Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I did something really crazy today

And I'm still adjusting.
Okay... here go's....

I changed my major to Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music.
I'm a Bluegrass major.
I'm going to be in school for the rest of my life.

I don't know how I feel about this. I just felt like I needed to do it. Now, that I have though... I'm FREAKING out. I think I'm scared. Horrified.
I think, I don't want to be in school forever... but this is probably what I should have been doing the whole time.
So... please send some prayers my way if you think about it, although, there are much more important things to pray for... than myself... and my Blugrass dilemma.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ideas for staying young

I've decided to make a list of things that I think would make the world a better place. Maybe not the world... but they are things that make me happy, and they're things that I wish I did more often, and they're things that I think everyone should do more often, just because they're healthy things (I think)... but mostly they're things that I wish I did more often, so I'm writing them down. This is just my list. My silly fun list. My occasionally serious list. My list that may or may not make someone else happy, but I just felt like putting it here.
Enjoy =)

Joy's possibly senseless tips for staying young at heart:

1) Meditate.
     For me, this means pray. Lately, I've taken to writing 3 pages a day. 3 "morning pages," they're called. (This concept comes from The Artist's Way, a book on creativity by Julia Cameron.) Set aside a half hour a day for yourself. Use the time to reflect, pray, think, draw, breath, say what you need to say... whatever. And take time to recognize that there are at least some things worth reading. Search for truth, and search for wisdom every day.

2) Drink 64 ounces of water.
    This is recommended by actual people who know actual things... not just me! And... my, it feels good to drink that much water in a day. Really it does. (Just not all at once... that hurts.)

3) Turn on the radio... or turn it off.
     I used to listen to too much music, I think. It was more like a habit than a conscious activity. Now, I don't listen to enough. Maybe this is more about balance for me. Find balance. Take time to enjoy things... and then maybe think about why you enjoy them. 

4) When you turn on the radio, dance around your room like a crazy person.
     You know you've done it, and you know it's fun, and you know you should do it more often... and if you haven't done it (that's a really big if) then just start doing it because you're missing out.  

5) Make that really tough choice that you know is the right choice.
    The peace that comes afterwards is much greater than the pain/struggle that is around while you're in the midst of your choice-making... really. It's so worth it to know you've done the right thing.

6) Ask for help, advice, whatever. Tell your friends and family about your goals.
     You're not in it alone, even if you think you are. Stop believing in solitude. Stop saying, "no one understands me... wahhhh." It's time to get over the teenage angst.

7) Read a Proverb a day.
     In the Bible, the book of Proverbs has 31 chapters. 1 book for every month. This wonderful, life-changing, soul-grabbing fact was introduced to me by my pastor, Tootie Wright. Honestly... read something wise every day.

8) Wear a bright color.
    I hide in my clothes. It's true. I was looking at my closet the other day, and I thought... "everything's gray." I don't like to be the center of attention and for some reason, I guess I've always feared that bright colors, or a really cute outfit would do that. Well, I don't think it does. Take a risk. Wear the bright shirt. Dress up on a Thursday. Curl your hair. Who cares! Let yourself feel beautiful, or edgy, or whatever. 

9) Care more about others.
    This probably should have been No. 2, but oh well. Seriously, care about others. Our lives are so deeply connected. I'm astonished at how much we affect each other, just by living. So, think about others. Think about how your life affects their lives and think about what's best for everyone. I think this, above all else, motivates me to live better: the fact that what I do can make a difference to others.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Next year's words await another voice.

Goodness, I've been away for quite a while. I'm sorry for this, but I'm not going to go on about it. I have something else to go on about.
*Warning* As it is New Year's Day, I had very little sleep last night, so I'm a little loopy, and possibly running on Coffee alone (Caffeine + very little sleep = Chatter-box Joy). But really that doesn't matter, and has nothing to do with what I have to say, but I'm telling you that anyway. Well, I told you that anyway.

What I have to say is that
a Brand. 

I know, I know, I'm not telling you anything you didn't know already, but this is a BIG DEAL. It's a HUGE deal. I am really excited about the fact that it is a Brand. Spanking. New. Bright, Shiny, Clean YEAR!

And, here's what I have to say about it:

     In my heart (and in yours too, I reckon...) there are two voices. One accuses, destructs, insults. Says, "You're not good enough. Your words aren't good enough. Your heart, your spirit -they're not pure enough." This voice says, "You can't."
     Another voice, it whispers love. It whispers, "You're good enough, because I love you. Your words are treasure, because they're your creation, and I created you to create. Your heart, your spirit, -they are beautiful because I gave them to you. (Ez. 36:26)" It says, "You can, because I made you."
I've listened to that first, hateful voice way too much lately.
I say, "lately," -what I really mean is for a very long time.

The result(s)?
A 3.5 year creative block.
A near paralysis of self-expression.
A near complete loss of identity (self-concept).
A feeling of being lost, blind, pointless, powerless, useless... need I continue?
(And even now, that voice says, "Aren't you being a little bit dramatic?" No, voice. I'm not. It's true... jerk.)

   I sealed off my heart -from the inside.
Don't misunderstand: I didn't guard my heart -I let the whole world in...
What I did was refuse to let any of my heart back out.
I've been afraid -stumped by that hateful voice around every corner. I guess I thought, "I don't really have anything worth saying in here." I believed those mean lies -that horrible, awful, deceitful, accusing voice. I let that voice win.

And I guess I'm writing all of this now because... I don't want that voice to win anymore. And because I'm so thankful that I've finally recognized it for what it is. And because it's a Brand. New. Year. and I'm not listening to the doubts anymore. I'm going to say what I think, feel, believe. 
I'm going to create.

 I'm going to create because that's what I was created to do.

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.

- T.S. Elliot