I Might Waste Days, But I’m Not a Wasted Life.

I thought maybe if I blogged tonight, I wouldn’t feel as though I wasted my entire day.  Normally, I don’t decide to write before knowing I need to write about something, so I sat around for a while trying to come up with something.  Of course, that meant I ended up wasting more of my day.  Which didn’t make me feel any better.

So then I thought about what it means to waste life.  In my head, things tend to get real deep real quick.  I generally try to go with it.

Ever since writing my last post a few days ago, I’ve had quite a few friends tell me they identify with the feelings I expressed.  You know – figuring life out, wandering foggy roads, trying desperately to trust God but questioning His ways.  Being stuck.  Being afraid.  To tell you the truth, I was sort of surprised that people felt the same way I do.  I don’t know why; I’m always surprised when I realize I’m not the only person in the world who thinks like I think.  I suppose I just expect most people to be more rational and put-together than I am (because I live inside my head, and it is weird in here sometimes).  Then, people come to me and tell me thank you for writing what they were feeling, and I end up having beautifully real conversations with friends.  I’m reminded, just like I’ve been reminded so many times before, that every person in the world is a million fathoms deep.  That’s why I love words.  Sometimes I am tempted to believe that my words are a puzzle only I am figuring out.  I think maybe the reality is that the things we do are more for others than they are for us.  Even if we don’t realize it.

It’s not that I’m happy that many of my friends are afraid of the next step in their lives, or that some of them can’t find jobs, or that some of them are pursuing what they love but aren’t as successful as they want to be.  It doesn’t make me feel better that other people are feeling the same sense of confusion and fear that I often feel about the future (or, you know, the present, occasionally).  But it makes me feel less like an anomaly.  It makes me feel more normal, and maybe a little more secure.  If we’re all going through it, surely there can’t be something wrong with all of us.  I’m not the only one who has crazy, far-away dreams.  We all have them.  We are all just as scared that we will never get there.  That no one will never notice us on our journey to the moon.

It’s not fair that we live in this limbo.  I know in my head and in my heart that Christ is here; that the Lord has made me exist for a purpose, that He’s made all of us exist for a purpose.  I know that.  But this curse thing is killing me – literally, which I’ve known for most of my life, but in every other way, too.  When the Kingdom comes, my friends aren’t going to have to apply for jobs that turn them away.  They will just do what they love, they’ll create beauty and goodness and the entire universe will enjoy it.  When the Kingdom comes, my friends and I won’t wonder if we’re wasting away our days and months – time won’t make sense, and it will be perfect that way.  When the Kingdom comes, I will write and write and write, and the lines I pen will come effortlessly; they will never be inadequate.  We will sit for eternities and talk about eternities, and walls around our hearts won’t exist.

I don’t like that the Kingdom is not yet here, and that everything is so uncertain in the meantime.  It shouldn’t be like this.  I don’t want to be okay with this.  I can’t give my friends jobs or promise them they’ll end up happy and rich and famous, but I really want to.  I can’t wake up tomorrow and do all the things I want to do, and I’ve barely even got a clue as to how to go about them.  I get that living the life the Lord has blessed me with is the thing I must do – and I desperately want to do it right – but I wish that I could do more.  I wish the Kingdom would come quickly.

I know I don’t have the ability to make it right.  Only Jesus can do that.  But I do have the chance to make it better in the meantime.  So, I’m going to do things to ensure that my life isn’t pointless.  To make sure that I’m more than just a bunch of words that never become action.  Most of my plans have to wait until this semester’s over – only a few more ravaging weeks – but I’m planning now nonetheless.  The first thing on my agenda?

Submitting some of my writings to literary magazines.  There’s a poetry contest with a fast-approaching deadline, and you win real money if they like your stuff, so that’s my first priority.  Even if I don’t win anything, maybe they’ll put me in the magazine.  Or, maybe they’ll send my stuff back and tell me I’m awful.  That would be decent news, too, I suppose, because then at least I’ll know (optimism, folks).  I think I’ll send a couple short stories in as well, just for kicks.

So, pray for me on that one.

Oh, and please PLEASE let me know if I can pray for you!  I keep forgetting to mention that I’ve set up an email address for bloggy things.  I have 599 unique views on this thing, but only one email.  It was from Google.  And that is lame and you need to step it up. ;)  Obviously, I know many of you in the offline world – and talking is highly preferable to emailing, so just talk to me.  About anything.  You’ll find that I like to talk about lots of things.  But if I don’t know you – and many of you are bloggy people whom I have never met – then feel free to let me know if I can pray for you or tell you a joke or something.  I want to hear from you.

My day still feels horribly lazy.  But at least I acknowledged it.  Counts for something, eh?


A Blog About the Blog.

I have never read a book about blogging.  I have never attended a seminar on how to boost your followers or how to make yourself marketable.  I’ve heard that blog posts should be short and to the point, or else no one will read them.

If that’s true, then I don’t see the point in blogging.  Unless, of course, you write for other people and not because you feel the need to write deep inside your bones.

It’s not like that for me.  Yes, I do love it when people read what I write – I always have.  It’s gratifying, to know that someone cares enough about what I have to say that they are willing to read it.  That says a lot about the person (i.e. you).  It makes me feel necessary and appreciated and valued.  It’s a lovely feeling.  And I admit – part of why I started this blog was because I wanted to tell people what I thought.  I wanted my thoughts to have an audience.  It’s rather narcissistic, believing that the stuff I think has any bearing on the rest of the world.

But I also think I must write.  I think God dumps disjointed words into my heart and tells me to make sense of them with the gifts He’s given me, and then to let other people in on the stories too.  If I don’t write, I can’t think.  And if I can’t think, I feel like I’m floating around.  So – this blog is so much bigger for me than a simple search for an audience.  At the end of the day, I wouldn’t care much if no one in the world read what I wrote.  I wouldn’t stop writing if that were the case.

Happily, though, people are reading this.  I’ve had this blog for just over a month, and I have 15 beautiful subscribers, 200-something views, and one click from a search engine.  Isn’t that insane!?  Someone googled “infj” and then THEY CLICKED ON MY BLOG.  And, get this – someone in Australia and someone else in Malaysia have viewed these silly words!  When I saw that, I almost flipped my lid a little bit, until I realized I have like four good friends who live in Australia, and it became less of an insanity.  But I have NO friends in Malaysia UNTIL NOW.

As for those 15 subscribers – yeah, a fair few are related t0 me in some way, and my mom did subscribe with both of her email addresses, so I guess to be fair I only have 14 subscribers.  But many of the email addresses I don’t recognize, and there are bloggers I’ve never met who follow me, and then of course there is everyone who follows me on Twitter, which makes me loathe Twitter a little less.

I feel so blessed and humbled and a little in awe of the fact that you people care about the stuff that is in my head.  And now, I think I have this really important obligation to keep writing.  Perhaps it is narcissistic to write because you want people to pay attention to you, but what if it’s also a little selfish to write only for yourself?  Maybe that’s what the Lord is trying to teach me through this: He gave me the ability to write about His glory and the crazycool things He does in my life, and I have to keep writing about it.  Hide it under a bushel, no.

In light of all this, I’ve developed a little schedule.  Like I said, I’ve never read the blogging books but I’ve heard tell that bloggers, like, plan the stuff they’re gonna write about.  That’s such a foreign concept to me – I’m a very stern believer in “writing from the heart” and “drafting and revision kills creativity” or whatever.  But now I’m totally beginning to realize why it’s important to plan.

1. If I don’t plan, I will keep putting off writing.
2. If I don’t plan, I will write about stupid stuff, and I will waste everyone’s time.
3. If I don’t plan, I will never develop as a writer because I will always write the same kind of stuff.

Hence – The Plan.  I’m still not convinced that I need to make a long-term-blog-schedule.  But I have been thinking about the stuff I want to do short-term, and I want to tell you about it.  Because if I tell you about it, I’ll be more likely to do it.

February is going to be A Month of Poetry.  It’s the most un-catchy name ever, and also, it’s borderline presumptuous (I tend to groan at series-type stuff, unless it’s a book series.  I don’t know why.   I think “doing a series” is too much like a cliche for me and I basically want to kick cliches out of a helicopter and into the Pacific Ocean).  But I have a rationale: I stinking love writing poetry, and I have like four journals full of it, and I don’t write much romancey poetry but people tend to associate poetry with romancey-type stuff, and February is the month of love, so I’m going to post a piece of poetry every Wednesday, starting tomorrow.

Additionally, I’m gonna start Flashback Friday, a name with which I am infinitely more pleased with than “A Month of Poetry.”  Flashback Friday is going to happen for an undetermined length of time, on whatever Fridays I choose (because this is my blog, duh).  The rationale behind Flashback Friday is that I have like forty thousand pieces of non-poetry that I’ve written in the past six-ish years, hidden in all sorts of places (Facebook, notebooks, saved as text drafts, on Microsoft Word, on folded up pieces of paper stuffed into books) and I want to start collecting them all here.  I know that someday the Internet will crash and explode into trillions of broken pixels and then the world will probably melt away into chaos and destruction, but I still want to save all my musings here.  They’re my stories, stories I still want to share.

Finally, I have two new posts cooking up in my brain as we speak.  The first is going to be about the story of Joseph from the Bible.  I’m involved in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (hair and makeup crew), so I’ve been studying the story of Joseph in Genesis, and God has just been blowing my mind.  I want to tell you all about it soon.  I’m thinking within the week.  Second post: a Valentine’s Day musing.  I’m not sure what the actual content is going to be, but based on my 20 years of experience in being me, I’m sure it will have a lot to do with being single and going to a Christian school where everyone gets married all the time and whether or not God wants me to be a nun or something.  It’ll be grand.  I’m shooting for having that up on the 14th, but who knows.  I could get discovered by then, on a plane to Hollywood to star in the next blockbuster franchise.  Crazy things happen.

This post, incidentally, was much longer than I anticipated (because I didn’t have a PLAN), and I was definitely planning on starting a paper tonight, but as we can all tell, that is not going to happen.

Thought of the day: We sang The Doxology in chapel today.  Did you know that song has more verses than that “praise God from whom all blessings flow” verse?  It does.  It was incredible – that is a song I have literally been exposed to since I was an infant.  I’ve sung the words since I could make words (mostly I made up the words until my church got a screen when I was like twelve).  But not until today did I really listen to what I was saying and realize that this song is a worship song.  Just as much as any other song – this is a song of praise, not a song of ritual.  This is a song I can lift my hands to.  How amazing is He?