Just waiting for another fight to break out
on an inelegant creative process and listening for God on the last day of the year.
“What are you doing, Nadia?”
I said this about an hour ago before realizing I was talking out loud to myself and maybe I should try and not wake Eric even if I was having a moment.
Confession: I spent the last two days working on a post titled, “5 things I learned this year”. Why? Because it was just sort of bubbling up inside of me and I couldn’t keep it in any longer? No. Because I realized other writers were doing that kind of thing and I hadn’t written anything original in a while (to be honest, I’ve been a bit blocked creatively) so I thought I should.
But shockingly it wasn’t going well, even though I woke up at 4a to try and keep at it. So after an hour I said out loud “Nadia, what are you doing?”, deleted the post and started writing this instead. And you’re going to have to trust me on this . . . it is doing more good in my trash can than it ever would in your inbox.
This is all ironic since a couple days ago, in the monthly conversation I have with my subscribers, I said the following:
I’m not one for new year’s resolutions, but I can tell you what one of my hopes is for 2023.
I hope to have more trust.
In God. In my own heart. In love. In the world. In my body.
That’s it. Fear less. Trust more.
And then about 20 minutes after I posted it, I was afraid I’d never again have something original to write, so I forced myself to try and write some stupid “5 lessons I learned this year” post because I HAVE A HARD TIME TRUSTING GOD. I know that may sound extreme but foundationally I think that it is at the core of what is going on with me right now.
I’ve been asked about my creative process and I never quite know what to say. I mean, I know what I WANT to say. I want to sound like the writers I admire who speak of schedule and discipline. But that’s not me. The fact is, here’s my creative process (and this is the crux of why I’m not cut out to be a “content creator”): things happen in the world or in my life, or I encounter a piece of art or a passage of scripture, or I have a conversation with a friend, and then a little fight breaks out between me and God, or me and my ego, or me and what I think the person meant when they said that thing. And I struggle internally to make my case for why I am right or what I deserve or why I am righteous and then, like an exhausted toddler after a tantrum, when I finally give in, in that moment of - I’ll not call it surrender but allowing, God’s still small voice is finally hearable and I am finally receptive. And in that moment, I experience grace. I see something shimmering and hopeful. I find what I needed because I stopped looking only for what I wanted.
And then I just sort of report back.
This has never felt like a thing born of schedule and discipline.
Sometimes these fights break out every day or so, sometimes they are weeks apart. I promise to keep reporting back. And in 2023 I do hope to have a tiny bit more trust that even if it’s been quiet for a few weeks, the fights and allowing and hearing and reporting will return.
And I am also trusting that you guys have plenty of other inspiring lists of learnings and inspirations from 2022 available to you.
(But if you want to know - there was one “reporting back” I did this year that was the most painful and liberating on my end. It was this one):
Thanks for reading my reports.
May this new year bring beautiful things you cannot foresee and may you be gentle with yourself and others during the crappy bits.
If my writing here in The Corners has been of help to you in the last couple years, you can always show your appreciation by joining my paid subscribers who are all endlessly charming and very good looking.