Here With Me
In which I try find the right words to express my gratitude
I started the Healthier Hustle in November of 2021, which feels both like a very long time ago and also like yesterday. Prior to this project, I had written a weekly newsletter/blog in support of my fiction writing from 2011 - 2017. These posts ranged from quick little updates about writing (by which I mean— what I was eating, reading, and listening to while procrastinating writing) to essays that felt a little bit more like the writing I do here. When I decided to start this project, I had no doubt about my ability to write on a regular basis.
What I had forgotten was how much I truly love this type of writing.
I’m not even sure what to call it: non-fiction, personal essay, vignette? All three rolled into one? Whatever it's called, spending time writing and reflecting about topics that are important to me or experiences I have had, editing those words for rhythm and clarity, and then sharing them with the world just feels good and right and like it fits. What I’ve learned is that whether it’s fiction or an essay, writing is how I (attempt to) make sense of the world around me.
That’s not to say it’s always easy and that I sit down to write and the words flow seamlessly and mold into the exact shape I’d like them to with very little effort. Sometimes it’s quite the opposite, having a clear vision of something I’d like to share in my head that just won’t cooperate on the page. But even in those harder-to-wrangle words, there’s a quiet joy.
There is also an immense amount of joy that comes along with knowing that what I’ve written here resonates with those who read it. Every comment, every reply, every text message, every in-person mention feels . . . well, honestly, it feels like something that’s a little hard to explain.
I was at a concert recently, and the lead singer of the opening band commented, “you might not be here for us, but I feel like you are here with us.” And it really, really resonated with me. As a creator, you rarely know how people find your work. Sure, there are always a handful of people you know who support you (for which we are eternally grateful a million times over), but most of the time someone has stumbled upon your work randomly or you’ve been mentioned or recommended by someone else. It’s the greatest feeling ever to know that your work is resonating no matter how someone found it in the first place.
And honestly, I think that’s the best way to describe the feeling that accompanies any and every interaction with readers. It feels like you are here with me. Like you are singing along. Like we’re all just figuring it all out together.
So thank you for that. For being here with me. I’m grateful beyond words for every moment you spend with mine.
Beautiful Thing of the Week
Tiny slice of joy this week:
🎵 The concert I went to was Andrew McMahon & the Wilderness and the opener was Michigander. Such a fun show- highly recommend! Here’s a couple songs from them:
Be well, find tiny joy-