I have a fortune from a cookie taped to my computer monitor at work that reads “Begin…the rest is easy.” Yes, the rest is easy, but the starting is so damned hard. It doesn’t seem to matter how bad I want it, how important it is to me, how long I’ve thought about it, how much I dream about it, or how deeply I long for it–it is hard to begin.
It’s depressing when I think of how many times I’ve started. So many, many times I have closed my eyes and made the wish, only to stay stuck. It feels even worse when you consider that, for example, people like Malcolm Gladwell (who wrote Outliers: The Story of Success) would argue that it takes some 10,000 hours of dedication to a craft or profession to become an “expert.” How will I get there if I can’t even get started?!
And yet, there is just the tiniest glimmer of a spark still. Four years ago, I started practicing yoga and meditation. I hired a personal trainer and briefly saw a therapist. Then a year ago, I got myself out of a destructive and toxic work situation, (the most immediate reason behind much of the healing work I’d started). Around the same time, I suffered two devastating personal losses.
Even as sad as I was, as broken as I felt, something started to wake up. In that tender sadness of my brave little heart, I remembered and wished and dreamed. I moved and breathed in my yoga classes, supported by such loving and wise teachers. I meditated and touched a stillness and strength I’d forgotten. I read and studied. I cried. I gave up. Started over. Gave up again. But little by little, something was happening.
This past summer, I signed up for a series of creative nonfiction workshops at the LAMBA Center. I also joined an Artist’s Way group. Enough people did the whole writing workshop series and wanted to stay together that we formed a writing group. That wish, first whispered when I was in the second grade, was still there: I want to be a writer.
Then a friend of mine and I did our own mini book club with Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.
To be continued…