I’ve decided that there is no good way to start a blog post. If I think about it too hard, I’ll get stuck in the rut of trying to write it like an essay, with an introductory paragraph that transitions effortlessly into three succinct, yet interesting body paragraphs, and a conclusion designed to pack a punch and prove a point. But life isn’t like that and I’ve decided that neither is whatever this is – whether it’s a blog or a journal or a box on a checklist. But I decided that I can’t keep telling people that writing is what I want to do if I don’t have anything to show for it. Or if it never moves past the Notes app on my phone. So, here we are.
To be honest, it’s a little bit of a mess at the moment because I picked a new WordPress theme that better fit my design taste and overall vision, but I don’t know how to work it. And I’m seven days away from my monthly deadline, so I figured that mess or not, I needed to put something out there. And if I’m being truly honest, I like that it’s a mess because it feels more suited to me: always trying, always dreaming, always a little unsure, always learning how to understand that messy means I’m not stagnant; that there is movement, if nothing else.
My basic goal for this year and this space for thoughts is that I would hit the publish button once a month. If I feel like putting more out there, I will. And if not, at least I did something. I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions because as a perfectionist, why aim for something you know you can’t attain? But this is just a loose decision made to push me away from my fear of opening up and closer to becoming the person I aspire to be. I think that at the end (or beginning) of every year, especially in these post-undergrad years, I’ve looked long and hard at the last 365 days to find a lot of weird, uncomfortable moments that I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t expecting to NEED to be pushed this much, to be stretched this much, to be so full and so empty and so unsure of what I can do. I wrote down bits and pieces of what I was feeling and thinking over the past year, but I didn’t share them. I’m not very good at that, but what I’ve started to realize is that I was putting too much stock into what people might think about what I had to say and I forgot that letting my words go wasn’t for them, it was for me.
I’ve been reading a book recently, called “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear,” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and it’s opened my eyes to how tiny and confined I had forced my creativity to become. I confused my need to write with the need for my thoughts to have a point, to be liked and understood. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place and time for carefully curated blog posts with links and advice and sponsors and life lessons. But words are the only art I know and I’ll be darned if I let my life slip by without letting it run rampant in its wilderness, whether I want it to or not. The last thing I want to do is be narcissistic, but my art is not for you. It is for me. I am not writing with the intent of inspiring anyone, of giving advice, or of spurring you on toward greatness. They are merely dark words on a light page. My prayer is simply that Jesus will do with it what He will. Because honestly, I feel like the least qualified person to share anything. But I am using this as an exercise to learn how to live with an open hand and not a closed fist, both literally and figuratively. To be nothing but honest – with myself, with God, and with anyone else. No more hiding, no more running, only letting grace fill the wounds and heal the scars.
I am not making excuses for the words I want to write. There will be no disclaimers and there will be no apologies. I may not always remember how to use a comma properly and I may end a sentence or two with a preposition. I may write words that are sad and I might not. Hopefully there will be more joyful words than depressing ones, but I’m a human, so I can promise nothing with absolute certainty. But they will be real and they will be me. I have decided that as as long as I have the privilege of waking up each morning with breath in my lungs, my days will not be spent on the what-ifs and the maybes. But that I will storm headlong into the fear and vulnerability that have formed shackles around my heart. I will be a half-empty girl no more.