But first, let me explain.
Those of you who know me, or are familiar with my journey, should also be aware of the fact that I started this blog to share the story of my life—or my transformation—from unbelief and alcoholism, to faith and recovery. That being said, most of my stories are about yours truly…
I’ve said many times, usually out of frustration, that my transformation is basically internal. It can’t really be seen because the spiritual awakening that is experienced in recovery is a miracle that changes people on the inside. But oftentimes, I still go on, talking about my goals and pursuits in hopes that the changes in me can be seen by others… in the form of some accomplishment, victory, or success that is of a tangible nature.
I mentioned before that I had started reading Jewel’s memoir, Never Broken, and that eventually I’d share my thoughts on it. I can tell you that most of the book is amazing. Jewel’s life was tough—from living on a homestead in Alaska with no indoor plumbing, to being abandoned by her mother, to leaving home at the age of 15 because her father hit her, to being homeless on the streets in southern California… all the way to becoming a famous singer (with a beautiful folksy sound) in the 1990s. And THEN, she reconciled with her mother who proceeded to live a five star, rock star life until she had literally robbed Jewel of all of her money… we’re talking about millions and millions of dollars.
I can also tell you that I never finished the book. I lost interest. Maybe I missed out on some valuable anecdotes in those last chapters, but the truth is that the book is just TOO long. She spends a lot of time name dropping and talking about some of her celebrity highs that just sounded like bragging to me.
I had to ponder that for a while because it seemed strange to me that I could find the tragedies of her life so readable, while stories about her success caused me to yawn. I was reminded of Don Henley’s old song… Dirty Laundry. Is it true? “People love it when you lose, they love dirty laundry.”
That’s not exactly the case. What I actually came to realize is that it’s one thing to talk about your hardships, and how you were able to overcome them, which she does with grit and eloquence, but it’s another thing to go on and on (and on) about your experiences at the top. Maybe it’s that social comparison thing again. Nobody is going to feel better about themselves by listening to someone talk about which celebrities they’ve dated, how many records they sold, or the millions of dollars that they made (then lost, and then made again).
For me, all of my thoughts on the matter seemed like a great lesson. Maybe my internal transformation IS enough, and maybe it IS time to talk about something else. Besides, working to improve oneself by learning, growing, and stepping out of the old comfort zone is exhilarating, but trying to “prove” something—whether it be to oneself or to others—simply steals your joy.
If I’m aiming at goals in order to show the world that I’m different, maybe I’m not that different after all.
So… where do I go from here?
That’s what I’ve been thinking about lately, and I have put together a list of things that I’d like to call targets—things I’d like to shoot for in the future. I thought that I had too many lingering or unfinished series on the blog last year, but then I realized that there are really no rules, so I can run any series for as long as I see fit. Removing any concept of time is key here.
My targets will be my go-to list of things that I’d like to do on the blog… so maybe this list is more for me than for you, but my hope is that—at the very least—these targets will help keep me organized.
So… here they are:
- Haiku. My normal style here is to participate in the Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge now and then, but in 2022 I’d like to do more and try to stretch my creativity and vocabulary in the process.
- Humor. Another target I’ll be shooting for is more laughs. There are too many tiring subjects and debates going on in the world right now, and people are exhausted. I believe that laughter really IS the best medicine, so I’m looking forward to this one!
- Word of the Month (or Week). I’d like to do some shorter versions of the Word of the Year, especially since I already know that 12 months is a very long time for me to stick with any kind of program. I’ll elaborate more if and when I aim for this one.
- Miracles Every Day (or Everyday Miracles). I love gratitude lists, but I was watching a movie recently (Miracles from Heaven) and was inspired by the idea of believing that everything is a miracle. Jennifer Garner recites a quote by Albert Einstein: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle and the other is as though everything is a miracle.” I’m sure you know which way I go on this one! As I pondered those words, my mind overflowed with things that I’d call miracles, so I think this will make for some uplifting and inspiring writing.
- Short Stories. One reason I enjoy talking about myself is the fact that, as I learn hard lessons, I like to share these lessons with others. I’ve wanted, for quite a while, to experiment with fictional characters and stories where these characters learn some of the lessons that I have learned in life—I suppose it’s kind of a way to share what I’ve experienced without writing a true-to-life memoir. Of course, I also want to play around with imaginative stories that have nothing to do with my own reality, so this is a target that I am itching to dig into.
- Family Tree. I’m not sure how this one will play out, but I sent my DNA out just after Christmas and am waiting for the results. I started a family tree last year, but only got as far as great great (or maybe great great great) grandparents. This year I hope to go as far back as possible and I’d like to share what I find out. Maybe this target is about me, in a sense, but it’s really about my family. I hope I’m able to dig up some fascinating facts about my heritage and the places my ancestors come from.
- Illustration, Photography & Graphic Art. This one needs no explanation. One thing I’ll add, however, is that I’d like to continue on with some older series that I started…
- Mock Stained Glass Dancers
- Original Story Rewrites. One thing that I definitely want to continue, that includes talking about me, is the rewriting of my story of recovery. I think that looking at the chapters with my new attitude might help me tell the tale in a new and interesting way, so we’ll see how this goes… hopefully I’ll hit the bullseye.
That’s all for now. My featured image is me (several years ago), perched upon ME. Ha-Ha! I just thought it would be fun, and maybe it’s my way of making it all about ME one last time… like one for the road.
Anyway… Thanks for reading. I hope that you’re as excited as me to hear a little less about me and a lot more about everything else!
Peace & Love