Perhaps that is why it has taken me this entire nine months to settle into a writing space that feels spacious, that feels right, that feels just like me.
You see, when I began this journey, a good friend of mine (you know the kind - someone who says something in an off-hand way that haunts you for years because it is so right-on profound and intuitive) advised me to carve out a physical space in our home that is just for writing. A space that is entirely my own.
I'm sure many of you can imagine how difficult that is when you live in a full house. I dutifully made several attempts, but I was always borrowing from other, well-established spaces. The large double-window in the living room would serve as home to me and my laptop when the kids were away. Or, the dining room table would provide a space to write when it wasn't covered in laundry half-folded. The list goes on. At some point I did put an antique desk (thanks Mom!) in my bedroom with the intention for it to become "my" space, but it never quite crystallized. Instead, bills piled up on it and projects half-finished inevitably landed there.
Until yesterday. Yesterday, on a whim, I decided the desk needed to be moved from one wall to the adjacent wall. I made the move furtively, unsure of what my husband would say (this bedroom is his too, after all), but I somehow knew I needed to make it anyway. It was just something that had to be done. I couldn't rest until the move was complete.
Here's the result:
I now have a clean, beautiful place to write. I absolutely love it (and so does my husband!). The fact that it's facing a window is perfect and symbolic and inspiring.
I had thought that, this week of all weeks, I would be losing more of myself. I've been having anxiety about it, actually. The kids finish preschool on Thursday, so I've been basically freaking out about how I'm going to find time to continue writing over the summer. And then this happened - this unexpected, intuitive, perfect move - and I feel space open up before me. The anxiety is gone. I don't know why. I just know that this summer is going to be really, really good. Like my cleared-off desk, I know there will be space for whatever comes our way.
This past nine months has been about one other thing in addition to mommy-ness and authorship: learning how to love myself. That sounds cliche (and kind of annoying to write, if I'm honest), but it's deeply, profoundly true. At its core, loving yourself involves making space. Allowing yourself to be where you need to be when you need to be there. Not predetermining what should be and why (a desk shouldn't cut off a window - that's a decorating no-no), but rather following your gut and affirming yourself in the process.
It's been a hard process, primarily because I've been stubborn about submitting to God's leadership, but an incredibly valuable one. I'm so thankful for this past nine months. My belief in God's goodness has been built up, made more solid. I can't wait to see what happens next.