Monday, March 30, 2009

Why do I blog?

I've been thinking about this question quite a bit recently. What is my purpose in blogging? Is it for myself or is it for others? Do I have a goal in mind, a purpose for my blog? Is it strictly informative or do I have a persuasive angle to argue? Do I let my blogs be affected by my hidden motives? Has the reason I blog changed over the years? Why do I continue to blog?

In order to discover some answers, I decided to take a little walk down the history lane of my blog:

I've changed my blog's look to fit my changing personality and maturity. I can't even remember what the title started out as but I know I tried out several. "In Other News" stuck for quite a while but was replaced with the current title, "In Search of Sunlight", which I am quite content with... for now.

2006 (13 posts over a 2 month period)
  • 2006 Blog Summary: My first 2 months of blogging proved to be a foretaste of what was to come: a hodge-podge of deep ponderings, random stories, and pictures of life. My first blog was posted on November 11, 2006. My reason? - I needed some place that I could express myself, whether it was of a serious nature or not.
  • Not even a month after my first post, I posted what I remember as being one of my most successful blogs. It was titled "Stark Honesty" and the reason I considered it successful was because it sparked quite the discussion amongst some highly intelligent people. It got 10 thoughtful comments and inspired a friend to write a rather lengthy but ingenious digression which in turn received 22 comments. So therefore, optimistically, I could say that my blog received 32 comments, even if 22 of them were second-hand.
  • One of my all-time favorite posts was posted on December 25, 2006. I like it because it gives a humorous look into my family. This blog was probably written more for others than for myself - I just wanted to share how awesome my family was (and is!) (And after reading it again, I want to apologize for my change of verb tense in the middle.)
2007 (43 posts)
  • 2007 Blog Summary: Most of the blogs from 2007 contained random stuff that caught my fancy - pictures of fun times, quotes that intrigued me, funny stories from my life, or issues/thoughts I was pondering.
  • On the first day of the new year, 2007, I posted one of my other most memorable blogs: a blog stating that Paul Howe was make-believe. I really have no idea why I decided to say something so ridiculous but I did and it generated quite the response. 25 comments to be exact.
  • It's also interesting how sometimes our thoughts recycle. For instance, I could re-post a blog that I posted on November 1, 2007, Saudade, and it would be just as true now as it was then but in a completely different context, which adds a multitude of new emotional layers to the concept.
2008 (59 posts)
  • Summary: Pictures, opinions, Accent Religion page articles, 2 months of summer silence, a steep spike in posts starting in September (an interesting personal fact: humor is one of my main coping mechanisms), Southern Scholars intellectualism, and to end it off - 4th semester nursing insanity!
  • First look at someone who was going to become a dear friend: Allana!
  • a poem (first one since high school) that carries with it some very deep and poignant memories.
2009 [37 posts (including this one)]
  • 2009 Blog Summary: More focus on photography, my experience with every RN's rite of passage: the NCLEX, deep thoughts, time with friends, and how God is currently making His presence known in my life.
Now that I have completely digressed from the original topic, "Why Do I Blog", I want to get back on track. And, because of the digression, I have discovered the answer.

In the past, I have blogged for a number of reasons:
  1. Personal Expression
  2. Informative Stories (funny and serious)
  3. Share pictures and beautiful moments
  4. Gain feedback from my readers (what their opinions and thoughts are concerning a topic)
  5. Share my life with extended family and friends who read my blog (and rarely comment. *clears throat purposefully*)
  6. Make a point or convey an opinion to a specific reader (Yes, I must admit it, I have done this. I would probably categorize this under "hidden motives" but, on the other hand, sometimes I know 100% what I'm doing.)
But those were all reasons I've blogged in the past. What will be my reasons in the future? Should I come up with something more specific? More goal-driven? More vision-focused?

As of right now, I don't think so. My blog is a look into my life, and my life is a patch-work quilt in the making. I'm not 100% serious and I'm not 100% funny. I'm sad sometimes. And happy too. I am an introvert. No, I am an extrovert! Sometimes I'm poetic and my words flow just right. Other times I'm curt and a bit too honest. There are parts of me that are beautiful and parts of me that are rough. As Caitlin likes to say, I am a "bundle of contradictions." And that just about perfectly sums me up.

Through my blog, you can see glimpses of all of these things in me. It's up to you to draw your own conclusions.

I write - sometimes for my own benefit and sometimes for the benefit of others. Overall, however, I write because I have a burning desire inside to express myself. Whether my expression is through photography, poetry, humorous anecdotes, scholarly musings, art, or any other medium, I use them all to share a part of myself.

And if there was no audience - no one to read or respond to my thoughts, I know I would write anyway. I would continue to give voice to my soul. Because in my expression, I grow and I learn - about myself, my world, and my God.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Still Submission

Polliwog Pond
Adirondack National Park
8.14.08 at 1906:14

The prayer that does not succeed in modulating our wishes, in changing the passionate desire into still submission, the anguish tumultuous expectation into quiet surrender, is not true prayer. The life is most holy in which there is least of petition and desire and most of waiting upon God. That in which petition often passes into thanksgiving. Pray, until prayer makes you forget your own wishes and leaves or merges it into God's will. The Divine Wisdom has not given us prayer as a means or way to obtain the good things of earth, but as a mean whereby we learn to do without them, not as a means to escape evil, but as a mean whereby we become strong to meet it.
-Written in EGW's Bible

Color Play

2/7/09, 1809:14
Tennessee River
Sailing trip with Robbie Burnham and Allana Westermeyer

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Life is simple

God can see the end from the beginning, even when I can't.

That's all I really need to know

Therefore, my joy is complete

O, could I find, from day to day,
A nearness to my God,
Then would my hours glide sweet away,
While leaning on His word.

Lord, I desire with Thee to live
Anew from day to day,
In joys the world can never give,
Nor ever take away.

Blest Jesus, come, and rule my heart,
And make me wholly Thine,
That I may nevermore depart,
Nor grieve Thy love divine.

--Benjamin Cleveland.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thoughts on Spring

Spring is about new growth
the blooming and the sprouting
And along with growth, pain

Maybe it's called a cicatrix
Or is that what is left
When the leaf has fallen

God asks me to be mindful of this
and the new skin, too
So that I might remember

Therefore, I will hope in Him
and in His presence
and will again praise Him*

*Psalm 42:5, 6

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shama, 5 million onions, and a group of friends in Washington, D.C.

Rumors have been circulating the campus regarding a certain video containing a certain friend and fork-full of onions. It could be considered a blackmail video. Or it could just be a funny video of some funny friends and a funny vegetable in a funny place. I choose to think of it as the latter.

(and yes, I was supposed to turn off the video before she spit them out. That was the plan we decided on - but sometimes you've got to be flexible and diverge from the plan. This just happened to be one of those times...)

He can do the same for us:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Allana's Dream House

Allana doesn't have a blog - she says that she doesn't need one but I have found that to be false because frequently she has awesome things to say or pictures to post, but no venue in which to do it. We've talked about making her one, but just haven't gotten around to it. And so, here I am, posting a blog for Allana, since she doesn't have a blog of her own! So, dear readers, if you would like Allana to get a blog and would like to hear what she has to say about life, please leave a comment expressing this desire. Maybe we can convince her yet! (P.S. The writing is all my own. She had nothing to do with it and probably isn't too happy about it either!)
(By the way, I find this picture quite enchanting as well, that's the only reason I consented to have it posted on my blog!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Silhouettes of life

There was a wall.
And there was light.
So we took pictures.
Of our shadows.
and laughed.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Glimpses of my Spring Break

Scenes of you come rushing through
You are breaking me down
So break me into pieces
That will grow in the ground
I know that I deserve to die
For the murder in my heart
So be gentle with me Jesus
As you tear me apart

Please kill the liar
Kill the thief in me
You know that I am tired of their cruelty
Breathe into my spirit
Breathe into my veins
Until only love remains

You burn away the ropes that bind
And hold me to the earth
The fire only leaves behind whatever is of worth
I begin to see reality
For the first time in my life
I know that I’m a shadow
But I’m dancing in your light

Teach me to be humble
Call me from the grave
Show me how to walk with you upon the waves
Breathe into my spirit
Breathe into my veins
Until only love remains

JJ Heller

*All pictures taken at the Howe residence in Maine

Monday, March 02, 2009

Roadtrip Wisdom

Me: "It's interesting how some of the rivers we pass are frozen and some of them aren't"
Jonathan: "It probably depends on how fast the river is going."
Kelsey: "...and how deep."

Thought: People are like rivers. The deeper they run, the less affected they are by external circumstance.