January has felt both long and short all at once. I’m in the last stretch of my undergraduate career (AT LAST!). I’ve been working on my undergraduate education for about 6 to 7 years now and will be just on the cusp of 25 years old when I graduate this May. As graduation approaches, I am experiencing both the excitement and anxieties that come with the reality that a new season is approaching, one laced with many new freedoms and uncertainties.
Part of the reason that January has felt somewhat long and short simultaneously might be attributed to the fact that a lot of new things have happened to me since the New Year.
Take a look:
- I started the capstone course for my Gender Studies program. In this course, I’m currently doing research on a topic of my choice
(IT’S ALWAYS CHURCH STUFF, because I can’t stop writing about church stuff). Later I’ll be writing a 15 page paper on church stuffthat topic. Maybe I’ll publish a shorter version here because church stuff.
- Attended the Mystic Soul Project conference! I had an amazing time and it was a great opportunity to see old friends and make new ones. The Mystic Soul Project conference is a POC-centered conference on mysticism, activism and healing. I’m pretty excited about the work that Mystic Soul is doing because the intersection of spirituality and activism is something that I care about very deeply. It is an intersection that I want to continue to be more intentional about exploring as I continue to discern my role within movements for justice.
- I’ve returned to working at the library once again for a few hours each week. What I love the most about this job is that I get to listen to music for four hours straight while sorting books and finding questionable titles, such as this one:
- Early January, I began my studies and readings for the Reformation Project 2018 Chicago Cohort. I have been doing this for a month now, which has required me to explore content that both affirms and challenges the question of LGBTQ inclusion within the Church. The purpose of the cohort is to prepare and train those participating in the cohort to be able to have discussions with the Church about how LGBTQ identity, inclusion and justice are relevant to the Christian faith.
- I’ve taken up a new job at Level Ground as a staff writer. I’ll be working on an online publication about pop culture and spirituality that will launch this March. I’ll let you know when it goes live! I’m excited for the opportunity to write regularly for a publication.
- I’ve been attempting to read more fiction, memoirs, and graphic novels. At the moment, I am reading “Hunger” by Roxane Gay. I just finished a graphic novel called “Seconds”, which I found to be very timely and important to me. Reading novels, poetry, and memoirs this season will be helpful for me, as I have been struggling a lot with attention and focus, as well as with expressing myself, since so much of my work
- I’m also trying to reassess the role of photography in my life. I’m an art school drop out. I couldn’t stand the competition, but after attending Mystic Soul conference, I feel more convicted about the role of art and culture making in creating more just societies.
- A friend and I have been working on a new collaborative project called New Wineskins. It’s a podcast on Christian faith, culture, politics and relationships. I’m excited to share more about it once the time comes.
- I’ve taken up journaling as a personal practice once more.
- I’ve submitted a few applications for graduate school (*coughs* seminary *coughs*) but am contemplating taking a year off as well to rest and to focus on writing and creating.
I’ve disappointed myself with some of the ways that I have failed to live up to some of my expectations for the new year. However, I struggle with focus and concentration and have been considering approaching the new year differently. I decided that I wanted to focus on an intention, instead of a list of things that I need to do, and I also want to record my victories — both small and large — because I have a tendency to forget and underestimate what I’ve done and learned. So, my intention for this year is to ask for what I need, and to be more aware of what I desire, so that I can ask for what I want. 2018 is and will be the year of asking.
This little space in the corner of the internet–this update, if you will–is my way of reminding myself of my growth and accomplishments. And well… you’re being kept up on this, too. This isn’t my personal journal after all (and I’m glad it’s not. HA!)
I plan on calling these little updates “Scribbling in the Living Room”, as I imagine myself being found by you, as you may wonder what I am up to. When I’m not working, at school, or writing on here, I might be scribbling in a planner on my living room floor, devouring a book under the blankets, or deeply immersed in a timely conversation with a friend or stranger at the library. These are the everyday moments of inspiration, learning and reflection that you don’t see, and that most of us engage in. Our brain is working in the mundane moments in between when “life happens”. And yet, in those mundane moments, life, and questions on how to bring more of it forth, are still happening. So then, if you need a little update on what me and my brain are up to, you can look out for blog posts beginning with “Scribbling in the Living Room”.
Until next time.