It’s funny how you can go along making seemingly random choices about disparate elements of your life only to reach a point where those elements converge into an “aha” moment of clarity. In hindsight, it could almost look like all the pieces of a well-laid plan finally came together, just as I had always known it would. A well-laid plan, perhaps, but not one I was fully clued in on.
Let me back the truck up for a moment, so I can take you on this little side trip with me.
I have recently taken a HUGE leap of faith and made a deliberate and not altogether comfortable decision to be a writer. Not to write, which is something that I have always done, not even to say that my job is to write; but to fully embrace what I believe is my calling and, come hell or high water, to boldly proclaim – I am a writer!
I don’t know about how it works for other people, but for me the process of getting to the point where I could make that statement about myself, took a lot of time, self-reflection, attitude adjustment and not a small amount of courage.
Shortly after I made my proclamation to myself, I launched my new website, http://www.carefreewriting.com, to help me shout it from the web-tops! And shortly after that, I started this blog as well.
So, this point in the narrative brings me to another seemingly unrelated decision made back in October of last year – to join a leadership program in my local community. As part of the program, we were recently required to complete the Gallup Strengths Center survey to discover our top five strengths.
Without boring you with too many details, I’ll just say this: my top five strengths all lend themselves nicely to a writing career (as opposed to some of the other careers I’ve given a whirl over the years).
What does any of this have to do with being a South Georgia Transplant and the purpose of this blog? Just bear with me, I’m getting there.
When I saw my strength results and read the descriptions of each, I had to chuckle over one in particular, Input. Simply put, a person with Input as a strength likes to collect things, especially information. One characteristic mentioned was that someone with this trait might enjoy reading dictionaries and encyclopedias (to the confoundment of others).
About five days before taking this test, I had ordered a book called, Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape. I had been nerdily awaiting its arrival because I could not wait to dive into this dictionary of landscape terminology which I had ordered, in part, to help me do a better job of writing on this blog.
As I read the introduction, something I’m not particularly prone to do, I was stopped in my tracks when I came across this passage written by Barry Lopez that so eloquently sums up the purpose of this particular journey that I am on as the South Georgia Transplant.
“What many of us are hopeful of now, it seems, is being able to gain – or regain – a sense of allegiance with our chosen places, and along with that a sense of affirmation with our neighbors that the place we’ve chosen is beautiful, subtle, profound, worthy of our lives.”
How beautiful is that?
Three relatively unrelated decisions, the results of which came together on this day to reaffirm, reinvigorate, and reassure.
(I would like to state here that I am not affiliated in any way with this book or with the Gallup Strengths Center. I have embedded the links to the official websites to both should you like to read more about them.)