again. I found a strong, lingering energy in me that called for action; that desired to roll out the words and cast light on marriage, motherhood, womanhood, life. I remember it so vividly. It took such a great hold of me that I sat down with my husband and told him that I needed to write again. There were sparks flying all around the room that night.
And now here I am. I’m still afraid of so many things: of rejection, of humiliation, of vulnerability. All those paralyzed me for a long time. But now I am convinced that the fear will never go away. I think it's meant to stay because if you allow it, fear can fuel you with enough strength to - wait for it - be humble. All along, I thought I had to wrestle, to fight, to pin down. The hidden truth is the stories are much bigger. And the secret is to surrender yourself and be a witness. I have to admit: the view is more beautiful from down here.
To the stories that chose me as their character, thank you. It's been a momentous year. I am so rich in material - both special ones and ordinary ones - that I cannot let it rot in the back of my head. After all, life was meant to be shared. It's our job to find out how. Some do it through a speech, a song, a film, a sculpture. I've chosen to do it through the written word -- an art painful in so many ways yet also so arresting. I can't believe I'm home again. It's been too long, I forgot how good it feels to write. Thank you for welcoming me back with open, forgiving arms. Here we go.