The Path Forward

A lot of things happened in my professional and personal life last year-

I distanced from close friends to begin boundaries

I got my psoriasis diagnosed and began treatment. Still struggling with flare ups

I carried weight of hurting family members who needed help, love, and forgiveness

We said permanent goodbyes to those no longer earthside

We navigated a diagnosis for Roland, finally, along with adjusting our parenting to embrace even more empathy for him than before

We ended homeschooling, began public school

Illness, bullies at school, illness, illness, illness (almost once a week – I’d ask to send help but I know all of you with Littles are all sick too this school year. Crazy)

Covid finally hit us and sent Roland to the ER and I still struggle to catch my breath and not be coughing and tired even months later

We went broke, ha-ha, 3x over

I navigated my own mental health treatments and care that were fresh to me after decades of not understanding myself

I applied for jobs for the first time in 9 years meanwhile slacked on schoolwork, causing me to apply for an incomplete grade and finish course work much later than planned (did get that A though finally!)

The weight, timing/overlap, and processing of it all unfortunately put some very important things to me on the back burner:

– I stopped writing and painting with consistency and intent.

While I worked on my mental health in other ways, these are things I must do. Regardless of mood, season, or circumstances- without such things, I am not ME

Some people have a word for the year they want to embody, embrace, or practice.

I have not published any collections since the summer of 2021, blogging was scarce last year, and painting was only forced instead of embraced

My word, if I were to pick one, is Elizabeth
It is my own. It isn’t some cliche inspirational word to give hope and promise…. it isn’t a word that is only sometimes or forgotten and picked back up when convenient.

It’s a collection of letters that is there the mirror, in the soles of my feet freezing on the tiles, in the aroma of coffee while scalding my throat as it is too eagerly gulped, it sits hanging from my ears, ringing between the left and right of a brain here but also in daydream, and it belongs written on a page, and splattered on a sketchbook. It isn’t a word I pick up some days. It isn’t a word I practice. It isn’t really a word then, afterall…. it’s a dance along letters…an affirmative path forward.

My therapist said to be sure and intentional with words relating to what I want to do and don’t want to do. Set boundaries with myself and others with I need to be sure and consistent.

Considering this with last years events, I need to focus boundaries within my workspace as well – because that is important in the end to ME…my writing and art are ME. I can not fathom setting personal boundaries with others if I can not even honor myself with the things that make me who I am – so…

I WILL be writing again. I WILL publish poetry and art along the path forward. I WILL be diving back into my novel and children’s book/illustrations. I WILL be drawing and creating for my Noom and Red Thread projects again.

I WILL have set office hours, uninterrupted and respected – my work is actual work, and I need to treat it as such.

I WILL absorb all sorts of art from others (books, music, crafts, etc) – this is how you grow and get inspired

I WILL be….Me. Unapologetically. With intent, confidence, and consistency.

The path forward may mean less time and energy for the things that only feed me negatively. Whether that’s actions, items, or people. The path forward holds forgiveness, empathy, but has boundaries.

I WILL stay on my path. Forward. Healing.

What affirmative decisions are you making this year? How are you showing up for YOU?

Published by elizabethridge

A poet and author from Iowa. Just trying to make feelings into words and make it mean something. Or nothing. You read and decide

3 thoughts on “The Path Forward

  1. I WILL stick around and stay updated with your blog to be sure that I watch all of these things bloom.
    This was very inspirational and relatable. My story is a little bit different, but I’ve had my blog for 7 years and I have been everything BUT committed and consistent with it. The ironic thing is that throughout these 7 years, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in writing. For some reason, I never allowed myself to take the risk of doing it through my blog though. So, one of the first things that I did when 2023 started is monetize my blog. I bought the domain. I had not reach my goal for followers or views yet. I had not achieve any benchmarks yet. But it didn’t matter. Now I’m telling myself that maybe these benchmarks were excuses that I gave myself to hold me back. I’m happy that I took that leap!


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