As a calligrapher, you see TONS of inspirational quotes; they literally flood your feed. And when I’d see “Bloom where you’re planted” or “Be here now,” I'd feel the twinge in my gut of 'am I really living in the moment?’ See, at that time, I was transitioning to a different stage of my life. I was constantly planning and dreaming and moving.
Well, in a way, that stage has passed, and I’m slowly getting settled in this city and trying to call it home. I find myself watching the people who’ve been settled for years, who have a huge following and clients. But mostly, I'm stuck comparing myself to the people who have deep friendships and to the young moms with their kids. I think that’s the most difficult thing for me in this current stage of life— living in a new place, not knowing a soul. The unfamiliar really takes its toll, leaving me restless, either longing for the past or dreaming of a future self. But never embracing the person I am right now.
It really took a nudge from my Father one morning as I washed the sleep from my face. He said to me, Daughter, it’s been a while; Let’s sit together. I opened up Galatians, and made it to one of the more well-known chapters, the one that talks about freedom for freedom’s sake and the fruit of the Spirit, but that wasn’t the part that resonated in my soul. No, it was the very last verse:
“Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."
This wrecked me.
I looked at these words and saw myself. I saw my brokenness. I saw how constant comparison pushed me away from community, and forced me into conceit and jealousy. Who am I to deserve advancement without putting in the effort?
I’m still working through these feelings. It’s a process, like just about everything in life. Starting a creative business will definitely teach that to you.
But Authentic is about encouragement, about community, about love and understanding. It’s about using beautiful things to talk about real things. It’s believing that your words are SO important. It's knowing they can be the sweetness in someone’s life or the poison.
So I leave you with this, something I often preach to myself:
Rather than coveting someone else's success, remember that they were once where you are now. We all grow differently. Be gentle with yourself. Treasure the time when things are small and simple.