The Next Telephone Pole

I haven't written here in a while. This is mostly because I didn't know how to say what I wanted to say or if I wanted to say it at all. But I find myself here staring at a blank page and a story to tell so here goes...

Last October (2019) I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I had just begun trying and I was elated that we had success so quickly. This was just a few days before NaNoWriMo started. I gave NaNo my best shot, but as I wrote in a previous post I didn't feel up to the amount of research that my WIP (work in progress) needed. I also wasn't feeling so intense and my WIP was nothing if not intense. Instead I felt a softening and then of course the exhaustion and morning sickness that comes with the first trimester.  So I turned to another idea, something lighter and fun. I wasn't exactly on track with the writing because life and pregnancy, but I picked away at the story.

I'm sure you can imagine where this is going. In December of 2019, I waltzed into a doctor's appointment without a care in the world. I was excited to check in with my midwife and find out what was next for me and my little rasberry-sized baby. Except that there was no heartbeat; and at 11 weeks, the baby was only about 8-weeks in size. I had what is called a "missed" miscarriage, - my baby had passed away but my body hadn't recognized it. I was stunned. Devastated doesn't seem to capture the emotion. 

I don't feel compelled to rehash everything that came next, though maybe I will on another day, at some other time. I think it's enough to say that everything fell away except the essential. I made an effort to simpify and address only the things that were absolutely necessary or that brought some measure of peace. 

I wanted my writing in this blog to be a regular thing, a consistent reflection of the writing process for a new writer. I wanted to look at my words here and see growth reflected back. I wanted to chronicle my own process of becoming a writer. But more and more lately I can see that life has its own plans.  Perhaps figuring out how to surrender to the unknown is going to be the big lesson that I tackle this year. I've slowly been putting the pieces back together. I've returned to my novel, the sweet one that I came to in the early days of my pregnancy. Now I find myself five days into a writing streak, and that feels really good.

In the midst of everything, a good friend gave me a necklace. On the necklace was etched a telephone pole and it came with a story. The woman who designed the piece had been struggling with illness. She had a friend who was a long distance runner, and this friend told her about a time when he set out on a long run. He started off strong, but partway through the run his body was exhausted and he didn't think he could complete the many miles ahead. The runner looked up and in his despair he saw a telephone pole. He thought if he could just make it to that telephone pole he might be okay. And so he did make it to the pole; and once there he looked to the next one and ran to that one. Then he did the same for the one after that, and the one after that, until he finished the run. He advised the woman that when she was feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed, she should find the next telephone poll and focus solely on making it to that one. This became her mantra and inspired her to make the necklace that my friend gave to me. 

I have writing goals for 2020, big goals, lofty goals. But for now, I'm just trying to make it to the next telephone pole. 

Let's be friends

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