Friday Wisdom: What I Have to Give to You...
Contributor
Written by
Cyndi Briggs
December 2010
Contributor
Written by
Cyndi Briggs
December 2010
I did it to myself again. On Monday, I smugly, securely asked you, readers of this blog (have I mentioned lately how much I love and appreciate you for reading, by the way? Because I do): What do you have to give? I asked the question hoping it would provoke thought for you, lead you to some pretty awesome conclusions about yourself, and generally help you rock your world a little harder. And then that little question came back to bite me in the ass. This often happens. Just so you know. In the words of the oh-so-wise Susan Sarandon in the movie Bull Durham: The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self-awareness. I know what she's talking about. I bet you do too. It's a blessing and a burden to walk through life asking the difficult questions, looking into ourselves, and trying to get right with who we are meant to be. So when I innocently asked the question "What do you have to give?" on Monday, I was unprepared for the emotional backlash in my own life. See, I hit the wall on Monday. I was finishing up grading for the term. I was furiously finishing my NaNoWriMo novel. And I launched the first Sophia Circle (which is awesome by the way - I hope you'll plan to join us next time!). By Tuesday morning, I realized that I'd completely over-extended myself. My hands and wrists were exhausted from all that writing. I felt weirdly over-exposed from too much internet time. I had a crisis of confidence about the Sophia Circle, hoping the idea would click with the awesome women registered for it. I started to wonder if I'm really cut out for this entrepreneurial thing. So I went to my default response to existential angst. I began googling. I started researching information about self-employment, running online groups, writing blog posts. After a couple of hours I felt like a blown fuse. I could hear the crackle of sparks popping in my brain. As I hit overload I made the decision to shut down my computer. Closed my laptop. And walked out of my house and into the woods. I walked for a couple of hours with my darling dog, mulling over decisions made over the past few months and wondering if I am, in fact, on the right path afterall. As my brain began to slow down, I started to notice my surroundings. The sun shone high and bright and clear in a perfect Carolina blue sky. The air felt dry and crisp, a quality no one appreciates more than Southerners after a brutally humid summer. The trees are bare now, their silver trunks shining among the piles of fallen, brown leaves. Daisy ran around, following her nose from scent to scent. And the more I walked the more I came home to myself, and I began to remember what I have to give. So here it is: I know how to be alone. I know how to wake up in the morning by myself, looking ahead to a day with no one's company but my own, and to be completely content with it. I know how to leave one life and start another. I know the processes of quitting a job, leaving a partner, packing up a car (pets included) and driving across country all alone to start fresh. I know what it's like to lose the person most dear to me in all the world and survive it. I'm friends with heartbreak, and it's made me stronger. I know how to sit with someone in great pain and simply shut up. I know how not to offer advice. I understand that sometimes the answers just have to come of their own accord, and I am helpless to provide them. I know what it's like to feel completely lost, alone, and confused. And I know how to sit with those feelings, letting them have their say for a while, until they blow through and hope comes into take their place. I know what it feels like to lie awake at night and worry. Money. Love. Family. Health. And I know how it feels to wake up in the morning and get on with it. I know how it feels to lose a pet. In the past three years, I've said goodbye to Ariel, Sam, and Cosmo, and have born witness to their last breath on earth. And I know how to survive the loss. I know how to travel alone. How to arrive in a foreign country and find my way. I know how to take the subway almost anywhere, how to find the toilet, and how to order a ham sandwich in a half dozen countries. I know how to make that noise that sounds like a loon calling by blowing through my hands. I can also make the sound of a raindrop with my mouth by flicking my cheek with my index finger. And my fingers are double-jointed. I know how to freak people out with that one. And here's why any of this matters: I am hopelessly, innocently, passionately in love with life, and my only mission in this world is to make it a better place for everyone, including myself. I want more than anything to help you find your way, and in the process find my own. And if anything I know about life is helpful to you, then I want most desperately to share it. So here's what: I'll never be a "classic" blogger. My posts will rarely contain "Six Tips to Change your Life!" or "Three Ways to Make Him Love You!". What I have to give is simply my experience and the wisdom I've picked up along the way. I may never understand search engine optimization or develop a business plan, but I promise to show up with my whole heart and be present with you. And that, my beautiful friends, is what I have to give.

Let's be friends

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