I have been blogging on and off since high school, back when Xanga was all the rage. I’m not sure exactly why I started to blog then, other than I’ve always used writing as a way to express myself. As an introverted thinker, I find writing to be very relaxing. It helps me process and sort my thoughts and relieve stress. I love having the time to choose the perfectly nuanced word to express what I’m thinking or how I am feeling.
I do know that I started this particular blog shortly after I permanently injured my wrist and could no longer play the piano for hours a day. Playing the piano and music in general was my preferred way of expressing myself prior to my injury. Since my injury, I have become an avid writer. In addition to journaling, I blog here, at www.rachelbuckingham.wordpress.com, and several other blogs. I am also a freelance writer, currently writing several articles and my first novel.
In addition to using blogging to express myself, I started this blog as an effort to write more and hone my skills. That is also the reason I have chosen to participate in the postaday2011 challenge. A writer cannot improve without writing (and reading in my opinion). So I blog because I love writing; it is an extension of myself.
As I sat in one of my favorite coffee shops yesterday, I realized that I felt apathetic about life. I desperately wanted to feel, even if that meant feeling sad or angry. While I was journaling about this lack of emotion that I felt, my friend walked into Grounds, came over, and invited me to her table with two of her other friends. I joined, and we all started talking. We connected about random, sometimes ridiculous things. And all of a sudden, I realized that I was feeling again. I was feeling alive again. Why? Because I was connecting.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking, pondering, and considering what I want to do when I graduate. I am single and free to go anywhere and do anything. I want to pursue my dreams and passions, which I believe that God has laid upon my heart. I’ve dreamed about many different things. Moving to Seattle. Moving to England. Moving to Boston. Moving to Spain. The last place I want to move is back home with my parents. And until quite recently, the second to last place I wanted to be is Bowling Green, Ohio. I moved to Bowling Green for school in August 2006. And it has been a great place for me to grow and really become myself. However, I have never dreamed about staying in BG. I didn’t even want to come here for school. But as I have been really delving into my soul to realize my dreams, I have come to realize what I want to do with my life.
I want to connect with people. Through writing. Through social justice organizations. Through teaching. Through being friends. Through investing in each other’s lives. That is what I want to do. Connecting with people makes me come alive. It makes me feel. Yes, I have been hurt, and I will be hurt by people. But being hurt is no longer enough of a reason for me to run away from people. I would rather feel and connect with them than run away and withdraw. So that is what I am going to do… now to just figure out how… and that might mean that I stay in Bowling Green and continue to connect with people. Who knows?
I do not consider myself a morning person. If given the choice, I would much rather stay up and enjoy the stillness of the late night (and technically early morning) hours than awaken before or as the dawn breaks. However, my mother is very much a morning person and decided that all three of her daughters would learn to appreciate and enjoy the early morning as well. I promise you, she would not only do well in the military, she would thrive.
Growing up, my mother would arise around 4 am and proceed to ensure that my sisters and I were awake by 6 am at the latest. On countless mornings, I was aroused from my deep, peaceful slumber by the sound of one of my sisters practicing the Steinway baby grand piano we have in our living room. Our house is exceedingly open; sounds carries remarkably well, much to my dismay.
The worst part of it all is that both my mother and my sisters are actually tried and true morning people. They not only have the ability to wake up quite early, an ability I also possess after years of training, they are also happy to be awake that early and are quite cheerful. The cheeriness both sickens and annoys me. I simply cannot understand why anyone would be happy and excited to be awake that early every single morning. I can understand the special occasion. The morning of a day that is looked forward to with much anticipation. But on a regular, daily basis? Really?
I can awaken early in the morning and not be completely angry about doing so. But I highly doubt I will ever be happy and cheerful before at least 8 am unless it is a special day. I will admit that I enjoy how productive I can be when I have an entire morning in which to accomplish my ever-lengthening to-do lists. For this reason, and only this reason, I have decided to attempt to wake up at 6:30 am every weekday morning. At the very least, I need to be up by 8 am. That way, I have my mornings to do homework, run errands, blog, and journal. Oh, and of course, read. We shall see how this goes. Here is to hoping that I can develop healthy, productive habits!
Writing helps me process and clear my mind. I’ve journaled on and off since I was about twelve. A little over a year ago, I began journaling on a daily basis. It helps. You see, a little over a year ago, I suffered a permanent hand injury. It ended my career as a pianist. Suddenly. Just like that it was over. I couldn’t play like I used to. At first, the doctors told me that it wasn’t permanent; however, my hand and wrist responded negatively to treatment. The injury only worsened. Finally, the doctor said that there was no injury, and he was mystified as to why I was in pain. Well, I’m still in pain over a year later. It’s permanent. And yet, it’s nothing at the same time. Regardless, I am no longer a piano performance major. More imporantly, I can no longer express my thoughts and emotions through playing and music like I used to. Journaling was and continues to be my attempt to express myself.
Journaling rekindled my love of writing. I love to write. I am the nerd who enjoys writing papers, at least for the most part. Writing is the most effective way that I can communicate. I can sort my thoughts. Choose my words. Explain myself thoroughly. If you know me well, you have probably experienced the sometimes extreme frustration that I experience when trying to explain a concept, or even a story, verbally. I’m not frustrated with anyone other than myself and my lack of effective communication. Writing solves that problem. Words flow so easily from my pen. Or through my fingers as I type. I don’t necessarily understand why I can write so much more easily than I can speak. After all, I have to speak the same words that I would write. But I can write. Sometimes I can even write eloquently. I think it is a gift. Something that God wants to use. And something that I want to develop. Since I began to journal, my writing has definitely improved. And I have become more confident as a writer. It is all quite good. And the best part? I enjoy it. Writing relaxes me. It can be a release. Writing calms me down.
My friends should appreciate my love of writing. It spares them from having to listen to me ramble on and on about whatever thought I am pondering for the day – whatever concept I am finding intriguing. Very few of my friends actually enjoy such conversations. I value the friends who do. I also love writing about any thoughts I deem pertinent. Or at least thought out well enough to be beneficial to anyone outside of my head.
I’ve come to the conclusion today that I need to read even more than I already do. (I’m an English major; I read quite a lot.) I think that continuing to read will also improve my writing. Being exposed to writers of different styles and time periods will help me be able to write for different audiences. I think it should help me continue to develop my voice, which excites me. I’m extremely excited about my writing. It will definitely be a part of my future – part of God’s plan for my life. I just don’t know the exact form yet. . .but I’m eager to explore. The beauty of life is in the journey. . . so why rush to try to figure it all out now?