A Needed Filter
All day long I’ve been thinking about writing. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about why I write, the purpose behind this new site that has been waiting to spring to life. For about a year, I have gone back and forth over creating a website, weighing the options and reasons to determine if this was truly a good idea. Do I need to write, to share the words that have bubbled up and spilled out since I was a girl? Yes. My hands can’t seem to stop pouring out thoughts, opinions, and cries. Something inside me was built for creating and slinging words. But does the world really need another blog, another voice among the oppressing viral noise? Do my words have to be public? Absolutely not.
For a long time, they haven’t been. My words have been tucked away in journals, word documents, notes on my phone, and folders of loose paper. Yet lately, I have felt a nudge to share these words out in the open. Well, it has been less of a nudging and more like the voices of dear friends telling me, “Mer, stop being stupid and do it already” They are a gentle and timid group of girls, let me tell you.
So I’m sharing, putting a few more words out into the saturated world of websites. It feels a bit silly and, honestly, scary. What do I write? Do I have to pick a specific topic like decorating? I hate talking about decorating. Do I only write serious posts? What if something hilarious happens? Do I only write funny posts? What if something serious happens? What if I take a few weeks or months off and people think I’m a quitter?
These thoughts have run through my head as I have wrestled with starting this site. Then, in a moment of sweet encouragement, I heard writer Emily Freeman talk about filters.
Filters have aways been a part of my life. I have heard my parents and husband gently suggest on more than one occasion that I should find a filter. I have been known to “pop off” as my mother calls it and speak words that would have been better left unsaid. I’m a work in progress.
So when I heard Emily Freeman mention filters I was all ears. She spoke about how Taylor Swift uses the filter “surprise, not shock” for her career. Every decision she makes is meant to joyfully surprise her fans, not negatively shock them. Emily uses the filter, “creating room for the soul to breathe” Everything she writes is meant to find a little extra space for her readers to pause, relax, and refocus. Her purpose and her filter are to help others inhale and exhale in the midst of the chaos of life.
What a freeing thought. Having a filter gives purpose but leaves a whole lot of room to play. A filter is broad enough to encompass all sorts of goodies but is narrow enough to give clarity. Plus, it may just help me get a hold of my smart-aleck mouth.
So what on earth should my filter be? Hilarious observations about navigating the early years of marriage? Heartfelt discussions of faith? Honest conversations about hardships and challenges? A running commentary on all cheesy tv? *my personal favorite. If you’re into cheesy tv, let’s get together and talk.
The filter I keep coming back to is this- to find the humor and truth in everyday life. Because ultimately, I love laughter and wisdom and think those two things go together really well. Like peanut butter and ladies (Talladega nights anyone?)
Growing up, when a hard conversation would arise, my wonderful dad would ask me, “Do you want me to tell you the truth or what you want to hear?” What a good ask. I’m not sure if the filter will always stay the same but for now, my filter will be this- what helps myself and others find the humor and truth in life? Not always what we want to hear but the truth, whether silly or simple. Perhaps this is yet another unneeded blog run by a twenty-something longing for a creative and meaningful life. But maybe, just maybe, it will be a source of encouragement, lightheartedness, and value.
Some days it may be about Jesus, anxiety, running a business, and the challenges of adult friendship. Somedays it may be about road trip fails, trying to dye my own hair, eating kale for breakfast, or the combination of whiskey and karaoke. Beauty and truth can be gleaned from it all.
If that strikes a chord with you, we are going to get along well. So, in the words of my fellow millennials #YOLO #liveauthentic
Just kidding. Welcome. Let’s pursue laughter and truth together.