Holy hiatus. Friends, I didn't mean to take a two month blog break but it kind of just organically happened and it was awesome. I feel rejuvenated and excited. I'm pumped about where I see my blog going this year and we'll talk about that more next week but first...where was I? What was I doing? Why did I need a break? Let's dive headfirst in to all of that.
2018 started off pretty rocky for me. Typically, I really enjoy the beginning of a new year and a new season. New Years Eve is one of my favorite days of the year because I feel like it's the culmination of 12 months of hard work. You get to end the year with all of your favorite people and you get to count down the closing of one chapter and the start of a new one. I was so ready for 2017 to end and usually, for me at least, when you're anxiously anticipating the end of something it's because you're hoping the end will lead to a great escape.
I wanted to escape from the drama that I felt engulfed my life in 2017. I convinced myself that when that shiny New Years Eve ball dropped all of the concerns and pains of 2017 would drop with it. I was wrong. Time heals all wounds, sure, but time does not solve all puzzles and unpack all of our untouched baggage. I walked into 2018 with a semi truck full of stuff that I thought would just disappear.
So where have I been? I've been trying to deal with all of that crap. My word for 2018 has been intention and I realized that I could not be intentional with my faith and relationships and myself until I took a step back and sifted through the mess that was clouding my vision.
So here's a quick glimpse at some of the things that were hardcore inhibiting my existence;
1. Social Media - I love social media, I really do. I think it's awesome the way that Instagram and Facebook and even Pinterest, has evolved and grown throughout the years. From the perspective of a blogger and a creative, Social media is a great way to market your brand and to learn from others, for free! The downside of social media and the thing that has plagued my heart is the way that it makes everyone seem like they're having the best day ever, every single day. Like everyone is happy and invited to every party and getting married and having babies, except for you and by you I mean, me.
I know that social media is where we post our highlight reel, the best parts; it's not where people post their day to day mundane tasks and the trials they walk through. Social media, especially Instagram stopped being fun for me and instead just made me sad and feel bad about myself. So I took a breather, dug up all the weeds and now I'm watering what I think could be a pretty healthy investment the best way that I know how. I'm on social media a lot less these days and when I do find myself there I am constantly doing an inventory of how I'm feeling and as soon as my mood starts to head south, I log off.
2. Friendships - 2017 was without question my most difficult year in regards to friendships. I know a lot of people in Denver and when I moved here I had this sense that I'd be hanging out with people all the time and that just wasn't the case. I think the real issue was that my expectations were largely unrealistic. I imagined my Denver experience looking a lot like the friendships that I had in college, a place where my friends lived in the same dorm as me and we had the same hobbies and I saw them all the time. After college I went straight to Up with People where you get to spend every single day with your friends, traveling and performing and living this dream life. The real world is not like college and it is definitely not like traveling with Up with People.
Life, my life at least, has full time jobs and healthy sleep schedules and healthy boundaries. Life requires taking initiative and reaching out when you want to see people because you're not just going to run into them in the halls anymore. 2017 reminded me that friendships, just like romantic relationships, take work and are meant to grow and develop throughout the years. I'm relearning how to put hard work in to my friendships and what it means to put yourself out there. This year I'm sending less texts and making more phone calls, going to less parties and having more one-on-one coffee dates. I'm focusing my energy into loving my friends and loving them well.
3. Religion - Life with Jesus is not about religion. Jesus wants a living, breathing, real life with me. Jesus didn't come for rituals and routines, he didn't come to develop a religion and a set of strict norms, he came for me. Jesus came for my life and he came for my heart. Last year I got caught up in church and being on the worship team and appearances and systems, so much so that I think I began to get lost in a from of godliness and got farther and farther away from God. My life depends on Christ. I can't live, I can't think, I can't function well without the Lord.
I did a lot of striving for his love and his attention last year. I thought that maybe if I got better at that or stopped doing this, then I'd feel him near to me all the time. That when I just got here or got there, that I'd be sure of his love for me and that I'd make him proud. I couldn't have been farther from the truth. There's absolutely nothing that I can do to make God love me more than he does right now. It's a truth that I have to remind myself of constantly but in the moments where I just get it, where it all just clicks, an all encompassing freedom overwhelms me and it's the most beautiful sensation I've ever felt.
So here I am. Back on the writing grind and hopefully more vulnerable and transparent than ever. I am so eager to share my life with you and to hear about yours. I'm excited about what God is doing in my heart. I'm so glad that you're here and I hope that you come back again next week. Until later friends.