June 9, 2011 § 16 Comments

Before last September, I had never read a blog. Sure, I read some of those New York Times blogs, but I never could tell the difference between that and a real column. All it took to change that was to start a blog. Now, I am completely blown away by the quality of writing out there in the blogosphere. And the fact that some of these amazing writers have become my friends is even more wonderful.

So it is with this sense of joy that I bring you my first guest post (which begins right under the photo). Lindsey of A Design So Vast – a gorgeous blog, the reading of which has become a daily ritual – has written a beautiful piece about trust, in particular, trust in our path through life. In our dharma. In the journey we choose, or, more likely, that chooses us. As I told Lindsey, having her words on my space here feels like hanging up an amazing new work of art. Check out her blog and you’ll see what I mean, that despite what she says, she is indeed a writer.

Lindsey’s work also appears in the essay collection, Torn, a book that Lisa Belkin of the New York Times selected for her first book in her brand new Motherlode Book Club.

They say that what you wanted to be when you grew up, as a child, is the truest expression of your dreams.  Well, I wanted to be a writer, and also a doctor.  Somehow I got lost on life’s roads, though, and I wound up with an MBA and a 15-year career in business.  Over the last few years I’ve been slowly finding my way back to that original, essential dream.  I can’t point to a single inflection point, a single day that I sat down at the blank page again.  But I know that two things came together to push me back to writing.

First, while I’d always charted my life course by the next goal, the next achievement, there came a time in my late 20s when suddenly there was nowhere else to go.  And without a destination, I had to learn to live inside my own life, rather than sprinting through it on my way to the next shiny brass ring.  To live here, now, required me to sit still.  This had always been – and remains – very, very hard for me.  Being still and quiet allows the shadows inside me to come up and, probably hardest of all, forces me to confront the basic fact that life passes.  I had to admit, accept, embrace, even, the fact that I could not stop the relentless passage of my life.  I could not outrun it.

And secondly, the experience of having my children and watching them grow startled me awake.  I had not remotely anticipated the heartbreak of parenting, nor the way this realization dovetailed with the you-must-sit-here-now message that was simultaneously ringing in my ears.  The passage of time took a seat at the table of my soul and refused to get up.  As Grace’s pants grew too short and Whit’s shoes seemed too tight overnight, I was unable to ignore the incessant turning forward of my days.

And so I turned to the page.  To cope with my own profound sadness about life’s impermanence, I chronicled it all.  I took pictures constantly.  I wrote letters to each child on their birthdays.  I started blogging to record the little moments of everyday life that I knew I’d forget.  Were all of these attempts to memorialize my days, like insects frozen forever in amber?  Or were these actually efforts to better inhabit these days, because I realized quickly the details only really revealed themselves when I was paying attention?

I suspect it is both.  With the perspective of years, I realize now that I was simply walking the path back to where I started: to writing.  Over time my writing – particularly on my blog, and the in opportunities that came to me because of it – grew in importance to me.  It’s now a big part of my life.  As I learn to sit more still, I am beginning to hear a voice whispering in my ear.  That voice says one single word, over and over again: trust.  Trust that things are unfolding as they should.  Trust that I am okay just as I am.  Trust that all will be well.

I’m not yet at the point where I’m a “writer.”  I still work in the business world.  I am working on a book, which took me a long time to say out loud.  I am taking an ongoing class with my favorite writer in the world.  I am blogging.  I am also parenting my ever-challenging and ever-wonderful children and working at a job I genuinely love.  For now, that is the right balance for me.  My life is full and rich and chaotic and tangled.  Writing is now a robust and full-fledged ingredient in the mix, which is something I would never have guessed five years ago.  And I keep wading through the swamp, thick with both wonder and heartbreak, trying to write it down, trying to trust.




§ 16 Responses to Trust

  • Lindsey says:

    Crying, crying crying … it’s an honor that I can’t articulate to see my words here. Here, in this space, that I adore, worship, and leave, every time I visit, with a heart more open than it was when I came.
    Thank you, thank you. xoxox

  • I really enjoyed reading about how and why you started writing, Lindsey. Our paths have a lot of parallels. My first occupational dream? Writer. (As a career counselor one of my first questions tova client at intake was, “What was your earliest dream?” because it’s been my experience that some kernel of that original truth still persists a lifetime later.) Although I’ve always written in some form or another it took a more serious form seven years ago a few years after my mom died. Birth and death are such powerful catalysts, no? I’m not yet sure what role writing will play, but I hope it’s a big part of the new reality I’m manifesting.

  • Oh you two! I can’t tell you how happy I am to see two of my favorite people, two of my favorite writers, here together. A testament to the power of words and community and sharing our truths, even the hard ones. Lindsey, you are most certainly at the point where you are a “writer,” so claim that ground — you are already walking upon it. And Pam, what you have created is bigger than you know. I’m with Lindsey: every time time I visit, I leave with a heart more open than when I came. Thank you, both of you, for this.

  • emmaemma says:

    Thank you, Lindsey, for your (as always) stunning words and for introducing me to this blog. I have now made space for one more must-read in my day. Sumptuous writing, Pam – thank you.

  • mb says:

    what a beautiful piece. the part about what you wanted to be when you grow up…. gulp. i wanted to be an artist… hmph. and landed myself squarely in a career in science. and now at early midlife crisis stage, am ready to ditch, and the things i am leaning towards doing are highly suggestive of a free thinking artistic spirit. hmmm. (good to read your words, lindsey, i’ll look forward to following your blog! thanks pamela for having such a cool guest!)

  • Christine says:

    You are indeed a writer my friend. Embrace it! You deserve to.

    Lovely to come to place with two of my favourite writers.

  • “Walking the path back to where I started.”

    Yes. I understand completely.


  • Lindsey you articulate my own path so accurately, I am almost stunned! We apparently have a lot in common.

    Your writing is fantastic and I love reading both blogs!

  • Anne says:

    I cannot begin to tell you how much I wanted to grab at your words. I thought I was crazy for feeling the things I do. Especially the part about not wanting to forget one single moment. So wonderful…all of it.

  • I love the idea that we find our way back to ourselves over the course of our days and years. And I am so glad that your path has involved writing, Lindsey, as your words so often mirror my own unexpressed thoughts, and cradle the everyday in reverence. Great to know of your blog, Pam, and look forward to reading much more!

  • Vanessa says:

    Thank you!

  • Just beautiful. And so glad to have both of your words in my world. (And Pam–Lindsey was my first ever guest post, too!) xo

  • Jena Strong says:

    You are already a writer.

  • Alana says:

    How did I miss this? Lindsey – your writing never ceases to amaze and touch me, just as yours does Pamela. I adore you both and am incredibly grateful to have your words to read, and your spirits to connect to.

  • Betsy Marro says:

    So wonderful, Pam. And thank you for the link to Lindsey and others. The amazing thing about the thoughts you all have so eloquently shared is how much these feelings and discoveries are not tied to the times of our lives. I am on the far side of motherhood, am old enough to be the mother of you or one of these other wonderful women. Yet the discoveries you share about living gracefully in the “meanwhile” or learning the way to let go resonate with me – I constantly feel on the verge of saying, “Oh yeah … this is what they mean by life.” I applaud you for sharing your view of it all and for inspiring me to try it soon.

  • Natalya says:

    I had a dream last night that I was walking on my hands <— that's exactly what I googled and your blog came up.

    And I dont think it was a coincidence.
    I just quit my 9-5 job to become a freelance photographer and graphic designer. Some days I am scared out of my wits, but most days I know God is with me in this decision.

    I was also thinking back to when I was 3 years old (I found pictures my dad took of me holding and REALLY observing a lens cap

    THen I also remembered at 13 I dressed my brother up (he was 8 yrs old) and set up a "studio" in my bed room.
    We reenacted this about 3 months ago

    Slowly – after half an MBA and an MFA…4 years working in a coal mining company, 2 in a kid's non-profit, and 1 for the boss that finally inspired me to QUIT DURING ONE OF THE WORST ECONOMIES EVER (he was not nice)…
    I have decided to follow my guy feeling – a feeling that maybe that 3 year old in that picture knew already, a feeling that that 13 year old hoped would always come true…a feeling that this soon-to-be-independent 30 yr old…knows it's about time to follow.

    Thank you for your blog. You're a great writer, and you have inspired me to move on with full force and stick to my decision of quitting and do what my heart yearns.

    Thank You.

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