Occasionally I go through periods where I question why I write.
“Who the heck cares what I have to say?”
“I don’t even like most blogs, so why do I have one?”
Sometimes these periods are simply times when my thoughts are many, but my words are few…and I know I should keep them few. And sometimes I just simply don’t have the time.
The truth is that most people don’t care what I have to say. Nor do I feel they should.
But like many things in life, you don’t do it for the masses. You do it for yourself.
This past weekend I was going through items from my childhood at my parents’ house. They were packing up all their belongings, preparing for a significant move and leaning down on their possessions.
I will choose not to be offended by the fact that the boxes labeled “Baby Heather Keepsakes” did not make the list of things they were keeping.
They were a “take it, or the trash can will” item. Black Eyed Peas’ song Where is the Love? just played through my mind.
I paged through the old scrapbooks of my
crap artwork, first greeting cards, baby bibs, and noted milestones. My mom was so thorough in her attention to detail that she actually had a calendar that noted my first trip to the doctor for an ear infection. She also noted the day I began teething and my first episode of constipation.
I’m just kidding about the last one. So sorry, that was not ladylike at all.
Next in the box was a binder from the Missionette program I was in as a little girl. Think Girl Scouts, Pentecostal Christian edition. You moved from one class to the next based on age, badges earned, and curriculum completed. My memories of it overall are positive…chatting with friends, lessons of Jesus on a felt board, playing kickball, eating Cheetos…which is why I found it so comical when I flipped through one of the binders from my level 2 class, “Prims”, and saw that on the “blank notes” pages at the end, I had written this:
“I hate Primes (Prims). I am so glad that it’s over.”
The subsequent pages were filled with similar thoughts: “I hated Primes soo much!”
Wow, 6 year old Heather. Please, tell us how you really feel.
The blank note pages at the end were intended for reflections, memory verses, new learnings, etc. And all I wanted to note was my one praise report:
“Dear Jesus, thank you SO much this awful class is over! Amen and amen.”
That honest journal entry probably put me high on the children’s pastor’s prayer list: Extra prayer for Heather’s heart; great fear of growing rebellion.
When I found that note, I sat on the guest bed laughing, wishing I could give my 6 year old self a high five. I wrote it back then because that’s how I felt and I wanted to get it out.
I wasn’t happy sitting through that class each week and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. And that was a-okay.
Sometimes, I don’t like the phase I’m going through, or the funk I’m in, or the struggles I’m experiencing, or the work I’m doing, and I just can’t wait for it to be over and done with. Writing it down and getting it out often helps me process it and attempt to make sense of it. Or even just acknowledge that I can’t make any sense of it even though it’s my current reality. And many times I do like where I’m at, which is often just as important to reflect on.
Capturing it allows me to one day look back and laugh at my old self, seeing how some of the puzzle pieces have come together, as I remember where I’ve been and how I’ve grown.
I think one things for sure: I’ll always appreciate my honesty with myself. Even if others don’t, I will.
Writing is sort of a built in accountability with oneself; a reminder of who you really are, and the fact that you don’t know it all, life’s not perfect, and you’ll make a lot of mistakes.
But you’ll certainly grow, and you’ll certainly be entertained.
So that’s why I write. Because I need it. I enjoy it. And occasionally, you might too.