Random Thoughts on Reaching for Rhythm and Returning to the Page

How do you begin a blog post to capture six months of a year where you haven’t blogged a single bit of what you’ve intended? Apparently by typing random thoughts, deleting them, then typing more random thoughts… checking Instagram, checking to see if you’ve missed any important texts or emails in the last 20 minutes, a quick bathroom break, and finally circling back to the blinking cursor to begin again. Ok, well that was last week (annnnnd the week before) and I’m still here, entertaining the same cycles of resistance. Eventually the random thoughts remain undeleted and start to string together into some semblance of story and the rhythm returns. Well, that’s the hope at least. We will see if it’s true as the end of this post comes about.

I’ve been struggling with what to write about in this post for about 3 weeks now. Seriously! So this morning I decided to try something new. I picked up an old morning pages journal to flip though my thoughts from a year ago. This is actually something I mean to do more often. I feel like there is so much to learn from taking the time to research ourselves in this way. By dipping back into the words we have written in our past, we can gain perspective on so much. What’s changed, what hasn’t, the ways we still feel stuck, the things we know about ourselves and the world around us. I wanted to share some of what I found poured out onto a few pages from early July of 2021.

Morning Musings from one year ago (aka more random thoughts):

July 2nd 2021. Halfway point in the year and time feels like it’s flying by. I’ve been struggling lately – with focus and being overwhelmed by my inability to do so. By loneliness. Self-doubt. Frustration with myself for not being the mama I want to be, the wife I want to be, the creative/friend/sister/daughter. It’s felt like a lot. I’ve been avoiding the page – subconsciously, but nonetheless. I haven’t been blogging or feeling really inspired by small moments like I usually am. Haven’t pulled out my camera with any enthusiasm in weeks.

I feel lost and stuck.

And also like I’m treading water – my head barely above the surface, feeling constantly exhausted, distracted, overwhelmed. I need to write. My heart needs the outlet. I feel like I’ve been carrying all of these invisible burdens around for months and no one knows. And if they did, I worry they would judge me. Because honestly, this is the life I’ve dreamed of for as long as I can remember.

Kendra Adachi asked in a podcast I listened to last week – what’s one thing you can do in the morning that makes you feel MOST like yourself? I decided that, for me, that’s morning pages. It helps ground me – like a mix of brain dumping, emotional processing, creativity enhancing, space-holding goodness. I feel so drawn to writing as an outlet and strangely it helps me feel less alone in the world. It also just really helps my brain slow down and feel connected to the page, to my thoughts and feelings. I’ve been carrying around a lot of emotions stored deep inside and it’s been so oppressive. I’ve not been able to show up for others the way I want and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I haven’t been showing up for myself.

It’s wild how insightful it can be to reach back into my own writing from days past. There is so much to gain from seeing how I was feeling/what I was thinking about/what I was striving for/considering about life and what not. The nature of how cyclical life and emotion and creativity can be always surprises me. This time a year ago I had decided to start prioritizing my morning pages again. Just like I did in my intentions for this month. It’s comforting to remember I’ve found my way back from feeling so lost and stuck before. These reminders are great tools to help bring me back to where I want to be. To help me find myself again.

Sometimes when rhythm feels out of reach, considering what makes us feel most like ourselves is a great place to begin again.

// Last month we went camping on Ocracoke Island for our first family vacation in our new Airstream. We brought the boys scooters with us thinking it would be a great way for them to expend some of their boundless energy. The road inside the campground is smoothly paved and laid out in a cloverleaf pattern which wraps around each section of sites in a circle. When we first arrived, several kids were cruising around on bikes and skateboards, circling like hungry vultures as we settled into our site.

Our boys were eager to stretch their legs, make some new friends and join the pack. Before releasing them into the wild, we made them recite our campsite number repeatedly to ensure they could make their way back to us if they got separated in the loop. Our youngest proved unreliable in retaining this crucial information. So I anxiously took a black marker and scribbled out my phone number and our campsite onto his arm in large bold numbers.

“Just in case he gets lost,” I laughed to my husband who I’m pretty sure thought I was being absurd.

By the end of the first day they had been fully initiated into the growing group of camp kids. They had confidently scootered to their hearts content, seemingly emboldened by their newfound freedom. Early the next morning they hungered for release back out to their new domain. At 7:30am on-the-dot (which was the moment I couldn’t resist any longer!) they bolted outside, blowing me kisses and buckling their helmets as they hurried off. Around and around they went, pumping their legs with all their might to keep up with the older kids who effortlessly raced their bikes in tireless loops. Around and around, one after the other. Until about an hour later when I saw Noah scoot by and noticed I didn’t see Niko in tow. In the next lap, Noah slowed to a stop and announced hesitantly “Niko’s missing.”

Let me tell you, it was a stressful 30 minutes for me.

After waiting calmly for about 10, the next 20 seemed to crawl by with painful punctuation. I’d sent Paul off in one direction to search for him and Noah off in the other. Deciding it best for someone to wait at our site for him in case he made it way back. Which is exactly what he did. I’ll never forget how he returned. Casually sauntering down the road, pushing his little scooter like he didn’t have a care in the world. And chatting beside him on foot was a friendly stranger escorting him home. “I was only lost for a little while,” he insisted, squaring his small shoulders and looking suddenly a lot older. “I just kept going around and around until I bemembered where I was.”

It felt, for a brief moment, like I was being given another chance to sneak a peek at a secret from childhood. As my pounding heart slowed from racing, I considered this idea. Of being lost and then just “going and going” until we remember where we are. Oh how well this would serve us to remember as adults. A nugget of childhood wisdom forgotten along the way. A not so random thought at all that translates pretty well for me in this whole idea for a post.

When we feel lost or lose our rhythm in life, we just need to keep going, and eventually we will remember who we are and where we are meant to be. The things that make us feel most like ourselves are never truly lost to us.

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