Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Redeeming by Writing

"Quite often a difficult, painful or frustrating day can be redeemed by writing about it" as said by Henri Nouwen in Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (April 27). 

Writing has always been an outlet for me. I have journaled since I was seven years old; the first place was a small pink diary with a kitten on it which was thick enough to have a lock to protect my secrets from my five year old brother! Several months ago, George and I read all of my journals through high school; by far the funniest was age thirteen. I never thought I was boy crazy!! According to my journals, I was...though only in my mind as I didn't start dating until I was fifteen years old. George and I laughed at the things the thirteen year old version of me said with the type of intensity that lasts past that moment of laughter. 

George and I were surprised to read how much I wrote in my journals about being sick from a young girl through high school. From seven years old to my current thirty-five, there have been significant breaks when I did not write. As writing (along with photography) has pretty much documented my life, why didn't I write during my engagement  or about meeting my in-laws or buying our house or or about wedding preparations or the wedding day or my wedding night or the honeymoon or the first year of marriage? I became disablingly ill ten days after I was engaged and though we always thought I would "get better" I never did. I got worse. 

Around that time frame, my journals were more full of prayer requests from others, Bible verses, quotes from devotional readings and books that I wanted to remember and an occasional comment or prayer to God with long periods of silence in between. 

Fly With Hope began in June 2008 and I have loved writing here; although I would hope that somehow my journey would help someone else for the good, the writing has been cathartic for me and helped me start redeeming my challenging days.  

The last few years I have had trouble cognitively processing language and it makes everything more difficult. Expressing myself also has been a challenge in the situations I am exposed to (text/email/phone). I rarely see anyone outside of George and my healthcare providers though when I attended our couple's small group a week ago, words were hard to find. Geroge talked more than I did and that is a jaw-dropping experience! (Though I personally loved listening to him talk as he is obviously so comfortable with that group that he freely shares his mind.)

I have started at least twenty different blog posts in the last few months that were never finished and even more if you count the last couple years as I have struggled to keep my brain focused. It does not help that I am a perfectionist when it comes to my writing; it started in high school, through undergrad where I got one of my minors in English (the other was Spanish), through grad school and my sixty page thesis. I am sure the reason I have been bad at emailing since emailing started is because I would edit my emails to death. I still do which is why no one gets emails from me. I have drafts from emails more than a year old! I even edit text messages to death. George takes cat naps waiting for me to respond to a family/friend's text. I need a recovery group for editing!

All that to say, I realized I'm not getting anything published on my blog because 1. Writing is harder for my brain and 2. I am an editing nazi. The problem is that actually enjoy editing my work until it says exactly what I want to say. I'm not looking for affirmation or kudos but a written work that makes me feel good when I read it. 

So, I have decided that I am going to start posting without all the editing! And I'm planning on adding a new dimension to Fly With Hope.

I have been video journaling for about three years because for one reason or another I hadn't been able to write it out.  Video journaling led me the idea of adding video blogging (vlogging) to Fly With Hope.  So,  I might post a video instead of something written-simply because it is easier for me. 

To my knowledge I have at least one reader who is deaf/hard of hearing. I apologize that you may not have access to the vlog content I plan to post. I will try my best to post captions or at least a summary! 

Thank you for coming on this journey with me of trying out a new way of redeeming my days.  I will be editing less, writing when I can (hopefully more) and sharing videos on occasion. 

P.S. It is really hard not to edit this more, but here I go!
Keep holding onto hope!