connections in twenty-fourteen.

I love this mug. Just looking at it makes me happy. I’m currently drinking some tea from this mug as I watch the falling snow. It’s been snowing nonstop for almost twenty-four hours. The cats are watching out the window, and I’m messing around with my DSLR. I haven’t touched that camera much in the past couple years and fully intend to use it a lot more now (although I think I need a new lens or two…. yikes). Thoughts are swirling through my mind, as is normal this time of year. So many exciting (and nerve-wrecking) changes ahead. Athough I’d like to, I’m not going to reflect on the [amazing] year I just had. I want to write what’s been on my mind as I consider connections.

I’ve been thinking about this blog. My social media sites. My corner on the web.

I go back and forth between longing to let go and desiring to hold on. I think it’s been a constant theme in my twenties — do I hold onto these cherished spaces and people and memories, or do I let hearts and connections weave new stories together on their own, always looking forward? Do I continue to publish things online or do I keep it to myself?

My increasing urge to stay away from the computer is making it difficult for me to keep up with things. Emails sit unanswered for months. Reviews and articles aren’t written. Things published by friends are overlooked. Then I feel burdened by all that is left ‘undone’ and I loathe the computer even more. I’ve even started to dislike the act of sending cards and letters. That’s not good. My soul needs to breathe. I have been nourishing my soul with more coffee dates and quiet, candlelit evenings, but there’s still that something holding me back.

With the upcoming move (more on that in a later post), I do need to stay connected to family and friends. Of course, letters and phone calls are good, but a lot is online these days. There is nothing wrong with that, but it can be overwhelming, especially when there are too many people to keep up with and so many platforms to do so. I cherish everyone so much, but there is only so much time on my hands. That said, to maintain my online connections without feeling overwhelmed, I’m transitioning away from certain social media (Facebook, mainly… I’ll be sticking around on Instagram) and making this blog my home. Updates and photos will be here. When I seek updates and photos from others, I’ll simply reach out to them (or/and hope they reach out to me too). E-mail is always good. Simple. Right?

I am not writing about simplifying anymore (I simplify constantly, but I don’t feel like writing about it). I am not doing monthly goals anymore. I am not sticking to any rules or timeframes. I will not be trying to accomplish an ‘x’ number of anything (whether it be photos or reviews or posts or books or such). No more unpublished drafts; I will write posts and publish them without trying to be perfect. No more scrolling through news feeds to see what I’ve missed. I am letting go. Of every boundary I have given myself. Of every obligation to complete certain tasks or keep up with everyone I know. Of…. whatever I need to let go of.

My current obsession is every day life, living, and happiness: happy moments in my life, happy moments in your life, and creating a life where we can breathe. This is a never-ending journey of change, just like me. Just like you.

I will continue to write here… when I feel like it. I will continue to take [more DSLR, less phone] photos and share them…. unless I’m too busy living in the moment. I will continue to be here for you…. especially if we can sit down face-to-face. I am not leaving…. but I am being.

Now it’s time for me to snuggle up and dig deep into 2014.

A Writing Life.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. As a little girl, I’d bury my nose in Nancy Drew and Babysitter’s Club books with the dream that someday, I’d be writing a popular children’s novel series. I started my first diary at 7 years old and haven’t stopped since. In elementary school, I created classroom newspapers before writing on the middle school newspaper. My book-writing dreams evolved as I wanted to write non-fiction instead (although I had a serial killer novel on the side). Eventually, I double-majored in Creative Writing  & Film in college with dreams of experiencing as much as I could in life so I could write about it. I already have a title for a book. After graduation, I landed a gig writing press releases for a PR firm in Chicago. I met with entrepreneurs, learned about their businesses, and promoted the heck out of them.  It was at this point that I began to dislike writing. Most of the time, I sat at a desk in a windowless basement for eight hours a day. I had limited room for creativity. Writing lost its’ appeal.

I switched careers and became a teacher instead. Yet, I kept blogging occasionally. It was sort of fun when I wasn’t working for someone else. Two years ago, I started blogging a lot — to the point where I was networking with others and starting to write guest posts. Then I stopped last year as  I tried to focus on something else that I thought would help me accomplish my goals. My online network faded a bit. Then I realized that what I was doing last year was actually pushing me away from my goals. The irony!

So, those goals? They’re clearer than ever. I have a better vision of my future now. I have been thinking and praying a lot about what’s next in life. Tiny House will happen. Travel is a no-brainer. And then kids. Kids won’t be part of our little family for awhile (at least, that’s not what we’re planning — but who knows what could happen), but it is important for me to start thinking about that possibility. I know that I’d like to be a homeschooling/unschooling mother — which means I most likely won’t go back to work. My husband has a job, but I’ll need a creative, location-independent source of income. I want to write again. This time, in addition to enjoying blogging, I want to eventually earn a source of income on the side from it. On my own terms. I need to start now.

The problem is — I’m not quite sure what my niche is. Sure, I’m passionate about healthy foods, an easy-to-breathe simple life, loving others, tiny houses, my adorable kitties, and so on. But I haven’t been able to find that one thing to focus on. My blog does not center around one main concept. Actually, it centers around me. I know I’m pretty awesome (duh), but I’m not quite sure how to transform my writing into something that eventually leads to a career. I’m excited for this decision I’ve made but not quite sure what the next step is. As for now, I will continue reaching out to people who do what I want to do and learn from them.  Every day, I am inspired. My head is overflowing with ideas. And I will write.

I know it’s an odd thing to write about not being sure what I want to write about.  I just want to be honest and put this out there. Maybe you’ve been feeling the same way. Maybe you overcame that. Maybe this is the kind of thought that leads to something big!