IIN my life, I have been a collector of words. Words that I love. Words that bring me peace. Words that make me giggle. Words that are profound. They can look like books. Poems. Blogs. Lyrics. Conversations. They connect me to times. Events. Places. Even People.
One of my all time favorites is…epiphany. Summer of 1989. University of Richmond.
Epiphany. Come on. First of all, it is just fun to say. Go ahead. Say it out loud. You know you just smiled. Just a little bit.
Tonight, I had an epiphany and through a phone call and a circle of women on a journey like mine, I was shown another word, and given a gift, a present…I have been searching for. And it was just handed to me in such a simple, gentle way…I’m still marveling at the experience.
converge. No, wait. Say it again.
She said it very matter of factly. I heard it the first time and I wrote it down on the mindmap in my journal as I was still talking and sharing my random ramblings. But then…I heard it. She said it again, almost casually. And it took my breath…just a little bit. In her empathic ways, She said that the word…converge… kept coming up for her… for me.. Converge.
That. Is. It.
That’s the goal, isn’t it? That is the mission statement. That is the…action plan. She said it. “She said the headline.”
To say that this path, this journey, this way, has been anything short of Ah.May.Zing. is just… is just ridiculous silliness. For the past year, I have been playing the role of a seeker. Looking. Collecting. Searching. Trying to find the words that are my life, but bring them all together in a way that equals what I want to do and how I want to spend my precious minutes in this being.
Mother. Partner. Live. Play. Love. Intend. Work. Move. Care. Eat. Write. Be.
Trying to find the balance between the verbs that are the nouns and the nouns that are the verbs.
And even though the past year has offered twists and turns and climbs and drops in ways I never could have predicted, I was still looking and learning and seeking and asking and trying to piece it all together.
It has always been about action. “A little less conversation, a little more action.” Always more than an Elvis song for me. It is more like a mantra. And I can suddenly see it…now…it has been there for so long. Waiting. Waiting for me to find it and put it all together.
Eight years ago, when I decorated the little nursery that would be my Y’s room, it was an ocean theme. There was a lighthouse painted on the wall in the corner. Much thanks to my baby brother, who climbed into the tiny (hornet inhabiting) spaces of our attic, to install an actual light where the light should be. The best friend/partner/hubby helped me paint the bottom of the wall with sand colored paint, textured with sand to appear like … sand. And the walls, sky blue, even for the girl child, sky-blue full of possibility. And on the walls, were kites. Square canvases, resting, tilting, on a single nail to hang like diamonds on the wall, painted by me in different colors. With ribbons hanging down to be blown by the wind of the ceiling fan. And on each one–I painted a verb. And each verb was a wish. Wishes of actions that I hoped and prayed she would have the confidence and the courage to Do. To Be.
Believe. Imagine. Read. Sing. Dream. Play.
This was long before MommyVerbs was born. Long before I realized that I loved these words like I do. Before Y. Before X. Before this journey. Before this year.
Years later, in a new job after expanding out of the classroom, I coined and championed a ‘catch phrase’ for our work in education. It was a call for us to be mindful. To be intentional. To be aware of what we say and what we do and how we act. It was IINspired by a three-generational trip to London, leading my Mother, carrying my 10-month old daughter on my back through the Underground.
“Mind the gap between your actions and your beliefs.” Mind the literal gaps between the platform and the train in places. And mind the spaces where our words don’t match how we behave. The disconnects between what we say we believe to be true and how we act, everyday. There it is again. Actions.
And there are so many more examples along this way. Examples of coincidences. Examples of circumstances. Examples of chance meetings and connections. Things I can share and things I can’t. Things that won’t make sense to many.
Steppin’ Out. Crossfit. Health and Fitness. Frustration. Life in Balance. Angela. Taunya. Enter IIN. Valentine’s Day Candy gifts. Concern. Charlotte. Sisses. Fear. Stephenson. Terror. Laura. Comfort. Prayer. Uncertainty. Family. Mom. Spirit. Time. Ritual. Routine. On. Off. Friends. Leaning. Ups. Downs. Patience. Focus. Peace. OK. Breathe.
And in the midst of this came awareness. Came choices. Came intentions. Came changes.
And I began to want all my favorite things in the same place. In one place.
My definition of nirvana…my place. my family. my time. our health. my work. enough. even this dog that is laying, sleeping peacefully with his head on my lap.
Is it all coming together?
Eat well. Play more.
I feel like I have spent the last year trying to put together a million piece puzzle. forcing pieces where they don’t belong. stumbling upon the few that fit ‘accidentally’. Coincidentally meeting a friend or talk to a family member who knows where a couple of pieces match. Learning a trick for piecing a few together. Getting frustrated and wanting to quit, but then being motivated by seeing someone succeed.
And all of a sudden, and simultaneously, over a long period of time, it is coming together. Slowly. I can’t quite make it out, yet, but the shape is there. What I want to do. What I want to be. How I want to live and to love and to … be.
The verbs in my life. That is where the action is. That is where we will meet. My tribe. Waiting for me. There.
Things have been coming together for a long time. Things have been on a course of convergence for a while now. I just needed the right verb, the right action word and it was there all along.
And then she whispered it. The epiphany.