I used to have a lot more time for sitting down and reading blogs. That’s how I came to love them first, going headfirst down the rabbit trail of Danny Roberts, Sea of Shoes, Atlantis Home, The Selby and so many other fashion and illustration-related baubles.
Having become an editing assistant at a daily blog, my relationship with this kind of reading has changed. On one hand, it has deepened a whole lot. It’s one of the most satisfying things I have ever felt to aid in the precision and tone of a writer’s thoughts coming to fruition. I’ve wanted to hug my computer on more than one occasion and gab on about whatever it is we’re reading individually that’s inspiring us ~irl~. Not always, don’t worry—I’m professional *hair flip*.
With the rise of Instagram and the synergy of social media and strategy to bring traffic to blogs (including blogs that have been bought), I’ve been exhausted by the constant analyses I put myself into, fascinated by the decision-making and movement of, well, humans. This extends to the progress and scope of YouTube vlogging, and Insta-only activity, appropriation (not necessarily bad) of tags (videos, general cataloging) and their babies, hashtags (general cataloging, community building with sharper marketing).
Now so many have blogs in full-throttle promotion, and I read “link in profile” and even “link in [email] signature” too many times to count, in part because I don’t count at all, I mostly scroll by.
Curioser and curiouser
As a kid I loved “Print Shop” on my mom’s old, old, OLD computer. Everything was black and white and in big pixels, but the thrill of printing things I had created for imaginary events and companies (wow nerd…) was huge. So was the computer, beige and a whole lot to love. When our family got our first sleek(ish) black Dell computer and I met Internet Explorer (yeah sorry we’re over, ah I’m sorry, so harsh), I soon began to devour EVERY single article that interested me as soon as I got home. Thus I was inducted in the grand millennial tradition of having a grand total of 1 million tabs open, and an affinity for expressing the condition of my brain in the same way—1 million tabs open, and you can only imagine how IE would be behaving at that level. I mean if you could open 1,000 tabs there. Hating over, sorry. (One or one thousand too many experiences of “blank:New Tab” to infinity.)
As I advanced in grade school and middle school, I continued to click everything I could read, and this began Wikipedia marathons where I fully fed my mind’s curiosity. I read about actresses and about histories and companies and places and a variety of odd things. Independent, organic research.
The listening season
In the fall when I began my internship, I was encouraged a number of times to pitch ideas of my own and to feel welcome to write with my own voice. Beyond the office and pavement of the freeways, I felt however that it was a listening season, and not so much one to be filled with words of my own. Though, ask so many of my wonderful beloved friends (many of whom couldn’t have come closer to my heart than without the hurricane 2014 was) and they will tell you plenty a word was spilled. Repeatedly.
Verbal processor, what can I say. I’m kidding; discipline should be taken seriously.
Anywho, listening. Listening, the good kind, takes time. It doesn’t just take surrender. It takes time. What I mean by that is this: good listening takes not only the decision to do it, but the commitment to keep doing it. So many important things in life are this way. Contact. And follow through—which I was awful at even with the name of tennis co-captain my senior year of high school. That’s not something you needed to know. 😂
I’ve always been so much more attracted to the idea of being instinctive with things. This is probably why change doesn’t approach with much welcome much of the time for me. (Sorry bout it, I really am. I really, really am.) I love the idea of legacy, and of kingdoms and dynasties and the nobility of being chosen or set apart and seeing duty for all an assumed and necessary value. (Need more conjunctions? This is how I think.)
Mantras and efforts
So I’m working on follow-through. That means saying things I mean, that previously I would have held back on: direction when it needs to be given, encouragement when it should be given. That means tugging closer the mantra of an old mentor: “Do not put off til tomorrow what can be done today.” It still sometimes gets done…next Friday.
But for today, on a very restful Saturday, it has meant giving full (or at least fuller) attention to the stories of shows I’ve put off (Castle and Fresh Off the Boat, btw my parents totally had success perms and we do have a lazy Susan), AND, to my delight, really reading into some more blogs I’ve wanted to read or even one I stumbled upon today. 2015 has been a recommitment to dreams (not the sleep kind), and the having of them. Despite nightmares (the sleep kind).
Dear Bloglovin, thanks for still being a thing.
I find the more I read, the more I want to read. The more I live, the more this nerdy introvert wants to read as though one could study for life (one can). The more I read, the more I learn. And the more I learn, the more I want to live. So here we’ve come to a kind of visual listening with more intention.
Here’s what I listened a lot more to this fine day:
Castle: Season Finale, ah! Though I’m late, I will spoil nothing. So glad ABC renewed it.
Fresh off the Boat: Actually discussed it in a presentation on Thursday. Interesting and revealing reads where Eddie Huang, Awkwafina and Arabelle Sicardi have expressed their thoughts on representation and kinship in the Asian American experience. (#boom, that’s my course’s title. no, not fotb. full disclosure, i’m Chinese-American, but I guess at this point in my life I identify race/ethnicity-wise in the following order: American, Asian-American, Chinese-American.)
Love Taza: Hands-down cutest kids ever, and most adorable parents living in New York. Naomi “Taza” Davis’ ponderings on family life and a love for NY have been lovely for my mind to nest in tonight. Plus, since 90s rom-coms are my favoritest, basically it’s a pleasure to renew this girl’s dream of one day being a little lost in that Great State. And man do I crave smoked salmon. Don’t ask. I’m just bougie.
Val Marie Paper: Valerie Woerner of her namesake paper company put a shoutout on Insta for feedback on her prayer journals. I’m all for a well-organized, brief survey to help a sister out, and you can be too! Because I was clicking around on her site again, I stumbled upon her sister’s blog! (Bonus: they’re twins!)
Natalie Metrejean: I’m somewhat hesitant to share this. It seems that to associate oneself with any naming of one’s singleness, one is overcompensating somehow; either you’re way too ain’t-need-no-man, or you’re where-boaz-at-stat. Or both. I think both is possible. BUT DUDE. Most of the world is single! Is most of the world children..? Google? ANYWAY. Natalie created a devotional with this mission:
My desire for “Wholeheartedly” is to encourage women to live life pursuing the Lord wholeheartedly during our season of singleness, to enjoy this unique time, and to get excited about all that He has planned. It is written specifically for single ladies who want to thrive in their single season by applying Biblical truth to modern day singleness!
Perfect, I’ll get on that boat! Included in my increased appetite for reading, is certainly a hunger for reading scripture and more about apologetics. (This could be a whole other post.)
I’ve been going so slowly through The Reason for God by Tim Keller for a while now just because it’s so rich and good and I don’t want it to end. I’m about halfway through since returning to it a couple days ago. I’m not done with it, yet I can name it an all-time favorite. And then in my church’s women’s bible study, we’re going through:
Forgotten God, by Francis Chan: The excitement for what fertile ground God has been cultivating in my soul definitely requires another post to tell you why reading this which ladies who are so special to me is a personally big marker of the Father’s individual love for me. Though life is crazy and way bittersweet, it is beautiful. Thankful to have a much bigger God than anything I could ever hold (or lose) or imagine.
Well, that’s a lot of words, and thankfully some good jumping off points for other thoughts and thanks. I think I’ll go work up some dessert now. Or prosciutto. Most likely both.
A bold PR boutique founder’s Insta bio says: “Founder of @ellecomm. I love you.”
So, um, I love you.
P.S. As another exercise of my attention span, here are a few things I am anticipating: