On Hitting 9 Months

mhtAAriIn his new book, Start, writer Jon Acuff calls us to live lives of purpose, adventure and, to use his term, awesomeness. To start such a journey, he says, don’t worry about the end, just start. He writes:

“It’s impossible to accurately predict the finish. Part of the reason it’s so difficult is that the path changes by the time we get to the end.”

“You just have to start.”

With this post, this blog hits the 9 month mark. That’s about 274 days of duking it out with Mr. Tertullian. And for me it really has been an exercise in just starting. I’m not sure where it will end, exactly, but I have realized a couple of things as I’ve been starting.

First, as I’ve posted before, it feels vulnerable to be putting this stuff out there. Just the other day, I got a Facebook message from a friend who clearly has a different perspective on this stuff. And while the tone of the exchange was more than civil, it still pressed my emotional buttons. For me, then, it’s vital to hold onto grace, grace for the process, for the learning mode I’m in, grace for others, and grace for myself.

Next, sometimes I worry that I’m being redundant, or a broken record. This is especially true when I launch one of those posts that bemoans the status quo. To my rescue comes a word like this one, from Ello’s World’s tumblr page, in a piece here about diversity in the publishing industry:

I was going to post this up on my blog and my daughter was like, you are talking about diversity again. Don’t you ever feel like you’re talking and nobody’s listening? Do you ever think it’s not worth it? And I was so sad to hear her say that. I told her “If you want change, you have to keep starting up the same conversation over and over because someone is always listening. And maybe some day, it will reach those someones who will go from just nodding their heads to wanting to do something about it. That’s why we must keep saying the same thing, no matter how tired we get.” And she said, “Post it.”

So far it’s been 9 months of “post it.” I hope you’re listening.

Lastly, the more I start, the longer the road ahead seems. I see Tertullian all over the place! As a preview of coming attractions, here are a few topics that I’m batting around in my head: the Bible and male privilege, gender differences: nature or nurture, and a bit more on the feminism movement. Stay tuned!

At the end of his book, Acuff expresses his dream for his readers:

“I hope you punched fear in the face. I hope you escaped average. I hope you figured out what your diamonds are and started doing work that matters. I hope you realized that the door to purpose has been unlocked this whole time. And when you survey your life and find something else that could be more awesome, I hope you’ll do what I’m going to do once I finish writing this sentence. Start again.”

Whenever Tertullian and I are done with this conversation, I plan to have done these things. For now, thanks for starting with me.

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One response to “On Hitting 9 Months”

  1. Caroline Reid says :

    Rob,
    As always – even if I don’t comment – I appreciate your working on my behalf to change perceptions and behavior! God bless you, brother.
    Might I suggest another angle?You observe closely and accurately what men and male-powered society do to suppress an equal role for women, but what about the things that women do and don’t do to slow social change? What do women do to ‘make Tertullian right’?
    Reading with you,
    Caroline

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