Monday, July 6, 2015

Plunging into the Unknown with Joy and Freedom

Happy Feast of St. Maria Goretti! She's a big favorite of my husband and myself. I love how she, as a young teenager, so strongly wanted to live a life of holiness--and for her murderer to do the same. Today's feast takes me back a couple years, to the time when Jacob and I spent a semester in Europe. We were so blessed with the opportunity to go to the shrine of St. Maria Goretti in Nettuno, Italy.

I hope that you all are doing well, and enjoying your summer! A week ago, my husband and I moved into our new apartment, so this week has been a lot of unpacking, enjoying the final days of vacation time together, and celebrating July 4th (we went to a spectacular fireworks show in Edmond, OK). We've been enjoying unstructured days of games, movies, and conversations.

But today, life has changed.
At 5:45 a.m., bid my husband farewell as he left for his job orientation.
And then I faced it: The Unknown. 

I have been looking forward to this time of "settling in" as a chance to get rooted in Oklahoma City life, and to work on projects that I've been neglecting far too long. For the past few years, I've wanted to break into the world of freelance writing. I've gone through the Writer's Market Guide. I've researched different websites and publications. I've started articles. But I've never finished what I've begun, as schoolwork and other responsibilities took over. Today is a new day, though. I have decided to discipline myself and really give the freelance world a try. After all, I don't have schoolwork anymore, so I have loads of time to dedicate myself to writing projects.

And so it was with joy, excitement, and a sense of freedom that I hopped onto my laptop this morning. Eagerly, I began viewing a writing course that I had been given a free subscription to (the course costs $299, so I was very pumped up!). I also began reading article upon article about blogging, freelance writing, and everything in between. As I watched the course, edited this blog, and looked up publications, I began to grow overwhelmed. The vast expanse of the Unknown, which I have been so excited to jump into, was beginning to scare me.

It grew larger and more daunting, until I closed my laptop. Grabbing my breviary, notebook, and purse, I left the apartment and went on a walk. There was a lovely little table on the complex, and so I sat. It was peaceful, since there were very few people outside, and I was quite a ways from the main road. I pulled out the breviary to pray Midday Prayer, and I felt God's peace wash over me. I love praying Liturgy of the Hours. I'm a bit embarrassed to confess that I have not prayed it in several weeks, as I just got lazy and preoccupied with all of the life events that were happening. But one of my goals for this "new routine" is to pray from LotH every day. So hopefully I can get back into the swing of things!

When I finished praying, as this deep peace spread throughout me, I pulled out a pen and paper. With renewed vigor, I began drafting out my "Plan of Attack" as I face the whole freelance writing world. This morning, I had felt chaotic and overwhelmed by the multiple tabs on my computer, all of the advice articles, and the seminar. But now that I've taken a step away from it all, to rest in Christ, I'm ready to begin again.

I'll take this slowly.
I'll be patient with myself.
I'll keep it simple, and won't over-commit myself to projects.
I'll plunge right into this Unknown, but I'll do it with joy and freedom.

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