Monday, January 30, 2012

Purpose and Direction

It's one o'clock in the morning and I'm not really sure where I'm going with this blog post but all I know is that I've got to stay awake for at least fifty-three more minutes. At seven-thirty, I have a date on the sixth floor of the York hospital with some electrodes, strobe lights and uncomfortable breathing exercises. Apparently, to best prepare myself, I shouldn't sleep more than five hours, can't have any chocolate and perhaps I shouldn't be driving myself, either.

As you may have noticed, there's a new look around here. Though it wasn't long ago that I had switched colors, headers and "widgets", I found myself feeling antsy with how this little corner of the web was displaying itself. Perhaps I've simply caught my boyfriend's constant itch for redecorating, reorganizing and simplifying.. but lately, I've been really considering what I want from this blog. I've looked at where it's been (and how it's looked). I've considered where it is now. And more importantly, where I want it to be - in the near future and perhaps in the farther future, too.

Unfortunately, the constant connection to the internet, social networking and a never ending blogroll seems to set me up for constant disappointment with my own efforts, especially when it comes to blogging. I struggle to find things to write. My camera has been tucked away in a quiet corner of my room for days. I spend hours upon hours investigating other blogs, thinking of tutorials, looking through template designs and ultimately, I'm never satisfied. I find myself comparing this blog to those that I like to read daily - blogs about photography, fashion, graphic design, gluten-free cuisine, owning a small business. This blog? It's none of those things in it's entirety. Instead, it's a little bit of each. And I'm trying to learn that perhaps, that's okay. Perhaps, it's not. What I have realized though is that he constant act of comparing myself to others, well, that's not okay.. and it's most certainly not healthy.

Over the past year, this blog has included sneak peaks of photography sessions, funny anecdotes about life with a six year old, various allergy-friendly recipes, and information about my favorite charities. Essentially, what I'm really trying to say is that this blog has been all over the place. I suppose in my searching of other blogs, what I've been yearning for is a definition for my own - the ability to say "Oh yes, "Live Beautifully" is a blog about ___." But there doesn't seem to be just one answer for me. And I've realized that is simply what this blog must be about - not defining yourself to one thing. Yet, something still doesn't feel solid here.

"Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction."  - John F. Kennedy

Perhaps I haven't put every bit of effort I should into my writing for this blog but at the same time, I don't think that it is effort or courage that I've been lacking. Instead, I seem to be struggling to find purpose and direction - and not just when it comes to blog posts.

I was determined to begin 2012 without resolutions. I was content with 2011. I was content with who I was when midnight struck. But now, a month later, I'm questioning that contentment. Perhaps I didn't need to resolve to change myself but rather to focus my efforts in one direction. And yet, over the past thirty days, I've managed to scratch out a list of goals in my bedside journal - goals that range from "eating more dark leafy greens" to "learn how to sew (seriously this time)."

Without a purpose, I find myself reaching for straws so to speak. The past two years, I had THON, and it was easy. I could define myself through my dedication to that organization. I was a dancer. I was a chair. And that was how everyone knew me. I didn't struggle for blog material, my life was constantly busy with blood drives, hospital visits and CCSG weekends. Every email I sent was signed with a cute "FTK". As February approached, I thought of little other than THON weekend. Now as February approaches, I honestly can say that I feel a bit lost. As I start my second semester at a new school, I realize that no one there knows what THON is, no one cares that I even went to Penn State, and so perhaps I have to find a new definition for myself, too - not just my blog.

If you ask anyone close to me, they'll tell you that I don't handle change well. I never have. I'd say that I never will but perhaps, one day, I'll have figured it out. Though that statement may be true, a part of me is constantly looking for "blank slate" opportunities. I love the idea of starting over new. It's interesting to believe that in one short life time, each person can be so many different things. Perhaps our music tastes change, we dress differently, our hobbies evolve. Maybe a new slate means something as simple as the chance to cut off eleven inches of hair or to start wearing glasses you don't need.

I like to think that this new slate has a more important meaning for me though. This year isn't about silly things like staying organized at school, writing a more cohesive blog or even learning to sew. The only resolution I really need for 2012 is to find purpose and direction. And more importantly, to put both effort and courage into pursuing that new direction, whatever it may be.  (Perhaps I'll even figure out this blog and where it's going along the way.)


  1. The direction: West
    The Purpose: Best friend bonding time.
    Just sayin' =]

    Text me tomorrow & let me know how your wellspan stay went and/or Skype wed?

    1. A trip west is much due. I was just telling Trevor that last night. Perhaps I can get him motivated and drag him with me. Unfortunately, he loves the Pittsburgh area about as much as I do.