Four Years Later

As I arrive here at the blank page – I'm wondering where to start. Again.
Yes – the cursor is blinking.
Yes – I know….it's waiting. I'm waiting. I know the process. I've been here…done this many many times before. And yet…and still – it's always new.

Four years ago – today – I lay awake one long and sleepless night in anxious anticipation of my first verbal blog post releasing itself into the blogosphere. Until then - I'd been blogging only with photos...never with words. Taking this first step - was huge. For me. For all of us.

I'm not quite sure what it was exactly that I feared most. For sure – I feared being seen. I feared being heard. I wondered about whether the words I wrote would resonate. I feared revealing too much…and sharing too little. I worried about how many might discover this safe little space. I worried that too many might stop by here and read....and that no one would at all. I feared judgement. I feared critique. I feared not being good enough. I feared failure. And I feared success.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? …"

If I had considered writing a manifesto way back when - it might have read something like this:

From all corners of the world - we arrive. We gather. We support. We share. We provide a safe and comforting space for 'we' women of this uncertain age. We hold space..we hold hands...we hold hearts. We encourage. We observe. We evolve and grow. We watch. We are unwavering and unconditional. We discover that no matter our circumstances or geographic differences – that we are all fundamentally the same. Beneath the masks and the costumes and titles and names – we're all simply human 'be'-ings….'do'-ing our best with the time we have.

* * *

It's been four years since we began here at Vision and Verb. I no longer lie awake – in sleepless excitement and anticipation. In some ways – I miss that. And in other ways – I wouldn't trade this for any of that – ever again.

Here – we've found strength and comfort and camaraderie. And kindness. And compassion. And understanding. And love. There's a table around which we all sit and break bread and listen and hear. There's sorrow and there's joy. There's laughter and light. There's courage. There's heartbreak. There's challenge. There's provoking thought. Here - we allow ourselves to be vulnerable - knowing that we're safe and that we're held.

Some days I want to believe that they were Marianne Williamson's words that drew us in….that have held us here accountable to the creative spirit and energies that burn brightly in each and every one of us. Other days – I want to believe that it's simply what happens when you join together a group of extraordinarily ordinary women who are too old to be young…and not quite old enough to be old. We face that blank page. We write. We speak. We share. We stretch. We grow. We shine.

As we begin this fifth year together - I have only gratitude for each and every one who has been and is a part.

Thank-you for your gifts.