Last week I caught this brilliant sunset as I walked outside. The rays stretched their arms, while the clouds embraced the flicker. Witnessing this radiance startled me, only because in the last few months I’ve paid more attention to the struggle, despite the beauty. I’ve always tried to gaze toward gratitude, but sometimes I miss opportunities to cherish what it is in front of me.
A few weeks ago someone inquired about my career as a writer and whether I made any revenue from my writing. I paused for a second, fumbling for the words, shocked at the ease in which the question was asked. I’ve learned sometimes a harmless question pierces my vulnerability. My answer, “Of course. I make money.” His response, “You aren’t pursuing law anymore?” I responded with a quick, staccato, “No.” The conversation left me discombobulated, maybe since I’ve questioned my writing path, my dedication to the craft and the perception of how others view my chosen profession. It opened up a chasm of the struggle I felt during the summer months when the words were sparse and every time I jockeyed to the page, the only welcome was silence.
These doubts jitterbug across my legs at night and spill over to other areas where I am not enough. I contemplate another day and all the things left undone or unsaid. I whisper to myself, “Tomorrow.” Yes, tomorrow, I have a chance. Lately though the next day morphs into another and the to-do list isn’t filled with red checkmarks, but a reminder of all the tasks left uncompleted. It grows like an uncontrollable ivy, the green leaves crisscrossing, stems intertwined and tangled. Perhaps it is the season to be rooted in this maze of trying to figure out what matters the most and actively building a life toward this landscape. But the view becomes muddled and the uncertainty interferes with its laser focus, deterring what I believed only minutes before. Sometimes everything seems complicated, but the truth is I could change this perspective in an instant. I am responsible for the narrative I choose to believe.
I’ve contemplated the word, resistance, in the last couple of days, especially in the important areas of my life. Yesterday I felt hyper aware of it as I substituted a meaningless task to avoid work that required my attention. When I put up a barricade, aren’t I responsible for my doubt? And does this awareness mean I am actively committing to changing the way I do things? These are all valid questions. Logically, all of it makes so much sense. In order for an outcome to change, I must alter my approach. But it isn’t always easy, especially when resistance pushes you to stay with what you know. The words failure, fear, confusion become common denominators and doubt becomes the only consistent mantra.
Perhaps penning this ramble is a good first step. I doubt. Every single day. I struggle, even when I stare at obvious beauty. But what would life be if I didn’t reflect on the potpourri of what isn’t, only to be reminded again and again of what is.
Embracing doubt is a part of accepting beauty.