Sometimes, I just don’t start. I have many good reasons for not starting such as:
- My plan is not fully in place
- I have not considered contingencies
- The people I want to partner with are too busy
- The timing sucks
- The little one is scribbling on a floor mat and it interrupted my brainstorm
I just make lists and lists of all the reasons I should wait for a “better” time to start my projects. Well, today I know that waiting is a cop-out.
Waiting is what I have done to avoid taking a risk, to avoid failing, to avoid being seen as “good enough….but not quite an expert.” Today, with your help, I am getting started again. And what better way to start than by talking about beginnings.
Beginnings can be intimidating. That is simply because there is so much unknown. Why is the first day of school so much more important than the 28th day? Why does the job interview create butterflies? Why is a first date so carefully managed? We pay attention to firsts because they mark a transition of known to unknown. Day 28 is not that important. Is pretty similar to the day before, and will probably have a lot in common with the day after. It’s that first day that stands out in our lives, and in the way we remember our past.
Think about some important firsts in your own life; the first kiss, the first time you drove a car (without a parent’s white knuckles on your dashboard), the first time you went to a restaurant or movie alone, the first time you attended a funeral. Firsts stand out for us because they change us, when we are paying attention. The first time I remember attending a funeral is a vivid event in my mind. I had attended funerals before, as a baby on someone’s lap or a toddler smiling at all the people, but when I attended a family member’s funeral at 12 years old, it profoundly changed my understanding of life and of community. Hundreds of people had come out, many who didn’t even know my uncle, but they had attended, en masse, to support those who were left behind. There were tears, there was mournful singing, there were hands held and tissues passed, and then there was food and stories to be shared by those closets to him. That first funeral forever stamped on my heart the importance of community to help heal personal tragedy. I wondered about what it really meant to belong in a family, in a community, and I wondered who would come to my funeral on the day my body stopped breathing on this Earth. I will never forget that first.
Today I wonder again about community, not only those in my community who will attend my funeral, but those who read the blogs, attend the sessions, come out to the workshops, share the words with others. Today, our communities are known and unknown, face-to-face and virtual. For my new beginning, the first step is to re-connect to you, my loving community, and let you know I am ready. I am ready to do this work, sometimes joyous, sometimes painful, but always towards wholeness. Join me in this journey, once again, and let this be a first we embark on together.