Have you ever been drawn to someone? There is something about their energy that is attracting you to them. I am taking a course that meets via Zoom on Saturday mornings. The first week I logged in, I was filled with nervous excitement. As I stared at the Brady Bunch squares, I was drawn to one of the participants. She was soft-spoken, and her demeanor was reserved. Her mannerisms displayed a subtle coolness. Our personalities seemed very different. I am quick to jump into the conversation, and I generally say what is on my mind without thinking or filtering. (It is a blessing and a curse.) This woman, on the other hand, was observant. She took a pause before speaking. The thoughts she did express were magical and complex. Wow, I think I may have a crush. The words of Little Big Town’s Girl Crush begin to play in my head. I was captivated by her ability to quietly observe and then with precise timing drop words of wisdom. This woman had qualities I wanted to possess. I had to meet her and get to know more about her.
As the class concluded, I discovered she was an author. She has three published books. Curious about her writing, I opened my Kindle and downloaded Flourishing Fiction: Possibilities from A to Z by Gail Boenning. As I began reading, my fascination grew. Gail writes with passion, curiosity, and wonder. Her short essays were a delightful surprise. This isn’t the type of writing I am usually drawn to. Typically, I vacillate between self-development books that teach me something and contemporary fiction that entertains me. Her writing was opening my mind to possibility and wonder. It evoked my imagination. It sparked a desire in me to write something fun, creative, and thought-provoking.
This past year, I discovered joy in writing. The process of writing a weekly blog has brought me pleasure. An unexpected surprise came from the weekly task. I mostly write about things going on in our home. My struggles and triumphs in my unique world raising and caring for a child with disabilities. I write about my truth, challenges, discoveries. The gratitude in the journey and lessons learned. Sharing techniques I practice to maintain my calm in the chaos and stay mostly Zen in the zoo. Writing has been a useful tool for expressing my thoughts about caregiving and giving others a little insight into my not-so-typical life.
After reading Gail’s book in one sitting, I went to Instagram to see if she had an account. She did, and I immediately followed her. As I absorbed her posts, I was drawn to the characters she has created. She calls them her muses. She posted a quote from one of her books, and I commented on it. I had the urge to send Gail a direct message and request a phone conversation or meet up. I allowed my nerves to stop me. My mind provided a plethora of reasons not to reach out: I am sure she is a very busy woman. Writing books takes time and concentration. I bet she has people that set up her appointments. She is busy creating beautiful essays that are captivating the world. I am just a caregiver who writes a blog. Oh, the cruel inner chatter. I chose to crawl back into my shell.
The beautiful thing is, she reached out to me! She asked to set up a Zoom call to chat. This is amazing, I thought. I was over the moon. Then I thought, I wonder why she wants to talk to me? I bet she is selling something. Maybe she is starting a course or coaching thing and wants me to join. She wouldn’t just want to get to know me. I kicked around these thoughts in my head until we met on Tuesday. Like a child on Christmas morning, I sat in front of my computer waiting for 6 am to arrive. I clicked on the meeting link and suddenly we were face-to-face. As we broke the ice with basic information about each other, something happened. I realized we were not all that different. We had a lot in common. Our energies, though each unique, fit well together. It felt like I was chatting with a life-long friend over coffee. We committed to another call.
Since that call, life has thrown a few curve balls our way. Honestly, mostly Gail’s way. I consider myself strong, tough, and resilient but watching her navigate her challenges with humor and grace is inspiring. She shares a little piece of her experience each day through the eyes of her muses. Each morning when I awake, I anticipate the moment I will be able to sit down and drink in her writing. It is a wonderful experience to read her journey through the voices of her endearing muses. I get to laugh, cry, and celebrate with them.
I believe things happen for a reason, and meeting Gail is no exception. In a short time, she has helped me learn more about myself. We text throughout the week and meet on Zoom weekly to connect. I am challenging myself to explore more and write more. It is exciting to anticipate where my writing and our friendship will take us. While our destination is TBD, I do know that since our paths have crossed, my joy has increased. Isn’t that a wonderful gift to receive?
Have you ever considered that whatever comes your way most likely has a relationship with what you’re putting out? – Gail Boenning, Wandering Words A Walk from A to Z