“Everybody’s got a blank page
A story they’re writing today
A wall that they’re climbing
You can carry the past on your shoulders
Or you can start over.”
– “Start Over” by Flame feat. NF
First, if you’re not familiar with the song quoted above, I strongly encourage you to check it out. NF is a great semi-local talent who is starting to blow up now, and for a Christian rapper from Gladwin, Michigan, that’s not easy to do!
Well I promised that I was going to get this blog going again, so here I am.
Eight months later.
Better late than never, right?
Life, as so often is the case, got in the way. Work picked up, which was great. Then work slowed down, which was less great. Somewhere lost in the middle of the ups and downs was my motivation and my goals.
It’s made me think about how many times in my life I wished I could just hit the reset button and go back for one more try at something. Have you been there? I bet you’re either nodding your head or lying right now.
How many times has life ran us off course, only to catch our breath months or years down the line and say, “Wait, I meant to <fill in the blank>.” The thing is, we still have the ideas and dreams, we just kind of forget to do follow through on them. We get so caught up in living that we forget to live.
When I went to college, I wanted to be a writer. When I left college (the first time), it was to be a writer. After I got out of the Army, I decided to get back to writing. Then when I lost my job, I decided to start a freelance writing career.
That’s a lot of writing time. Or at least a lot of supposed-to-be-writing time. Turns out, other than a few short stretches in there that resulted in a novel (Early Release), a collection of short stories (The Words in My Head), and the first generation of this blog (jtmichelsen.wordpress.com), my writing was largely confined to what I needed to do for work and school.
So, this past summer, I started writing again. You may have seen that post, it took so much out of me it’s taken me eight months to recover….
But I finally realized something: life doesn’t get in the way, I just drive off the road (figuratively, I’m really cutting back on that when I’m actually driving). I tried to put my finger on whatever it was that took me off the path I wanted to follow, and the only thing I could find to point at was a mirror. There was absolutely no reason for me to stop writing.
Now I’m hitting the reset button.
I’ve jumped back into more serious writing and have a semblance of a freelance career going already. Part time is better than no time. But now comes the fun part: the time when my self-doubt decides to start whispering in my ear and distracting me. I know I can make it, and I know I must stick out the hard times, but I also know my history.
That’s where the song I started this post with comes in. Because I, like all of you, have a wall to climb. I have a story that somehow has more chapters to write still. But I can’t do either of those things if I’m carrying my past around.
I choose to start over.
And in case you’re in the same boat and wondering how you can start over after everything, let me share with you the second part of that chorus:
“Regrets, no matter what you’ve gone through
Jesus, He gave it all to save you
He carried the cross on His shoulders
So you could start over.”
It always comes back to that. Honestly, every time I sit down to write one of these posts I tell myself I’m not bringing God into it. The fact is, my faith is so battered and bruised that I feel like a fraud sharing words like this.
But when I sit down at the keyboard and start typing, it always comes back to Jesus.
Truthfully, it doesn’t matter what kind of faith you have. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past, what your intentions are for the future, or how you feel at this exact moment. Long before we were born, Jesus carried that cross and gave His life for ours, and there is no other way for us to have the freedom to start over. Now we can live without life getting in the way.
I guess life does have a reset button, but we can only reach it from our knees.