A Time to Set Fire & #VOWspark

Sparking has always been easy for me—or for at least as long as it’s mattered. I’m not sure that I’ve ever noticed it myself, but I have had it pointed it out on more than one occasion. I can come up with an idea on the spot. You can tell when something makes me feel alive. And I have no problem introducing myself and asking a question that means something instead our DC standard: What is it that you do for a living?

As an aside, it’s normally, What was the last great book you read?

I know my days are better when I get eight hours of sleep and an early morning start.
When I create.
When I sweat.
When I meditate, even for just a few minutes.
And when I spend time in a hammock reading just a bit of poetry.

The best days involve a conversation with my grandparents or my sister.

It’s took me 27.5 years to get a handle on who I am.
It took me 28.5 to understand what makes my soul sing.

What I still don’t know is who does.

I feel like my #OneWord2017 of Build has very much so far been about the former (as it should be)—knowing what sets me on fire—and I think the focus for the rest of the year will be about who does.

I think I’ve known, on some deeper level, that this was coming. That there was work to be done. But it didn’t click until this week, following a particularly rough weekend, a reading with my astrologer regarding romance and friendships (I’m sure Lin or I will at some point explain how astrology is not prediction of the future and that it—just like praying or a therapist—can be a tool), and a few texts with my sister.

Despite my best attempts to ignore that still small voice that I’m beginning to become familiar with, I’ve also known deep in my bones since January of this year that I haven’t found my person yet. I’ve known there is a reason.

The reason involves The Work that I’ve been putting off; The Work I’m finally ready to do. To take a good hard look at the men (and women) that have played a part in my journey to this point—what I learned from them and how I could have treated them (and myself) better along the way.

So here’s to


And putting in the time this time.

Because as a writer I once knew quite well put it (words that I quote more often than she will ever know and in my List of Things to Build post):

At the heart of all this is the love of story. Because these letters, meals, parapets and gardens tell stories about time and how it is the currency of our hearts. The things that last are the things that are built–brick by brick–and planted–seed by seed–and then tended–day by day. And I like these things because they cost me something to invest in. If I pay the price, then it is worth something to me. It’s worth is only equal to what I am willing to pay for it.

There are some things in this life that take time to develop, things that are worth keeping sacred for the right moment. Things that will be more lovely if I pay the price of waiting and watching and sowing into it, even when I am uncomfortable and lonely and hopeful all at once.

Because anything worth everything will always cost us something. And this time, I’m willing to pay big time for it.

Steph’s SPARK mantra: I have always tried to make room for anything that wanted to come from within me. (Dr. Carl Gustav Jung)

Steph’s Song of the Week: Never Say Never by Tristan Prettyman

& Don’t Miss Lin’s #VOWspark post.

P.S. Lin posted first, and I think actually her explanation of tarot cards is similar to what I referenced regarding astrology. We #mindmeld like that.

exactly this:

“Never Say Never”
by Tristan Prettyman

Wish I would’ve listened to myself
You would’ve thought I’d known better
Shouldn’t trust my heart this time
But the mind, it changes like the weather
The scars will fade away, and I may never be the same
But you can’t start a fire in the pouring rain
Never say never

Now I hear you’re back to your old self
And I still can’t imagine
Why you take something good, like love, like us
And pretend it never happened
Cause you’ll look back one day
And you’ll wish we still had that flame
But you can’t start a fire in the pouring rain
Never say never

You said you would never let me go
You promised me, our love written on the wall
Felt so easy but I should’ve known better
To never say never

Gotta be careful what you give
You never know just what you get
Who knows, maybe the best hasn’t happened yet
Some days I still feel the same
And my love, it still remains
Wish I could start a fire in the pouring rain

You said you would never let me go
You promised me, our love written on the wall
Felt so easy but I should’ve known better
To never say never

Told the whole world that you were all mine
You put it in my head that we were doing fine
Am I the only one who remembers?
It doesn’t matter now if you change your mind
Cause I won’t be around when you finally realize
Nothing really lasts forever

Flames in the sky
And there’s smoke in my eyes
You set me free
So don’t say you miss me
Just don’t say you miss me

You said you would never let me go
You promised me, our love written on the wall
Felt so easy but I should’ve known better
To never say never

We should start a fire in the pouring rain

I may never understand why you left
I guess I just have to accept this is the way it was meant to be
Kind of like how I never understood how the ocean just stops at the shore
And why it doesn’t wash away the land
If only someone could hold my heart and my hand
And make it feel like you did, and not give up so easy
There’s no need to be angry, it’s okay to be sad
I just have to trust there’s something better for me out there swirling around in the universe
Someone who will believe in themselves as much as I do
And never take a wish for granted and always count the stars
Looking back, you’re always closer than you thought
There’s no point now in starting something new
The heart wants what the heart wants
And none of it matters in the end if you can’t love someone back
Love and truth are whispering, “you can’t start a fire in the pouring rain”

That’s the Secret: Tribe (#VOWcheer)

Every time I think about leaving the District and starting over somewhere else, it sounds invigorating. Daring. Lovely, even.

However, on nights like the eve of this past Wednesday, I can’t imagine leaving this place—

The Capitol Hill community I have become a part of.
The church family I can’t bear the thought of missing.

It’s important to note that I do not attend services.
That I believe Universe Buddha God is best found beyond four walls.
And that when I say church, what I mean is a three-story used bookstore where we eat of the flesh and blood every second Saturday, but God is confined to the Religion and Philosophy sections.

I’ve just finished a storytelling course, the product of which was a final showcase where eight of us took the stage in front of small swarm to bear the fruits of our labor. Many people had one of two members of their tribe there; on Wednesday night, mine was ten strong.

Charlie Chaplin once said that the secret was that you have to believe in yourself, and I think that this is vital. But I think the real secret is that you have to find your tribe, love them hard, show up, and, sometimes, let them cheer you on.

This week, we…


Steph’s Cheer Mantra: “Courage, dear heart.”

Steph’s Song of the Week: Live While We’re Young by Johnnyswim

& Don’t Miss Lin’s #VOWcheer post