Monday, January 24, 2011
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 12:37 PM
Sometimes writing comes easy for me, and I have more words than I'm able to get out of my mind and onto a page. Other times, I have ideas, but no way of voicing them, the words just won't come. Other times, at best, I'm a zombie, lifeless, looking to eat me some brains!
Lately I'm somewhere stuck between the latter two, when it comes to my new blog, Dancing Backwards Through The Halls. I'm leaning a little more towards having ideas, but not sure what to say about them. And I know that writing is sometimes a discipline, and sometimes an art, but when I get to these roadblocks, it's more discipline in the true being tied to my chair with a pen duct taped to my hand variety. I've got a bad case of the Monday morning mean reds.
In any case, I guess sometimes it's cathartic to at least get some ideas out there, into the great big cyberuniverse, and maybe by doing so, the words will come. Coffee might greatly aid in this process.
So for now, here's a quote I'm working with, that I got off a blog that I just love. It's inspired me to think more on how to communicate the idea of identity - that is to say, whether or not as young women we are living as Authentic, or as Airbrushed Christians.
"I have no patience with the untorn, anyone who hasn’t weathered rough weather, fallen apart, been ripped to pieces, put herself back together, big stitches, jagged cuts, nothing nice. Then something shines out. But these ones all shined up on the outside, the ass-wigglers, I’ll be honest, I don’t like them. Not at all. " - Andrea Dworkin
Let's face it, someone who dares to put it out there that fake people bother her, and uses the term ass-wiggler, to define them, is quite alright in my book and puts a slight smirk on the face of this undercaffeinated subversive. Right now, till I get some Starbucks in me, that is enough to propel me just a bit further.
And that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 10:43 AM
Monday, January 17, 2011
The Olive Garden was my very first job ever, in high school. I worked there for three years, and by the time I left I swore I never wanted to see another bowl of endless salad or basket of breadsticks ever again. Though they WERE sooooo good with Alfredo sauce, not even kidding!!!
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 6:42 PM
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
So, it's been a while since I've had some rambling randomness here (or so I think), so I'm inclined to do a bit of that.
But first, I want to say that I'm pretty stoked to announce that I've started a new blog this week, aimed directly at young women, from junior high school to early career age, talking about issues that are relevant to their lives and hopefully offering a perspective that is godly and holy without being "in-the-box" Christianese about it. It's called Dancing Backwards Through The Halls. To quote it "The title came from the fact that as women, we are expected to dance backwards in high heels, a euphemism that refers to the fact that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Estaire ever did, but backwards and in high heels. Young women today are expected to do just that – to gracefully navigate the hallways of our schools and workplaces, heck of our lives, while dodging slushies and avoiding been thrown in trash cans and balancing in the highest of heels and expectations. More than anything I want you to know that you don’t dance alone, but rather you can rest your arms in the powerful hands of God, and just follow His lead."
I think that says it all.
I'm excited about writing it, and have a goal set for myself of writing there twice a week. I could use some feedback about topics that are relevant to young women today, because I'm sure there are many which differ from what I think they are. So please feel free to go leave me some comments there, and I will take them all into consideration.
In the meantime, over here at A Woman's Right To Shoes, I'm still the same old me, random and quirky and just using this forum as a way to think out loud as it were. Today, well, let's be honest, the first thing on my mind is how much I love the outfit I'm wearing!!! I think it looks really cute and I'm pretty satisfied with it. A cute outfit can change the entire perspective for a day, and boost my confidence, which in turn boosts my mood like no cup of joe ever could.
Let's take today's ensemble: On top you've got clean hair, always a plus. Complimented by my favorite Banana Republic oyster colored ruffle neck shell, underneath a grey BR cardigan (you can NEVER go wrong with a grey cardigan!) which is embellished with darker grey embroidered roses around the neckline. Pair that with a simple dark grey grosgrain pencil skirt (also BR), and a black rosette belt (The Limited) , grey leopard print tights (Tar-jay) and black high heeled oxfords (also Target) and I'm not even kidding, this is one cute outfit today.
Maybe I've been reading What I Wore too much though seriously, how can you not be addicted to Jessica's blog? She is sooo cute and totally my style inspiration. In addition to home decorating and DIY blogs, style blogs and lookbooks are my new end of 2010/beginning of 2011 obsession. And since I swore & stuck to a resolution of not buying any new clothing in December, I was forced to shop my closet all month long, and trust me, I have some great pieces in there, if I'd only get around to being more creative about using them.
I think I need a good girlfriend to just hang out with me in my bedroom, rocking out to some Gaga, sipping some Pinot Noir and helping me come up with some hot outfits. We could snap pictures and I could make my very own TRK lookbook, for those mornings when I wake up crabby and think "I have nothing to wear" (Oh, I know we've all been there, trust me!).
Even without the help though, I've been coming up with some super cute outfits lately, and wanting to post them all. Like my latest favorite jeans mashup that I wore to dinner last week - a light blue BR tunic (that I never wear because it looks positively maternity on), belted with my favorite hemp/cognac leather Anthro belt (which solved the whole maternity top problem), underneath a navy and white sailor striped flowy Anthro cardigan, with Gap skinny jeans my TJMaxx cognac colored riding boots and an amber colored beaded Anthro necklace. There was nothing new, just something new about the way it all came together.
Anyways, I don't mean to bore you readers with a day-by-day play-by-play of what I'm wearing. It's just that it's a nice feeling to shop my closet, and find some cute new things to wear in there, and frankly, like I said earlier, it makes me feel gooooood about myself. So there you have it, in all it's trite little glory!
Well, like I said, this post was definitely going to be "a little bit of this, a little bit of that", but before I bid you farewell, let me add this last little anecdote for your amusement.
We all know what a klutz I am - well today, I lived up to that stereotype and then some. Here at work, there are not many interesting, fun or lively people. I think I'm about it. But we do have one engineer who is pretty cute, and seems young and fun and I try to say hi to him whenever I can. But he sits on the opposite side of the building, so I never see him. Well this morning, as I was sitting at my cubicle, poking away at my work, I heard him talking to someone over near the fax machine. So, slyly, I picked up some papers and thought this would be a good time to go make some copies. I stood there, at the copy machine, quietly copying while he finished his conversation, and then when he was done I smiled and said "Hi K, how's it going?", to which he answered politely "Good, how about you?" and we started chatting, as we walked back towards my cubicle. Or I should say, he walked, and I, at that very moment, walked into a file cabinet. Face first. Just took it head on. With him standing right there. It scared me so badly, I jumped back a little bit, and he asked me, all sweet and concerned "Are you alright?"
Yeah, I'm alright. There's not much that can bruise this ego anymore, and well, face plants, that's something I'm used to. Thanks for asking though, have a nice day.
And that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 10:33 AM
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
But my post kind of got me to thinking, about, really, well, what's on my mind these days. I started thinking about what fills my mind, and what I choose to communicate to the outside world, sometimes sans filter, on a regular basis. Another factor that got me to thinking was the fact that someone I know started up a blog recently and within a few days she had 400 hits to it. Within days. I don't think I've had that many people read my blog in years! Her blog is called "Save His Girls", and it's a forum for her thoughts on the issues facing young Christian girls these days. It is written from the perspective of someone who grew up in the church, and is what I would call a very atypical contemporary Christian woman with a heart for God and His people. She is so sweet!
In any case, I digress. As I was reading a friend's email last night, where he was talking about our jobs and how they are what we're doing in our life, but are they what we're supposed to be doing WITH our life, I began to reflect on the call to ministry God has put on my life. His words convicted me to look at both how I spend my time, and what I feel God has called me to do, and to really examine if I'm living out the mandate that God has impressed upon my heart, or if I'm just self-centerdly floating and coasting day by day. I'm thankful that a friend who doesn't often share, chose to last night, because in that instance it was both inspiring and convicting and it really got me to praying and thinking. I think that's called iron sharpening iron, but y'know. Anyways, one thing that came to mind was a realization that how I use this forum for communication (the blog) is one way I could be serving God more. And I realized that more often than not, blogging, for me, is just what I called it earlier, a cathartic means of self expression and self discovery through verbal processing. I'm a writer at heart, and writing things down helps me to think things through. Yet I hate journaling, so go figure. Having a blog has been one means of working through my own issues, sorting through my own feelings and facts and processing what is going on in my own life, more so than a communique or manifesto to the outside world or a tool for touching and impacting other lives.
Yet I asked myself last night, what would it look like if I followed in the steps of "Save His Girls"s author, and used it to post on issues relevant to young women, and from a perspective that thinks outside what they're getting all the time. Instead of self-reflecting rambling,
what about actually showing some purpose in what I write? What would that look like, if I chose to be so disciplined as to stick to it (something I really struggle with)?
There are so many things I want the young women in my life to know, and that I wish I had the words to communicate to them - things like life is more than worrying about the modesty of your Sunday school outfit, it's about making sure you're at Sunday School because you desire to learn from God rather than want to appease your parents. Life isn't about "Don't drink, don't chew and don't go with boys who do". It's about seeing Christ in every life around us, and honoring that dignity while encouraging holiness in those we are closest to. Life isn't as sheltered as you've been raised to believe, and the sooner you can see the world for all it's broken fragility and vulnerability, the sooner you'll gain a heart to venture deep into it, into the scary unknowns, and affect some change. If I had one wish for the young women in my life, it's that they would live with the courage to venture into places unknown, the skill to reach into lives untouched and the intimacy with God to do it from His heart and with His strength. If I had one wish for them, it would be that even now they would stop hearing messages that encourage, whether consciously or not, the thought pattern that life is about who you're married to and how many kids you have and what Moms group you attend, but that life is about how you let God flow through your hands and feet and mouth, how you see the world through His eyes and how you fearlessly get out there and do something to make it more like His kingdom. Whether you're playing KTIS or wearing a long enough skirt while doing it aren't nearly as important as just doing it, and I want to tell them that.
So, not to rip off a friend or anything, but because this has been something I've wanted to do for over a year, and I've let laziness hinder me from doing it, I'm starting a new blog, an offshoot if you will, aimed specifically for young women, Christian or not, to address the issues and challenges and situations that they are facing every day, and not just the ones we perceive they might have to deal with. One that they can post questions or comments to anonymously, and one that authentically and truthfully examines what they're dealing with without judgement or preconceived notions of what a good Christian girl should look like, think like or act like. A safe haven for their thoughts and (hopefully) an inspiration for their future dreams. I haven't decided on a name yet, and am still hoping and praying for a blog makeover, for both this one and the new one. But I've given myself a deadline of getting it set up within the week, and will keep y'all posted here once it goes up. I'm open to suggestions immediately, both on name, topic, and anything else you think should be included in this mission, this venture if you will. I'm also asking for accountability from my more faithful readers, since as I mentioned, stick-to-itiveness is something I generally lack.
More than anything, I hope that as you read this, you think to lift up in prayer the young women in your life, and ask God not just to protect them, which I know He faithfully and lovingly does, but to inspire them to dream big, to live bigger and to live a life of worship and full fledged service to the biggest God we know. He deserves all that we have, and they deserve nothing less than our hearts, time, love and support. For me, this is my calling, and I pray that I can somehow live it out on a daily basis. And that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 6:38 AM
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
I should keep this brief, because I'm afraid if I don't, I'm gonna regret it.
I had an interesting talk with a friend today, and she continued to expound, after a similar chat last week, on all the reasons she loves being single. I wholeheartedly agree - being single is amazing! I love the freedom, the Independence, the lack of responsibility that comes in the shape of having to think of another person's needs and wants before my own. Sound selfish? It might be, and my friend and I agreed that oftentimes being single is the easy way out. Easy because it requires no change, no sacrifice, and for the most part it breeds a lack of qualities such as compromise and selflessness. The marriages that I've seen, while rewarding, seem like a lot of hard work, requiring a level of sacrifice and vulnerability and patience that I can't even imagine. I've heard the payout is amazing - a shared life, trust, unity, intimacy, having a partner to do life with, having children and so on and so forth. I'm pretty sure both situations have their pro's and con's, however, having a limited perspective, I definitely fall into the "Singleness Rules!!!" camp.
But as I was sitting here, reflecting on all the ways that being single is great, and all the things about it that I love, I realized that the only real thing about single that I don't appreciate is having to go to bed alone. It is never till I have to go hit the hay that my singleness ever stares me back in the face. It is then that I truly feel, and am, alone. I can fill up my day with people, and service, and a million other things that keep my time and attention occupied. But it isn't till I'm tucked in (by myself of course, since there's no one to tuck me in), and in the quiet stillness that comes before sleep that I ever wish I wasn't single. I'm not sure why, exactly, since I've slept alone my entire life. The solitude of an empty bed, of not having another face to say good night and good morning to, and the deep buried longing that it brings to the surface in me, is inexplicable.
Or is it? I mean, I know all the schtuff about how we, as people, were not created to be alone. We are relational beings, needed company and conversation and community. I get how that makes sense and do not try to deny that at times, I have thrown it in God's face as a pseudo-argument for my own discontentment. But I'm not discontent now, as a matter of fact, I'm hardly willing to part with my life as I know it, I like it so much. In talking with said friend, I mentioned to her that it would take one helluva man to make me want a relationship more than I want my quiet solitude and the peacefulness of my single life. (By the way, I feel like when I say things like that, I sound like a 65 year old man, living in a great big house alone with nothing but his jazz records and cardigans and gardening for company). So, what is it about this bewitched hour? This cerebrally unaccounted for period? This, this, BEDTIME???
I'm not sure, but I do know this, as I head off to sleep soon, after a lovely evening spent enjoying the three B's - Bronte (Charlotte), Beer and Buckley (Jeff, that is), I pray that sleep comes swift and heavy. I hope that there is no time between my head hitting the pillow and my consciousness shutting down, for me to think or dwell on, or even recognize this lacking element in my life. Because after all, life is what you make of it, and I have a pretty good life as far as things go and I don't plan on finding anything to regret about it. I may be sleeping alone, but as far as perspective goes, it's not the end of the world, or anything to get worked up about. As a matter of fact, in the big picture sleeping alone is not something I want to lose any sleep over. And that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Posted by Trinette Johnston at 11:03 PM