“Tell the truth.
Nah, words only. Cheap talk.
Show the truth. Live it.
Be the truth.”
– Ilana Hulsey Rea
Sometimes, I just need to shut my damn mouth. Listening is worth its weight in gold, like listening to my daughter when she is telling me something that is different from what I think she is saying because I am predicting her outcome, in my arrogance and impatience, rather than being still and open to the wisdom or humor she will pour over me, like healing waters. Like listening to the signals that my dog has been giving me over the past months, trying to let me know that his head hurts, that his body hurts, that he is dying from lymphoma and I could have taken him for more walks in that time. Like listening to the wisdom of my heart and body that says “your ego will be your downfall, if you don’t rein it in and stop trying to be all things to all people and just be who you are today… not yesterday, not tomorrow…but today. So, I listened….
It is a new year, and I enter it as a writer, as an artist. Not as a want-to-be-writer who has spent a year asking for permission, not from the world but from myself. Not as the keeper of a cluttered up office, the catch-all space that made me want to be everywhere, but in it. Not as a person who needs to know the outcome before I invest in myself.
“I do not need a special occasion to live my life,” I declared one December morning to my husband, and put on the damn new sweater dress even though my day would be spent at home doing laundry.
He wrote that declaration down so he wouldn’t forget as he lives his own journey, often in parallel to mine, but with different scenery.
I enter the new year as a writer and true to myself. I enter with a clarified About page in this website.
I enter with a real office, in which I removed regret and disappointment in the form of a closet full of clothes I will not wear or a bookshelf full of books that I will not read and will feel guilty about because I should, even though I don’t want to. I enter with an office that now has a sofa, coffee table, and side chair and feels like the sanctuary that I always wanted and needed it to be, but felt obligated to keep in its previous state – open and stark, ready for once-a-year visitors – yet peppered with stuff that I did not want to deal with.
I enter the new year as a writer and open to a journey that unfolds in directions and in forms different from the map I hold, a journey that will not leave me confused if I listen to gentle announcements over the intercom like “there’s a change in itinerary today because we are going to a spectacular waterfall not on the map – it’s by invitation only…that is, if you want to go”.
I enter the new year as a writer. I enter the new year as a listener.