Makeover: Blog Edition

Alright, despite the post’s title, there isn’t really a new reality show about people going around and revamping others’ blogs with amazing new designs, etc. (or is there? If not, I call dubs on royalty rights for the idea).

But the point is not reality shows. Or even simply a new theme, design, or appearance on the blog.

THE POINT IS…

I’m going to be writing again. With much more focus, and with more of your input. So all that to say:

CHANGE IS COMING. GET READY.

You may ask “What? How? When? Why?” The answer, dear readers, is you must wait and come back to see. But I promise, the wait will be not be long.

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Because I can

Welcome everyone, it’s time for my weekly blog post!

Oh wait. I haven’t written in, like, 3 weeks.

Hmmm…

Well, I do have some reasons (like a trip to Georgia) why I haven’t been able to keep up as regularly as I wanted these past couple of weeks. But in the midst of trying to figure out a good explanation to post for why I haven’t been writing, and trying to figure out what to write about in the first place, I came up with this conclusion:

I write because I can. Because I love it. Yes, it would be awesome if I weekly wrote amazing, profound, witty blog posts that tons of people read. But honestly, I probably won’t. I’ll have the weeks (like lately) when I don’t keep up with my goal of writing one post a week. I’ll have the weeks where I have no idea what to write.

But hey, I started a blog because I like writing. And it’s a place for me to write and to be real. So I’m probably not going to write a lot of “perfect” posts. Some of these are probably going to be disjointed and random and may not make much sense. But I’ve decided, I’m just gonna throw all of the expectations out the window, throw myself into the writing, and just use this blog as a place to be REAL. Because I can.

So here’s my random post. It’s not written on my weekly schedule. It probably doesn’t make much sense, and it is definitely all over the place. But guess what? It’s something I got to WRITE. It’s a place I got to be REAL. And writing, and being real, and being me, and discovering myself through blogging…those are kinda priceless. If people enjoy taking that journey with me, that’s great. If you’re one of those, come on and enjoy the ride. Just be warned it may not always be predictable, regular, or expected.

‘Cause I’m not either.

Thank you for reading my random thoughts. Thanks for putting up with this post. I hope you come back for more.

P.S. I dyed my hair auburn today.

I don’t have the words.

I saw this on Twitter:

It is confirmed that @sully_2003 (Alex Sullivan) was killed last night in #Aurora. It was his 27th birthday. He was a husband & beloved son.

— HopeMob (@hope) July 21, 2012

I went to Alex’s Twitter page. This was the last tweet:

#TheDarkKnightRises @Reel_Nerdsoh man one hour till the movie and its going to be the best BIRTHDAY ever

— alex sullivan (@sully_2003) July 20, 2012

I cried. He was my age. I tweeted this:

Just read the last tweet of a 27yr old man killed in Aurora. He was so excited 2 c the movie; said it would be the best birthday ever. I…

— Katy Parks (@katyhelena) July 21, 2012

…can’t tell you how much that makes my heart ache. Praying with tears for his family and all affected by this terrible tragedy.

— Katy Parks (@katyhelena) July 21, 2012

Writing about anything else this week seemed too trivial. Writing about the tragedy itself…well, I found out I don’t have the words.

For more information on the 2012 Aurora shooting, click this link.
For solid ways to help the victims and families, consider donations through HopeMob.org.

Memories

So my sister and I are with my parents right now, helping them move into their new house. In the process, we are going through all the boxes and closets that have been closed and packed up for years. I’m constantly coming across things I had forgotten about or thought I might never see again. Here are a few things I’ve found:

*The small bear named Harris that was given to me the day I was born over 27 years ago.

*The Pooh Bear I got at age 3 who is now so old it’s hard to tell that he’s yellow.

*The little white and blue pajamas that I put on my favorite doll, Josh.

*The old cleats that I wore for countless, sweaty hours on the soccer field I loved so much.

*The purple, off-the-shoulder dress I wore to my 11th grade Junior-Senior Banquet that made me feel like a princess.

*Five (THICK) journals filled with writing of my life from age 18-20, exclaiming over each joy and despairing with each misery.

*A ton of clothes from my two super-skinny years at college (let’s avoid present comparisons to those years, shall we?).

I don’t think we can count our memories by the “stuff” we have, but it’s hard to look at old stuff without having all those memories come flooding back to you. Some of those memories are joyful, some are painful, and some forever define you. Either way, those memories make us who we are.

Let’s chat: if you unpacked your closet of memories, what things might you find?

“Kindred Spirits, Always” (In Which I Discover How Much I Need Friends)

Well I had promised you a post today, and I even had one in mind that I wanted to write about. (Maybe I still will, and you can see it next week or maybe even get two posts in one week.) But it didn’t get written because I fell asleep and took a long nap. So originally I decided I would write it tomorrow, but since I’m lying in bed and can’t sleep yet, I decided I might write a different post from my phone (thanks WordPress app).

Tonight I am especially thankful for my friends. I’ve kind of gone through a rough depressive episode over the last few months, and I dealt with it by withdrawing from almost everyone but my immediate family. Maybe I needed that time completely to myself, but now I regret dropping out of the lives of so many that I cared about. Perhaps it could have made things easier if I was connecting with people the way I should have. We weren’t meant to do life alone, but in my dark days, I was trying to.

Slowly over the last month I have begun to reconnect with people and friends, whether that’s online on Facebook, by finally shooting them a text again, or starting to hang out once more. Friends are important, and they are a gift. I want to learn to be more real with them, to allow them to support me in my struggles and that they can let me support them as well.

It is worth learning to let people in. It’s worth learning to trust them, to trust they won’t run away when things get hard. Some of them really do want to be there for you no matter what…let’s learn to let them. And to be thankful for them.

I finally texted one of my dearest friends tonight after being silent for a few months, feeling so guilty for neglecting such a special friendship. I asked her to forgive me. She responded right away, starting with “Precious Katy…” and sweet forgiving words of love. She ended “Let’s catch up more soon ok? I love you… We are kindred spirits always.”

Her sweet response drew me to tears. That’s what I’m so thankful for: the blessing and gift of unconditional friendships and love. May we seek to be that, to cultivate it, and to hold onto it as we treasure it always.

Thank you to the friends who have always been there for me. You know who you are. I love you and am thankful for you.

“To live a creative life…”

For a while, I forgot I had a Pinterest. Yes I signed up way-back-when when all my girl friends were first getting on it; I pinned a few things and promptly forgot about it. After all, I wasn’t really very good at the DIY (Do It Yourself) projects, crafts, wedding planning, or cooking stuff that all my friends seemed to be so zealous about sharing.

And then I read this post by Jeremy Cowart. When I looked at the type of boards he had, I thought, “Hmm…that looks more like something I could do.”

So I went back to my account on Pinterest. I was planning on writing today, but then I got caught up in this totally different kind of creative expression. I began thinking about the kinds of things I liked. I didn’t have all the “crafts and cooking” boards my friends loved, but I could post about books, music, quotes, dance, cool photos, art, travel, and other interests I had. I even have a board that just shows random things about me. And in the process, I even found myself pinning about home decor, clothes, hair, and other things I never thought I’d be into! (Who knows, maybe I’ll start a crafts or cooking board yet.)

I spent most of the afternoon thinking about my creative interests and how to express them. While I didn’t get around to any of the writing I had planned, I did get a chance to put some thoughts into another creative outlet: Pinterest. And guess what? However you do it, it’s fun to express yourself.

If you were creating a collage of your life, loves, and interests, what would it look like? I challenge you to find new ways to show off your inner self!

Let’s talk: What do you think of Pinterest? What’s your best medium for creative expression? Leave comments, and let us know!

Also, if you’re on Pinterest and want to share your creativity, feel free to leave your profile link in the comments for us to check out!

Slow Blogging

Golly. It has been forever since I wrote a post.

Bet you’d thought I fell off the ends of the earth. (Or that I’d simply stopped blogging. Either one.)

Well, I read this post on “slow blogging” the other day, and decided that slow blogging was better than no blogging. So I’m now making it my goal to, once a week, write a post. (I know this announcement is super-exciting to the two of you who occasionally still remember I once had a blog.) I’m even considering doing a once-a-week post on my writing blog again.

Because that’s another piece of news for you. I’m trying to start writing. I’ve been thinking and dreaming and reading about writing for a good while now, and I just started a piece of fiction yesterday. I managed to write 3.5 thousand words, which made me feel rather good, and I just knew I’d churn out a novel in no time.

Today, I’ve managed 215 words, and am now pondering if I shouldn’t delete that whole scene after all.

But I’ve decided that if I want to be a writer, I must truly WRITE. Even if it’s all a load of nonsense and never any good and no one ever sees it. I have dreamed of being a writer for most of my life, and dang-it-all if I’m not going to give it a shot. So I’ll probably be blogging about that process here, also.

(If you’re interested, “How to Write a Novel” by Tahereh Mafi is one of the funniest, most awesome things I’ve ever read. Love it. Go read it.)

Also, I have been reading a heck of a lot lately. If you’re on Goodreads, look me up.

Finally, if you’re one of those two people who would love to know what I’m doing in between weekly blogs, you can always catch me on Twitter (much more than on Facebook).

Thanks! See you next week.