This week, I celebrate two anniversaries in my creative life:
Four years ago, my mentor and I created a farmers market.
We spent several years working together to create it, and in June 2011… there it was, with big white tents, blistering sunshine, and vendors asking us where to park their trucks. That first season, I co-managed the market and met some of the most amazing human beings I have ever known – strangers who started out as volunteers and ended up as family.
And three years ago, my blog was born.
It’s no coincidence that my blog was born exactly a year after the farmers market. After that first season of the market came to an end, it became clear that I wouldn’t be involved in running it anymore. This wasn’t by choice — it was the outcome of a basic fact: I was graduating from the university that was technically behind the entire project. It was time for new leaders to manage the farmers market and shine. It was time for me to move on.
Part of me was peaceful about this. I trusted that the Universe was trying to nudge me into a new adventure, I adored the people who were going to manage the market, and I knew that they would grow the market in ways that I hadn’t even considered yet.
But I was also terrified. I was graduating college and had no idea when I would receive a paycheck again. I had spent the past four years fixated on creating this market, my sweat and tears and identity and self-worth were all messily intertwined with the existence of this market… and now I was expected to smile, brush off my hands, and skip into my future without it.
And to top it all off: my biggest dream, the dream that I rarely shared with anyone, was unrelated to everything I studied in college. My dream was to be a writer.
For years I had shoved my writing dreams to the back burner. I didn’t know where to start, I was too busy with my environmental initiatives, I didn’t think my writing style was “real” because it didn’t fit into a distinct genre… so I never began.
In June 2012, the farmers market started its second season while I sat on the sidelines. I eyed my future with a cold suspicion, believing that I would never again create anything as beautiful as that farmers market.
So in the middle of the night, at loose ends, no idea where my life was headed, no big creative project where I could channel my energies: I started a blog. This blog.
Birth. Action. Death.
I am so fiercely proud of that 22 year old girl who sat in her rickety office chair in her college apartment, her window propped open to ease the summer stickiness, tooling around on WordPress for the first time.
I am so proud of her first blog post where she admits “I have no idea where this will take me,” talking in circles about herself and her influences.
I am so enamored with her willingness to begin. I am so grateful for her anger and her emptiness. After so many years of pushing her passion to the side… she was finally, finally a writer.
Take your dreams and start them now. Don’t wait for someone to pluck you from the crowd and give you the permission, money, knowledge, or answers. There will always be a Realistic reason why you shouldn’t begin. Begin anyways.
Be totally unreasonable. Admit that you have no idea where your efforts will lead. Cut through the mental static and confusion. Every single moment will be worth it. Bigger miracles will swoop in to fill the void you thought you had.
Three years later: One of my blog posts has been used as reading material in a middle school English class. WordPress chose one of my posts to be featured on the “Freshly Pressed” home page in front of all of their bloggers. My mom’s high school classmate stopped her on the street in her central Illinois hometown and said, “You’re the one with the daughter who has that amazing blog. I read every post.” My friendships have deepened. My life has been transformed. I am the writer I always yearned to be.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my blog. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of growing up in front of you. I adore you. I have learned so much from you.
May you start your own blogs, farmers markets, yoga studios, tea shops, and beyond. May you learn to let go of the past so you can build a new future. And may you know that your deepest and most fiery dreams will always, always be supported.
Peace and Rebirth and Many Years to Come,
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