The Next Climb

It was months after I started this “little blogging project” that I started to hit my stride.

This isn’t to say that I didn’t produce some real crap along the way – because I did. Really, it’s that I started to have the confidence to start asking questions again. Questions that mattered. That was the beginning of the stride.

As a result I started to toy with the idea that I could use writing to speak to concepts much bigger than myself, though we all must speak from our own experiences first and not pretend to be experts in those of others we are not. Earlier seasons in my life taught me that lesson, and gave me confidence to speak truthfully to my own life, which was such a blessing that I cannot even begin to tell you here in this space.

Not enough people with stories to tell actually tell them. This is the idea that wakes me up at night. It preoccupies my mind in my waking hours too. And I honestly do not understand how this doesn’t bother more people – or, if it bothers them, how they are also silent about the silence that bothers them.

Make no mistake. The culture of silence in our communities is strong. It pervades just about every human group you can imagine or construct (and so many of our groupings are in fact constructed). Then again, as I remind myself or am reminded by those in my circles, if silence is not talked about, the multitudinous challenges that arise from it, and help ensure it survives, will keep hiding in plain sight. Accident? Probably not.

What I am about to tell you, Dear Reader, is not an accident either.

After two years of this project, I am ready to begin engineering my own silence here. There are other, bigger, far more impactful projects ahead, so in part by design, in part with stupid blind faith, and in part knowing that every time I’ve fought like hell for something I really cared about (many things in my short life so far!) it has usually worked out in ways even better than I first dreamed.

If you’re interested in that, I invite you to read Dreaming by NumbersNow, or really just about anything I’ve ever written. It’s written all over these pages – and if you know me, it’s written all over everything I do, so there’s no sense fighting it anymore. Best to lean in to the curve. Regardless, I hope you all (whoever you are, wherever you are) will understand my movement into another form, another medium, another chance to get this thing called life right — and sure, also write.

Movement is a concept we all must learn to master. Stagnation is the enemy of growth. So get growing! We can do the proper goodbyes later, when it’s time. For now, before the proverbial staircase must be climbed, acknowledgements are due to so many people. I won’t put you all on blast here, besides you likely know who you are, but I would be too far off base if I didn’t at least mention:

Husband: The first few years of this journey called marriage have provided a strong foundation for the future and the new heights we’ll reach together. [He would like to add his incredulity at the fact that Salem is not mentioned here as well].

The V’s: I came from you. And I hope this and other blessings ahead will make you proud that I carry your name. This southerner in New York, by any other name, is still Roo Hoo to you.

Extended Friends and Family: A few of you out there pushed me to start this blog in the first place. What good advice! I should listen more often. And to the others who support my continued musings, in whatever form they come, I thank you as well. Whether you’ve done so across many years or for brief shining moments, know that you are loved and appreciated by at least one human in this bizarre world.

With love and gratitude,

Ryan Vale McGonigle

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