Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reflections: Challenge Part II

How's this for honesty? I was in a horrific mood this morning. ...And it all had to do with those two dreaded words: Writer's Block.

Ugh... isn't that one of the worst feelings? (The best way to accurately describe 'writers block', in my own humble opinion, is to compare it to something that is rather untasteful to mention here... suffice it to say, a remedy for this common ailment involves lots of prunes. Heh.) There was so much that I wanted to say, but I just couldn't do it. Sometimes my writing strategy is to start completely raw and unfiltered-- to jot everything down "stream-of-consciousness" and pour through it later-- drawing out and highlighting the good (sensical) things.... leaving (or smoothing over) the rest.

But today?
I couldn't even get started. I just stared at the blinking cursor for a while; typing a few words and then hammering down the "backspace" key, feeling progressively more dejected and more and more grumpy. ...Until finally, I did the only thing left that I could do. I got up and left. And you know what? ... 25 minutes later I had come back to life.

This is why :)

This is what's it's all about for me.

This is what inspires and drives me.

This is beautiful. And this is why I write:

And with that said, I am pleased to announce to you that I am planning to do another 21 Day Challenge (Challenge Part II, if you will.) I've been reflecting about this a lot lately, and I've found that I really took a lot away from the first edition of the Challenge.

Now, I'm not delusional :) ... I am pretty sure that the quality of my photography did not improve very much (I have no idea how to manipulate light to my advantage. I don't know what terms like aperture and shutter speed mean, and my small but servicable point + shoot is at least 5 years old...) ... but I think maybe my quality of life did.

By challenging myself to find a single image (or sometimes when that was too hard, several images) to adequately capture the beauty, joy and complexity of my day, I began to see things differently. I began to really delve into the emotions that a picture provoked, and (though I like to think I always saw it it my heart)-- I began to see the beauty in the minutae with my eyes. And that was so valuable.

I am a girl who craves beauty. Like, I crave it to the very depths of my soul. I believe that each day has glimpses of the divine within the terrestrial and the mundane of the "routine" -- and that, in fact, routine has a unique beauty all its own. I believe that it may be key to my survival that I recognize and celebrate these good things.

I'm still young, and if you've been reading along with me for a while, you know that I am still trying to figure it all out. Who I am, how to live my life and all that ;) Well ... maybe it isn't as complicated as I've been making it (I am starting to realize that things hardly ever are) ... Maybe, like so many other realizations (2x4 moments?!) that have come to me in the past year ... my reassurance and my answer is right here in front of me.

I've always loved the passionate call to action behind the phrase "Carpe Diem!": Go forth! Seize the day & live life to the fullest! But I've always felt a bit paralyzed-- How can I make the most out of this life when I don't know where to step next?

Well... there's this delightful little principle called momentum. It states that motion breeds motion... and therefore, it comes to reason that, while it may not have been visible to me... I have been moving forward this whole time. Each decision, each tear, each prayer and each promise (kept and unkept) ... all these things propel me forward. And what's more: all these things matter.

...And needless to say, that was so much better and so much more than I could have ever expected. ...Let's see where it takes me this time :)