Obviously fans of Max Lucado might feel personally attacked by this post. I only semi-apologize for that.
It’s quiet. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.
Whenever I think about writing or blogging first thing in the morning, I think of this excerpt from the book When God Whispers Your Name that every 19-22 yr old Christian guy attending North Park Bible College would email to an equally boring girl he liked, because reading Max Lucado back in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s instantly communicated that you were a Christian, but you were also a deep, thoughtful, introspective Christian…who like, was in this world, but wasn’t of this world, y’know?
But besides knowing that someday I would use it to fully burn almost every single male classmate from my freshman year at college, the first time I read those lines*, I sort of marveled at the idea that the things someone wrote in their journal would become as important, as widely shared, and as obviously beloved as that Max Lucado passage. At the risk of sounding like your Grandpa, this was back when email was still primarily used to send thinly-veiled erotic fan fiction about Saved by the Bell (and more disturbingly, Sesame Street…sorry guys, but I am still NOT over what Grover did in those stories); your deep, dark, internet confessions were still primarily confined to AOL chatrooms filled with what we now know as Incels parading as hot young athletes who worked for dot coms; and the only way to get something published was to submit it to Wizards-behind-the-curtain editors, who all still felt very comfortable dismissing literally anything you wrote on sight because they didn’t think anyone was all that interested in the “musings” of a “young lady.”
And even when that started to change - when LiveJournal became a thing, and blogs started to take off, and people started to tell you more and more about their lives, there was still this sort of immediate, automatic apology wrapped in all of it: “Who am I to think that my life is so important that all of you guys would possibly want to read about it???” Looking back, it’s CRAZY how much that has changed…now everyone feels just the opposite: That their lives need to be that important to make people want to read, gaze, and listen to everything they’ve got to share about it.
I don’t know where to start with this. When I first started this blog back in 2004, I used to blog almost every single day, and I wrote about everything. And it felt really freeing, and healing, and affirming. But then before you knew it, there became this weird pressure to make content and get readers and be organized in your topics and have a scalable strategy and develop income funnels and become an influencer and all of this straight up bullshit that stole all the joy from just throwing a bunch of words onto a digital page. And so many times, I’ve been all, “I don’t care about any of that stuff anymore! I’m just going to blog like I used to, when it was fun and I shared everything and didn’t care who was reading it or whether it fit into a niche or could be monetized into an ebook!” And I would start for a little bit, and then I would stop. Start, and then stop. Start, and then, whoops!, stop. That’s basically been my whole adult life - starting and stopping, starting and then going on to the next thing, starting that and then stopping for another thing. And you know what? SO. WHAT. I used to get so annoyed at my own lack of consistency or follow-through and used to regard it as one of my biggest personal flaws, but about two weeks ago I was like, “Who GIVES a shit - it’s not like I swore I would find the cure to cancer and then was like, ‘Yo, peace out, I’m now putting all my time into Yogilates’. Literally nobody was standing around, hoping I could help save their life with my blogging.”
Which is all to say: Today is a new f*cking day, and I’m starting something new.
Again, I don’t know where to start with this. Or how. Right now, it all feels like a lot…like I’m trying to Marie Kondo my entire life and I have no idea where to start or really what I’m getting myself into or even if I want to get into it, and I certainly don’t want to share the contents of my junk drawer with the world, yet I also know that in order to make the absolute most of my life and achieve what I came here to do, I gotta.
There are a lot of things that I don’t actually know (it’s true! Even though if you try to debate me on Twitter or Facebook, I will make every best effort to convince you otherwise), but one thing I know right down into my bones is that my purpose in life is to take my own life experiences and transform them into something that will helps others feel not so alone. Or, as my much more eloquent The Success Principles version states: “To use my sense of imagination, empathy, and humor to entertain and affirm others and their own life experiences by transforming my personal challenges into magical adventures and creative works of art.”
And for a long time, I felt strongly - and maybe a little arrogantly - that the way I was to do all of that wasn’t through confessional blogging, but through my fiction writing. And fiction writing is still very much a part of my purpose and what I am meant to do, but more and more, I’ve realized that, in regards to certain experiences in my life, I’m also trying to hide behind it. If I write a(nother) fictionalized version of my life events, then I don’t have to tell the truth about what really happened or how it affected me or how there actually hasn’t been a happy ending to some of that stuff yet. And all of that is very Tuff Stuff, and I am absolutely the person who will 100% try to take the easy way out of literally anything, and so it just made total and complete sense that I would much rather prefer to pour all my efforts into this fiction method where I could still tell the story but didn’t have to be personally responsible for any of I! And honestly, that still sounds REALLY GOOD to me, and I would VERY MUCH like to go back to blindly believing that!
The truth is, I was given these experiences for a reason; and in the exact way I was given them, that is how they were meant to be shared. And even though I’ve become an increasingly more private person in recent years and honestly cannot think of anything I would rather do less than spill my guts out on the table for all to see, that fear and defensiveness and sense of self-preservation are just illusions, mechanisms, and false stories I tell myself in order to hold myself back from doing the hard, uncomfortable things I need to do in order to truly grow.
And full truth: A lot of my resistance to this was wrapped up in the constant, ever-persistent question of, “Does the world really need another white, middle class, female confessional b/vlogger"?” I think the world needs all of us and all of our stories, but I cringe at the preachy platitudes, I roll my eyes at the oft-repeated inspirational quotes (and when they constantly quote themselves?! WHAT EVEN IS THAT), and I completely shrink back from any grandstanding about “leading a tribe” or “starting a revolution.” I just want to tell you my stories, and if you find value in them, that will be so great and I will be really really happy with that. I will also happily tell you what has and what is working for me in terms of trying to heal from trauma and reconnect with my body and build a stronger connection to spirit and all of that deep and good stuff, and maybe you’ll learn something along with me, but I’m not in the business of teaching anyone how I think they should be. So you won’t find any of that here, and if you do, I’m gonna need you to write “#GirlStopHollising” in my comments and I will cease forthwith.
So we’re doing this thing, and I don’t know what it’s going to look like yet, other than a whole lot vulnerability and intimacy and transparency (all things I am very much horrified of and extremely not good at!!!!!!!). I’ll be playing around with different ideas, like maybe a short post right away in the morning, or some vlogging, or, y’know, whatever I heckin’ feel like, because this is my blog and I can do that here!!!! I’ll also be continuing with The Space You Take series because that has actually been a big catalyst to all of this, but I will make no promises to how often I will be adding new installments to the series, because that shit is really hard to write - both emotionally and literally - and I’m not great with timelines, anyway, so honestly the last thing I really want to do to myself is put a deadline on how quickly I need to process and organize all of those past events and emotions and then publish them for public consumption. I’ll also continue to mix stuff up with occasional TV recaps, card readings, and other fun stuff, just in case you’re like, “But wait, is this blog about to become a total and complete drag?!?!” To which I would reply: “Um, is Deepak Chopra a total and complete drag??!?!” The answer to which is yes, he is, but I am not Deepak Chopra, and so the short answer is: No. No it is not. The only thing that’s really changing is that, since I started blogging waaaay back in 2004 (again: JFC), I am 100% sure that this is something I am meant to do. And that’s a really good feeling, you know? I like it.
And on that note: Peace out until next time, fam.
- Your friend AC
* Which came from an email that my college friend J received from her boyfriend, which she then promptly printed out and taped to the underside of the top bunk in her dorm room, so that she could read it every time she laid on her bed on the bottom bunk and feel grateful to have a boyfriend who both “challenged and affirmed” her faith. And even then, I was like, “that’s gross, and I bet you emailed him back a gushing reply saying just that, when really the person who should be challenging anyone’s faith is you because you’re way smarter than him but for some reason you’re already buying into these bullshit modern Christian constructs that your dumb boyfriend or future husband is the automatic leader and the teacher of your dynamic and even if he’s obviously dumber or less thoughtful than you, then that just means that your job is to continually “lift him up” all the time which is basically just Christian-speak for “feed that dumb male’s ego” and also I don’t like this Bible College and I think I’m probably gonna quit it.”