|Nineteen year old Baby Kellie waiting for the metro in Madrid in 2007. Bless.|
A few weeks ago I went back to my old blog to find a picture of me in Spain with a nose ring.
In 2007, I was a nineteen year old sophomore in college with a nose ring, and I jetted off to Spain for semester and it was one of the most transformative life experiences ever. And it was just the beginning! Some day, I’ll post in excess about that experience and my perspective on it now as a legitimate adult and parent, but today I’m just telling you: it happened. And here’s the picture I was looking for.
So, I’ve been writing for a long time. It’s how I process life, I guess. I think that’s pretty normal. I had a diary as a preschooler, that I dictated to my older sister and she wrote for me, since you know #preschool (spoiler alert: I loved a boy named Jordan Kelly that was in my preschool class). I kept a paper and pen journal in a spiral notebook as an elementary school kid (found that not too long ago– what a hoot), and then in middle school I kept what I thought was a secret folder on the family computer of word documents. It turned out not to be a secret because I found where my mom had not only found and read them, but printed them and was keeping them in a file in the hall closet. Cue mortification. Then, in high school I discovered the wonderful world of blogging. I had a Xanga first, and then a LiveJournal (that’s actually how Marshall and I first interacted– fun story), then I blogged on MySpace and then when I started college I started a Blogspot blog, and I’ve pretty much hung out there except for a brief stint with Tumblr when we first got married.
Blogging is a lot different now than it used to be, I think. There’s a whole industrious side of it now which quite honestly, kind of ruins it for me. I get really tired of people trying to tell me the right way to blog. I get there’s ways to make more money, or get more followers… but, I’m not really into that. Don’t get me wrong! If you read this, I love you. I just don’t feel right about trying to make something happen on the interwebz that isn’t real or genuine. You know? Like, I’m tired of wondering about branding myself. What if I’m just myself? I am so good at that!
When I was going back through my Spain travels and then the six years of blog entries that followed that, it was absolutely fascinating to read my thoughts. The entries were pretty boring most of the time, just what I did that day or something funny that I heard, or something that I thought was really funny and wanted to write about. Occasionally I’d write about something I had learned or what was happening that I was excited about. Why did I write then? Just ’cause!
So why have I gotten away from that? I have no idea! For the past few years, I’ve started like umpteen million posts, only to lose interest halfway through because it’s becoming rambly and I lost sight of my thesis and there’s not a natural conclusion. Why on earth have I started taking myself SO SERIOUSLY as an author (lolz) that I won’t just write what’s going on? How I feel? What I think? Why do I care freaking much?
I’ll tell you, I don’t really know why I care so much. I think really, I used to care what people thought, and I didn’t want people to read my blog and be like oh, Kellie. She really feels things, doesn’t she? Man. She has a lot of thoughts. She’s one of THOSE people that WRITES her real life all on the internets. Oh, Kellie.
The past few years of my life have been so transformative, and over the last few months God has really helped free me from the chains of comparison. Sometimes it feels like I have a long way to go before I reach true contentment, but when I look at how I used to be, I almost don’t recognize that person anymore. I just remember constantly being paralyzed whenever the time came to make a decision or to do something, because I wanted someone to tell me which way would make the most people like me/happy/admire me/whatever. It was rarely about what God had for me to do in that season. I was just looking out for myself and how people perceived me– not what I actually was.
I have found that I’ve formed deeper relationships, heard from people’s hearts, and really felt connections with people when I’ve shared my real self and heart with them– both in real life and the interwebz. So, if this is my corner of the Internet, I want you to know: you’re welcome here. There’s no pretense. There’s no pretending. I’m not trying to be anything– I’m just blogging like I do.
I say this is the best way possible: I don’t freaking care anymore. And, that my friends, is why I write. I want to look back at this blog in ten years, and remember how wonderful these days were (even though some days they crazy). I want to look back and say, “AMEN!” when I read my prayers and desires and see how God has fulfilled them past what I can imagine. I want to re-read a post from years ago and see a misspelling or the wrong there/they’re/their and feel weird about it. I want to read my thoughts on the craziness of working from home with one kid, when maybe some day I’ll have like seven and be working full time! Who knows what is in store!?!
So, I’m going to be overly ambitious and I’m going to blog something every day in August. Get excited. The best is yet to come!