Cornfields and Oak TreesNov 30, 2021
I started working on another book the day I finished the first one. This one is about chasing shiny objects. It's about creating the space in our lives to see them for what they are, and choose the ones that serve us, and let go of the ones that don't.
The book came about for many reasons, which you'll read about as time goes on, but one thing stuck out to me today. When I was nineteen years old I was in a relationship with a boy who told me I needed to stop wanting more. I needed to settle. I needed to accept who I was and what I could do. I needed to be normal. Get a normal job. Be conventional. Predictable.
Thank God I didn't listen.
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CORNFIELDS & OAK TREES
(excerpt from my next book)
I used to stand face-to-husk with a cornfield in a place called The Bottoms. Tall, rustling, and free, it moved. Firmly planted, it danced with the wind. On the hill rising a good three hundred feet deep sat an oak tree watching over it. One foot in, and I'd be lost, but it wasn't an accident. I'd get lost in my dreams, the what-ifs, the what could-bes. Lost in the wildest way possible. I'd move. One foot in front of the other, arms tucked into my side, careful not to disrupt its dance. It was much cooler there than on the outside. Darker. Peaceful. Free.
I sauntered, taking in every scent, every bit of breeze until I approached the end of the gold clusters. Nothing stopped me, not even a heavy summer rain. Eyes focused on the shiny. My tree. What I would find there would be mine—for me, and just me. It was a hollow oak made for messages that only a girl with dreams would have. It only made sense to one with substance, with depth, with passion. It only made sense to those longing for adventure. I visited that tree, made my way through dancing corn often, hoping that something would be waiting for me when I got there.
Sometimes there was, and more times, there wasn't. It didn't stop me, though. It didn't stop the joy I felt surrounded by something bigger than myself—by something that was just tall enough to make me forget that nothing else existed except the sky. I never regretted the journey and never resented the tree. I found joy in the moments, ear by ear, and the inspiration that came each time.
Now I wonder when all that stopped—why it stopped, and I'm thankful it's finally come back. What was it that caused that girl to stop walking through corn, hunting trees, and searching for more? What stops us from dreaming, seeking answers, and understanding ourselves so that we have the space to see that the shiny? What stops us from creating the space to see that what we chase after is merely a reflection of an unmet need within ourselves?
Shiny objects, often misinterpreted as something outward to chase, blinds us to believing that where it really lives is inside of us. To feel joy, freedom, and the confidence to go after our big ideas, we must work to never stop taking steps in the cornfield. One foot in front of the other, enjoying the dance. We must never lose sight of the oak tree or forget why it exists in the first place. And we must never forget that what we are searching for has been inside of us all along.
We must first find it there before we can find it in anyone or anything.
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