For a year I woke up to Jack Johnson singing these lyrics into my sleeping ear:
In times like these
In times like those
What will be will be
And so it goes.
And it goes on and on and on and on . . .
On and on it goes.
It was a great way to wake up, not only because I love Jack Johnson, but because it was a great perspective on whatever the day held. Maybe it was going to be a good day, maybe a hard one, but whatever came, life would keep rolling along.
I’ve been thinking about getting that CD out and putting it back into my alarm clock recently. You see, I’ve got a few big days coming up.
In a few days I’ll be at the She Speaks conference meeting other women who blog, speak, and write about their faith. While there I will also meet with a couple of publishers to pitch the book my husband and I have written about using faith and therapy tools to manage anxiety.
I’m going to be straight up with you and admit that I’m nervous and scared about what the conference holds. For one, I am a big time introvert and the thought of meeting all those strangers sends my heart to racing (yeah, I know read the book I wrote on anxiety management and use a trick or two). But beyond interacting with all the other bloggers and writers who I worry will be smarter and better at what I am trying to do, I’m worried about the big meetings.
My husband and I have been working on this book for about a year now. We’ve written something we are proud of, we’ve taught a class where we watched it help other people, and now we would really love to be able to share this with a wider audience. But the world of publishing has gotten pretty competitive. Publishers want potential authors to already have a platform and ready made market. I blog, I speak, but so many have platforms much bigger than mine. Will anyone care what I have to say? Will they judge my words (and frankly me) to be good enough?
We have polished and prepared, but it has all been a bit nerve wracking to tell you the truth. I so want to go and have our hard work finally pay off. Everybody wants their dream to come true, right?
But as I begin the final preparations of printing proposals and packing, I channel my inner Jack Johnson.
I remind myself that before Jack was a handsome crooner, he was a surfer. He gained his wisdom of the world by riding the waves day after day. The thing about serious surfers is that when they get up in the morning, they have one goal. To surf. It may be a day when the waves are kind and they feel at one with the world. Or it may be a day when they fall and the ocean proceeds to pummel them with wave after wave as they try to recover. But whether its a good day or a bad day, a surfer continues to get out there and keep riding the waves. It is just what they do.
These days I’m claiming the title of writer. There are days when words come easy, and people are glad to share them, and everyone tells me how grateful they are for my offering of words. And then there are says when delete is the key I hit most, or no one reads the post, or the publishers say “thank you, but no thank you.”
It is fifty-fifty if I’ll feel one with all that is good in the universe or if I’ll get pummeled by the sea.
But as a serious surfer gets up everyday and continues to surf, a true writer gets up and continues to share words with the world.
The waves of life will come, the good and the bad. The choice we have to make day after day is to pick up our board and take the ride. If we fall, we fall. And if we catch the wave just right, well, there’s nothing quite like that.
Soon I’m going to take my words and see if I can catch a good wave. I’m getting to the place where I’ll be at peace no matter how it goes. If it goes smooth, great. If I fall, I’ll get back up and keep trying. The right wave will come along eventually and when it does, I want to be out there ready and waiting.
And to celebrate regardless of what the conference holds, well you might have guessed it already. I am heading to the Carolina coast to see if I can learn to catch a wave on the ocean. I’ve always wanted to feel the surge of the surf underneath me. To feel connected to something so much bigger and more powerful than I. It would be a physical expression of what writing feels like. I have no idea if I’ll make it up and ride a wave or not. But I’m sure going to try.
And in times like these and times like those, sometimes that all that counts.
For those of you not acquainted with Jack Johnson, here you go.