feels like being underwater

picture found here.
It is not yet the middle of April, and the air conditioner is turned on. I'm dressed in a tank top and capri pants. I enjoy warmer weather but am not the biggest fan of summer. I think it's because I long for vacations in the summer, and at this point, we have no vacations planned.

If we could, we would travel. To Michigan. To Mexico. To Texas. To see family. And to spend hours by the pool, warming our skin and then cooling off in the pool. One day we will.

But still. Warmer weather brings longer walks outside. We took both dogs out this morning and navigated the cracked sidewalks. Then after some rest, my husband and I spent an hour in downtown Oklahoma City, walking and eating frozen yogurt. A simple afternoon but one that elicited conversation. Sometimes the best afternoons are the simple ones.

I'm doing my best to enjoy the simple moments. It's not always easy because I do struggle with wanting more, but I am getting there.

On the drive home, we talked about writing. I'm close to finishing the second draft of my novel, and it terrifies me. This fear is a layered one. It is fear of success, of failure, and what will come next. Because if there is success, then more is expected. And if there is failure, then a person has to start over again.

I'm holding tightly to my dreams, though, as scary as they are. I am reminding myself that I can do this. That this writing thing? It is my passion, and it is something I need to turn into a reality. I've spent too many months and years "writing a novel"; it is time to finish the novel and then move onto the next step - whatever that might be.

I keep coming back to words I've heard for years. Words about writing. And about how I have what it takes. It is time for me to believe those words. And not just as they relate to writing but as they relate to every aspect of life.

There is a trap I often fall into. It is the trap of comparison. Comparison only to the things I see. Things like other's homes, other's marriages, other's successes. And I think of how I want this or that or anything that appears better than what I have.

I'm trying to move away from the trap of comparison. But it's not an easy trap to bid farewell to. It is a trap that so easily ensnares and then takes over every possible thought and aspect it can. Similar to the clover that spreads so effortlessly in our front yard as the grass struggles to spring up.

Comparisons are only made on the surface level. They run as deep as the eye can see and then they stop. And only concentrating on those things seen on the surface does nothing but keep a person from realizing the truth: that everyone has their own struggles.

There is no writer (that I know of) who writes a book effortlessly and eloquently on the first try and then publishes it without any editing. There is no wife in a marriage without strife and who doesn't work every single day to make it the best marriage possible.

Why then is it so much harder to realize the truth rather than focus on the lies comparisons tell us?

This is a question I have asked over the past several days. I am asking God and seeking His heart for my life. I am looking into my own life and seeing the good as well as focusing on the aspects that I can change for the better. Because I do have the chance to move from where I am to where I want to be; it just might take longer than I prefer.

One way of doing this is to keep a list of my blessings. A weekly list. Some items come to mind quickly and others take their sweet time.

And another way is to finish. To finish my novel. To move from having a dream to completing a labor of love. It's time to step out and do all the things I've talked about doing. It's time to bid farewell to the fears and embrace the hopes I have.

(title from "break me" by jewel)

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