Much of the inspiration behind this story-telling community I’m building comes from a class I took last fall through Women Writing for (a) Change Jacksonville called Writing Through Transitions. In one of our last classes the facilitator asked us to think about our transition (mine was divorce) and fast-write a top-ten style list of lessons we’ve learned on our journey so far. Fast-write is when you put pen to paper for a specified timeframe and you don’t stop until the time is up. The idea is to silence your inner critic and let your creative voice roam free.
The wisdom gleaned from the six women in the room was pretty astounding. I wish I had my list to send to myself two years ago when I was still reeling in pain and confusion. If my today self could’ve talked to my fresh-off-the-marriage-boat self two years ago, here’s what I would say:
- Things aren’t always what they seem.
- Never be afraid to speak your truth.
- It’s okay to feel.
- Anger will eat you alive.
- Yes, this really will pass.
- It might get worse before it gets better, but it will get better.
- You do what you have to do, and you are stronger than you realize.
- It’s okay to rest.
- Live and choose as you will, not as anyone else wills.
- Be brave.
- Break those patterns.
- Be gentle with yourself.
- It’s okay to ask for help.
- It’s okay to admit you’re not okay.
- Let go of the things and people who no longer serve you.
- Seize the opportunity to reinvent yourself. Notice what gives you joy and follow it like it’s your savior.
P.S.—If you’re looking for a tool to help you navigate and process transition, check out Writing Through Transitions: A Guide for Transforming Life Changes by Leia Francisco.