"Right now, sitting at my desk in the early morning hours before the work day, I am reading over notes on my phone from a year ago. I have so much gratitude for that girl - the girl who kept going. The girl who could taste possibility at the back of her throat like pomegranate seeds, knowing she has always been, in a sense, Persephone waiting for her eternal spring. The girl who just wanted the best this world had to offer because she felt its potential in her bones; to give that to herself first so she could return that light back to others. She wrote about the kind of days that tasted of bitterness while sobbing in a parked car in the garage, of her daughter asking, "Mommy, why are you crying?" She wrote about how she did not feel she was enough.
I wrote those words a year ago; words born from a poignant moment of pain where I felt the love and compassion had escaped me. I was able to conjure them like magic to give to everyone else but was incapable of directing that love back towards myself. At the time, I was only beginning to wake up to the state of my life to question how I didn't see it all sooner; how I had lost myself like a brittle toy boat tossed in a storm; how parts of me had dissolved like sickeningly saccharine cotton candy that couldn't last; how I only ever wanted to be effulgent and full like the moon or a radiant planet glowing through the night but felt more like a dying star that never had any sort of shot in the dark whatsoever. I had given away the best parts of me for years, without really giving to myself. If never gave myself the chance to discover who I was. I had become disconnected and lost.
I am seeing this same storyline play out so often these days; this harrowing curse of the modern woman (especially through the lens of motherhood) as we become so separated from ourselves. Our hearts break first and over time if we become blind and deaf to her pleas, her screams, her urgency, we dissolve. We disappear. We destroy ourselves.
If we are able to tune in to that voice and listen, we can change the plot. We can alter the course of our lives, release the past, and come back stronger than ever, made completely anew. We can evolve, change, grow, shift. We can bloom again.
Over the course of my journey, I have been swept up into a cyclone of change, had my face rubbed into the mud more than once, twice, ten times, and yet here I am, in the middle of another "right now," only this time, I am sitting at the head of my dining room table strewn with flowers: papery dried blooms in vases, overflowing from the top of a vintage typewriter, and a small glass cylinder of pink blooming roses that are very much alive. I see the juxtaposition and the metaphor here; not only the death and the rebirth, but the beauty in both.
An incredible amount has changed since I wrote that initial passage. Almost two years later, I write now, not as a girl but as a woman with a completely new name; a woman whose most authentic self has been unearthed. A woman who is claiming her dreams, firing up a website, launching her first book, and standing on the precipice of her next great adventure. While I can't divulge that entire Odyssey in a single blog post, that labor of love, Pressed Petals, details a significant portion of it. As for the rest, there is definitely a book there when the time is right. What I can say though, is that I have seen immense growth in myself. I have been the dead, dried flower, and I am now the thriving bloom. I have no doubt that I will have moments in the future in which I will die again, but that is just part of the process – and that is beautiful.
If we take our cues from nature, we can see that we are the same. Nature and all her boundless beauty and magnificent creatures are not constant. The wind changes directions. The tides move in and out with the moon. Flowers die and return the following spring. Snakes shed their skin. Chameleons change color. Caterpillars become butterflies. The very moment of human conception begins as cells, growing, multiplying, shifting form.
It's something many of us struggle with in the beginning. We want this immense growth but when it shows up on our doorstep, part of us recoils, afraid of such luminosity because the darkness has become familiar, despite how we hunger for the light. But I kept going, dipping my hands in the ink and paint of that story, regardless of how tumultuous and messy things became in the process. No matter how much I wanted to sprint to the finish line, I knew that I would miss the best parts of all of this. The magic happens in the in-between. I remained committed to changing, shapeshifting and learning those hard lessons because what I realized is that there really isn't a finish line at all. No end results. No conclusive form.
Choose to become. Choose to see what's on the other side of this next part. Choose to let your visions, your stories, and your dreams lead you. Choose the heart over the head. Choose love. Choose risk. Choose adventure. Choose healing. Choose growth.