Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'm okay with August 25th

On August 25th, I am getting married. What a strange idea that is. That in 5 months, I will be joining someone I love for the rest of our lives. My last name won't be Swysgood anymore, all those little things.

Some of you know me from days when I thought marriage was stupid. That it was the worst decision a woman could do because it would keep her from a life of adventure and independence. But now, I'm (obviously) okay with getting married to James. Here's why

It will be an adventure, neither one of us are closed off to any option for where life will take us. We believe that we were meant to be people who grow and change and seek out meaningful opportunities. When I walk down that aisle, I can honestly say I have no idea what kind of life I'm getting in to, just that I won't do it alone, and that is wonderful.

I am specifically marrying James. He's not my "boss", my job isn't just to sit back and let him take charge of my life...I'm not resigning to a life of housework and cooking and babies (though, if those things happen, they will not be because it's my "duty" it will not only be my responsibility) I have yet to meet someone else outside of my immediate family who so strongly encourages and supports my discovery of my self. And that's why I'm choosing to make him my family.

I want him in my life forever. I know you don't technically need that "piece of paper", but there's something comforting in the idea that we're wanting it to be declared in every possible way. I really do want our belongings to be each others', I want to share every part of my life with this man, because he has given every part of his heart to me.

We've had our struggles. We've stepped back before we stepped forward, and those aren't the last times we'll dance like that. But gosh it will be lovely to watch.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A "New Year's Eve" post of sorts

This is what I got for Christmas from James. And this was one of the most moving presents I've gotten. Why? because it was given to me so that I could keep myself open and creative as an artist. It's so hard when your profession is in the arts to continue in your personal art growth. It's easy to just create what makes your boss or your audience happy from 8-5 and then not create afterward because your just too tired, or too busy, or whatever other excuse you can come up with.
This is also moving because this is the second time in a month that he has more or less unwittingly supported what I have been feeling that I need to do. And here's what I need to do:


This is not the same as being structured, or militant, this is doing what you need to do to better yourself. I have come to the realization that, even though I'm done with school, I'm not done learning. Life in itself is a matter of finding the perfect balance between study and practice, and I have not done either of those lately. I don't regret taking these last few months as a "sabbatical" of sorts...learning to rest, to manage the "grown up" things like finances, work, and living on my own...but now it's time for some forward motion, this time not for a degree or for a grade, or even to land a job, but for my own self, my own soul.

In health:
I will be diligent in eating well. I am not going on a "diet"...I am going to eat well. For my body, and for the world I live in.
I am going to be active so that I can be healthy and physically able to do whatever life throws my way. Humans are so strong emotionally, spiritually, and mentally...and it's a shame we don't attempt to be completely holistic and add physical strength to that list.

In my art:
I am going to read a lot of books, look for inspiration...that's the study part.
Then, I'm actually going to do something about it. I'm going to try and fail and try again until I find my strides in my music, and in my visual arts.

In my personal life:
I have yet to be open to invite people into my home and use my house as a place where true community can be found. I want to let my friends in so we can share this story called life together.

Diligent. Intentional. Lord help me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One Day On Earth

This is beautiful, this is inspiring. This is the kind of project I want to do.

We all have stories, and we need...no, we HAVE to celebrate that.

So many times we look at stories from other cultures, with all their beautiful traditions and things that seem so foreign and exciting and feel that our story seems mundane. But the truth is it's beautiful. It is exciting. You have managed to be alive on this day, and because of that, there's a story to tell.

This is also a challenge to myself of sorts...after college, I was so overwhelmed with all of the people and the crazy business of life that I went to the opposite end of the spectrum. I sometimes wonder if I've let my world become a little bit too small. I wonder if, in the midst of telling other peoples' stories through my job, and encouraging others to tell their own stories if I do a good job telling my own.

So with that thought, tell me a story.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I will always be a mess. Always.

But I'm willing to let go of whatever mess I'm simply holding in my hands, my vice gripped fists.

To let go of worries, of demons and ghosts. of scars.

To let it all go to where it's just me and you. two messes just trying to make it.

Where it's just love. Perfect love that casts out fear. But it casts out a lot more than that.

It casts out expectations. timelines. other voices.

And in the place of those things, it brings in contentment. peace. laughter and I love you's.

Because I really do. And that's why I'll open my hands.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I am thankful.

Thankful for the broken pieces of myself that forced me back to being that little girl on the floor, crying out to her Father to help.

Thankful for that feeling. that moment. when all of the sudden, you know you're a changed person. and you can't help but celebrate the work of your Savior.

Thankful for the other moment. The one where you realize your life is nothing like you planned. But more fulfilling and more beautiful than what you had wanted for yourself.

Thankful for two strong arms that connect to a strong and wonderful man, that I fit perfectly in when they wrap themselves around me.

Thankful for that strong and wonderful man. and the laughter that sums up our relationship. Joy.

Thankful for a family who helps me pretend like I'm independent. but is there when I realize I'm still a kid.

Thankful for a job that allows me to do what I'm good at, while learning completely new things at the same time.

Thankful for dance. for art. for music.

Thankful for time to sit and be thankful.

Gosh. My life is just so so good.

Monday, June 20, 2011

:After school. I intend to sit and go through my life. What am I actually passionate about? What am I doing out of guilt or obligation? I don't want to be busy. I want to be fulfilled.:

I said this the last time I posted. And guess what? I did it. I sat down, and...for the first time since high school...I took a deep breath. I sat with my family and gave them my undivided attention, I began dreaming about making things, doing things, slowing down and simplifying. And then, I realized that I didn't have the time.

So. I quit. and it was the best decision I've ever made. I became so busy with church, I didn't have time for God, or for feeding my soul. I was so busy "ministering" I forgot how to spend genuine time with people and just be their friend. I can't remember the last time I picked up my instruments and played music or drew a picture just because I loved it. I could only fit in dance, the best thing I have done for myself, once a week-if that.

So what do I do now? Live. I have time and energy to pour love in to my relationship with James. To be intentional about learning how to live a life beside someone. I get to love and thrive in my job, which is an incredible feeling. I'm not too tired to create or to dance.

I can finally be. healthy.

:"I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run. " -Henry David Thoreau:

My roots run in passion. Passion for life. for joy in the simplest of the everyday...which I can only do if life becomes more than just a blur passing by me. Passion for people. loving them, working towards justice and equality...which I can only do if I have time for actual people.

This is my new motivation.
:"All around you, people will be tiptoeing through life, just to arrive at death safely. But dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip, or dance, just don't tiptoe.":

Me? I'll be dancing. You may join me if you like.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's been since Christmas since I've touched this thing.
My oh my how my life has changed. Over the course of those few months, and the changes are just beginning.

My pride has been broken. I'm feeling it as I learn to die to myself and follow a path much bigger and better than me. But not bigger and better in the world's idea, in fact. Some would look and say I'm settling for something much smaller, but I don't hear them anymore.

My dear spiritual mother said that, when we are patient to follow the will of God, the blessings will not stop. And I'm finding her words to be true. I'm blessed in love, from a man and from my consistently wonderful friends. I'm blessed in school, somehow everything is getting done so I can get out. I'm blessed with dreams given by God. and I cannot wait to see what happens after May 7th.

Over the past few months, here is what I've learned:
1. It's more than okay to be slightly wild.
I'm allowed to thrive off of extreme joy in the small. I can dance when I hear a song I love and sing to it at the top of my lungs if I want. I can run through fields. Laugh a childlike full-belly laugh whenever I want. I can be moved to tears by good art. I can take time to show the person standing in front of me that they mean the world to me. Why? Because all of these are but samples of just how much God loves me.

2. Open Up
The past three months of opening up to allow someone in is the hardest and best thing I've ever done. I am one with a lot of walls, and James has had to fight to tear them down. But the result of being known as well as I am, as scary as it is. Has changed me. I'm willing to take the time to be known by others...not to the same extent, but still known. I want to open up to more people because I want them to know the same unconditional love, acceptance, and understanding I know.

3. You choose who you want to be.
There comes a point of release. Whatever everyone is saying about how you should be, where you should go, what you should do. You get to choose whether it matters or not. You get to follow their suggestions or declare yourself free and run straight into who you were created to be.

There's so many more.

Here is the lesson I want to learn, I found this on a blog I follow:

"If you are working relentlessly out of guilt or self-inflicted obligation, stop immediately. If you think maybe you're working relentlessly because of guilt or self-inflicted obligation but aren't quite sure, stop immediately. The actions that fill your days should come out of health, joy, love, peace, and heart. If you've lost your passion, drop everything, and for the love of God: Go find it"

After school. I intend to sit and go through my life. What am I actually passionate about? What am I doing out of guilt or obligation? I don't want to be busy. I want to be fulfilled.