being brave

I have spent most of my life hoping for Something Really Big to happen. Maybe it was all those nights reading books under the covers with a flashlight. Maybe it was that trip to Europe when I was eighteen and everything was rosy and romantic and even though I wore a Wonder Woman tee when I was in Paris (I'm dying - I can't believe I did that), it was big and beautiful and I was making plans. Maybe it was sweeping instrumental music or daydreaming. Maybe it was Louisa May Alcott and the way this quote from 'Little Women' has been with me since eleventh grade:

I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle -- something heroic or wonderful -- that won't be forgotten after I'm dead. I don't know what, but I'm on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day.

I have long felt that it's just about to happen. Just..almost...I'm almost "there". The splendid thing has been very close, but not quite.

And it's been in the last year that I've started to wrestle with the idea that it's not there. The Something Really Big is not going to happen because it is happening now, in all the things I am and do and see. The splendid and heroic deeds are every day in my home, are every laugh line on my face (and maybe even the worry crease on my forehead), are the goings and comings and the "quotidian mysteries" of these days.

And this changes the way I look at things a little bit. Because if it's all happening now, then I need to engage. I can still hope and dream, but I can't be still. I have to find the things that help me be "all there" in the glory and exhaustion and the joy and grief. And I have to lose the things that distract and detract from this splendid life. I have to be brave enough to say yes and brave enough to say no and wise enough to know when.  This blog is about helping me do that. Confronting some things that scare me (like writing again). Saying "no" to the right things. Engaging ideas that are bigger than me. Sharing my story of infertility and adoption. Interacting with those "quotidian mysteries" of family, marriage, faith, and relationships.

I don't have the whole plan worked out just yet, but this is my first brave step. I don't know where I'm going, but I know where I've been and I believe there is great worth and value in the stories we're all telling. That's why I'm choosing to be brave enough to tell mine.