Greetings sweet friends! How are you?
Tuesday morning I did something I hadn’t done in more than two years – I drove south through the intersection where I nearly died in a car crash in 2019 when a car ran a red light and broadsided my Jeep. That moment remains vivid – I felt like I’d been struck by a bomb. While my car spun, time slowed and I thought, this is how it is to die. No wonder I’d avoided that intersection for years. But Tuesday I was in a hurry and found myself where I hadn’t meant to be. I breathed, waited for the light to change, and drove through the intersection. Greetings sweet friends! How are you?
That night I saw Foreigner in concert. A year ago I couldn’t imagine ever attending a rock concert again. But there I was. In one day, so much had changed, reminding me of what I’d learned while writing my memoir – the nature of life is uncertainty. Sometimes it brings suffering and sometimes joy, when those seemingly insurmountable difficulties are suddenly behind us. (By the way, that’s me in the photo at a recent family wedding that hadn’t seemed possible when it was cancelled in 2020.)
I've thought a lot about uncertainty in the past two years. You know the "clear sailing syndrome," right? The fallacy that once we conquer the latest difficulty life can return to normal from hereon in? This summer I wrote about How I Found Joy in Letting Go of Ever Going 'Back to Normal.'
When the next ball in my life dropped last year – a new health crisis – another thought emerged. Instead of just enduring the suffering, as with my memoir, couldn’t I put the time of suffering to good use? (*Time for a quick pause. I’m not Wonder Woman. I’m human. I still slip into moments of self-pity, sadness, and tears. Necessary ones for my healing that I allow without self-recrimination. I’ve just learned to keep going, knowing that this too will change.*)
And so, for the past year, I’ve been writing my first novel. “But I’ve never written fiction!” That’s what I told my first agent more than a decade ago when she encouraged me to do just that because she had faith that I could. I started with a blank page and by Christmas I’ll have a draft to finish editing. And then we’ll see what happens next!
Do you have a personal anecdote similar to mine you’re comfortable sharing? Many of you have written to me over the years thanking me for something I’ve written about that’s helped you during a crisis. I’m so thankful for your emails. Some days they keep me going in my quiet office when I question my own purpose in life. But isn’t that why we’re all really here on this earth? To help each other get through?
With love and gratitude,
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