I am a creator. Sometimes when I look back at something I created years ago, I cringe. Perhaps I wrote a blog post that I completely disagree with now, or maybe it’s a poorly exposed photograph. And that time I painted my kitchen red? Mistake.
Though I cringe, I smile. I smile remembering the joy and passion I had in creating the thing. I’m grateful because I can see how much I’ve grown, how my work has evolved. I can more fully appreciate the rich experiences that have brought me here. In his book Art and the Bible, Francis Schaeffer says, “Change is one difference between life and death.” At least I’m moving forward.
Honestly, it’s this obstacle that keeps me from writing more. I’d rather not press into something I might hate someday, something someone else might hate now. I also struggle to believe I have any words of value to put out into the world. It’s valuable to me, of course, and that is enough. But I don’t want to write things that have been written better elsewhere. I don’t want to contribute to the general noise, and I’m afraid I’m not good enough to rise above it. I don’t want my writing to become a validation machine, my heart rising and falling with the tide of your opinion. It’s safer to stay away from this space altogether, to keep it just for myself, to never work at this in earnest.
You know what gets to me? When someone is straightforward, honest, and vulnerable. Vulnerability disarms me; it’s courageous and incredible and it makes me want to be brave too. Perhaps I should get some of that for myself.
In ten years I might look back on my words and cringe a little. I will regret some of the things I said and wish I’d fleshed out my ideas better. I hope I can look back with gracious eyes. Time will prove what I got right and what went wrong, and I need to just do the thing.
So I will work harder, write more and better. I will write about our everyday life, our food, our moments of glory and sorrow, our dinner parties. I will flesh out the things I journal early in the morning, and tell you about what keeps me up at night. I will write whether I feel like it or not, whether you read it or not.
We are a family like so many others, but these stories are ours, these words are mine, and they do matter.