Tuesday, March 22, 2016

hello writing my old friend

There was once a time when words came so easily to me. My notebooks and scrap paper were filled with my thoughts. It was rare that I didn't have an idea, or an inspiration, for a blog post or a journal entry or song lyrics or even a letter. I was always writing, and when I wasn't writing, I was thinking about writing. I had a constant hunger for it, and it comforted me in ways that nothing else could.

I miss those days. Writing does not come so easily to me now, and it feels more like an old friend or a memory than a hobby. I've racked my brain trying to figure out what happened. Maybe it was just something I needed for a certain time in my life. Maybe I became too consumed with social media or technology. Maybe I got too busy. Maybe my focus on my health pushed the writing down on my list of priorities. 

Or maybe, I'm happy. That's not to say you can't write when you're happy. Sure you can. That's also not to say I don't still have my bad days, because I certainly do. But when you compare my life now to what it once was, side by side, there a remarkable difference in my attitude and my happiness. Back then, a large portion of my writing was inspired by moments of pain and heartbreak. I wrote because I didn't have many people to talk to, or because I couldn't say the words out loud. I don't feel that same kind of pain now. I'm more willing to be open with my feelings to my loved ones, and I no longer feel so lonely that a notebook is my only friend. 

So maybe it's not that I've lost my love or my passion for writing. Maybe it's that I've been looking for the "spark" in the wrong places. Maybe I can accept that my writing can come from a happier place, and that I don't need to be going through some tragedy to be able to write. With that, though, also comes permission to feel sad when that is what I'm feeling. Just as I can't force myself pain to write, I also can't force happiness to put on a show. I can only be me, and write what I know.

I'm not going to add "write more" to my list of goals because I do not want it to be another task or chore to complete. But what I am going to aim for is to be more present. To put down the phone, and to just be living in moments. I may surprise myself and find inspiration in places that I never thought possible.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Thank You to Mercy.

To the Mercy Administration;

During Lent I take time to write letters of gratitude to people in my life who have, in one way or another, made an impact on my life. Today, on International Women’s Day, I wanted to thank the time to write to you. I am who I am today because of my four years at Mercy High School.

I graduated from Mercy in 2005- I know that there have been many changes since then. There are new staff, new uniform guidelines, new classes, and certainly new technology. But I am both hopeful and confident that the spirit of Mercy is the same as it always has been. What is the spirit of Mercy High School? In my eyes, it is one that is gentle yet powerful, encouraging and persistent, faith filled and compassionate. Those are all the words that I think of when I think of the staff and faculty at Mercy.

Being a student at Mercy taught me that women can be leaders, athletes, scientists, writers, artists. Mercy taught me to be accepting of everyone, and to lift up and encourage our peers rather than drag them down. Mercy taught me that faith is more than just sitting in a church pew, and Mercy taught me the power of connections. Mercy taught me to dig deeper, to explore further and to reach higher. Mercy taught me that I am very capable of accomplishing what I set my mind to, and that when I get stuck, all I need to do is ask. Mercy taught me about friendship, about honesty, and about embracing the life we have been given.

I truly believe that I am a stronger, more confident woman because of my four years at Mercy. The faculty and staff embrace their students in a way that I think is fairly rare. When I struggled in math class, Mrs. Kowalski gently guided me. When I was lost and needed a place to belong, Mrs. MacLennan and the pastoral team welcomed me with open arms. When I discovered my love for writing and became hungry for more, Miss Desmond and Mr. Schusterbaur challenged me. When I was shy and eager to break out of my shell, Mrs. Rozman taught me the importance of just being me. The list goes on and on. Each and every teacher at Mercy was instrumental in helping me to become the person that I am today.

I will forever hold a place in my heart for Mercy, and for all that each of you do to make sure that every student knows their true value. Because of my experience at Mercy, I went on to become a member of the Mercy Volunteer Corps (’09-’10), and, three years ago, became an Associate of the Sisters of Mercy. My goal is to spread the message of Catherine McAuley and of Mercy in my work and amongst my family and friends. Thank you for giving me something to be proud of, thank you for giving me a gift that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Best of luck to all of you, as you continue to do great work and impact girls like me.