Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Where I've Been...

Amidst the zany-ness of the holidays and the busy-ness of semester's end, I get glimmerings of what the next year might bring. Small flashes--I think of them as portents--come to me in my night and day dreams, and likely reflect my hopes and desires. Of course, these glimmerings come from where I've traveled this past year. So to make sense of my future I need to take stock of its foundation.

Physically, I've traveled many places this past year. In visiting my son, I've gotten to know Utah more than I'd ever thought possible, and come to appreciate her grand mountains and gentle people and mercurial weather. With my graduate students, I attended a conference outside of Los Angeles, and we've walked Venice Beach, dipped our toes in the warm Pacific. I've visited family in Massachusetts and North Carolina, always a blessing. I traveled briefly to New Orleans and marveled at that City's resilience and grace and eccentricity. I spent a week in Taos, a magical place, with a gracious and strong writer friend who I consider a soul mate. I could spend every night watching the skies in New Mexico shift under God's paintbrush.

Literally, I've struggled, for the first time, with my writing. My novels overwhelm me; just as I think they're finished, something surprises me--an omission, a plot hole, a character flaw--and I fix these, and revise again. And again. And again. I ache to write new words, fiction and non-fiction ideas that wake me up at night. And I will, once I have wrangled these other two beasts to the ground and sent them out to others. I have begun that quixotic search for agents and received personal rejections already. Which feels good because it means I'm almost hitting the sweet spot, and I am letting these stories go.

Physically, I have pushed envelopes. I zip-lined down a mountain in Park City, surfed on synthetic waves, climbed a rock face. Big deals for someone afraid of heights. I'm learning karate with my daughter, which also pushes me.
Spiritually and emotionally, I've moved from a reactive place to a proactive one. I am learning to let go of the emotions surrounding expectations and outcomes. As a Type-A, this is difficult for me. But as I relinquish control to outcomes--mine and others'--I find myself feeling lighter, freer somehow. Also, I realize that there is very little 'real' control; rather, it's my perception of control that has paralyzed me in the past. I've also come to value relationship above all else--spending time in the creek with my daughter, climbing rock faces with my son, coffee and yoga with friends, Saturday nights with my husband. People ground me.

In a nutshell, this is where I've been this past year. What about you? Where have you traveled, physically or literally? Peace...



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  2. Sounds like you've had quite a full year. I've been to Indiana to visit my brother and Virginia for a family reunion, where I saw my sisters. It is always wonderful to see my sibs. Though we live hundreds of miles apart, there are no closer people to me other than my daughters.

    Have a wonderful Christmas, Linda. And here's to hoping for a very published New Year.

  3. What a powerful (and empowering) year you have had.
    I am learning to ignore the voices. Of others and of the negative being who pipes up in my head. The former is easier. Much easier.