Once upon a time, about three years ago, I walked away from what I thought was my destiny, and when I got home, I did something crazy that I had never done before. I started a blog. I started writing in the hopes that someone would notice and my writing would make a difference. I talked about Finding Pearls in a Sea of Sand, the concept that came to me as I got out of ministry school and by extension, out of a lifetime of living in a Christian cult. Everything Christians said was dirty, I saw something beautiful there. When I looked at Hollywood, I didn’t see a bunch of lost demonically possessed people who only cared about the money, I saw vibrancy in those people. I saw ideas being realized and shared and as a creative person it both intimidated and inspired me.
For my whole life, I have felt a connection to story, to movies and TV shows. I heard something in the stories that other people weren’t hearing, and with this blog, PVX Pearls, I had thought to share those thoughts. I kind of dropped the ball on this blog, preferring my tumblr blog to this one. But this is the one where I can be the most prolific and grapple with some of the insecurities I have about putting myself out there creatively. I think that if I am to genuinely enjoy my life and make the most of it, I need to be writing. I need to be painting and I need to be singing. And all of those things, I need to be doing often and the way that I want to do them. That’s one of my issues really, I understand the need for training, but unfortunately, growing up in a Christian cult, I was never allowed to find my own identity. I remember all of the songs and the verses and the sermons about identity and how if you didn’t have your identity in Christ, you basically weren’t on the right track, like you were not really much of a person.
That’s why it was so easy for them (and by extension, me) to dehumanize people and brush past their stories. Because, they didn’t matter until they were God’s. Well, they did matter, they just mattered more as a hypothetical convert than they did as a human being in the moment. Their identity wasn’t solid until they were Christian, and neither was mine. When I became a Christian to the extent that I would talk about nothing else (and think about everything else), I dropped the identity I was starting to build for myself. I stopped writing because my stories were secular and I didn’t see how God could fit. I stopped painting and drawing much because the only people in the youth group who did artistic things did prophetic art, which, generally, my brain didn’t work quite so completely in the abstract, so I kind of doodled here and there. But I didn’t really share my art with anyone ever. Prophetic art, in case perhaps you don’t know what I’m talking about, was art inspired in prayer, bodies were often faceless and messages were always spiritual. And with singing, I watched my poor mom for years constantly being a part of the worship team at our church. And our worship team leader was such a perfectionist about things that my mom often felt like her voice wasn’t good enough. I didn’t want the abuse, and it was stressful to be up there onstage for concert choir, let alone the weekly worship team.
In ministry school, I tried my hand at each of these talents, and I was actually good. I received compliments for everything and I felt really proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone. I wrote Spoken Word poetry as I grappled with my anger at God and religion. My friends clapped and said it was so awesome how I was so honest about my feelings. I wanted to shake them. I knew they felt stuck too. But instead they gave me platitudes and pats on the back. I blew them away with my writing, but they didn’t see what I was saying. I didn’t paint but my whole Internship was for Media and I did design some things, like the banner for this website and I played around with new font types. I won a very close third place in a talent show when I sang JJ Heller’s “What Love Really Means”. Honestly, I just need to get better at jumping into a song when there is music. Yeah, there’s a horrifying feeling in the pit of my stomach when I mess up, but I could push past that.
Now, three years later, I have this blog, I have my Tumblr blogs and a few others. I could be a voice, a beacon. It’s the kind of person I’ve always been. So what’s stopping me? Well, hopefully now, nothing. I just got something off my chest and my shoulders and I know I want to do more with my life, now that it’s out. Now that I’m…out. But there’s more to that story I will save for a different entry. I want to be creative because I feel the most me when I am either creating something or responding to something created.