In pursuing this blog, my goal is not to ramble on about my faith. I feel like I see a lot of that in the posts from my fellow female-college-age bloggers, and it isn’t by any means bad, it’s just not something I want to write about. Maybe it’s because I feel like they already have that area covered, maybe because I have no authority on the subject, or maybe because I feel like a lot of people might stop reading right…here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always happy to get a coffee with whoever and talk about religion and spirituality, frankly because I find it all incredibly fascinating and I really enjoy learning about how different people worship (or don’t worship, I like hearing about that too). Today, however, I’m going to break my rule, because I have a little something to share, and it’s not enough of a revelation to offend anyone, so no need to proceed with caution.
I grew up in the Episcopal church, went to an Episcopal high school, was raised with the ideas of the Episcopal tradition. I think this is why I’m a pretty strong believer in the art of asking. No matter what religion you are, what philosophies you identify with, I feel like I see a lot commonality on this front, which is why I think it’s really powerful. I’ll explain: there’s a verse in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” I like this. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve liked this. It makes me feel like if I take the time to identify what I need in my life, it’s already mine to have. Maybe you can ask through prayer or through poetry or through painting; for me, I find that I often ask through my writing. In my last blog post, I talked a lot about how I needed to continue my personal journey. Without even being aware, as I was trying to compose a witty-yet-heartfelt post (and to impress you with how witty and heartfelt I can be), I was asking. In just the next few days, I had an abundance of things happen to me that showed me what resources I have around me to help me expand my horizons, all in my little corner of Fayetteville.
On my way to pick up lunch, by chance, I happened upon a yoga studio two blocks from my house. The next morning, I went to a class where I promptly signed up for my first month unlimited. I’m a “broke college kid”, so I typically don’t drop 30 dollars here and there just for thrills, but I went ahead and did it, fully committing to making myself actually go to class a few times a week for the next month since I was paying for it. It was a yoga class like I had never experienced: we listened to 90’s rock music and the teacher dropped a lot of F-bombs (“F***ing love yourself! You owe it to you!”) but I left with the post-yoga warm-fuzzies I get when I feel empowered and strong. So, I think it was worth it. I got a text from one of my favorite people, a truly genuine friend of mine, to spend time together over the weekend. I got the courage to submit a personal essay to a mid-level magazine. I discovered a new band I really like, only to find out they’ll be playing here on Thursday (look up The Oh Hellos and then go see them at George’s Majestic Lounge on November 19, if you like folk-y, soulful, chill music, you will love them). This made me especially happy, because one of the things I really loved about my high-school-self was how hungry I was for good music, and how determined I was to see my favorite bands live. Were any of these things particularly life changing? No, but I’m just always kind of happily amazed at how life can take a turn for the better when you just ask for it.
I’ll give you an update on how my TV-celibacy is going. For those of you who don’t know, I gave up watching TV for a week, because I spent so much time re-watching shows I had seen before on Netflix, wasting my days away on reruns. I wanted to see how I could use that time in a different way. Okay, let me tell you, it is easier said than done. Just last night, I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, and literally bargaining with myself over whether or not I could put on just one little teensy tiny episode of Parks and Recreation. It was like having an angel and devil on either shoulder.
Angel: Don’t watch it. Stick to this assignment you’ve given yourself. It has already brought so much positivity into your life! Why don’t we listen to some calming music instead?
Devil: Sarah, just put on the stupid TV show. You don’t have to confess to cheating in your blog. No one reads it anyway. No one is going to know.
Angel: You will know, and then you won’t be able to write about the experience in a way that actually means something.
Devil: You’re a good writer. You can fake it.
I’m sorry to say that Devil won, but in my defense, I fell asleep exactly a minute and thirty seconds into it, before I even got to the theme song. So, maybe it doesn’t count.
But, guess what! I’ve gotten so much done! In the time I spend typically watching TV, I feng shui-ed my room, cooked all weekend and made an oyster mushroom and spinach risotto that was just as good as it sounds, found a bunch of new podcasts, cleaned out my closet and got 19 dollars from Plato’s for my old clothes (this is actually kind of a feat, I usually get, like, 7) AND finished all my laundry. I deserve a crown.
I’ve noticed something about myself in diary entries I write or journals or blog posts like this: I try to end them with an apology. “I’m still new to the blogging game, so sorry if this was boring, I’ll do better next time…” kind of thing. And even if I’m not super proud of the rants that I go on, I think it’s important that I don’t apologize for them. At least I sat down to write something, at least I tried to make sense of my world. So, I’m going to sign this one off in a different way. I want to end this post with a line from The Oh Hello’s song, “Like the Dawn” because I think it’s really pretty and I like how you can read their lyrics in a slow, thoughtful, almost meditative way, like poetry.
“You were the brightest shade of sun I had ever seen
Your skin was gilded with the gold of the richest kings
And like the dawn you woke the world inside of me
You were the brightest shade of sun when I saw you.”