... and letting it matter more than the outcome
Minutes before I opened your essay, MINUTES!, I signed up for a virtual 3-day Sept retreat with Anne Lamott, SARK, Julia Cameron, et al. It was a HUGE step for me to NOT give in to my fears by telling myself I don’t need to spend money for those kinds of impossible dreams. I GET WHAT YOU’RE SAYING…AND I’M TWICE YOUR AGE! 💜
Exactly what I needed to read this morning, as I sit with the fear of what will be on the other side of all this trying. And asking myself in what ways have I not been able to recognize my own trying?
Everything about this. I tried to pinpoint which part resonated the most and I can’t. I’m on similar journeys with life, motherhood, and my body and am grateful for your words. 💛
My favorite thing about Sundays ❤️🔥❤️🔥❤️🔥
Felt this so strongly as I read your words round motherhood, your relationship with your body and feeling fearful of trying something outside of your comfort zone. I’m also trying x
Lisa, A long time ago I resolved that at the end, when I look back at my life I would not say, "I wish I would have." This resolution has led to more failures than successes. And I am glad I experienced them all. There is a richness in trying. My hope is that you come to feel that trying is worth it regardless of the outcome. D
“I’m working on untangling from the fear of trying — untangling the difference between wanting a small, simple life and actively avoiding going for more in certain areas not because I don’t want it, but because I’m afraid I won’t reach if it I try.” - as someone who values peace and simplicity man this really resonated! Thanks for sharing!
Loving it. Joining you in the trying. Picturing a world where people are trying, talking about it, laughing about the challenges and revelations. Living, together. :-)
“I’m treating her like a full human being, like someone with just as much power as me, someone who deserves the same respect, patience, nurturance and compassion as any adult does.” 💞💞
I was raised to believe that scared feeling when trying something new meant that it wasn’t the right thing to do. For a long time I only did things that didn’t feel that way. But all along I still had to carry the longing and the disappointment that the deeper life was only for others. It took me years to finally write novels. Now I have a horse that I always wanted but I’m scared of him. It’s starting from scratch but your words remind me that every little try matters
My heart pulsed when I read the title in my inbox, knowing there would be something here for me. That those words "the tenderness of trying" encapsulated something of my lived experience (right now? always?) so perfectly.
But then I read this, and felt the welling up of tears. This is exactly what I needed to read.
"The tenderness of trying is woven up in not knowing how it will go, not knowing whether success or failure or some combination will result, not knowing who I’ll be on the other side, not knowing if I’ll embarrass myself or impress myself or confuse myself, not knowing much at all. There is a sense of knowing when we don’t try. There is more to be in control of, more to be sure about, more to be certain of. When I don’t try, the only possible outcome is it not happening; when I do try, it could bring disappointment or discomfort, a crash and burn of experiences I’m not always sure I’ll be able to handle. But what I’m remembering is that trying can also bring complete delight, opportunities to drop in, to connect, to share our gifts or our wonderings or ourselves. And when we choose to do that, something always comes of it, whether in expected or unexpected ways."
There is a sense of knowing when we don't try. Yes.
And when we do, this wide open unknown. Exhilarating and terrifying and yes so incredibly, almost impossibly tender. But still, in the end, I think it's what lets us know we are still alive. Still have hope. the very audacity of our willingness to try (or our inability not to, in the end) is everything.
so beautiful and thoughtful <33 thank you so much for this post!
This was beautiful and tender, and precisely the mantra I needed to hear from someone outside of myself this week. There is the "try harder" of the hustle and grind culture that constantly screams for more, but this tender trying you write of is the place of enough. May all of our trying this week be enough. Thank you.
I love the way that you write. I sometimes find myself skimming on Substack but your writing slows me down. I appreciate the reminder that the doubts can swirl AND we can still try. I cheer you on as you rediscover your body. May you love her more than you ever have.
Beautiful, poetic and inspiring. Thank you for this generous and humanizing post. Listening to the interview with Ocean Vuong now. Much gratitude for your work.