Exactly one year ago today, I was nervously packing a suitcase for a trip to the Pacific Northwest. I was attending a writing workshop on Orcas Island called Write Doe Bay and would be gone a little over four days. Big, emotional parts of me were slowing seeping out of my comfort zone and I took refuge in a gently stirred Manhattan.
Flash forward to today.
Today, I have an essay up on the Mamalode website called Bodega Bay, Population 950. Please click through to read about how we moved households three times in a matter of months and how it jump-started my desire to rid the unimportant "stuff" from our lives.
What a difference a year makes. Seriously.
I left that writer's retreat with new friendships, a freshened up perspective and a desire to create something every single day. That could be with words, art, food or relationships. That workshop changed my trajectory in earnest for the next year.
My art journal and bag of pens have become a source of untapped potential every morning. A blank screen page with a blinking cursor no longer freaks me out but, rather, becomes an invitation. Perspective, I tell ya. It's a powerful thing.
Collaborating with fellow Write Doe Bay alumni has bolstered my confidence and shown me that (yes!) you can make new friends in your forties - even if they live across the country or, in a few instances, in another country. The internet has dissolved these rigid borders and boundaries in such a lovely way and I'm so grateful for the rich, layered connections.
At times, this online world appears impersonal and detached, but I've found so much good here. I feel like my Instagram friends really ARE my friends. I have email communications with women I've never met. We share the journey of motherhood or creative frustration. We talk about books or give advice about struggles we're experiencing. I've found a new community and I feel accepted and appreciated in a way that I haven't felt in years. I've found my tribe.
Had you told me any of this last year, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. I thought I was tapped out in the friend department but, luckily, I was wrong.
Next week, a few of the souls I met last year are coming here for a long weekend and it just feels so perfect. Last year, I didn't personally know any of these strong, fierce, vulnerable, funny women. And, now? Well, they're with me every day. I think of them when I hit publish on my blog; I think of them when I share a piece of artwork; and I think of them when I'm struggling with motherhood.
I also think about how much we all have the ability to change and grow as we get older and experience this great big beautiful world. Nothing is out of reach. We just have to dream it and do the work.
Every. Single. Day.