One Full Minute

I had an English teacher once who brought us into class one day, sat us in our desks, told us to get out our journals and said, “For one full minute, I just want you to write. Write everything and nothing. Don’t stop to think. Just write everything that comes to your mind.”

paperI need to do that today. There is a lot on my mind.

I’ve never been good at living in the moment. I only have a handful of memories in which i could feel myself absorbing every detail, every emotion. I’ve always wanted to be good at it, but I’m not. I think too much. I’m tired of thinking too much.

I miss England. I feel oddly out of place now, as if the changes I’ve gone through don’t quite fit inside of me and I’m not sure how to make it all work. I know it can work, I know it. I just have to figure it out. Whatever that means.

This last week I’ve discovered a lot of my weaknesses, and I don’t like it. I don’t like looking at myself that harshly, not when I’m already super hard on myself anyway.

I don’t like feeling vulnerable. I don’t like that feeling that other people have power over me and there’s nothing I can do about it. I hate feeling that exposed, that open to whatever it is they might decide to do.

Today I got upset and made lava cakes. I’m very good at making lava cakes. I’m actually a great cook. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that before. But I love to cook. It calms me. It is a different type of creation that I absolutely adore.

I’ve been trying really, really hard lately to gain more confidence. I’ve never, ever been a confident person. Ever. I’ve been trying really hard to begin to really and truly love myself, to understand my worth and to live in such a way that I can magnify all the things that are beautiful inside of me. Sometimes it is hard. I am having to change everything about how I think. It’s harder than I expected it to be.

One full minute. Write it out. Think it out. One full minute.


Witty Paradoxes

I’ve gone to the “Add Post” section of my blog no less than three times today. And just stared at the page. Blankly. Knowing from the sadness in recent statistics that I should probably write something, not knowing what to write. I guess my blog hasn’t been the happiest of places lately. I’ve been doing this “be honest” thing, and while liberating I have a feeling that I’ve chased many of you away.

simpleTruthfully, my blog has been teetering on a ledge for several months now. Not that this is something to worry about. I know I’m not the only one to have problems like this with my blog.

The problem is that I want to have more followers. I want to reach more people. But I don’t want to do anything that this requires. I don’t want to use social media to promote my blog, which would basically be the solution to all of my issues.

But here’s why.

I’m an incredibly private person. Shocker, I know. For a long time my blog was anonymous. There was no picture of me, none of you knew my name. To this day you don’t even know my last name! And get this: only within the last few months do some members of my family even know that I have a blog. Up until about two months ago the only people in my immediate circle that knew about my blog were my sister, my mom, and my best friend. That circle has now extended to several of my siblings and to some more friends. But that is it.

It’s this weird paradox I have. Because nobody really knows that I write a blog, I can write torn betweenanything that I want. Because nobody that I know who knows I have a blog reads my blog (you may have to read that sentence more than once), I can write anything I want. Now many of you know that my blog is anything but rude. I’d never write anything bad about anybody. There is just a freedom in this anonymity that I’ve created. And I like it that way.

But then I have this constant, “I’m so incredibly witty and talented! Why don’t I have more feedback and views on my blog?” thought process going on in my head. (Part of the problem could possibly be that many of my devoted readers – bless your hearts – live in England and so the time difference could play a role there…) But in general this is a daily lamentation.

There are lots of paradoxes happening in my life, actually. And oddly enough, all of them involve my writing. I have this huge dream of being this incredible, world wide author someday. And yet I can’t even share my writing with others because I just have zero confidence in that arena. I mean, I can write a blog post because I’m fully aware that I’m hilarious and the way I put posts together is completely ingenious, but when it comes to my actual writing…my confidence may as well be subzero.

all and nothingActually, in general I am not a super confident person. Most people don’t know that about me, but it’s true. There is a certain sense of security in pretending like you are confident when underneath you really aren’t.

But now I’m off on philosophical tangents and we all know how messy THAT can get. The point is that I’m in several writing paradoxes. Witty paradoxes, but paradoxes nonetheless.

Happy Tuesday.

The Only Playwright

booksMy best friend is studying to become a theater teacher. It’s been a couple of weeks since we talked and today I can’t stop thinking about something really profound that she said to me once.

I was doubting myself. Shocking, I know. Me? Doubting myself? What? As if that ever, ever happens! Okay, though, all sarcasm aside, it is something that happens to me a lot. Really a lot. I could delve really deeply into some psychological study and try and tell you why that is, but that just sounds complicated.

I guess that in all of my plans and dreams that I always had about my future, I thought that I’d have a book published by now. I realize that I’m only 20 years old, so perhaps that seems silly, but I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I always thought that I’d somehow been given a “head start” that way and that I’d be wasting it if I didn’t have a book published by X age.

I was doubting myself as a writer. Like I mentioned, I’ve been writing since I learned how. And before that I was telling stories. Long and pointless stories that made absolutely no sense. Or at least, that’s what my mom tells me. You see, I started talking fluently at the age of 18 months, and with that came storytelling. I’ve known for a long, long time that one of my callings in life is to write.

But negativity got the better of me that day. I remember sitting in our house with our roommates. Somebody was saying something about the book I was currently working on and I said in a joking way (my way of expressing what is truly bothering me), “I think I’ll just give up this whole writing thing. I mean, there are SO MANY other writers out there! What’s unique about me?” library

She stood there with the play she was reading for class in her hand and said, “Oh, yeah. Because where would theater be if Shakespeare were the only playwright?” She was answering my joking but serious insecurities in the best way. As she always does. She knows I love Shakespeare, and that I love theater. Which is why she chose to phrase it that way. Think about it: where would theater be if Shakespeare was all we had?

Yes, there are so many other writers out there, but there is only one that’s like me. One that’s like you. I have this romanticized idea that I don’t really come up with my ideas for books, they come to me. And if this is indeed true, and this idea did come to me, then who else is going to make it permanent if not myself? There are billions of untold stories out there, words and people waiting to make it onto paper. Every time I look out a window I can feel it.

Safe And Sound

What an absolutely insane week it has been! And not only here on Call Me Incorrigible, but just in my life as well! I’ve had so many adventures and insights this week that I really want to share with you this evening. I’m not even sure where to start!

safteHave you ever just had a really, really, really BAD day?  That happened to me yesterday. I had this experience where somebody did something that really, really upset me. You see, with me there are a couple of ground rules and if they get broken…it’s not the best day.

One of those rules is this: If I ask you not to do something, do not do it. Another one is this: if I say “Stop” once, then stop. There is no gray area with these rules. You follow them or you do not. Because of some really traumatic events that have occurred in my life, these two rules are very important to me. Well, yesterday the first rule got broken, and I was not a very happy person. Some emotions that are still very raw came forward, and I didn’t like it.

For me, it’s all about safety. I have this incredible need to feel safe. Safe in every way. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, you name it. Feeling safe is a huge, huge priority for me. I’m constantly wanting to say, and feel, “I am safe.” Trust is another thing. I’ve talked a lot about how this last year and a half has been the hardest one in my life, and I’ve come to realize that safety and trust are major things for me.

I didn’t realize this until I started going through my own intense healing process, but I feel like healing can almost be more difficult than the experiences themselves. Or at least that’s how it’s been for me. When all of the hard things were happening, my sole focus was to keep my head above water. But when you heal, you dive beneath all that water. You find the source of that water, and you try and stop the flow. And in the process you get really wet again, immersed in all the pain again. You relive it a thousand times over, and feel it more deeply than perhaps you did when it was happening.

I will be the first to stand up and say that you don’t dive alone, you don’t get wet alone. You can’t. Healing requires more Watersthan just yourself. I know that in the midst of the pain God was there beside me, as well as many, many other people, and it has been the same with the healing process. And while I feel I’ve come very far, there are times when I look around me, very, very deep in all that water and wonder how long I’ll feel so broken.

But God taught me something very, very important this morning:

His ways are higher than our own.

It is hard to understand, trust me, I know. But I have to believe that God has given me certain challenges, and placed me on a certain path because He wants what is best for me and what will make me a better person. I don’t understand all of the hardships, I don’t understand why I felt a mountain of very negative emotions and couldn’t think even one remotely pleasant thought about myself.

But what if all of the tears and hardships are incredible blessings that we just cannot see yet?  We can have no way of knowing how things “might have” or “would have” turned out. But I believe that God’s ways are infinitely higher than our own, and in the process of molding us into something incredible He will bring us to mountains we do not understand. But that will not last forever. We are more than that. There is more than that. His ways are higher than our own. And because He loves us, He will not ever choose to leave us alone.

mountainA few days ago I went on a spontaneous trip to my old college town. My earlier followers will remember my posts from college life. Wow. Looking back now, those days are so precious to me. Thursday I had the day off, and so I decided to drive three hours and go visit my old roommate. It was so incredible! It was amazing to be at my old school, in a place that I love, and feel that peace. We mostly just talked about old memories and had a good time. It made me so, so grateful for good friends, good times, beautiful sunsets, and great ice cream.

A conclusion that I’ve come to is that, as humans, we are all searching for relevance. And that is why we do any of the things that we do. We are looking for relevance in our life. We want to mean something, to matter. We want to last. Relevance. We search, we fight, we push for relevance. But I think that when all is said and done we have more relevance and power and potential than we will ever know.

And that feels safe.

What Does It Do For You?

I could not wait to get off work today. And I love, love, love my job. Nothing particularly special was planned, nothing was really going on. But I could not WAIT to get off work today. The reason being?

FabulousI was so excited to come home and get on my blog. I couldn’t wait to get to my reader and see what everybody had to say today, and I couldn’t wait to write another post. Lately I’ve just been overwhelmed with love and appreciation for the whole blogging experience.

You see, I feel like I talk about blogging a lot. But that is because I love it. A lot! I love meeting new people, reading their stories, and connecting with them. It is the coolest feeling in the world when you really connect with another blogger and you sit in your house and realize that half way across the world you’ve made a friend. How amazing is that?!

I can’t even begin to explain how much I love blogging, and how lately I’ve just been so consumed in how much I love it. I have stumbled upon some incredible worlds and lives, and made good friends. One of my blogging friends in particular, I think you know who you are, reads every single one of my posts and leaves feedback. I cannot begin to say how much that means to me, how precious that kind of support is.

It is such an incredible thing to me that we have these blogs, this way of connecting, and it’s even more incredible when it’s used in the proper way. My friend leaving feedback on my posts: that is what it’s about! I love it that I can have a totally random thought, turn it into a blog post and the people in my blogging sphere will get it. It’s wonderful.

And even more than all of this, blogging has helped me so much as a writer. I feel as though my writing has gotten so muchFun stuff better overall, not just from writing a lot of blog posts but from connecting with other writers, reading their writing, and getting great feedback and seeing wonderful posts from people. I see a huge difference in my personal writing, not just in my blog posts but in my novels and poetry as well, and that is also absolutely amazing. I can say with total honesty that a lot of that is due to the incredible world of blogging,

I feel so blessed to say that the reasons we blog, the reasons blogs are incredible, apply to me. I’ve met incredible people and improved myself and I really couldn’t ask for anything more. Blogging has done so many wonderful things for me, and I hope it does the same for you. So today I just want to say thank you to everybody for that, because I couldn’t have done any of that without all of you.

Reflections of Oceans and Sunshine

My mind is once again swirling today.

I think it’s something about Sundays that does that to me. Sunday always is the day where I reflect back on my week. I think of what I did or didn’t do, and commit to doing better in the week to come. Sunday throws me into a state of reflection and deep thought, whether that be a good or bad thing. 

What I find interesting about these reflection sessions I go through daily is that by the time I’m done thinking about it, I usually end up at the conclusion that I had before I began thinking. Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I have all the answers to life. That would be absolutely preposterous. However, what I am saying is that I’m grateful for the reflection process. I think that going through it helps me find the conclusion that was sneaking around in the back of my mind.

Often I find that happening as I write a blog post. Much of the time, instead of thinking it out, I blog it out and press publish. As a writer, I am constantly striving to think of better ways to express exactly what I’m thinking or feeling. I believe that one can reach a certain level of expertise with that, but in the end, some things simply cannot be explained.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “success” lately.

The conclusion that I’ve come to is that nothing about it is static. I’ve come to that conclusion about a lot of things lately. I may have a definition of success, and you may have a definition of success. In the end, I really just want to be successful for myself, in my own way. I think that all of the affirmations from other people mean nothing at the end of the day if you don’t believe that you’ve accomplished something or that you are a good person.

I’m going through this phase in my life where I’ve basically been doing a lot of changing and adjusting. I’m still the same in many ways, but especially in the last year I’ve done so much changing that it just came to a point where I couldn’t do or be certain things because I simply wasn’t that any longer.

I got my first major hair cut in years, I’m taking some pretty big risks in my writing, I’ve made some really cut and dried decisions about the kind of people that I want in my life and the kind I don’t. I’ve decided that I’m tired of masks, I’m tired of hiding. I’m tired of pretending to be somebody I’m not, or shoving away my deepest emotions. I don’t want to surf through life, completely numb, and surrounded by people who do not add anything to my well being as a whole. I want to be real. There are some really wonderful and positive things happening in my life right now, and I’m very happy about it. It’s exciting and new, and I am loving it all.

It also happens that I’m still going through one of the hardest times in my life ever.

Interesting, isn’t it? I keep wondering how I can be finding so many new and exciting things, and how I can be still loving old things, and finding so much joy around me when I’m going through a really tough and rocky healing process at the same time. The answer to that is quite simple: God.

A line from a song that I love says, “God is good. Yeah, God is good. We’ve come so much farther than we thought we could. Keep walking now.” Yes, some really, really hard things have happened to me in the past year and a half. It blows my mind away how healing can almost seem more difficult than the experiences themselves.

But God is so, so good, ladies and gentlemen.

The fact that I’m learning firsthand how to find joy amidst sorrow is a testimony to me that God is real. That He lives. That He loves me. He has let me walk through some very deep oceans, much of it strong currents, sometimes high over my head. And He did it to show me how beautiful the sunshine feels now that I am coming closer to shore. God is not there to take bad things away, and bad things do not mean that there is no God. God is simply there. There for us all the time, every second of every day. Through good times and bad.

This changing and adjusting time in my life is a clean slate. I fresh start. Let me tell you, a fresh start never felt so wonderful! I highly recommend it. If there is something that you can start fresh with, even if it is small, do it this week! It doesn’t have to be a complete life fresh start, as mine has been, it can be something small. But no matter what, it could bring a world of difference to you.

Something that I’ve decided to try and start doing is to either discover or rediscover something every week. A few weeks ago I discovered that right now, I’m in love with the color blue. Another week I rediscovered my love for Dean Martin. What started out as a game at first ended up bringing me a lot of happiness and peace. I think it is so interesting how happy the small things can make us. I’m so grateful for the small things. Books, music, movies, or even just colors. Our favorite foods. These things bring us happiness and peace. That, my friends, is a wonderful thing in a world of uncertainties.

I want to shout from the rooftops, all of the things that I’m letting myself experience that feel so right. All of the things that I’m discovering and rediscovering. I’ve never loved summer as much as I do this year. I’m loving the summertime! I’m loving everything from wearing blush and curling my hair to figuring out my novel to working to writing in my journal to playing with my nephews. Perhaps it doesn’t show through my blog posts as much, but there is an incredible transformation happening in me right now.

It has been a long time in coming.

This last year and a half, though exceedingly hard, has been life changing. I have changed so much through my struggles, and for the better. I feel as though I’m close to coming out on the other side and seeing the finished product that God has been molding. There will be more struggles, after all, that is what life is about, and there will be more molding. But I cannot find the words to explain how amazing it feels to know that I’m striving to be the best me that I can be right now. And that right now, I’m exactly where I need to be doing exactly what God would have me do. What a comfort to know that, even though my days are still filled with hard things and tears as I continue to heal, there is a lot of joy as well.

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, who is ready for Sunday night chocolate cake?

And The Crowd Goes Wild

I have a confession about myself not at all steeping in the waters of arrogance. It is truly something that I am fantastic at, and today I feel as though I need to make that fact widely known to the world outside of my immediate sphere. And here it is:

I am absolutely amazing at giving pep talks.

Yes, it is true. I am fantastic at it. I am so good at it, in fact, that whenever I am having a bad day I think back to all of my old pep talks I’ve given to others, roll my eyes, and wish I could take my own splendid advice.

When I began this blog, in the back of my mind I had this little inkling that if my blog ever made it big it would be due to this incredible gift I have. I’d write some amazing, inspirational post with an phenomenal title and before you knew it I’d be Blogger of the Year.

Well, not only was this fantasy jumping to a lot of conclusions (and right over the idea the awards don’t matter because my blog is, if nothing else, just a fun place for me to spend my time) but it was also that: a fantasy. I’ve yet to figure out why, but my really obscure posts that are generally about nothing at all are the ones that receive the most attention. When I actually put a great deal of effort into a post, wording it just so, formatting it, placing the right pictures, pouring my heart and soul into the project, I may receive a view from some person who wrote something in a search engine somewhere and ended up in my world.

Does anybody have the answer to this strange reality?

Because it has brought me to an interesting place in my life today. I’ve decided that if my blog ever does skyrocket and become this huge thing, it will be for a different reason entirely.

It will be because I am hilarious.

And that is all.