i've been learning a lot lately about how i handle things. expectations, feelings, awkwardness, growth, friendships. i'm learning more about my tendencies to rebel, and all the ways it manifests. i'm learning that i'm so prone to pushing back, to fighting against any box anybody tries to put me in.
i don't want to do what is expected of me. ask me to do something, and i'll likely want to do it less. turn away and ignore me and i will want to do everything to impress you and show you i'm more than capable and look, i'm going above and beyond now that the pressure's off! it's weird.
i recently hung old hymnal pages on the wall of my cubicle. they're pages leftover from the time i embarked on a 100 day project attempting to make collages from old book pages. i made it through 46 days. people were expecting me to create and post daily. i told myself i would do it for 100 days. and then nothing in me wanted to do it anymore.
so the books are halfway torn up. the sketchbook of collages is slightly less than halfway full.
i'm learning about how i handle things.
i took a few moments at the beginning of this month to write down my goals -- monthly, weekly, daily. (i use these for goal setting.) i wrote "5 blog posts" under my monthly goals. i know that often is a recipe for disaster, basically setting myself up for not wanting to write at all now that i've put a number to it... but i'm feeling the opposite effect.
i'm wanting to write more.
this blog and i have gone through so many seasons together-- the ones where entries read more like dramatic journal entries, the ones full of link ups and prompted challenges, the ones where i posted on a consistent schedule, the ones where i stepped back entirely. i think sometimes i'm waiting for someone to give me permission to really write, which makes no sense at all. nobody needs to give me permission to use my words. i've created this little home for them, and it's up to me to fill up the blank screens and share, as much or as little as i desire.
i'm learning about how i handle things.
i've never wanted to write just to write. i never wanted a monday, wednesday, friday posting schedule that i held to whether or not i had things worth saying. i never wanted to force hot takes moments after headlines break, never wanted to speak callously or too quickly. i never wanted to be boxed in or labeled or confined to a niche on the internet.
somewhere along the way, though, i stopped writing in the ways that made me feel alive. i started writing the listicles and the book reviews and the trendy topical pieces instead of spilling the words that were storing up in my heart.
it started to feel silly to write when there was so much bad in the world. it felt heartless to share feelings when hearts were breaking and souls were grieving. it felt unnecessary to publish yet another blog post when so many things matter so much more.
i am a writer. i believe that i am on this earth to use what god has given me to glorify him, and if i'm hiding under a bushel, what good does that do?
the world needs beauty right now.
the world needs art.
the world needs people who aren't afraid to use what they've been given to create something new, something meaningful, something real.
and nobody is going to give me permission to do that but me.
i can wait for some new writing challenge, some "write 31 days" endeavor, some "100 day project," but i know i'll rebel before the finish line comes.
even now, i'm tempted to say "from now on, i'll blog everyday about ___!" or "this is the start of a new thing where I do ___!"
because i'm learning how i do things.
and i do not need one more expectation.
i do not need more pressure.
i need a lot more freedom.
i need more whimsy.
i need to not care about capitalization or flow or editing. i need to not worry about statistics or curating the perfect social media messages to garner more clicks.
i want to just write, when the mood strikes, and the words flow, and i feel like there's something i want to say, whether anyone reads it or not. i want to string together words when i'm grasping for anything real and tangible and hopeful in the midst of the chaos. i want to share more freely, more readily. i want to shake off the expectations and the pressure and the need to impress, and i want to just write.
i'm learning how i do things.
i'm learning to let it be. and i'm learning to let it be beautiful.