A return to authenticity, simplicity & joy
I started my first blog in 2007/8ish. Ironically enough, it was called Simply Cynthia. Even though that one particular blog was renamed and most posts never saw the light of day, it was a time of the unencumbered joy and satisfaction that come from authentic writing (and living) from the heart. And it was a time of just being “me”.
I miss that.
Over the last few years, I lost that joy and spark. I know there are creatives who not only write when they are stressed, frustrated or otherwise in a “bad place,” but in fact thrive on it. I’m not one of them. I don’t need life to be perfect and rosy in order to write, or just to be ok in general, and it’s not about waiting for inspiration either; I just have to be “there” and in the last few years, it hasn’t been happening.
There are a few reasons for that, both personal ones and related to a transition from a nearly 10-year journalism career to... "other stuff", I guess would be the easiest way to say it... but in essence, what it boiled down to was feeling the need to censor myself, feeling consumed by the day to day struggle, trying to live up to a standard of what I thought I was supposed to want for myself and in one way or another, losing "me" to a general disconnect from a life and purpose that was authentic to me.
While I certainly appreciate the growth that came from this time, I’m ready to just be “me” again. I’m still not all there yet, but I’m trying (due in part to friends who won’t let me give up). The way I’m making that effort is through a return to simple, faith and joy inspired living; a life, and career, based on what God wants for me, how I thrive, and what brings me joy.
But what I’ve discovered is that more than anything, I just want to be a woman after God’s own heart, regardless of what the world has to say about what “real” womanhood is, or what I’m supposed to want for myself personally or professionally.
It's so easy to get caught up in the world's, or simply "someone else's" definition of success and womanhood, good and noble as it may appear, that we lose ourselves to pursuits that are not authentic to who we are, inconsistent with God's true calling and purpose for our lives, and ultimately, it leave us drained and discouraged. (I'll be writing more about this later).
Today, I just want to be who God wants me to be, as a woman and a professional. I wholeheartedly embrace Proverbs 31 and 1 Peter 3:4 as the perfect models of godly womanhood that by His grace alone I long to live and breathe.
Finally, I believe that authentic, Christ-honoring living is key to true service to others and our own happiness and satisfaction. We can't thrive and fully serve to the best of our ability if we are living a life inconsistent with God's will first and foremost, and secondly, out of tune with who we are as an individual, which includes our talents, personality, values and even our day to day likes and dislikes. Authentic living is about consistency of principle, purpose and preference. I was out of sync for a long time, which is to say,
I was trying to be someone I'm not in order to gain something I thought I was supposed to want but really didn't. I never want to be there again.
What authentic living will actually look like for me in practical, day-to-day terms remains to be fully seen but I look forward to living and writing for the sheer joy of it and allowing God to mold my life and work to what He wants it to be.