Around this time last year I had a lifelong friend send me a gift, The One Year Book of Inspiration for Girlfriends juggling Not-So-Perfect, OFTEN-CRAZY, but Gloriously REAL LIVES by Ellen Miller. And it was exactly what I needed.
The year prior to receiving the gift was one of the most difficult years I had ever encountered. Left my masters program, moved away from friends and family, entered into my first year of marriage, and realized I was struggling with finding the independent woman I had loved so much. My friends did not have me at their side during their toughest of hurdles, they did not have me when they mourned the lost of their loved ones. They did not have me to make them smile and inspire them to see the beauty remaining in the world. They did not have me because I was drowning in alcohol and sorrow.
I was not the friend I could have or should have been. And I definitely was not the artist I desired to be. I was a Pollock without the skill. But through the love of my friends, family, and this book I climbed right out of that dungeon of sadness and am walking tall. I hope that the future is full of nothing but challenges and success. I am ready for life and I hope it is ready for me.
The following is a list of (rough) phrases I remember from the book that keep me going.
- How would you like to describe you?
- Take the high road
- Stop playing the scales
- Be flexible with tasks of life
- There is always more you don’t know
- Sometimes all you can do is laugh
- Forgiving your parents doesn’t mean you accept or excuse their poor behavior
- Dont collect distractions. Only carry what you need
- Be mature and self aware
- Take the common out of your everyday. Try a staycation
- If you are successful, it becomes possible for you to leave an inheritance for others. But if you desire to do more, to create a legacy, then you need to leave that in others.
- Its coming up a cloud (wait out the storm and forgive)
- Make your work meaningful
- Be consistent
(Reminder: I am Agnostic)
The next two are excerpts from her book are derived from the bible for which I find very inspiring and thoughtful.
- So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (Thessalonians 5:11)
- And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. (Ezekiel 36:26)
What I loved so much about receiving this gift is that regardless of the distance and the short conversations she was able to see how much I needed help. For some it is difficult to form a friendship and even more difficult to seal the bond forever. But for me I believe in the power of community and what it can do for people. I am not so sure how any of this will relate to my work directly, but it is the reason for my return to the pursuit of creative arts.