This is the longest that I have ever gone without writing a blog. There is several times that I have sat down, thought of a clever title, and began to write. However, it never turned into anything. I could never hold on to a thought long enough to articulate it. And, to be quite honest, it was killing me. I hated that I couldn't write. I felt like I had so much to say, but something in me was blocking my ability to make my thoughts into words. These past two months have been up and down, here and there, and this and that. They have been hard, but they have been good. I have grown, and I continue to grow. I mean, life is a series of transitions and changes, isn't it?
In my desperate attempt to use words carefully and meaningfully (largley insprited by shakespeare, c.s lewis, and ) I find myself using a dictionary more than I ever have in my life. I love to look up commonly used words, and see what other words are used to describe the one that I have looked up. And, usually, it's pretty surprising and makes me think really hard about the words that I am using and how I am often using words incorrectly.
One of these words that has made me think the most is importance.
Now, when you look up the word "important" in the dictionary, you get: of great significance or value; likely to have a profound effect on your well-being. When I read this definition I thought about all of the things in my life that I am treating with importance that do not have a profound affect on my well-being. In fact, they don't really matter at all. Immediately after thinking this thought, my mind traveled to thinking about all of the things that are having a profound effect on my well-being that I am treating of no importance at all.
Not only did this realization help me sort out my priorities, but it also opened up my eyes to notice important things in my life that I had never realized before. Certain books, sunsets, good conversations, postcards, certain emails, letters, pictures, and sometimes, even just a really long drive.
And also, writing...
So, why, now, do I write? I write because it is something that I love to do. It helps me process things. It helps me learn things. And, through the grace of God, it helps other people learn things too. To be honest, I think that the main reason I stopped writing was because I lost all confidence in it. I didn't see any quality in the things I was saying, the the way I was saying them. And I gave in to the spinning vortex that is self-doubt. I stayed there for awhile. I am thankful for it this time, because while I was at the bottom of everything, I had honest people there that asked me honest questions. And as I answered them, I could feel myself standing up a little straighter, and smiling a little bigger. People were there to love me in a way that didn't look like, "Hey, everything will be fine... So, anyway..." There were there to love me in a way that looked like, "Kinsley, you are wrong." and "I want to come alongside you and help you." It was a beautiful love that I needed. Although this honest love was sometimes hard to swallow, it was always paired with kindness- not false "make you feel better" kindness... but genuine benevolence.
And kindness is important.
During these months of growth, the amount of kindness that has been thrown my way has been incredible. And the great thing about kindness, is it comes in all sorts of ways. Conversations of literature and of concerts. Free coffee. A few words here and there. A letter. Help. Dinner. Honesty. Questions. or Cheesecake.
So, recognize the things in your life that are important.
and put all the other things in different categories.
Be kind to the people around you. Buy them coffee, or smile at them.
and let us be people that profoundly effect each other's life.
[This is a picture that I took in a bookstore in Oxford that had a profound effect on me, indeed.]