My Blog: Stuck at a Crossroad

crossroads-ernest-hemingway-quote

Last week, I mentioned I would share my general thoughts about this blog. I think it is important to do so before I can post about anything else. I have had a lot of time to think about my blog in the last six months.

Some of the thoughts surprised me. Some of them did not.

Like the last break I had, there were many times I was extremely thankful I did not have to worry about my blog. My last two courses were crazy busy. I simply could not add another stress on my plate.

However, in that time frame, I managed to also lose my passion for writing. I honestly and genuinely did not want to write. In fact, there were several times I seriously considered throwing in the towel on my blog completely.

There were times I considered deleting it altogether without a single last thought—much like how I stopped using Facebook.

Although it sounds extreme, it truly felt like the right choice.

In the last six months, I have deeply grappled with my privacy. Many life experiences have taught me the importance of keeping things private—not that I’ve ever been the oversharing type. In fact, I mainly wanted to be more private than I already am!

You can read more about my blogging style and privacy here.

Regardless, I honestly wondered, “What’s the point of having this blog?” Let me tell you, blog statistics and analytics can really mess with one’s head.

It is so incredibly difficult to find a purpose in the “blogging world” among all the noise. You can find a blog about anything and everything, which begs the question, “Does anyone care about my words?”

I want this blog to help people. I truly do. I firmly believe God gave me the talent of writing to spread His Gospel message. All glory to Him!

And it is because of Him I’ve always stopped myself from getting rid of this blog. For, in my time away, I had some extremely sweet comments that showed me, people care. People can resonate with my words and experiences.

But, it also forced me to reevaluate the structure of my blog.

I am an extremely Type A, routinely based person. I am all about consistency. I don’t want to be like most bloggers out there who start their platform in a moment of excitement only to never post on it.

I do not want my blog to just sit. I want people to see I am invested in this passion project.

However, I do not want to feel pressure to post every week. I want the freedom to post when I feel like it and when God is leading me to.

For, I have had many things happen recently that are certainly worth discussing if I so choose. Writing is cathartic and therapeutic for me—as it is for most creatives. It helps me make sense of my life and this world we live in. I do not want to neglect my soul of that much-needed outlet.

Unfortunately, the Type A person in me constantly fights the need to post something, to deal with it now. Otherwise, I may never deal with it.

I guess what I am trying to say is I do not know what this blog will look like from this point on. I am still trying to figure that out. I do not know if I will continue to post weekly.

So, please be patient with me. I am at a crossroad and I have yet to find my solution.

I need to find a happy medium between writing to help heal my soul and not feeling stuck or coerced. For, we do not process life in a neat routine. Life is messy and so is how we deal with it.

I am going to leave this post with no pressure. I didn’t start this to create pressure on myself. I started it to help myself and others.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

 

 

Hello Again! I Graduated

GRADUATION BLOG POST

Wow! Nearly six months later, I am back!

I honestly thought I’d write at least one post in between now and my last post—when I said I needed to prioritize my school over my blog.

Alas, though, here we are—nearly six months later.

Hi! How are you all? How’ve you been?

Thank you so much for being patient with me!

I’ll explain the various thoughts I had about my blog during my hiatus in a more detailed post later. But, for now, know I experienced a gamma of emotions. Some of them surprised me. Some of them did not.

A lot has happened since I last wrote on here. Some of it is excellent. Some of it is terrible. Some of it I will divulge. Some of it I will keep to myself.

The most exciting thing that has happened is…. I GRADUATED!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have my Bachelor of Arts in Communication! Nearly three and a half LONG years later, I am done.

And! I earned my degree without debt!

I say that with much gratefulness, for I know not everyone has that luxury. Thankfully, though, by God’s grace, I did not take out any loans. It meant getting my degree would take longer, for I was only financially able to take one class at a time.

However, it sure felt wonderful to be done—financially and academically—when I earned my degree.

To tell you the truth, I officially graduated Saturday, May 4, so I have been done for a couple months now. I thought I’d write a little update in June, but the words just would not come. I wasn’t going to sit down and force words. That’s not how I operate.

Thus, a six-month break ensued. Regardless, now I am ready to share my experience.

Every single class brought a familiar freak-out session within the first week, which went a little something like this, “I don’t know if I can do this! I am so overwhelmed! There’s no way I can do this! This class will definitely be the class I get a B in.”

Lo and behold, though, I survived. My hard work and perseverance paid off.

Nevertheless, most of my college experience did not go how I thought it would. From start to finish, it took me seven years to obtain my associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.

In the beginning, I was convinced I would be the person who graduated in four years and accepted having debt until I was in my forties.

Truth be told, my time in junior college was the only part that went “according to my plan.” I had an activities scholarship that went toward my books and tuition. I had fun, I met new friends, I did well, I graduated.

Then, the rest of my college journey was quite an adventure.

I took a year off because I could not decide which school to attend. I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars when I was unsure, so I took a break.

And for those of you who’ve taken a break, no matter how studious you may be, everyone always seems to believe that by taking a break, you’ll never go back again because, well, life gets ahead of you and has a way of going differently than expected.

Granted, I don’t think taking a break is for everyone. But, I knew I could do it. I had full confidence in my skills. That isn’t to say getting back into the swing of things was easy. It was rather difficult.

After my year off, I knew I wanted to pick a fully online program, which, like taking a break, is not for everyone. The structure met my needs at the time.

Plus, I am an extremely diligent person. The rigor and commitment of an online program did not faze me. My only requirement in a program was I refused to take more math.

I ended up selecting a university in my state that only offered 8-week courses.

Let me tell you, they are not for the weary and lackluster folk. Eight-week courses are kind of insane. I frequently said, “It’s like summer school on steroids.” My aforementioned freak-out sessions were short-lived because I didn’t have time to prolong them. I had to get to work.

My course loads were fairly heavy, especially as I got further into my degree program, regardless of the condensed format.

There were some courses, professors, and assignments that caused me great angst. There were even times I felt like some of my courses were just a tool for the university to get more money out of me. Some classes felt utterly useless, which I think many students experience, unfortunately.

Honestly, I experienced so much distress during my program that there were times I genuinely wanted to give up. I wanted to quit…and I love school and learning! Through the years, I also wondered if I would ever reach the end.

I always felt like I was juggling too many priorities between my marriage, my full-time job, mine, and my husband’s debilitating health, my family, my friends, and my dog. I admire students who raise kids on top of that, which many of my classmates did!

At the time, it felt like complete chaos. However, it makes me appreciate the degree even more.

In fact, I am not typically one to frame accolades, but I fully intend to frame my bachelor’s, which I should receive in the mail any day now, as I did not walk at graduation. For, it is more than a piece of paper. It is a symbol of a long, arduous journey.

Most importantly, my educational journey makes me appreciate my husband even more, who selflessly stepped up and stepped in to care and provide for us along the way.

WE did it. I may have been the one to complete the assignment coursework for the degree. But I could not have graduated without my husband’s support.

Spouses and families deserve equal, if not more, credit for the accomplishment. It truly takes a team to get a person through school. It makes me even more grateful and appreciative of others who acknowledge all the people involved.

Honestly, though, I could not have graduated without my entire support system of individuals who cheered me on, cared for me, listened to my complaints, and loved me along the way.

Needless to say, obtaining my degree was quite the journey. It had many twists, turns, and surprises along the way.

However, I am certain it happened just as God ordained it to. I look forward to seeing how my journey toward a master’s degree unfolds, though it will be some time before I tackle that endeavor.

Until then, I am going to enjoy not having a looming deadline. I am going to enjoy going to bed early. I am going to enjoy reading books for pleasure. I am going to enjoy deepening relationships, old and new.

I am going to enjoy life and whatever it may bring. Thanks for joining me on the journey!

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).