An Unexpected Journey

Oh, you sneaky, sneaky Todd Henry.

Here is your prompt for Quest2015:

Choices that Shape Your Life’s Story

If you knew that your life’s story will be written based upon your choices and actions in 2015, how will you live?

I see what you did there, Todd Henry. As I mull over my response, my mind keeps changing the definite will to a very conditional would. How would I live? That’s a lot safer. It allows me to guess, to wonder, to “if” and “maybe” and hem and haw. It lets me off the hook. But if I have to talk about what I will do, then I’m going to be writing in the declarative. I’m going to be saying This is what I will do, and then, once I’ve said that, I’m going to have to actually do it, or I will be a liar-liar-pants-on-fire.

Visionaries is tricksy, isn’t they, precioussss?

Like a nasty little bug-eyed troglodyte dwelling in darkness, I would like to worm my way out of this question simply because of the will. I don’t want to say I’m going to do anything, because then, darn it, I will feel like I have to do it.

Maybe I’m getting too literal. It’s always possible, at any given second of any given day, that I am overthinking things. But the man said will, so I’m going to take him at his word. Here goes.

If I knew that my life’s story will be written based upon my choices and actions in 2015, I will live:

Creatively~I will pick up my paints again. I will make art, painting and creating defiantly in the face of my own potential suckitude. I will make other things, too. I will work to become a being who puts at least as much into the world as she takes out of it.

My paints and brushes have been gathering dust. I dusted them off this evening.

Compassionately~I will strive to spend better time with those I love, and to extend my compassion to everyone I meet, including myself.

art 002
Dijji is fourteen. She has cancer. Our time together is drawing short. I want to treasure my friend and make her last days good ones.

Purposefully~I will prioritize my writing. I haven’t been doing that. Instead of treating it like a calling, I’ve been treating it like a red-headed stepchild. No offense, red-headed stepchildren. But instead of writing when all the things are done, I need to write first. The world needs my novel more than it needs the eradication of every single dust bunny in my dining room.

I almost finished a novel last month. This is what it looks like.

Adventurously~I will stare down my fears and open myself to possibilities.

If a wizard shows up on my doorstep, I will be ready. But I will always return to the Shire.

Spiritually~I will nurture my spirit with light and goodness. I will read and reflect and breathe. I will study and learn and stretch toward the sun.

I will keep my eyes, heart, and mind open. Wise guides are everywhere.

Confidently~I will work to see myself as others see me. The allies, that is. Not the haters. And not that nasty little voice in the back of my head. I will walk into rooms like a person who is prepared to seriously enjoy herself, not like a kid at a middle-school dance.

I will descend upon the villages LIKE A BOSS.

Playfully~I will play more. I miss playing. When did I forget how to do this??

Come to the Dark Side. Or the Secret Fire. Whichever. Either way, we have cookies.

Last night, I had an epiphany. (There really needs to be a word for the epiphanies you have in the shower. Somebody clever please get on that.) I realized that, while I’ve been working part-time in order to prioritize my writing, I haven’t actually prioritized my writing. I’m still not treating it like a career. I need to put my writing first during the day, while everybody else is away at school. I’ve been doing all the other things first, and squeezing in writing time when and if I can. And that’s not the way to be a writer. That’s the way to be a grouch who’s crotchety at the universe because she wants to be a writer. I need to let go of the perfectionism, the expectations, the pressures. I don’t want the story of my life to be about how much laundry I folded. Or, um, didn’t fold. Nobody wants to read about that.

So thank you, tricksy Todd Henry, for posing this hard question. Thank you, AK Anderson, for showing up on my virtual doorstep with talk of questing. Thank you, Jeffrey Davis, for looking for so many fascinating someones to share in this adventure you’ve been arranging.

There are a lot of us searching for treasure and slaying dragons out here. If you’d like to read about some remarkable journeys, check out the following blogs:

crackled.sparkling.ephemera. mixes poetic writing with humor and brave honesty. Good stuff. Read her post “Stop being nice.” You’ll be glad you did.

Tania Pryputniewicz also articulately tells it like it is, and illustrates her thoughts with lovely, magical art. Reading about her childhood home filled with creative possibility will make you want to be a kid again.

Ginny Taylor made me cry with her “Dark Side” post. In a good way. In the best way. And I’m kind of a curmudgeon, so this is a big deal, y’all. If you are a survivor, a parent, and/or have a pulse, you will find immense value in her words.

Stan Stewart writes with a refreshing directness, managing to be both concise and meaningful. Also, he is a musician and can improv beautifully on the piano, so I am sure he is some kind of wizard.

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6 thoughts on “An Unexpected Journey

  1. I wanted to come up with the snazzy word for shower epiphanies, but it was a no-go. 🙂
    It’s wonderful to read about you “willing” yourself into this way of being.

  2. Brenna: The part about epiphanies that happen in the shower – YES! I feel like I need to install a white board and some water proof markers in there. Others might do their best singing in the shower, but I do my best interviews. Hah! Love your posts.

  3. Brenna, you are magic! I have piles of joy I want to share over this post, so I will start with thank you. Thank you for your humor and pictures and joy. Oh, and I keep a whiteboard marker in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. I scribble notes on the bathroom mirror while brushing my teeth. Second to showering, tooth
    brushing is my most productive thought time. Thank you for being a rockstar! And thank you for sharing my blog – I am overwhelmingly honored!

    1. Thanks, Vanessa! And a huge “you’re welcome,” too. Bathroom whiteboardmarker for the mirror–so, so smart. And fun. I think I would get distracted from thinking and just draw mustaches on myself. 🙂

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