Photo: Blessed are the hands that bake the bread… or something? I have made bread all week. This is the brioche that I baked today. We’ll slice it for French Toast tomorrow morning. When I started this blog, I was not a baker. I was challenged to learn and now I love it. I’m grateful for this time that I’ve been given to learn and grow and explore the other facets of my personhood. Part of me wonders how much longer of this I have. Another part of me wonders if I’ve been doing the right thing with my time.
My Quiet Thoughts are about sharing, because that was clearly the theme of my week. I started my week by opening up my home to neighbors, family and good friends, and I ended it with phone-calls and impromptu conversations that ended up being a lot more than the usual shallow banter. I’m sitting here right now coming off of a very fascinating discussion about religion and faith with a member of my writing community–I just spent the better part of an hour answering questions and asking some of my own, sharing stories that I’ve told few people. It has been exhilarating and exhausting, terrifying and uplifting.
But when I think about it, it’s more terrifying than anything else. I suppose that it is the introvert in me, but I don’t think of myself as that interesting to begin with, and I firmly believe that most of my thoughts and ideas are fairly foolish. I’m also fairly sure that, especially in person, I’m not terribly articulate at all. So I’ve spent the better part of this week wishing that I could erase the entirety of my Monday, and some parts of my Tuesday and Thursday as well.
I write that and I realize that there is some introvertedness in my words and also some Millennialness in my words. It is so easy to type at this keyboard and fuss with it and censor it to my heart’s content. I don’t spend a lot of time self-censoring, but I do try to erase what seems to be boring or asinine, only putting my moment’s best up on the screen and out into the wide wide internets. As you’ve noticed, there isn’t anything remarkable to see here–I’m a woman and a mother trying to make things work. I woke up yesterday with the grand idea that I was going to delete this blog. “Who wants to read another stupid mommy blog?” I asked myself. “Who are you to write about your life as if you have something to contribute? How large could your ego possibly be?” Indeed, I’ve strayed away from the original purpose of this blog–which was to seek some sort of sisterhood among other suburban Black moms out there. It’s turned into a diary of sorts… which isn’t what I wanted. You all have your own issues, your own diapers to change, your own bills to pay.. right? I have often felt like I’ve written posts that are severely unworthy of your time. When I think about the time that I’ve wasted, I get heart palpitations.
I recognize that there is fear and hurt in the words that I’m typing. As I open up to new people and see to either strengthen existing relationships or create new ones, I remember the ones that I’ve lost or severed over time. The mind wanders to the potential squandered, the intimacies divulged, the vulnerability exploited.
But then again, it feels good to share. It feels good to ask and answer questions, to learn and connect. It feels good to know something unexpected, to be surprised when something comes out of nowhere. I appreciate that I’ve spent my entire week mulling over questions and feeling inspired and yet utterly and terribly inadequate and foolish at the same time. That’s invigorating. (There is the optimism… I knew I’d find it.)
So on this Friday, I’ll share with you, dear reader:
I found a lump in my breast a week after Christmas. While I was sitting in my mother’s house worried over every last other thing in my life, I found it. I sat on it for 2 months, not telling anyone but my husband (and my doctor) because I didn’t want to add to the drama of my life. There were a few times, in the dark moments when I let my mind wander down the rabbit hole, that I thought I’d share on this blog. But I didn’t want to alarm anyone and I didn’t want it to seem like I was looking for attention or unnecessary sympathy. I had an ultrasound last week and they found that there is something there but it is benign. That’s the reason why I posted so late on Friday–I was in and out of 4 doctor’s appointments trying to get everything sorted out. I am relieved and humbled, and evermore cognizant that I have little control over the course of my life. These worries brought renewed urgency to some parts of my life and de-emphasized the urgency in others. To reiterate: I’m fine and grateful to be so.
I’ve been writing this post for the better part of an hour. I’ve written two other things that I thought I would share and have erased them both. It’s funny how we determine what is interesting, what is worthy of being shared. I think that I’ll try to write two “nice” posts this month that share something personal (like what I did when I was on vacation back in September). We give what we get, right? I’ll give a little.
On this and all Fridays, I congratulate you on your accomplishments and wish you the opportunity to indulge in an end-of-the-week ritual. Even if that’s going to be at 9 tonight and sleeping until you can’t sleep anymore. I wish you the song of a returning bird in the trees, or a pop of green in the ground under the melting snow, or even a glimpse of the first buds emerging from awakening trees. I wish you a seat at a sugarhouse, cutting into a stack of buttermilk pancakes and syrup fresh from the maple tap. I wish you the sight of an animal (the foxes just left from under the barn. They are so gorgeous!) and the reminder that we humans weren’t the only ones who suffered this extreme winter. I wish you a smile from across a crowded room, a text from a random friend, a good story from an elder, or a pleasant chat with a friend in a beautiful place. I wish you one good meal prepared by skilled hands and a loving heart. I wish you a moment of feeling foolish and the reminder that you aren’t always the smartest person in the room. I wish you the opportunity to help someone else–to be the hero of a person’s day. I wish you inspiration, great or small, and the exhilaration that goes with it.
Until Monday, stay warm and take care.