So, the last time, I wrote, I was disappointed because I was a few days late with the blog post and hadn’t kept up with my reading. So how do I respond to that slight blip in the plan? With renewed energy and commitment? With intense reading and contemplation on what Intention means to my life in 2014? With a refusal to be sidetracked by meandering thoughts and “priorities?”
I responded with silent capitulation to the old habits, the doubt, the concern that too much time had passed to make the journey worthwhile. One after another, I dug up old excuses and created some new ones, all in the name of legitimate reasons. (In fact, it occurs to me that perhaps I should have begun with one of Wayne’s other books, Excuses Begone! It’s feeling much more appropriate at the moment).
I let Intention get away – and i almost didn’t go looking for it.
The thing is, I am not famous enough or interesting enough to have captured the attention of a big audience who will clamor for my return to the page. I know most of the people who will read this and am under no illusions that a stranger is out there wondering where I went. I am, however, fortunate enough to have a person I admire deeply call me on the lapse with a simple word.
It’s so weird when “little” things take on big meaning, when you suddenly realize that what you’re doing is actually about much more than what you are actually doing. Sure, this is “just a blog”, to challenge myself a little, both on the writing and the self-awareness fronts. And yet, it’s something else too – it’s a pathway back to self-expression, back to discovering why I like to string words together in the first place. It’s renewing my faith in the fact that my talent does not exist only in my mind.
A few years ago, another friend (the one thing I am blessed with an abundance of) trying to get me to write more gave me a list of possible things to write about – one was Beauty. And from that word, I created a blog post that I still remember finishing with a sense of renewed commitment to my craft. Writing it was like tapping a well I had feared was dry, only to find myself soaked by the old feeling that I was fulfilling some kind of purpose and that my thoughts on paper (or screen) had honest-to-goodness power. My friend shared the post and I received the most wondrous responses from people who were touched by it—there was validation and support that I hadn’t even known was missing, and for a moment, I felt unstoppable.
I wasn’t, and I did stop. That’s what I do in this life – I start, I stop. I take a shortcut, or what looks like one, and find myself off the map, not knowing how to get back. Every time, I forget to throw down the breadcrumbs and so I walk around in circles until something—fate, luck—nudges me in the right direction, and I reappear. I’ve been lucky so far, that there are always people waiting to welcome me back.
There’s always that question, though, isn’t there? Can we just pick up where we left off? Or should we be starting over, retaking the early steps to prove we can do it all in one shot? Has too much momentum been lost? If one is blogging about intention and can’t even meet the intention to blog (let alone the larger intention to live a life of intention), then is this just a game of pretend? Am I a writer or an illusionist? An artist or a sham?
Who am I?
And there it is. That question that seems to be the whole point of it all, that feels like it should have been answered by now. I am ______________.
In the past few years, I’ve been reminded that I’m not this or that, and each time it happened, something in me pushed back. Not because I was any of those exact things, but because the labels were being used to define something that I was sure I had in me, whether I called myself by that name or not. After getting angry, I was strengthened by the reminder that my identity is not restricted by what others see; I can choose to be whoever I want, just like I can choose to move out of the loop and back onto the path.
And back to Intention. Despite the 3 4-week lapse, I can return to a standing position and re-start the journey. Intention is not a one-time offering—like love, peace, or a good book, it is always waiting to be picked up again. And so I am getting back on the train, reaching for the trolley strap, and reinvesting in the journey, trusting that I can do it as many times as it takes to get it right.
To all of us looking to meet Intention head on, I offer eternal hope and fortitude.