What’s crackin’, homeblog?

It’s been so long since I’ve written here that when I was going to write a new post a couple of months ago, I saw my previous post and totally thought someone had hijacked my blog. Not kidding. I didn’t even remember the article that I had reblogged, and when I was reading it again, I was like… Whoa! THIS IS GOOD! 

And then I was like, Oh, yeah…
That’s why I reblogged it.

 

So yeah. It’s been awhile! A lot of things have been going on in my life since I last wrote here, and really, a lot has happened since I even started this blog in the first place. Because of a variety of things on my mind and things I’ve experienced over the past few months, I feel like this is an opportune time to look back for a sec and recap some general facts, kind of as a “note from the author” sort of thing and kind of just as a background for anyone who is less familiar with this particular blog (because I have several blogs, and they are all from and for different purposes).

 

In the beginning…

I created this blog as a stress reliever.

I named it “Rhapsody of Thought,” because I felt like it was the perfect fit for its personality. I still have the original content in the “About” page of this blog, if you are interested to know what my intent was (and kind of still is) for this blog. :)

 

Now…

My situation has changed since July of 2012. I am no longer fresh out of college searching for jobs. However, I have some trying situations in my life to work through that have replaced my previous challenges. Sometimes it even feels worse than that job-searching-fresh-out-of-college stretch felt. As wonderful as it is to have a full-time job now, especially one that I enjoy so much, the biggest disadvantage is that I have way less “free time”–time for doing, not only things I enjoy, but things that I actually need to do…like eat supper. Right now, I have approximately one hour until I need to go to bed. And here I am… eating sugar cookies and writing in this silly ol’ blog.

Depending on which blog I’m working in, the topic I’m writing about, etc., it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an entire three or four hours–sometimes two or three days of that many hours at a time–for me to create an article. Wow! That’s a lot of time, not mention work.

This is about one week of “free time” work:

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And this is just one of several things I enjoy doing. There are plenty of other writing projects and things that don’t involve writing at all, that I also spend time with. If the reason I did this was to make other people happy, I’d be a miserable soul.
But I don’t.

 

So if you’re reading this blog, here are three things you should know:

1. I write here for fun…for people who read for fun.
I don’t mind expressing my beliefs and opinions with anyone, and I enjoy and encourage others to do the same. Along that same vein, I find that the most effective communication happens when all parties involved handle differences and dislikes with respect for each other. When such is the situation, I enjoy discussions of all sorts.

2. My writing is typically assertive with the topic at hand. If it wasn’t, it would be weak, watered down, or sugar-coated, and that’s just poor writing. Writing is where I get real.

3. I have a sense of humor. It’s not better than anyone else’s, and it’s not for everyone, but it’s something a lot of people might not be aware of about me. I’m generally a nice, easy-going kind of person, but I’m not a piece of cotton candy. Sometimes I’m a sarcastic little smarty pants. ;)

Have you ever seen Spongebob Squarepants?

It’s probably the most annoying show I’ve seen since it came out when I was in about fifth grade. But you know what I have actually always liked about it?

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Squid to the ward.

Squidward is the only character who makes any of the other characters funny to me, and when I say “any of the other characters,” I really just mean Patrick. It’s like every demotivational quote I’ve ever heard and poster I’ve seen lives through Squidward. Yes, he is super weird, as is everyone else, but I couldn’t have watched that show without him.

Stupidity + pessimistic comic relief = much laughing for Hannah

 

Okay. Moving along now.

Starting soon, I’m hoping to post more frequently in this blog. I’m in the middle of dealing with some big personal things in my life and might not even be present much on any of the social media outlets I use for a while, but this blog will be my primary source for sharing the stuff that floats my boat. It will basically be the same kind of blog it has always been, but maybe with more about me personally so my friends can keep up with what is generally going on in my life.

So there you have it! My blog and me in a nutshell. :)

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Success!……kind of

Ten years ago when I came home from school, I ran straight upstairs to the office, perched peacefully above the thick woods surrounding our lovely Tennessee dream home. In this corner of the house, tucked away from the rest of the world, I brought my first dreams to life.

Guided purely by my imagination, my mind channeled images, feelings, and perceptions into one flood of force—a current of thought—which my fingertips, pattering competitively on the keys, brought to the screen in front of me within seconds.

My feet never touched the floor, so I crossed my legs or sat on them. Sometimes hours would pass, and my mom would call me down for supper, but I would stall so I could finish my last sentence…or complete an entire scenario. My knees would start to hurt and I would squirm restlessly in the chair, but I was determined to finish what I had started that day. So I sat there until I did.

And then when I did, it was time to play something else!

So I got up and did exactly the same thing… except through the piano. Then, if it was still light outside, I might have hopped on my bike and ridden around and around on our driveway spanning our 11 acres; or cartwheeled obsessive-compulsively in the front yard; or failed every attempt at a slam dunk with my little brother—all of it just fueling my mind for the next round of activities.

The feeling I get from doing the things I do well has always been rewarding, but these things have not always been viewed as accomplishments, or as anything particularly special. I scribbled away… erased away… and scribbled away during those timed essays in fourth grade, proud to finish exactly what I had set out to finish at exactly the right time. I was confident of the work I had done, but when Mrs. Wiley read my narratives in front of the class, I was more concerned about when it was all going to be over with and what others thought about me than about how I was actually an exceptional writing student and why in the world that mattered anyway.

This outlook progressed through high school when my friends excelled at math and science, and while parents and teachers cooed over how “smart” they were. I assumed I needed to be like them if I wanted to be “smart” and succeed in life, too.

Perhaps this is why when, one day in Spanish class, our class valedictorian told someone she thought I was smart, I wasn’t sure exactly how to internally process that. Was she serious? Or just being sympathetic? It was like having my narrative read in front of the class again, except slammed up into two seconds. If I could put my full mental reaction into words it would be something like, “Okay…cool. Thanks! I guess…” or maybe just, “Uh…”

I graduated from high school knowing that I wanted to take my writing somewhere in my life, but I did not graduate high school thinking that writing was anything particularly extraordinary. When I (felt as though miraculously) got accepted to Auburn University, I specifically chose Journalism over English initially because I had heard more frightening, negative statements about majoring in English than in any other existing major. I did not want to be that girl.

Later, but soon enough thankfully, I learned that there are a variety of avenues that you can take in obtaining an English degree, and all of them do not result in spending the rest of your life in a school. Actually, there are even some pretty lucrative careers that can come out of an English background—one being what I fell in love with and which lead me into the English major after all—and that is technical writing.

There was a time during high school when this really popular sign was around, usually in highly traveled places. It said, “Math is power,” and it looked as cool as it sounded.

It wasn’t until I began my studies in writing at AU when I realized that actually, words are power. In fact, words shape, and even dictate, our whole world. Yeah. That sign? Not that cool without the words.

Language defines and affects credibility, authority, laws, responsibility, religion, purpose, relationships, and real life consequences…just to name a few. But you know… numbers are cool, too.

You can pretty much bet your life that the most renowned people of all time are backed up by stacks of literature, and the people who wrote them were often poor scribes slaving away for a government and not getting paid squat; people whose names we don’t even know because they set their bars higher than a vain desire for praise and recognition; people who claimed having the inspiration of divine beings and continue (whether done truthfully or not) to convince the world of these events and meanings; weird people; crazy people; people who changed laws, wrote nation-altering speeches, influenced the hearts of groups and individuals to help make the world a better place; in short, AWESOME PEOPLE (even if a lot of them were actually kind of bad).

I certainly won’t be performing any surgeries or building any software systems, but it sure is satisfying to know that among my gifts is the power to support the people who CAN do these things; and the power to support the people who can’t; the power to understand people; and the power to convey meaning from one group of people to another; the power to articulate a purpose, the power to clarify a vision for a leader, the power to change a person’s life… the power change the world.

Now back to those dreams…

BookStruck

So I’ve been in my new apartment now for a week and a half. I love everything about it…except for the wasp infestation just outside the back door. It has so many nice perks–lots of space and privacy and less party noise. Of course, now that I’m done moving and unpacking, I can enjoy these things and settle back into a normal daily routine of some kind. The days of packing, moving, and unpacking, however, were slightly less enjoyable.

It seems that every time I move to a new place, I am forced to see myself for who I am on every level, and this time was no exception. Going through everything I have is like cleaning my room x100…really embarrassing. For one thing, I have to see every single thing I have, which includes things like letters from high school and similar items that are completely embarrassing to keep, but I don’t have the heart to throw them away. I also generally like to keep my room somewhat clean and orderly, but that really just means a lot of things get placed somewhere like under my bed or shoved deep in my closet (places where most of those ridiculous keepsakes get stashed).

So as I was gathering all the miscellaneous items from under my bed and in the catch-all basket beside my closet and from the grand collection of bags and storage spaces inside my closet, I realized that I have a strange attraction.

BLANK PAGES.

I also realized that I judge books by their covers (and always have)… or at least since I was three when I saw Beauty and the Beast for the first time and wanted to have a book with the EXACT shade of blue as the one Belle grabbed from the shelf. There are too many books I have sitting around waiting to be read because I got them primarily for their visual appeal. Yes, it’s shameful.

So, somehow, my blank page collection and my attractive book collection managed to get married. Yep, that’s right…hitched. I have a thing for journals—big journals, small journals, neutral-colored journals, brightly colored journals, embossed journals, and journals with girly, tropical prints. I use them, but I always feel that I should write only the things I’d like to keep in them because a page used is a page I can never get back… and I love me some pages!

So I have several journals (at least 5) that I have bought or received as a gift and plenty of blank pages. You’d think I’d be satisfied with these, but somehow, I still found myself just last night stalling in the journal aisle at Target… Actually, I may have made a trip just to look at their journals! :D

Judging by their covers of course, I don’t usually care for the very plain journals—really thin ones with solid color and no design element, or the kind that remind me of the tiny Gideon Bibles they sometimes pass out on campus. However, a thin, bright red journal about the size of a typical on-to-go planner caught my eye.

The gold print on it was starting starting to give me some Gideon Bible vibes, but the words really captured me.

Simple, sweet, and inspiring. In one word: perfect. I kept looking for one I might like better, and I even placed the journal back on the shelf. Then I admitted to myself that I would regret leaving without out because I would remember it so well. So of course…I got it.

And, I’ve already written a few things in it! Not only that, but I feel inspired to actually keep writing in it, despite my blank page hoarding issues.

I’d like to thank the marketing industry for this accomplishment. I could probably come up with a rhetorical analysis that explains my strange inclinations toward every journal in my stash, but I would rather bask in the magic of being subtly manipulated by excellent design choices. Everyone who is honest will admit that they do, too.

But this time I got a little bit more for my money: a journal and the motivation to maybe, just maybe, write on every single page. :)