When I started this column 6 months ago, I did so for two reasons. One: to have something to set the tone as we started posting during the day and two: to set a tone for my day as well. I’ve been lucky to wake up and write something that features my most vulnerable thoughts and allows me to feel like I’m sharing energy with those who read. But I’ve only felt that way of late.

For the first few weeks writing these, I really wondered if the words I was writing, the experiences I was sharing were resonating with anyone. Posting these pieces almost felt like a black hole. Every once in a while someone would say they wished they had hair like the woman in the stock photo and I’d think, “Well, at least they clicked on it.” And so I wrote into the black hole for months.

But during that time something changed. Waking up I had to fight for my head to be clear and my thoughts to be coherent. And that process changed the way that I approached each day. So did the why- it wasn’t about setting the tone, but disrupting it. Writing became about asking “Are you growing” everyday.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from doing this is it takes discipline to ask yourself that everyday. It takes time to sit down with yourself and reflect that much. It takes a lot from yourself to ask that everyday.

Growing can feel exhilarating but often it doesn’t feel like change at all. It feels like a slight stretch, a strain, a small difference but it begins to work something inside us all. Most days growing can feel exhausting. No one really tells you that. But growing can just feel like a constant struggle where you leave parts of you behind.

Thinking of the things I’ve lost in the months since I’ve started this journey has made me realized the amazing life I’ve gained. I wouldn’t trade a single part because I know I’ve gotten what I should. And that, I think, is the blessing: that often the things we no longer carry show us how far we’ve come.

This will be the last one of these for a while. And I am so grateful that I was able to add this to my experience. To use it to learn from all of you, to share and to grow. And I hope that even when it’s hard you’ll just everyday wake up and choose to keep doing so.  I pray that you will do the work it takes to come into the lives we’re created to have.  I think when we find that we make each other better.  I think when we find what we’re here for only then we can have and give love.

I though about leaving you with a quote from my grandma or from Jhumpa but decided to go with this instead.

She did not tell them to clean up their lives or go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure.

She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it.

Here,’ she said, ‘in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard…” – Toni Morrison, Beloved

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