#6 A pregnant pause
On my mind
My intention for Leading By Example is to send a new podcast or newsletter every week, but I've shared nothing here in two weeks. I knew it would be hard to write while in the midst of moving across the country, but I still held out hope. Realizing I simply couldn't find the brain space to write while also making the thousands of decisions a day required to move reminded me of a similar experience when I started my first personal blog a decade ago.
At the time, I had just quit my job and was embarking on several months of travel—documenting a photo workshop in Istanbul, seeing a friend in Berlin, emceeing a photo festival in Virginia, then driving across the country back to California. My plan was to write a travelogue of the whole thing as it was happening. It didn't happen. Instead I wrote a single blog post about how impossible it is to write while in motion. Writing requires time for reflection, and that is hard to come by while I'm still doing the thing I'm reflecting on.
At this moment, I'm not sure what larger lesson to take from that observation—let alone what I could pass on to you. But even having the space to notice feels like a win right now. I trust that the wisdom will come to me when I've had more time to reflect.
On my tiny screen
Amy Schumer's new HBO miniseries Expecting Amy saved me my first few days in Ohio. I had no TV set up and no physical or mental capacity left by the time I put Kai to bed at 7, so I'd curl up with Amy on my phone every night before passing out. The three-episode documentary chronicles her first pregnancy (one of the hardest I've ever seen—Google "hyperemesis gravidarum"), which coincides with her 60-show tour of 42 cities and the creation of her Netflix special, Growing. I love that the episodes—Conception, Gestation, Birth—reflect not only her pregnancy, but also the process of creating a piece of artistic work. She complains several times about the disservice we do women by hiding how hard pregnancy can be, and with this series she's doing her part to unveil every excruciating detail of her experience. It's glorious and valuable real-talk about becoming a parent, but it's an equally valuable public service announcement about what it takes to make a marriage work and to create art in the midst of real life.
A Tarot card
In the Five of Cups, a figure gazes sadly as three spilled cups, failing to notice the two still standing. In the Thoth deck it is named "Disappointment," but recognizes that disappointment "can be transformative." The image in the Waite-Rider deck (above) suggests how that transformation happens: by fully grieving what we've lost, we allow ourselves to eventually turn toward the gifts that remain and, with new appreciation for them, cross the bridge (in the background) to our new reality (the castle).
A question (or two)
Where are you right now—forward movement or a pause for reflection? What would it look like to commit 100% to whichever phase you are in?
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