A blank page to many writers is a terrifying sight. It’s a journey into something unknown. We are not always certain where the words will take us and for this reason the emptiness can be trilling, intimidating, and overwhelming all at once. It’s a matter of possessing the trust to allow our fingers to dance over the keyboard and freely create. I often question if I am able to write through my shit to uncover something beautiful. Finding the words to truly express the emotion and the story I wish to share. This connection with the words and the trust of our fingers on the keyboard typing from the heart and not the mind is vulnerable. Once the words are released, we can’t go back. The writer and the reader are in a way transformed. We grow and learn from each word and the experiences they convey. Filling a blank page with an orchestration of words that dance through thoughts and emotions is powerful. Overlooking this power diminishes the potential of each word and the beauty that comes from stringing them together to create a story within the empty space.
When we are able to see possibility rather than obstacles, we begin to see the potential for living fulfilled. When we look out into the world or onto a blank page and sense dread and fear we limit our capacity to live and over time our desires slowly dissipate. I know the feeling of living without desire. I lived from a blankness which caused me to over analyze my every move. I can pretty much always remember having a plan. I knew where I was going, how I was going to get there and what I would do once there. Yes, it was calculated. Words didn’t dance, they were marched and disconnected with no meaning. They came from me, but were not mine. I was living someone else’s script, so it was comfortable to play to the written plan. I did everything according to the plan. School, jobs, friends, lovers, each was chosen according to the script. This doesn’t mean I did not enjoy my life. I did enjoy myself until one day, I no longer did, and the page fell blank. I stared at an empty page for 3.5 years desperately looking for words and had none.
The words stopped. I stopped and realized as happy as I believed I was dancing within this script full of great friends, family, a husband, amazing children, and community I was exhausted playing a character I never fully understood. The woman I played was extraordinary in many ways. She was extremely kind, smart, artistic, a great athlete, well liked and a lot of fun. Playing her was fulfilling enough. She hardly let anything trouble her and kept most everything bottled up, so the role was never truly demanding. I sailed through the days until I realized acting was not living. Imagine the reality of waking up one morning and realizing you’re living a scripted life based on a plan designed by something outside of you. The plan was a detour and I got incredibly lost within it. I had no idea how far removed from the real me I became. I had no plan for recovering missed turns, so I stared off into nothingness.
The words slowly returned and this time I made sure they were mine and I experienced them through my desires. I had nothing to lose because I was living within the white lines. I was not showing up. My character did the work for me. She allowed me to hide and not experience my true feelings. She protected me and made sure the words never caused me heartache. I love this woman. I see her for who she is and admire the effort she put into sheltering me from being a messy human being. She made me strong, witty, and unfeeling so I could dominate in school, on the track, at the office, as a mom, and wherever I showed up. She played strong and independent like her life depended on it. She was tough and was often called tough. I like tough, it resonates with me and so does vulnerability.
I am comfortable being vulnerable about seventy-five percent of the time. I’d like for you to know I struggle with putting words on a page. Some days I wake up and have no plan, the page is blank, and I get anxious. I feel deeply, so deeply I cry for what is out of my control, for what is in my control, for what I see and don’t see, for the yearning I have to feel all the things I never allowed myself to feel, and I cry because I love. At this point in my life, I understand and appreciate love in its purest form. The love that exists deep inside each of us. It is knowing the words that flow off your keyboard or your lips dance together to tell your story. It is knowing at times they express struggle or adversity, but they always derive from a place of love. They don’t need to be fancy or elegant if you aren’t fancy or elegant.
The words represent the love from within us and surrounding us. They are the vehicles in which we express gratitude for the people in our lives who see us, accept us, and appreciate exactly how we are and how we show up even when we are messy. Love allows us to experience and relish the true meaning of each word. It keeps us from living solely from the blankness or what is scripted and provides us with the energy to live the entire page. It leaves space for amazing people to enter and share in our love without wanting, just being. A story full of love, acceptance and appreciation is a complete life well lived and not acted. Living in gratitude for who you are, allowing yourself to be seen and appreciated by others, and allowing those around you to experience your light is love. I will always choose a blank page full of endless possibilities over a completed script that unfolds a disconnected love story.