Start

March 17, 2015

startbetter

My friend Lindsay at Lindsay Living recently posted about Clinique and Allure’s new #StartBetter campaign. As I read her post right in the midst of creating this blog, I couldn’t help but feel a teeny inkling of OhEmGee this is fate!

Okay, in all seriousness (and putting my inner 15 year old girl aside), Lindsay’s wise words urging her readers to “open yourself up to something new and pursue it without fear” resonated with me. Lately, I have realized that my own ideas about things I’d like to do someday aren’t happening on their own…and someday only becomes yesterday gets closer (and closer). All cliches aside, I’ve found myself wondering more and more: why not now?

The past year has marked a major period of both change and reflection for me. I married my best friend in August, traveled to Napa for a surprise honeymoon adventure, and returned just in the knick of time to prepare to begin my fifth year of teaching. Since then, I’ve embarked on a home-based business venture with Premier Designs, launched a book club with some dear friends, and even enrolled in Zumba classes! So…yeah. I’d say I’ve at least mastered the #Start part of the #StartBetter campaign, right? All this change has been challenging, but invigorating. I’m not sure if this is some weird quarter-life crisis or what, but regardless of the reason, I’m grateful for this period of newness!

Of course, with so much starting comes a degree of chaos.

It’s inevitable. Starting anything necessitates overcoming a period of absolute inexpertise (no, that’s not a real word, in case you were wondering…and yes, I’m an English teacher, and I make up words, in case you were wondering that too!), and that’s a feeling that’s simply not the most comforting for this little perfectionist. This starting stuff is bright and shiny and new and cool, but I know myself well enough to know that I innately crave order, predictability, and a schedule with instructionsgosh dang it! However, it’s becoming increasingly apparent to me that life doesn’t seem to come with an instruction manual (and if it does, please let me know, because I obviously misplaced the paperwork). What’s a girl to do?

That’s where the cursive part of this whole deal comes in.

Do you remember the painstaking process of learning cursive in third grade? Tracing all the perfect swoops, loops, curls and curves, then carefully mimicking the perfect workbook font in the blank spaces next to those ever-comforting dotted lines? I loved (and still love) cursive: the beauty, simplicity, and total “flow” I experienced as I filled those fragile workbook pages with the lead of my No. 2 pencil, erasing my little missteps with extra care so as not to tear the paper bearing my handiwork. Although I often have a tendency to look back on my childhood with rose-colored glasses, as I recall, third grade was not an easy time. Playground drama was king. Friendship circles waxed and waned. I didn’t yet know that, in spite of the hours I would spend playing it (often in the snow), soccer just wasn’t my “thing.”  In the midst of all the turmoil that simply is growing up, that workbook was a sanctuary.

That feeling?  That’s what I hope for this blog.

I hope I experience that feeling while writing, and I hope I can help you escape to that place while reading.

Are you ready?

Let’s start.

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16 Comments

  • No Matter

    […] I mentioned before, starting something new always presents a learning curve, and in this moment, I’m feeling the […]

    March 24, 2015 at 9:13 pm Reply
  • Elegance

    […] my first post, I wrote about my many new endeavors in the past year. Of these adventures, starting a book club is […]

    March 23, 2015 at 6:40 pm Reply
  • lindsayliving

    Hey sweet girl! Thanks for the shout out and for turning me on to your new site! It’s so lovely, no surprises there, and full of inspiration. I can’t wait to keep reading and am hoping to see more of your crafts, too! Keep up the good work!!

    March 19, 2015 at 9:52 pm Reply
    • Carolyn

      Thank you, Lindsay! I’m flattered that you’re reading along. 🙂 I have loved seeing your Disneyland trip pictures — it looked like a total blast!

      March 20, 2015 at 11:52 am Reply
  • Glenda

    Love your blog–you are beautiful not only on the outside–but within. I admire that you share you and are willing to do that with others and make this world a better place, in the special ways that only you can. As a grandma, I’m not too prejudice!!! Do use an old-fashioned phrase (as us old grandma’s do) you go, girl!!! — that more people would take on life as an adventure head on, as you do.

    Reading about books, it reminded me of a wonderful little book written in 2010 you might like if you haven’t already read it–“One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp.

    Love you, Carolyn!
    Grandma Comstock

    March 18, 2015 at 5:36 pm Reply
    • Carolyn

      Oh, Grandma, you are just the sweetest. Thank you for the wonderful compliments, the encouragement, and the book recommendation too! I can’t wait to check it out! Love you.

      P.S. I have comments from TWO of my grandmas on here. Is anyone else impressed by the “techy” abilities of these ladies? You both amaze me!

      March 18, 2015 at 10:28 pm Reply
  • Julie Ringold

    Carolyn, I love your spirit, enthusiasm, and bravery! I have enjoyed reading the beginnings of your blog, and I cannot wait to see where this adventure leads you. Much joy in the ride for you as you explore all the ways to challenge and intrigue yourself.

    March 18, 2015 at 12:50 pm Reply
    • Carolyn

      Julie, I am honored that you stopped by. Thank you so much for the well-wishes; I’m looking forward to the journey!

      March 18, 2015 at 10:25 pm Reply
  • Micaline

    Love it! And you! So excited to start reading your blog!

    March 18, 2015 at 4:45 am Reply
    • admin

      Thanks, Micaline! I’m so excited you’re reading it — love you too!

      March 18, 2015 at 6:40 am Reply
  • Cynthia Holman

    Carolyn, When you were a little girl, I always thought you should be a writer, now you are!

    March 18, 2015 at 4:05 am Reply
    • admin

      Awww, thanks, Grandma! Love you!

      March 18, 2015 at 6:41 am Reply
  • Bruce Holbert

    Congratulations on the first voyage of this new venture, Carolyn. I am impressed with your honesty, especially in regards to the uncomfortable contradiction required for someone who embraces order to take on new things and suspend the certainty order can deliver. It seems to me the kind of contradiction that makes for the great characters in literature: someone brave enough to venture beyond their environs but with sense enough to know the dangers. But, then again, you have always seemed like a heroine to me in those regards and not the domestic Victorian type, but someone out of Toni Morrison or Tillie Olson or Elizabeth McCracken. You and I are quite different, I think, but I have always seen in you the good things I think people see in me without the flaws I carry around. My guess is you could pick out flaws in yourself, but from where I stand they are interesting contradictions rather than imperfections.

    March 18, 2015 at 1:53 am Reply
    • Carolyn

      Bruce, I am flattered, to say the least, especially because this came from you (and I just have a ton of respect for you). I think you’re right that we’re quite different, but I appreciate those differences so much; it’s so refreshing and helpful to have a friend and co-worker who challenges me to think in different ways and approach problems from another perspective. I will treasure your idea of me as a heroine with interesting contradictions — it’s such a beautiful re-framing of the way I typically view myself, and a gentle reminder of our knack for quickly identifying our own flaws. Thank you.

      March 18, 2015 at 7:01 am Reply
  • Kathy Pinkham

    Delightful… just as I knew it would be. And I can’t wait for the next one. Thanks for sharing with all of us, Carolyn. You’re a beautifully inspiring person!

    March 18, 2015 at 1:09 am Reply
    • Carolyn

      Kathy, as always, I am so grateful for your encouragement. It means so much to me that you stopped by! I miss working with you! 🙂

      March 18, 2015 at 6:50 am Reply

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