I’m a sucker for 90’s chick flicks. So when a friend invited me over to avoid a normal day’s responsibilities, to make fancy food the kids won’t touch, and veg on the couch in between courses with the Runaway Bride, how could I resist?
A problem with commitment
In case you haven’t seen it the main character, Meg, has a problem with commitment. She gets to her wedding day (four different times). She starts the walk down the aisle but never fully makes it to the groom.
Here’s the thing about Meg – I get her. She starts out with some amazing life goals, she’s a people-pleaser, she’s a dreamer who sees the possibility in all of the opportunities, and she truly believes she can follow through. But the truth is, while she is great at knowing others and figuring out what makes them happy she has zero idea of who she is.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
At any given time, I am working on three or more manuscripts. I found one the other day I had completely forgotten about tucked deep into a file folder on my computer.
Who exactly am I?
The stories aren’t abandoned because they are terrible. In fact, they hold a great deal of potential. The problem is that I, like Meg, haven’t figured out exactly who I am yet. It’s this crazy journey called life that keeps popping up and getting in the way of things. It’s the new story that sabotages the old, a new character demands I write about her and shelve the old ones for a while.
As a writer I know that this is aimless running. In order to finish a manuscript, I mustt stay disciplined and focused.
…hope is a revolutionary patience; let me add that so is being a writer. Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
It’s hard to have the discipline to look myself in the mirror and commit to paper the world as I understand it. It’s hard to expose myself to others, to bare my soul, but it’s worth every second. It’s in discovering ourselves that we can face our fears and move forward.
It was only in discovering who she truly was that Meg was able to find her happily ever after. It is only in embracing the journey, the self-control and discipline, the challenges and triumphs along the way, that allow us to finish well.
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