Thursday, February 26, 2015

|| that time I wore 7 hats at once ||

When I prepare a speech, the hardest part is always the introduction. Do I start with a narrative or a statistic? Do I quote some wise person of yore or do I reference an advertisement? How can I make my speech sound appealing to my audience?

In many ways, speech is no different from blogging. Writing introductions is always my weak point (heck, I spent twenty minutes on one in an in-class essay I wrote for lit last year), especially when the post I'm writing is going to be monumental. Monumental for me, anyway.

God has blessed me with many talents and many interests. I love the arts -- music and literature especially, though in the past two years I've come to realize that fashion is as much an art as painting is. I also like to study health and fitness on an amateur basis. And I love organization. 

Unfortunately, lately I've been caught in a vortex of obsessive planning. Planning how much time to spend on a subject in school, how much time to spend on piano versus my book, which meals I'll eat in which order, et cetera, et cetera. I am extremely inflexible. My inflexibility has many times left me in tears, overwhelmed, frustrated, and afraid. 
Besides my inflexibility, my many interests have often been my own pitfall. Once upon a time I wanted to maintain practicing the piano as well as learn the guitar and violin and improve my singing voice. Not without regret, I gave up the dream of playing three instruments well and singing a couple of months ago. I just don't have the time. Yet even still, my ideal of myself is to be disciplined enough to practice piano, do my scales, write my book, keep improving my blog, keep up with housework, and always have my weekends off from school -- and that ideal has been a major source of stress for me.
The last several months, especially this quarter, have been a roller-coaster. I've been overly stressed physically, mentally, and emotionally for a long time. I'm taking seventeen credits this quarter, which is more than I've ever taken and right on the cusp of going overboard. (If you've taken 17+ credits in a quarter before and have my fear complex of not maintaining a certain GPA, you'll understand.) I think much of my emotional stress has come from physical exhaustion, as particularly in the last few weeks I've slept like crap (pardon the language) almost every night before going to class. That and my own sinfulness in not pursuing my relationship with Jesus -- if I had spent more time with Him, I might feel more secure in my relationships.
With all that being said, I have decided with more happiness than I have felt in a long time that I need -- get -- to let go. I have chosen to actively pursue my studies, and that's it, until I receive my Associate's degree in June. Even with my homework, however, I plan to plan less. Stress is not from God -- it's a by-product of the flesh. He even says in Matthew not to worry! All of my obsessions with organization have only led to a rift between my God and me. 

Because I will be taking a more active role in the worship team at church, as our worship/youth pastor is leaving this week, piano is the one thing of the major three (music, writing, and fashion) that I plan to work extra on. Please note that this does not mean I plan to step away from blogging! I love this blog, I love fashion, and I plan to improve it where I can -- but for me that will mean working less on requested posts or brainstormed ideas and instead focusing on fashion photoshoots. I want to become a better self-photographer, utilize more backgrounds and poses and props, and therefore hopefully turn my blog into a space on the web worth more people's time.
I thought I'd leave you with a photo of my beautiful green drink, which everyone insists looks disgusting.

6 comments :

  1. I like this. I feel like that too... blogging personally and professionally, business planning, marketing, writing, working, cooking, cleaning, exercising, sleeping. Blah. Although I think I need MORE planning to make this work, instead of less. I've been a bit too flexible in some areas.

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    1. Gosh, your list makes me feel exhausted just reading it! #figurativelythough

      Hmm. Flexibility can be a good thing to learn for us Js, especially those of us with OCD -- though yours isn't as pronounced as in the rest of us. I doubt you'd go overboard with excessive planning like I would; you always seem to have most everything under control -- even control, in a sense ;)

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  2. I think your green drink looks wonderful. Most green things are both delicious and healthy!

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    1. Hahaha, glad you think that, Laurz :) Most people don't!

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  3. Hannah, I totally understand where you're coming from! I used to be a music major. I was taking 17+ credit hours while working part time, accompanying two choirs, taking (and teaching) dance lessons and practicing 2+ hours on the piano every day. It was spiritual and physical suicide. I had no energy, I was getting sick all the time, I felt isolated from everyone because I was perpetually busy and I had no time left to spend with God.

    It's hard to let go. Even now, I have so many ideas and dreams that I want to see happen. I have to remind myself that I don't have to accomplish everything all at once. It's okay to let my dreams take turns AND it's okay to pursue my aspirations in manageable bite-sizes. A little writing every week adds up. A little exercise every week adds up.

    A lot of my struggle with not getting overwhelmed and overly stressed is pride. I feel like I should be able to manage everything and be successful at it all. It's humbling to realize that I have limits, but I would rather cut things out of my life in order to trust God more freely and not worry.

    Okay, I'll stop now before...sorry for rambling on and on! By the way, that green drink looks AMAZING! I want one now. Your nails look pretty fantastic as well.

    Cheers!

    a vapor in the wind

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    1. Danielle, this comment strikes so near to my heart! Thank you for sharing. I'm grateful you mentioned that "I have to remind myself I don't have to accomplish everything at once. . . A lot of my struggle with not getting overwhelmed and overly stressed is pride. I feel like I should be able to manage everything and be successful at it all. It's humbling to realize that I have limits, but I would rather cut things out of my life in order to trust God more freely and not worry." <<That is SO good, encouraging, and just beautiful -- and exactly how I feel!

      I love reading your comments -- that goes for ALL of you out there who are reading my reply to Danielle -- and having friends on the web like you all is one of the biggest blessings ever. Thanks, Danielle!

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