Sunday, August 11, 2019

Snapshot of a Season | Act 1, Scene 1

We're entering a new season, can you feel it? My sister and I sit on the couch, laughing and crying as we watch an episode of Queer Eye. Happy tears, anxious tears. This week has been a study in emotion, both in expressing it and knowing when to hold it back. It has been the regrowth of sensitivity, of learning to keep my heart open, of tender-hearted prayer with palms up to the sky.

I know I won't always have this. And that's hard.

At the same time, "I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready to move on." Why is it that I must long for a new season, all the while mourning the present one? One day I will wake up in a different town and a different home and my sister won't be on the other side of the wall, playing J. Cole at full volume and strutting about the room in high-waisted denim and yellow espadrilles. One day this will all be different, and it will be good, but I will miss this. I know it, I do. But it doesn't stop me from longing for the future.

The other day, a wedding invitation came in the mail from my cousin.

And then another wedding invitation, from my other cousin. And somehow time is moving, and now it's us, my family, and my friends, who are putting on the rings and having the babies, and I don't know how this happened or who gave us permission to grow up. Change is good, change is good. Life is change, and we move forward. But wow, it's all going by faster than I expected.

A couple of weeks ago,
Daisy and Kaylie and I went to see the Lion King remake.

I sat in a darkened theater and silently wept as Mufasa died, once again. Why did I feel like somehow this time it was going to be different? I don't know why, but I did. Like maybe we could change things. Like maybe he could just hold on a little longer until help arrived. The music to that film just cuts me to the core. It was an odd feeling, connecting with a film that I adored as a child, seeing it again as an adult. In a way, that exactly describes how I've been feeling - as if two parts of me are meeting in the middle, and shaking hands with each other. One part past, one part future, both pulling me in different directions.

So, what even is this post?

This is me processing. It is a sigh of relief, a reclaiming of this space. A tree letting her roots exhale and grow. And you know, I have to say, I'm writing this for me (hence the rambles), but to the people who have stuck around this blog to read even one post or leave a kind word or two: you all are just the sweetest of souls. And I'm grateful that we get to share our thoughts with each other and that you, too, see value in creative spaces and the evolution of those spaces and their authors. I would rather see this space change over time than become sad and stagnant. 

Re: blogging: I think that somewhere along the way, I lost the poetry.

Not that this was ever really a poetry blog. But I miss the outlet these "pages" once were. And I miss having art in my life that is for me. I realized yesterday that I don't write anymore. It took a trip out into the country to realize how much I rely on the Internet and social media to keep myself entertained. I miss those days as a child when I would write by hand with clunky pencils and create stories from nothing. Before my brain was hardwired with this compulsion to constantly "keep up." So I come to this space seeking to reinvent it once more, and to celebrate the fact that it even exists at all.

In less than a month, I will turn 26.

I almost feel as if August is both a prelude of what's to come in my next year, and a season closing, fading out into something new. I don't have exact, concrete thoughts for what the future might hold, but I feel a general sense that inspiration is going to be at the heart of it. Exhibit 1: Last night I felt inspired and revived my old Tumblr. Maybe I'll drop it in a couple of days, or maybe it will become a new space to share my thoughts. Either way, I want expression to be at the heart of my 26th year. Is it weird that I feel like I'm claiming whatever "26" will be for me, now? And taking advantage of the freshness of a new year before it even arrives? Doing it anyway.

To do:

Read more C. S. Lewis. Revive the Twenty Five Project. Write full novels to the albums I've been obsessed with lately (read: music by Bastille, Imagine Dragons). Keep praying with open palms. Keep your door and heart open. Buy flowers. Sing songs.

Til next time, 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Miniature Life Update | Summer 2019

It's July! We've reached the half-way point of 2019. How is this possible?
At the beginning of 2019, I started a new project on the blog that had me writing content based around monthly themes. It was fun for a while, but then blogging started to feel like a chore again - and I felt like I was letting people down if I didn't churn out enough posts for the month. The pressure came only from myself, of course, but it was enough to make me want to bow out of blogging for a while.

Then summer happened.

June and July have been such transformative months for me. I started working out again, I went back to Bible study, I stopped hiding. I think I'm finally beginning to experience healing in certain areas of my life that I've long-held insecurity over. Instead of letting me isolate myself, the Lord has been gently nudging me out of my comfort zone into community. I'm meeting people, making friends, opening up. As an INFJ (read: Capital H Hermit), this is a huge deal for me. And the progress I'm making at work and with personal goals has really grown my confidence and restored my joy.

But where does that leave this blog?

Honestly, I'm not sure. I created Acoustic Erin back in 2013 as a random, fun place to post my thoughts. Then it slowly grew into something I felt like I had to maintain for others. My day job is in marketing and communications, so the last thing I want to do is come home and worry about branding, marketing and designing this blog. UGH. I mean, it should be something fun for me - an outlet. All of the blogs I admire are more concerned with writing posts that read more like poetry than promotion. These bloggers write for themselves, to document their own journeys, and it shows. I freaking adore that.

So this space might get a small makeover.

Not in terms of design, necessarily. But I wouldn't be surprised if I continue to dial back my posting and only write when I feel like I genuinely have something to say. That might mean more randomness, more music recommendations, I'm not sure yet. But I do know that it's important for me to return this space back to its original intent - as an outlet for me to post about whatever, whenever, instead of worrying about SEO, my posting schedule or being the World's Best Blogger. 

Yo, I'm just here to share memes.

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What about you?

How has your summer been?
Has anyone else already binged Stranger Things 3?
(Please keep the comments spoiler-free if possible, but WOW, that season was the jam!)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

QUIET | Why Being Quiet Isn't Being Lazy (Guest Post by Victoria Grace Howell of Wanderer's Pen)

Today on the blog I have a special treat for you: A guest post written by the one and only Victoria Grace Howell of Wanderer's Pen! I was so excited when Victoria reached out to collaborate, and am so happy to share her essay on why time spent being QUIET and restful isn't time wasted. Without further ado....let's jump into her essay!

I spent my childhood around a previous generation that believed
hard work was the key to success in life.

They’d work themselves to the bone to keep their families going and/or to pursue their dreams. For years, I adopted this practice because it felt like if I wasn’t working myself into exhaustion, I was being lazy. I’d take on tasks from waking till sleeping and I was productive, yes, but so exhausted. While I felt like I was accomplishing so much, at the same time I was withering and suffering from burnout.

Going on the occasional vacation never felt restful enough because although I was away from work, I was still going, going, going -
just for recreation instead of a paycheck.

It wasn’t until I was working a day job, involved with three different writing organizations, trying to write my own stories, and being diagnosed with depression and anxiety that I realized I have to take some regular time to be QUIET. I highly do not recommend coming to such a low place to have such a revelation, but I do strongly recommend finding time within a week or even every day to rest and reflect. I’ve started taking one rest day a week where I sleep in, relax, and not burden myself with a never-ending to-do list. I also take an hour or two every day to just refresh myself before
going to bed.

I know not everyone can take a day out of the week, but try taking an hour or two every day to just do things for you.

Watch a show, read Scripture, take a walk, draw, whatever brings you joy. Spending time being QUIET is like hitting the refresh button. When a web browser page has been working too long, you often have to hit the refresh button to get it working again. You have to do that with yourself, too.

Since taking that time, I've felt even more productive, I've slept better, my mental health has improved, and I've felt like my life is fuller.

 I believe strongly in hard work, and I don’t by any means believe it is a bad thing, but it needs to be balanced with QUIET and peace, too. Resting doesn’t equal laziness.

Erin here: Can we all just give it up for Victoria?

I loved reading her thoughts on taking time to wind down, because it truly does make us more joyful and productive in the long run. And I believe it vastly improves our quality of life. A big thank you to Victoria for sharing these thoughts!!
Everyone go give her blog some love!

What about you?

What kinds of things do you like to do to prioritize your self care and QUIET time? For me, it's all about listening to new music, taking a park walk, writing my novel and watching Harry Potter movies with my family. Thanks again to Victoria for the awesome essay! Have a stellar weekend, my dudes.

This is the second post in the QUIET series.
Miss last week's post? Fret no more, find it right here.
Or click here to read through all the posts in the QUIET series.