For the past six weeks, I’ve been absent from writing. I have thought many, many times “Oh! I should write my letter for today!”
The desire dwindled, and then my good old friend guilt kicked in: “But you committed to writing those!” “What about the one or two people who read faithfully? Will they miss it?”
Mostly, my commitment and determination and loyalty spoke: “You made a promise.”
When I was in graduate school, I took a class on qualitative research. Basically, this is a fancy term for sitting in a location and waiting for something to happen and trying to make sense of it. I chose a vegan cupcake place near one of my classes. Initially I thought my research would be health-related: why vegan? What kinds of people were coming into this bakery? etc. Sooner rather than later though, I saw a lot of feminist issues. I was wrangled into this more complex, uncomfortable study, and as hard as I tried to avoid it, there was no going back. I had to write the paper that my research was offering.
In my reflection on that class, I wrote about this struggle. I wanted so badly for things to be neat and tidy, for my hypothesis to be tested, for observations and results to be created, and for a conclusion reached. But my experience of that vegan cupcake place and its feminist issues was much more complex (ask me about it sometimes, it was fascinating.) I wrote in my paper: “this project much more realistically reflects life. Because life, in case you haven’t noticed, is messy.”
Project Thankful Heart has gotten messy too, at least in the way that I am not following my self-established terms.
I loved the first year of this project, and its 365 thank you letters. I loved starting it again. But my life took an unexpected turn. I ended up in two musicals, directing a third, and found a few new hobbies along the way. With the arrival of spring, I found myself leaving my house and the blogosphere behind in search of adventure with friends. I let this project rest.
And, now, I am putting it on hold. I’ve decided to focus my energy elsewhere. This is really tough for me, truth be told: I am the kind of person who feels the need to finish a TV show if I’m more than 10 minutes in, even if it’s terrible, and a book if I’m 50 pages in, since I’ve already committed. But I would rather give my whole (thankful, grateful) heart to this project rater than force my writing to seem authentic, spontaneous, and joyful.
My gratitude? Absolutely still there. My joy? I’m living it in the real world. My desire to write? Count that in as well, and who knows what the future will hold?
But for now – I’m grateful for a year and a half or so of writing. The creativity, spritual reflection, and further joy is what my life needed. And now, I look towards the many other things that bring me that fulfillment at the moment.
Thank you always, for reading.