So I got a notification at some point, I think last week, that I have had my blog for a year now. Really? A year, already!?
It seems like a popular thing to do at the beginning of a new year is to review the past years events and then look forward to what your aspirations are for the coming twelve months. Well I didn’t do that in January so I thought for me, a more appropriate time for me would be the one year anniversary of my blog.
When I think back to the beginning of this thing, when I knew I wanted to start writing, but had no idea what I would have to write, it is quite astounding to me that one year on I have a backlog of things I need to get around to writing. I’ve made over 220 posts, 189 people have thought enough of something I have written to press the follow button, they’re not even all from project awol – whatever that is ;). I have had site hits from 52 countries and almost 3000 page views. I find that remarkable, I know compared to people who blog for the purpose of stats those are tiny numbers, but you know what? That was never the point of this. I love that a few people read regularly, I love that folks randomly stumble across my work every once in a while, but with the greatest respect, the audience is not really the point. This is the landing place and the outlet, for some of the creativity that is inside of me that has to be released in order for life to make just a little more sense.
If I look back to how this began the first two lines on unhiddenlight were:
You are cordially invited on my journey, my journey as I continue to discover who I really am, my journey to learn how to really think & my journey to be the best man that I can be.
To discover who I really am, to learn how to really think & become the best man that I can be. Now the best that I can be, might look very different than it would for many others, but that is the point, I was sick of living a life that was molded by the world, by bad experiences instead of being molded by who I really am.
With respect to thinking, the idea was that if I was going to write regularly I would need to actively be thinking in order to write things. The hope was that this would help me to learn the discipline of conscious thought. I’d say that this has been very effective, writing this blog along with other pursuits in life helped me greatly with conscious thought. I still switch off, I still get sucked into auto pilot, but it is for much shorter periods than before. Sometimes I consciously choose to think the wrong thing & act accordingly, fortunately that also seems to be becoming less frequent. We are all works in progress for our entire lives; that is certainly true for me.
One of the claims I made on that first post was that my blog would not be primarily about my faith, the intention was that this blog would be about my life, experiences, thoughts, observations etc. However as I have gone through the year the blog has become more and more about my faith. I am today without question the healthiest I have ever been in my life mentally and spiritually. The blog has helped (a little), but most (all) of that healing and freedom has come through my faith and the journey I have been on with Jesus.
What do we write about? We write about that which we know, that which we love, that which we have passion for and that which shapes our lives. It only makes sense then that as I have become more comfortable with who I believe I really am, that my blog has become more about my faith, because that is absolutely central to my life. The freedom that I am experiencing, the purpose and the joy, it all comes from my relationship with the Trinity, to deny that would be to deny my true identity, which would be completely counter to what this whole thing is supposed to be about.
One of the most unexpected things I have discovered through this year of blogging is my love for poetry, reading it and also writing it. Life at the moment seems to be slightly too busy to be really productive poetically (or writing in general), but I will get back to it, I need to get back to it, make it a priority over my PS4 (yes I got one). I still enjoy so much reading the beautiful, authentic and passionate poetry I find in the wordpress community, reading it is both extremely enjoyable and also incredibly inspirational.
So here I am, a year on, one of the greatest things to come out of this year is to have grown truly comfortable with being who I am, being me. I no longer hide behind pretenses or masks, I am just me. I am probably confusing to many people, something of a paradox in my eclecticness (shut up spell check, if its not a word it should be), but that’s ok, I’m me. That is not to say that I don’t still need to work on being the best me that I can be, but I don’t need to try and force a new personality on myself, being me is a good thing and I intend to make the very best of it for as long as I draw breath.
What does this mean for the next year of the blog? Will there be a next year? I’ll be honest, there have been several times this last year when I wondered what the point was in writing it, thought about taking it all down and just getting on with life. Who wants to read what I might have to say, what do I even have to say? Etc etc.
Fortunately there is always one more thing to write, and rejection? I am absolutely accepted as I am, so I refuse to allow possible rejection by complete strangers get in the way of doing the things I love to do. I lost too much of my creative life to such ridiculousness, and while I didn’t realize it at the time, subconsciously that was a big part of the reason to start this blog.
As it stands I have 30 or 40 finished songs that I need to record and share. A folder full of poetry and essay ideas and another with half-finished projects. I even have the outline for both a short story and a long story that I have begun to work on. So I guess, yes, there will be another year of unhiddenlight. It will most likely be less productive, that last 4 months have already been that way, but that’s ok. I’m not going to pressure myself into writing and make this a chore, I love writing so I will continue to do it, but for the pleasure of it, for the art of it. I will make no bold claims for the direction of the site other than it will continue to be the place that I post whatever creative inspiration I have.
One thing that does bother me slightly about blogging, is that once you write something & post it, it’s almost like within a day or so it becomes consigned to history. I don’t know how the rest of the bloggers feel, but I think that I need to revisit some of my old posts. Even if it’s just for my own sake I think it would be good to enjoy some of my work again, maybe even learn something from myself. Maybe one day I’ll take the time to redesign the website to make the archives more visitor friendly. Although I have no idea how many people actually come to the website verses reading on the mobile app, that will just have to be a potential project for some time when I have spare hours.
Anyway, I’m rambling now. So, if you have read anything I have written the last 12 months, thank you so much for your time & your eyes. Here’s hoping that God, the world or just crazy old me can keep me inspired to write plenty more.