Last week, a friend and I were talking about blogging and she asked how long I had been writing. My immediate response was “Not too long…” Then, the question dove into my memory database, searching: “times I was writing”.
The results? Holy smokes – I’ve been writing all my life. Of course, that got me wondering. How did that happen and I didn’t even see it?
Over the next couple of days, I realized that life is always expanding – whether we ask it to or not. For example, today expands into tomorrow – no need to do anything here. My shoe collection expands too, how many times have I gone to buy one pair of shoes and I’ve come home with two? And looking at my career path, at each step, I became restless in jobs that had been perfectly suited to what I had wanted.
Okay. But I was still curious about my writing. How did it evolve and expand – particularly since I didn’t set out to be a “writer”?
It began simply. Reading, writing and arithmetic were the essentials in grade school. By high school, writing was second nature: biology lab reports, history analyses, English term papers. Even in college, writing further expanded through math proofs, economic research papers, and even a technical writing class
So when I started my career, the ability to write was a given – assumed standard in a college grad’s tool kit. What happened? Writing expanded, of course. This time, there were specific technology formats and language for proposals, documentation, status reports.
Looking back, it’s easy to see that over time, my writing shifted. In addition to focusing on the facts of “What?” the technology would do, my writing delved into the broader question of “Why?” Why now? Why change? Even the all important question “How?” grew beyond “How” the technology worked, to the deeper question of “How” the technology would impact sustainability and growth for the company and its customers.
Writing was a tool I used to do other things. Frankly, the only time I thought about it was when I was updating my resume. Communication – check! Writing – check, check! Published writing – check, check, check!
Now, I can see that this was just the beginning. My writing was like a seed, seemingly contained to a purpose, yet ready to burst forth and sprout into something new.
The catalyst came in the late ’90’s when intense, unexpected challenges came into my job, marriage and home. As life changed around me, closing doors and opening others, my writing changed too. It sprouted inward.
Rather than writing for others, I wrote for myself. Through a simple pen and blank pages in my journals, a space opened that welcomed every thought and feeling looking for expression. Words could be broken and fractured. I could “not know”, ask questions, feeling that somehow, the next words would answer back.
In this freedom, writing invited me to be curious as new disciplines and perspectives – like spirituality, metaphysics, psychology – crossed my path. And, at every step, writing drew me deeper and revealed how my understanding was evolving into my experiences and beliefs.
In fact, the thesis for my Masters of Divinity degree in spiritual peacemaking was “Be Peace”. Here, for the first time, I formally wrote about my journey of understanding and integration. It was a natural step and would harken a new beginning – a practice of contemplation and reflection through words, in real-time.
But I still wasn’t ready to share. The world was the world, my career was my career, and writing was my refuge. Fortunately, my inner-writer had a different plan and step-by-step, she coaxed me forward. I remember vividly the goose-bumps that rolled through the first time I hit the “Post” button for my blog.
I often wish I could say that writing this blog has gotten easier. It hasn’t. Yes, I am more practiced and the words draw themselves from a deeper well. And yet, the inspirations and ideas are always expanding, asking me to take them deeper to bring them to my fullest expression of mind, body, spirit and emotions.
The truth is, I love the process; and no matter where I begin, I’m always amazed at where the words take me. Yes, I am a writer… always expanding.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell
Thanks for reading!