Have you ever felt like your life ambitions extend beyond your expiration date? Full days leave little time for working towards those projects you want to finish.
Welcome to my world. I pack far too much into every possible moment and often have a difficult time deciding what I want to do the most. It doesn’t help me when people say, “Do what’s in your heart.”
That’s my problem. I’ve got a divided heart.
I want to teach youth to read, discover their voices through writing, and dare to explore their dreams. My heart flutters when hope sparks in their downcast eyes.
I would like to learn how to design a book so one day I can help people put their stories into print. Not so they can become New York best-selling authors, but so they can share their passions and preserve their heritages.
I desire to have a thriving creativity website full of resources for creative eclectics, people like me who stitch their artistic temperament together like a patchwork quilt.
I envision video demonstrations of home-style crafting, the kind of activities my mother taught me around our family table.
I want to publish my books to encourage others, not only by sharing the positive but also by exposing the negative parts of my life. I think, “Perhaps if I’m honest and reveal my struggles with the hard times, people will find hope to endure their own.”
So I layer my heart like a quilt, stitching and sewing one desire after the other onto the limited space. I don’t know when I’ll finish or whether I can fit one more colorful patch onto an already crowded spot.
Last night, I fell onto my pillow thinking, I’ll never have time to finish all that I want to do.
Then I remembered the misty eyes of a mother at this week’s parent conferences. She glowed when I told her “Your son’s reading level has increased from the middle of second grade to early fourth.”
I thought about the after-school visit with my childhood best friend, Lisa. The aroma of baked apple bread welcomed me into her kitchen.
A quilting project spread across the counter, reminding me of my mother’s love of the craft.
We strolled across her property reminiscing days of growing up riding horses along the dusty trails of Leona Valley. I snapped pictures of her Emu and we giggled like children.
We shared our memories of mothers who taught us to cook, sew, raise animals, and create art. At one point, we both choked back the tears when she said, “I want to write about my childhood so I can preserve those memories for my two sons.”
In that moment, my heart swelled with the same desire. I could feel the threads of my ambitions, I had so neatly stitched, begin to snap. The tiny rows of strands separating my purposes unraveled. I wanted to become like the worn out quilt she softly touched while she sighed, “I should have used better fabric. My family wore out this quilt. They pull the stuffing out, and I find it around the house.”
In that moment, my impatience seemed foolish.
So this morning, I set aside the nonfiction book proposal I’ve labored over and picked up my pen thinking, I must capture these memories before they perish forever. Sure, I might have a divided heart, but for a few moments it felt whole once again.