I’ve sort of been hibernating the past 6 months. From my sparse posts around here, to my week long breaks from Insta, I’ve been consumed with the task of trying to catch-up for lost time. This new blog of mine was set to launch on Tuesday November 8th, 2016. Then you know what happened. Lots of things changed; some celebrated and many were devastated. Some felt fearful and others vindicated. For many people though, especially those unlikely to have their lives much changed by who was sitting in the White House, we mainly felt really confused. Personally, that confusion stirred in me a desire for personal and spiritual growth, and basically learn a bit more. For someone who had consistently spent the past 20 years reading mostly off the NY Times best sellers fiction lists, with some Picoult and Weiner mixed in for good measure, the concentration it took to focus on reading oftentimes complex nonfiction books was frightening. It’s also been a sobering slap in the face to realize all the things I don’t know. From history to theology, numerous times throughout the past 6 months as I’ve sat back and reflected, I feel like I’ve wasted so much time.
Now before we go on, I know it sounds ridiculous to admit a US presidential election has been the impetus for personal growth, but we all have our crosses to bear, embarrassing moments to move past. This is mine 😉
The last few months I’ve ditched fiction almost in its entirety and have been focusing solely on nonfiction, trying to learn as much as I can about US and world history, our constitution, politics, and theology, trying to make up for lost time if you will. It has been overwhelming and exciting, and also extremely humbling. Just because I’ve read a few books, I’m still a complete dummy when it comes to many things, and to an extent it has only served to make me feel even more uninformed! But for lack of a more original phrase, “it’s all good”, and I’m trying to just keep forging ahead.
On top of all this, I am also trying to dig deeper into my faith and build a stronger foundation in scripture and a closer relationship with Christ. I grew up in a often unstable and dysfunctional home, like many of us I’m sure; one which lacked any real direction or commitment to faith building. We showed up to church on Easter and maybe Christmas Eve, but there was never any consistency beyond that. Luckily my paternal grandma brought me to church with her as often as she could, and I accepted Christ as my savior around 6 or 7 years old. But while it gave me a start, for most of my life, it has left me feeling incredibly empty and always yearning for more. It has taken me many, many years of feeling that way, feeling frustrated and fraudulent, to finally seek out a way to build the foundation I never received. I really don’t know if any of this is making any sense, but I’m rusty and so I appreciate your patience with me.
Why do I share all this with you? Well, I just thought I’d check in and let you know where I’m at. Because I feel profound shifts happening in me, shifts which may seep out into other areas on social media, and you may wonder “what’s up with this chick?!” I have had a couple of readers who follow me on Insta notice and comment about my “journey” haha. I guess that’s a good thing. I’ve been sharing more about the practices we’ve adopted at home with the kids, like a daily catechism reading, the books I’ve been reading, and so on, over at my more personal IG account. I’ve also joined a very small and intimate book club with women equally committed to digging deeper in faith and knowledge. We have named our club Altus Laboris, translated to deep work. I’m still me of course, but I hope that in the coming months and years, the refined me will no longer find it necessary to get into spats on Facebook, and when I do, be able to convey my thoughts and beliefs a bit more coherently and soundly. As stupid as it sounds to credit an election with this new shift, I do know that while in the middle of a Facebook spat, I realized that I wanted to be better, because my views and personal beliefs were being put to the test like never before. I wanted to be more knowledgeable so that I could confidently stand firm in my beliefs and convictions, or be wise enough to know when it was time to change my point of view on things. I am light years away from where I need or desire to be, but I am getting there.
If you are at all interested in the learning track that I am on, I would be happy to share some recommendations on where I began. Readings and resources that I personally have found enlightening and soul enriching, and even the sort of rough outline I’m using to reeducate myself, so to speak. My tastes and interests are certainly not for everyone, so you could take it all with a grain of salt, but perhaps some of it may be helpful.
When I embarked on my health and wellness journey, I claimed Gwyneth Made Me Do It. Does this new journey mean Trump Made Me Do It?! 😉