It usually happens to me after I have published a blog post.
Sometimes, it occurs in the grocery store. An acquaintance will approach, face filled with pity, and ask, “How ARE you? Are you holding up OK?”
Or I receive an email that reads, “Your latest blog seemed so melancholy. Is all ok?”
The sentiment behind these questions is sweet. I know it comes from a good place.
But I still find myself scratching my head, wondering about how well this person knows me. It turns out, usually, not so well.
Because if you know me well, you know I go through peaks and valleys just like any of you do. We all hit them in one form or another. But rarely do I stay in either scenic lookout. The majority of my days are a steady path, moving forward. The peaks and valleys are not something the wise among us bring to work, or to parent/teacher conferences—but my blog, well, that is a creative outlet. Ripe for peaks and valleys.
I write about the peaks, yes. Although, as luck would have it, life has handed me fewer of those than valleys over the past five years. So, I write about the valleys also. Usually when I’m traveling through them.
Consider my posts a friendly postcard. Sometimes, with a warning to watch out for the boulder you will find at mile 11.4—it’s a doozy and it rolls. Sometimes, perhaps shouting out that the view from above the clouds, at a peak, is all sunshine. Either way, I’m moving on. One can only stay at a scenic outlook for so long before the journey—up, down or sideways—must continue.
I write when fully experiencing something, in the moment. Or, some time later, when all the pieces that contributed to it and the learning I’ve gleaned, gel. When I feel I have something to offer.
I may experience joy and pain to a greater depth than some. I think us creative types do. We have a harder time stuffing pain with Oreos or mindless projects than some others might. But, if we are emotionally and spiritually healthy, we then move on from either baptism—joy or pain.
We move on with life. With living. Knowing more peaks and valleys lie ahead and the journey must continue. The beauty, for me, lies in the sharing.