Changing the Narrative

It’s funny. As a traditional Enneagram Type 9, I have an incredibly difficult time creating and maintaining habits.

Blogging. Exercise. Drawing and painting. Getting back to the piano.

Pretty much anything that I do for myself is a slog.

So, why the heck, amidst one of the most stressful times that most humans have encountered, did I decide to take part in an online writing challenge?

Maybe it was because it was, literally, a small challenge – haiku. Maybe it was because it flexed just the right amount of creative brain power. It gave enough structure to guide, enough prompts that I could lean into someone else’s theme with my own individual experience, and was short enough that it took very little time away from my burgeoning work, parenting, and teaching life.

Most days, it recharged my battery in five to ten minutes, giving me a sense of accomplishment and a feeling that I’d shared something of myself and for myself, before returning to others’ needs. And even those days that were particularly challenging (like the prompt “Made You Laugh”) or that seemed oversimplified or predictable, I still showed up.

I still. Showed. Up.

So, all of April, I created. By my birthday on May 1st, I had accumulated 30 days worth of haiku. Some days, it was one simple 5-7-5 poem. Other days, I made several separate poems or one long piece with 5-7-5 stanzas. I ended with what my husband suggested as my first book of Pandemic Poetry.

While I doubt I’ll do much with it, the time taught me much. My main takeaway is that writing is still my outlet.

See, there have been points where I felt no purpose behind writing anymore. I knew that I wanted to, but couldn’t see a reason. And then, as it tends to do, daily life took me away.

It’s so strange and surreal that this strange and surreal time is what brought me back to realize – sometimes just showing up is the reason to show up.

For this type 9w1 to announce publicly that she’s making a shift to this blog is scary but hopeful. Over the years, I’ve dug deeply into the sod of this site, sharing about the early days of marriage, of house projects, of philosophies and how-to’s and recipes. None of it is wrong or bad, but I’m hoping to flex my writing skills away from the “articles” of yore.

I’m hoping to grow new fruits. To try my hand at a new type of gardening. Of a whole new language. Still sharing my experiences and hopes and attempts at life, but telling it as the story unfolds.

And I’m hoping that you’ll find yourself nodding, or thinking, or laughing along, or maybe even feeling that your story is worth telling, too.

Here’s to showing up and telling our stories. 

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