This week someone asked me, ‘Do you still blog?’.
Here’s the problem: I’ve never been the type of person who fits into a category. Am I a blogger? Probably not. What I am is a writer. A writer of blogs, e-mails, hand-written letters, toasts & speeches, grocery lists, and the occasion sermon. While I frequently wish I were dedicated enough to be a better blogger what I really love is to write and THAT I’m consistent in. This week I wrote a post for another blog, a sermon, a long overdue e-mail, hand written thank you cards, and every morning before work: I journaled.
Often people ask me about my reading habits. What do I read? When do I find the time? Will I ever write a book of my own? I read everything. Fiction, Non-fiction, magazines, cookbooks, and every single note my niece writes me in precious handwriting. I read everywhere. On my burgundy velvet couch before work every morning, in my SUV on my lunch break, at stoplights when I’m in the middle of a really good book and get stuck in rush hour, and in bed at completely uncool-ly early times like 8pm on a Thursday.
As you grow older and I suppose into yourself you find that so many things you once were don’t fit the way they use too. I use to be a photographer. Then I was an art school dropout turned social worker. Then I became an event planner, fell in love with travel, and left to work for a church. Later I got promoted and went from being an ‘admin’ to a data manager. I quit traveling for work and started traveling as a missionary and eventually settled into the habit of traveling for fun.
When inspiration strikes or need arises I’m still a photographer. I’m the family photographer who snaps endless candids of my nieces and nephews and while my work no longer graces the walls of galleries, they are proudly featured in my family’s homes. I mostly use my sociology degree to counsel my friends and to make educated decisions about background checks of employees and volunteers now. The events I plan are usually more like meals with board games for entertainment. And from time to time I still find myself as the girl making the copies or typing up the notes.
I have worn a great many hats and I hope I’m only beginning. While I’m not a blogger, a scholar, a social worker, a photographer, or an event planner in the proper sense of the words I like to think I get to be a mutt of them all. Long ago I gave up on the idea of having been made for only one thing. Now, I put my energy into making the most of every opportunity. Some weeks I help write sermons, lead staff meetings, run detailed reports, and plant a pot full of succulents for a friend who bought a new house. With full weeks and countless, varying opportunities I find that I only desire more. Is it possible to try my hands at literally everything? If I try hard enough can I learn or experience something new every single day?
Some of my favorite experiments have been in getting my hands dirty at things I am quite simply no good at. In case you’re wondering: I am a terrible singer but I’m still not sorry to have tried my voice at karaoke. As it turns out, photography was the ONLY aspect of art I was remotely good at. Painting, drawing, and sculpting? There are kindergarten art classes who would reject me. I have weird taste in books that frequently makes me the wrong person to ask for a recommendation. And while I can bake just about anything without even using a measuring cup: I am truly terrible at making pizza on a grill. You know, unless you like your pizza crust very doughy.
On my trip to North Carolina in May I took each of my nieces and nephew out on an individual date. As I held their little hands and took them on adventures I couldn’t help but be introspective about who I will be in each of their lives. I hope with all my heart they will always love to spend time with me. That they will keep making art for my fridge and begging to call me and tell me the details of their days. It is my dream that my niece will continue to carry my hand-written letters around in her purse and talk about the places we will travel to together. Each of those things is important to me. But I also want them to believe that their Aunt B is bold. That she works hard and can laugh off the occasional failure.
I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up other than a life long learner and an endless adventure. May the opportunities be many, the roles vast, and the lessons worthwhile.