Change is hard. Change is tough. Change is necessary. I am not the person I was nine years ago, about to give birth to my first child. I am not the person who six years ago managed to have a second. I am not the person who put almost everything she wanted as an individual second, third or fourth as she mothered two small children and tried to be nice to a PhD writing husband. I am not the person who descended into her own dark and personal hell when faced with moving. I am not the person who fought and fought and could not find the way out from a pit deeper than any I’d ever known.
Of course, all of that is here, in me. My road stretches back and is paved with those memories, those feelings, those behaviors, those choices. But the wonderful thing about roads is that as long as you do put one foot in front of the other, you get places. The scenery changes. You wake up and it’s warmer or colder or greener or grayer. This too shall pass.
And so it is, that children grow and PhDs are finished, jobs are found, moves are moved and the road wends on. Today I am forty and some weeks old, physically somewhat fitter and lighter, remarkably lighter of heart and mind. After about a million years of good intentions and a lot of avoidance, I finished writing a book. I’ve even started the next (although I am firmly in the phase of loathing it and thinking I am a terrible writer). I am looking forward and believing that good things are not only coming, but here. And that I have within me a fresh and renewed sense that I can make it so, that I am not simply the prop on which other lives rest but the prop of my own life. That there is room in these daily hours for me and for them, that I can choose to go forward, whatever the road behind me is, and plant flowers along the way (a la Miss Rumphius, who made the world a better place).
I’m still making it up as I go along, but it doesn’t seem quite so foggy. See, somehow in the last few months, I suddenly stood up to myself and said, if you want to do something, start now. Your time here is not infinite and you are wasting it. And so almost three years after I wrote this post, I am doing it. I call myself a writer. I write. This is what I do. My book is being read by a decent editor. I am done avoiding what I want because I’m scared to want it, fail at it, whatever. I am way, way more scared of spending my whole life being scared.
I am building my own website right now (despite my stunning ignorance of all things html-ish). It will — I hope — be a sort of professional home, but I will blog there and post bits of writing and stuff of that sort. I think I’m not only shutting down these other blogs, but (after copying the contents) deleting them. Although don’t hold your breath because it’ll take me a while to do all the cutting and pasting necessary. It’s time for me to move on, not in baby steps, but in huge great flying leaps.
Come visit me at my new home here: francescaamendolia.com. Give me a shout out and let me know you’re still out there. And thanks for being with me all these years, on and off, along this road.