Several years ago, I took a trip up to Maryland to visit my sister. I happened to be about six months pregnant with Jackson at the time and while there, Jamie and I went for a little outing. Our destination was a one mile paved path that ran along a nearby lake. Jamie ran, I walked.
I have always found it completely impossible to run while pregnant. I could never consume the 500 extra calories needed to grow tiny baby legs and ears inside of my body and then eat an additional 300 calories to counter the ones I’d burned through on my run. It just didn’t work for me. So I mostly laid on the sofa Homer Simpson style and ate ice cream while watching Biggest Loser. I still look back fondly on that time in my life.
Anyway, we set out, Jamie running while I strolled along the path. Shortly into the walk, I saw an older gentleman up ahead coming toward me. He was in his white Reebok shoes ambling along. As he got close to me he sighed, stopped and said, “I’d have thought all the young people would be out running this morning.” It took me a moment to take in what he was telling me. If I could rewrite the story, I’d have looked him square in the eyes and replied, “I’d have thought all the REALLY old men would be down at Hardee’s eating sausage gravy this morning.” But sadly, my wit was evasive. All that came to mind in that moment, was that I was having a baby soon. So I said rather lamely, “I’m having a baby soon.” Nothing witty, nothing that said, “Look buddy, you really don’t want to piss off a pregnant lady.”
His words had struck a chord with me because running was something I missed tremendously. I felt quite a few unpleasant thoughts toward this man. To be fair, I was not looking extremely pregnant that morning, more like I’d over indulged at Chipotle. But still, it was an unnecessary remark. And I couldn’t speak off the cuff and deliver the words I needed to convey. It left me disappointed as I looked back on the exchange. Because, really, who goes around picking on pregnant people? Apparently, that guy.
In real time, the words don’t always come out as witty, as sincerely, or as precisely as I’d want them to. But writing gives me the chance to pause and think and create. And that is why I love writing. It gives me the processing time, the think time, the time to go back and change how words sound or feel together. The time to get words and stories, ideas and outcomes just right. I love it because it is challenging. It’s like working a daunting 2000 piece puzzle on your dining room table. The words fit and flow together to make the picture, to tell a story. Except in this puzzle, the combinations are infinite, limitless. Our lives are a collection of millions of little stories all bound together within our mind and body and the meaning and insight we gain from our own experience and that of others is profound. Our stories matter. Writing helps me make sense of all that is around me and all that is within me. It takes precision, reflection, thought, craft. It is beautiful. It is engaging. It is art.
So this is me starting.
One of my favorite authors, Glennon Doyle Melton, wrote, “Who will you be when you become yourself?” This idea has resonated with me since my eyes first came upon those 8 powerful words strung together. It is no easy question, but it is one that deserves brave consideration. For me, I think that writing is a part of me becoming myself. This is the place, the space, I’m hoping to share my adventures in
Living. Loving. Thinking. Becoming.