writing out my soul

 

What does it mean to be a writer, and what does it take? I’m only in the very early stages of dabbling in writing, still finding my feet – or finding my voice, I should say. Posts come haphazardly because I don’t yet know how to throw something meaningful and well crafted out with anything like either frequency or regularity. I heard someone say recently that the best kind of writing is talking about the best bits of yourself. It expresses you, but the very best version of you and your voice that you can imagine. If that’s true, what do I want to say to people? And why in my everyday conversation do I not really think about that?

When I think about my art (which is about all I ever do with it these days) I realise that I’m motivated to express something profound about the act, the fact, of living. Of being human. That’s the very reason I started this blog too. In my introverted, reflective nature my art is a fundamental part of my speech. It’s how I seek to connect with others and express myself in a way I struggle with in everyday conversation. I’ve only begun to realise this recently – that I think I’m wired to articulate myself in creative ways and if I’m not doing that people are going to see me as being closed off  from others. Clearly I need to bring it back into my life, including this writing, in a big way. Perhaps that’s why I hold back from investing myself in art – when I invest myself in it and put it on display, I put myself on display. And now that the thought’s occurred to me, I know it’s absolutely foolish. We all long for connection, long to open ourselves up, to know and be known. If we can’t let ourselves be vulnerable, we can’t know love.

And so I write. And hopefully sculpt. I’d be very happy for you to come along for the ride, if you can forgive the bad writing as I figure it out on the fly.

How do you connect with and open yourself up to others? And if you’re a writer, or any kind of artist, what does it mean to you? What motivates you?

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on the joys of being an arty weirdo

It’s perhaps difficult to comprehend, if you’re not a reflective introvert, the potency of society’s, and yes, the church’s implicit and at times explicit messages that you’re in some way defective and odd. Being reflective, inward focussed, artistic and quiet is at best weird and at worst a curse. A curse to be fixed.

It’s hard even if you are that reflective introvert to always consciously realise that you’re picking up these messages and taking them into yourself. I have spent years feeling like I’m failing at life and relationships if I don’t battle against my introversion/creative side to grow in more extroverted traits. And its true that none of us can use our personalities as excuses to not work push ourselves to grow in other areas. But that’s true of all of us.

This isn’t a negative or mournful post. I feel like I’m healing. As I grow in finding my true identity in Jesus Christ, I find myself more free to be who God made me. It feels good. The way I think about  things, the way I express myself is good and has something to contribute, something the world’s largely deemed quaint and pushed to the edges, I think. So it’s important.

For example, I haven’t engaged in art for about 8 years. The reason? I could never do art just a hobby, it would need to be an all of life thing. And I decided I couldn’t devote my life to art, as I was pursuing Christian ministry, which I’m currently studying for. Well, yes, I still want to do that and not devote myself to artistic expression for its own sake, however I fundamentally underestimated what an integral part of my life, my way of thinking and communicating, it is. I really struggle with social interaction in some ways – I’m usually only comfortable really opening up to a few people, and am pretty quiet around most of the rest of even my friends, though I love them dearly. But I’m starting to realise that chatty, think-on-my-feet small talk isn’t really where I’m most comfortable when it comes to communication…and that’s hard (I’m not, by the way, a total social outcast). But I have other ways in which I more naturally communicate, that are slower, more intuitive, but which communicate things that can often get lost. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I’m finding it helpful!

And so I will pursue that in my life, my Christian ministry, my relationships. I will be the me God made me to be, and I can be that because I’m loved and cherished because of Jesus.

Life is good.

disappointment

Sometimes life’s just disappointing. It’s just the way of life. Ups and downs. No surprises there. No profound insights.

I’ll tell you something, put something out there into the vast electronic ether. I’m disappointed with myself. There are things about myself, my personality, I just don’t like. Is that just me? Does anyone else ever feel like that?

I mean, I do like that I’m sort of reflective, artistic (if a frustrated would-be artist for the past while), even a bit quieter and not so boisterous as some people I know. But there’s a big price. Introversion isn’t bad but it’s painful when you really love people but can’t seem to relate to them well. When you want to be strong for people but find timidity instead. When you’re trying to trust in God but see yourself groaning for the approval of others. When you think you’re beginning to live more confidently and you meet someone and you clam up again…

I dunno. None of this is earth shattering stuff. I know a lot of people are dealing with a lot greater grief than this. I guess it’s just
5.30 am, I haven’t slept, I felt a bit disappointed last night. I guess it put a finger in a deeper wound I’m still healing from.

When you turn your thoughts to God, what then? Anger, disappointment with him? God rarely, if ever, does things according to my plans. Actually, I’m pretty sure he’s never done anything according to my plans. And that’s good. Because he’s God, he’s good, and he knows best. And I’m not and I don’t. I can’t get angry or disappointed with him. I need to believe in him, in his goodness and the goodness of his plan for my life. Jesus died for me, and now because of that all my garbage is forgiven, I know God and his love is over my life, my eternity is secure. He is good. He knows what’s best for me. I don’t particularly feel it all the time, including right now, but I know it. And that’s good. That can’t be taken from me.