I’m not going to lie, I’ve been staring at this blank page for weeks now, wondering what to write and what to say. And every night I sit down to this very space, nothing happens. It’s maybe one of the first times I’ve experienced such intense literary hollowness in this tangible of a way. Usually, I’m overflowing with ideas and thoughts and words to place here. But this time, nothing.
And it actually feels keenly parallel to my life at the moment. A blank slate. Newness beyond comprehension. Out of the ordinary in more ways that I maybe would have typically chosen.
Sometimes life does that though, right? It pulls us from one season to the next, sometimes willingly, sometimes unwillingly, but it changes nonetheless. We find ourselves finally in a place where we are moving along – thriving, maybe – finally feeling like we have a few things together. Finally feeling like we know our place and our purpose, and then it shifts. And it shifts just enough to put us in a place of re-. Re-evaluating. Re-negotiating. Re-placing. Re-membering.
It sends us to a place of “once again” or what may often feel like back to the beginning.
A few times a week, Seth and I take a walk down the street from our house to the sands of the Scottish coast, watching wave after wave come in. I’ve never been much of a beach person in my life, but lately, it’s felt grounding and healing and settling. Exactly where I need to be. And there’s a reason.
It’s helpful to know how the sea works: All day the coastline inches closer and closer inland, filling the beach with water and all the mystery that water brings. Then at some point during the day, the beach is empty of the water that once filled the beach, because it’s gone back out, leaving an open, blank space.
Recently a friend told me that sometimes we tell ourselves a story about our situation in a way that wraps up the ending nicely so that we only have to choose the choice once in order to move on quickly. I looked at her with at first defense, because I thought, “Surely I can process the change and process the newness, so I can move on a make sense of it all.”
But this blank page re-minded me of the story I really need to tell myself: sit with the blank page.
And in the few days that I’ve chosen to sit with the blank page, I’ve realized that maybe it’s richer here anyway. Maybe there’s more to learn when life feels out of place and out of purpose. Maybe there’s more to hear and more to uncover when the slate is blank – less clutter and less to grasp at. Maybe it’s simpler in this place of fresh.
Because here’s what happens when we don’t have the ending of the story fully processed: We have to continue to choose the choice over and over again. We have to re-visit why we made the decisions we did and have to do the hard work of showing up with our whole selves more than once. And sometimes showing up with all of you in the most purposeful thing you could do in that instance.
So would you join me? Would you join me with whatever your choice is that you need to choose over again today? What I do know for sure is that the water will fill the beach once again, without striving, without force, without planning. And in order for us to bear witness to it, we need only be preset and choose to show up – today, tomorrow, and all the days that follow it.