I turn 34 in two and a half weeks. I love my birthday. I love it because it gives me an excuse to say “hey come out and see me!”. Maybe it’s because of that that I’m not excited this year due to the limitations of a dependent newborn consuming all my hours. But I think more than that, I’ve been asking myself the question, “where did all that time go?”. I then have been wondering, have I achieved what I hope I would have by the time I was in my mid-30s? Where did the time go?
When I was in my teens, my hopes for my mid-30s me was to be a screenwriter, mainly for Korean dramas because then I could meet all the Korean celebrities I was obsessed with by. having them star in my shows. In my 20s it was to be a novelist and to have one piece of writing be on the NY Times bestseller list. Late 20s early 30s to have something, anything published. Where did the time go?
I started this blog over 3 years ago and at the time it was a glorified xanga for me; my little planet to dwell in the vast universe of the internet. Over time I realized my writings and thoughts weren’t that sporadic but there seemed to be a specific pattern weaving its way through my heart beats. I thought, maybe I should write in this more and see where this can go? But I decided to wait, several times. Where did the time go?
I had a list of things that I needed to wait upon before I could take my writing more seriously. One was that I needed to create a larger audience, build credibility. I also didn’t have enough time as a full time working mom. I was also terrified of putting myself out there and have this huge audience I have built up in my mind watch me fail. And the other was that… I’m simply not good enough and who really wants to hear what I have to say?
Where did the time go? The time passed with my list bullying me more and more. Multiple times I sat in front of a laptop with something to write and then I thought of that list. I then saved whatever it was I was writing as a draft, never to look back upon again. This morning I read a quote about having the courage to fight for your dreams and so I decided to look at my list again.
- I needed to create a larger audience, build credibility. An audience and credibility is built by doing the thing you do. Was I expecting hundreds of people to randomly find the blog I write it once every few months and subscribe and leisurely wait on my writing?
- I didn’t have enough time as a full time working mom. Of course we make time for what’s important, blah blah blah… but somewhere in the past 3 years I realized that often the fuel for my writing has been the spiritual journey of balancing out being a mother and navigating my exhaustion, anxiety, shame while sitting in faith and hope. Maybe it’s not that I can’t write because I’m a full time working mom… maybe this season I’m in is actually what’s giving me the raw, unfiltered words to say (because I don’t have enough time to filter!).
- I’m terrified of putting myself out there. Well, in the words of Brene Brown, courage requires vulnerability. And almost every night for the past 4 years (I began this prayer when I tried getting pregnant the first time) I asked God to give me courage. Courage isn’t just handed, it takes courage to become courageous.
- I’m simply not good enough. Yea, okay, but what defines “enough”? My friend Angela once said that there are people out there dying while waiting on your talent. I remember nodding my head with those hot tears welling up in the corner of my eyes by her words of empowerment and inspiration. Internally, however, I shook my head and thought “but not MY talent – if any exists”. But I’ve reflected over the past few years messages I’ve received of encouragement and hope and even some confessions of similar journeys like mine and to dismiss those voices because of the one in my own head would be a dishonor. Maybe I’m not good “enough” but maybe there’s still something to say that someone is waiting to hear.
So today I’m still 33 and I’m not going to wait until I’m 34. I’m not going to wait until everything aligns perfectly to try. I’m not going to wait until I’m good enough, ready enough, followed enough and with enough time. I don’t want to wake up on the brink of 44 asking myself, “where did the time go?”. I’m not one of those really hip mom bloggers that somehow figured out to not only NOT have coffee stains on their leggings, but look super awesome in their outfits of the day (although I’d love to be). I’m not one of those creative mom bloggers that can share awesome DIYs of keeping your home smelling fresh and awesome sensory activities (although I’d love to be). I’m not one of those mom bloggers that can give tips or tricks or recipes on anything. I just want to write. About my shame and fears and how that’s been escalated by loving my two little hongsongs walking around on this earth, but how sitting in God’s garden of encounter is serving as a roadmap to courage. How i’m figuring out how to choose hope in the midst of my most anxious, fearful moments. How I’m figuring out what shame and loving yourself really means, and how ironically they aren’t one or the other (more on that to come). So if that interests you, keep reading.
What have you been waiting for? What’s been keeping you from taking one step towards pursuing your dream?