I’ve come to say goodbye. I’m not sure how long I’ll be away but I didn’t want to leave without an explanation.
I’ve been away on some adventures with my family over the past few weeks, and as is always the case with these times, I’ve had time to look at my life from a distance and make some plans for the year to come.
I’ve read some brilliant books which I’d highly recommend – Brene Brown: Daring Greatly, Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic, Madeleine L’Engle: Walking on Water, and Desmond and Mpho Tutu: The Book of Forgiving. They’ve spoken to some of my deepest needs and my deepest yearnings and they have left me changed.
Whilst away I took time to discern my oneword for the year. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that practice but in 2013 I came across it – people choosing one word for the coming year that would guide their choices and act as a paradigm through which to live well.
In 2014 my word was Hope, and in 2015 it was Rooted. Both proved to be transformative in my life. This year I’m taking liberties and I have two words – ‘Take Hold’. There is a verse in the bible which says ‘take hold of the life which is truly life’ ( 1 Timothy 6 verse 19). It is in the context of Paul (the letter writer) telling Timothy ( a much younger man) to stop worrying about the things everyone else worries about, and instead seek God, do good and be generous, so that he will take hold of the life which is truly life.
I’ve spent the past few years being very unsure of my direction in life. I’ve tried out so many new things and I’ve explored all kinds of fascinating and life giving experiences. I’ve shed an old skin and grown a new one, and I think this year I need to stop searching and instead take hold of the life that I have and live it for the glory of God. I’ve been working on PhD research for the past three years, and despite frequent interruptions from life I’m still plodding along. But the time has come for me to commit to it in an all or nothing kind of way. The research has finished and I need to analyse the data and write the thesis. It’s about a topic which I’m passionate about and it needs to come to life.
The books I’ve read on creativity and writing, vulnerability and courage have helped me to see that there will always be 101 other ideas which I want to grab hold of and try to make happen. I’ve done a bit of that in these past years. As an illustration of that I will admit that I’ve had (slightly embarrassed admission) 5 blogs over the past two years. Two in my name, three in pseudonyms. Some of you have read all of them. Some just this one. Thanks for being my community. I’ve worked my way into a place where I now believe that I can call myself a writer, and it’s become very clear to me that this year I need to focus all of that need to write on just one thing – my thesis. I don’t want to stop blogging, or guest posting, or doing all the other non writing related things I love to do, but I also really, really want to wholeheartedly take hold of the life that I should be living.
It’s a bit of a tale, but my entry into this thesis programme, complete with funding and amazing opportunities was all a bit big magic, divine intervention, God initiated, however you like to term it. So I think I need to stop being scared of my own inadequacies and just get on and write the darn thing !
I expect all the other ideas and opportunities will still be there when I come out of my thesis writing phase (I’m hoping it will be one year). If they’re not still waiting for me I have no doubt that there will be others to step into their places.
I’m not very good at always sticking to ‘this is it’ declarations, so I may post here occasionally . Who knows ! I will close down the facebook page, but I will still be on instagram, as I find it to be a life giving creative space providing me with the opportunity to check into my own life with visuals when something needs expression but I don’t have the words for it. So maybe I’ll see you over there.
It’s been fun.
Until whenever: Take hold.