“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words all being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” – Vladimir Nobokov
These words have become almost ritualistic to me, acting as a “ribbon cutting” ceremony on the first page of each one of my journals, and easing me in to make my marks on the otherwise perfectly blank pages. I always hesitate to make my first letter, line, or dot with a pen out of fear that I may mess up what was a previously perfectly pristine notebook. Obviously to me, journals can be things of beauty – for God sakes, my ideal bookshelf would be riddled with the spines of variously colored journals. That is an incredibly gorgeous vision to me. But what I so easily forget is the fact that the idea of that “ideal bookshelf” is only so gorgeous because I know the journals and notebooks are filled with my thoughts, my stories, and my words. At that point, whose to say the pages wouldn’t be even more perfect or pristine with my penmanship?
Too often, when faced with something I have a chance to dive into, my first reaction is apprehension due to the fear of “messing it up”. Just as I can be with the pages of a new journal, I can be with life.
As human beings, we can affect change, which even on a small scale can scare us because we are living in our comfort zone, our blank page. I know I adore my comfort zone. “I’m ok, what more do I need? I’m alive. I’ll live.” But it gets to a point where you have to ask yourself if you’re living.
The funny thing is, every time I anxiously take a step out, write on the page, leave my mark, and get further and further away from that comfort zone- the more I like the view. It’s the type of view that you wouldn’t expect or imagine until you were already there, but that you immediately fall in love with. The type of view that makes you never want to look back. That makes you visible to even yourself in the most different and best way. It’s the type that makes you wonder why you were ever okay with a blank page in the first place.
The page may be perfectly blank and precisely pristine- fine as it is. But something better is clamoring to come through. Get that pen on a page. Get out of that comfort zone. Take a look at the view.
Take your tough, tender heart, take a step, and become visible.
You will not believe what you’ll see.