I’m gonna let it shine

She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.
~ Elizabeth Edwards

Tempestuous November has come and gone. I am not a NaNoWriMo winner, but I started a new novel on November first and have almost ten thousand words under my belt–more words than I had written during the first ten months of the year put together. My piano duo partner and I performed challenging programs at the Georgia Music Teachers Association state conference as well as for our local chapter, and thirteen of my students competed successfully in a local piano festival, all receiving “Superior” ratings with three Winners and three Honorable Mentions. I added several new pieces of handmade jewelry to my Etsy store and sold a few pieces here and there. I did a reasonable job of keeping up with, you know, the housework and the laundry and eating healthy and exercising regularly–and in my “free time,” I even managed to read three books for pleasure.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
~ Charles Dickens

Yes, November was in many ways a busy and productive month. But along with the stress of everyday life came some extraordinary challenges: health problems, family crises, financial burdens, and personal heartbreak. The details aren’t important. What matters is that there finally there came a night when I questioned the value of pushing through. When morning came, it was all I could do to get out of bed. Around noon.

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.
~ Harvey Fierstein

Since then, it has occurred to me that besides being a creative outlet, writing is cathartic for me. Writing in my journal is one thing, and I do that almost daily. But whereas my journaling is of the stream-of-consciousness variety, posting to this blog forces me to think through issues, come to logical conclusions, and express myself coherently. This is good therapy. And although it can be risky to speak from the heart in such a public forum, I cannot continue to hide under a metaphorical rock at the price of my sanity.

So I’m back, eager to share my human experiences, my artistic adventures, perhaps even the occasional insight. Because although life can be a lonely road, we are not doomed to walk it all alone.

Thank you for joining me on my journey.