New History

I once read a quote from Anais Nin:

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.”

At other times, my quiet periods here on iBard reflected that there was not much “life” in my “work/life balance.” There wasn’t much in the way of leftovers for a second tasting.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been quiet here because I’ve been busy tasting life in the moment. Wrapping things up at Doe Anderson, preparing to take the family to Florida for a much-needed vacation, going on a retreat with my church. (For future reference, lying on the beach in 85 degree weather on Monday, then lying in a tent in 35 degree weather that Friday, makes for a somewhat surreal week.)

But now it feels like I’ve got so much to retrospect over, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Today I called Chris to tell him I was getting a later start home than I was expecting. He said “I still haven’t gotten used to you getting home before 6:30. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed.”

The truth is, I’m still figuring out a new normal at a new job in a new part of town, with a new schedule and new coworkers.  I want new habits. I want new practices. I want new rhythms to my day, my week, my life.  I was only getting warmed up when I left a job I’d had for three years.  You have no idea how far I want to take this change.

I hope you all get to see it. I hope I’m strong enough to live it, and brave enough to share it.

I want to light it up like a flame that burns across three or four generations of passed-down destructive thinking, not to mention twenty years of my own doubts and fears.

I stole this post title from an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (which, in turn, steals all its episode titles from song titles. So I don’t feel as bad about it as I might otherwise.)

Actually, I stole it more from Allan Heinberg’s blog post about that episode:

I love the idea of “new history” because it perfectly captures the relationship so many of us have with the past.  No matter how hard we try to let go of it –– to learn from it and move forward — all we’re really doing is creating new history, trying to learn from past mistakes, but inevitably making new ones that will haunt us in the future.

I do worry that I’ll end up a few weeks from now doing the same things and making the same mistakes in a new job in a new part of town. It’s not my intent. But another one of those things I need to change is rebuilding trust in myself to actually do as I intend.

We make a new start, but some part of us believes we’re just writing new history.

But then I think about what I read in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and I think it’s okay that I’m just writing new history.  It won’t be perfect, but I think it can be better, and praise God, it’ll all be covered by grace. Amazing, breathtaking grace that has seen me safe so far, despite some truly spectacular attempts on my part to passive-aggressively self-destruct.

But however long it is, a change is gonna come.


  1. ·

    History is by definition the study of the past. Tomorrow you’ll have a new history. Today you have a new now.

    This line really struck me: “But another one of those things I need to change is rebuilding trust in myself to actually do as I intend.”

    At first I read it as if the lack of self-trust created to inability to complete the intentions. When I re-read it the meaning changed. Instead of chastising it was one of self-awareness: you need to patiently trust yourself to do the intended work. It’s a subtle difference, but a profound one.

    Don’t worry about getting it right. Be yourself, be congruent and honest and all those things you just are. Just stay away from Grey Street. 🙂

  2. KatFrench

    Thanks, Charles. Interesting, the two different interpretations of the relationship between self-trust and action.

    Honestly, my own take was that inconsistency in following through with my intentions created an issue with trusting myself, and I see the path to fixing that as changing my behavior. It’s all part of that “being honest and resyncing with reality” thing I’ve been obsessing about lately.

    But there is a level of patient trust that is required to do that. It’s a chicken and egg, regardless of whether you start from the omelet or the drumstick.

    And now I’m hungry.


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