Hi, my name is Anna Blanch Rabe and I am a writer.
So here goes nothing, I’m now a full-time writer about to travel around the world.
With the two part-time jobs I’ve held since I returned to Australia, I’ve worked towards the writing, editing, art-making, and teaching being the thing that pays the bills. But it worked. And it felt kind of poetic. Poetic and maybe a little cliched.
I’m in the midst of packing up my life in boxes and shipping most of it around the world. I’m delving into parts of my history which have been boxed up for the better part of a decade. I’m clearing out and making space for the new. I’m making space to travel lightly: with a clear mind, a full heart, and eyes to see.
It’s time to hustle.
It is time to put myself out there and say, “Hi, my name is Anna Blanch Rabe. I am a writer and a photographer. I’d like to share my words and my images with you.”
This is scary. Putting myself out there is scary: facing the reality of rejection on a daily basis as I share my words and images with those who can distribute them to different audiences is ripe with the possibility to abject failure. But, yet, I am willing: I am hopeful, I am optimistic, and I am ridiculously idealistic.
I want to share the lives of those I encounter, being careful not to steal their stories, but rather exploring how my own weaves itself into the fabric of humanity. I want to glimpse characters, hopes, and dreams, in the images I capture.
“We have an opportunity. To write words that matter, to change lives with language.” ~ Jeff Goins
The craziness of my life makes more sense to me when I see each day as ripe with the opportunity to learn something new. It makes sense when I glimpse moments when I might meaningfully connect with other humans, and when I take up this opportunity to be creative and to find beauty in the midst of the everyday; when there is extraordinary truth in the midst of the ordinary.
But let’s not kid: Life is tough at the moment. The awareness that I am incredibly fortunate is a truth deeply held: everything else is a bit beyond reach. This is a risk, financially, creatively, personally, and physically.
The last year has been time for withdrawal into myself, in part because to do otherwise feels like I might break into a thousand little pieces. I didn’t have time to be put back together again in painstaking detail. The cracks have new growth that has mended them, much like what happens to bones in a walking cast, or green limbs on trees following a large storm whereupon those knobby bits grow over the split. The breaks are still apparent to those who know where to look, but with patience and testing, I am stronger than before.
Strong enough to leap off this cliff and seek to make a living as a writer, a photographer, and a speaker. It is exciting, daunting, and I’m relishing the challenge ahead! So, in the midst of all else: the hopes, the uncertainty, the need to hustle, the fear of letting others down and not meeting my own expectations, the dreams, the risk, the travel ahead, and the searching out, the longing to be in my husband’s arms, and the quiet prayers of my heart.
In the midst of all of this, I am a writer.
“Hi, my name is Anna Blanch Rabe
and I am a writer.
It’s nice to meet you!”
Listening. Observing. Participating. Writing. Photographing. Reflecting.
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Anna Blanch Rabe is an Australian-born writer and photographer. She has been published in a range of academic and popular publications, from Scrapbooking magazine and Peppercorn magazine to Englewood Review of Books, Immerse Journal and Case Magazine. She has spoken at a range of conferences and Festivals including MLA, CCL, AVSA, Greenbelt, and CNMAC. You can follow her adventures on Not A Pedestrian Life, or Facebook. More of her photography can be viewed here. For more of her writing take a look at Quotidian Home or her previous website, Goannatree.