NOTE: Places I Stopped on the Way Home can be purchased by clicking here or by clicking above on the "ebook" tab just under the blog title.
I didn’t think I could do it. It feels important to say that now.
Perhaps that sounds ridiculous. It’s just about sixty pages. I didn’t reinvent the wheel. And yet I didn’t think I could do it.
For a good long while there I’d have to sort of trick myself into opening the word document. And then opening the word document became a habit. And finally a pleasure. And here we are.
It was like chipping away at stone. That was the experience. It all seems so obvious now, but for much of the process I hadn’t a clue what I was doing.
And then the process became the thing. The most magnificent, difficult, wonderful daily struggle.
It was worth it for that alone. It was worth it because doing things you don’t think you can do may very well be the most exceptional feeling in the world. It was worth it because moving through fear is a thing that no one can take away from you.
I walked to work yesterday without a stitch of makeup on my face, my hair pulled into a messy ponytail, two very real (and large) blemishes on my cheeks, but I felt like the most beautiful girl in the world. About this a friend said, the-happy-girl-strut is the best. And yes, I do believe she is right. The happy-girl-strut is the best.
If no one had ever read it, it still would have been worth it. If no one had ever bought it, it still would have been worth it.
I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast (episode 12) a few weeks ago. In it, she and Brene Brown speak about creativity and the process of making things. About Art (yes, with a capital A) Brene Brown says, “Without it, I am not okay. And without everyone else’s we are not okay.”
Much of the work Brene Brown does--and so what they discuss in the episode--has to do with redefining success. The victory is in the attempt--the leap, it has little to do with the result. Liz Gilbert says, “When did inspiration promise us that it owes us anything? It owes you nothing, except the transcendent experience of working with it at all.”
Sixteen essays. Sixty pages. Not so much. And yet, at times, a transcendent experience.
It was worth it for the process alone, and yet each time a person buys it--each time one of you tweets or instagrams or sends me a wonderfully encouraging email, I am buoyed by that action. Life is hard and the leap is worth it, but landing on the soft ground of your encouragement is an experience unlike any I’ve ever known. And so I offer you my humble thanks--my deepest gratitude.
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