This is my first blog. Ever. So let me start by introducing myself:
My name is Victoria Jones (formerly Hartz). I am 22 years old, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a resident of Boston. I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece, and a friend. But my primary identifier is: adopted child of God the Father and passionate follower of His Son, the risen Lord Jesus Christ. God is my Creator and Sustainer, my Redeemer and Friend, and I love Him dearly. All that I have and all that I am, I owe to Him.
At first I was hesitant to start a blog because I didn’t think anyone would care to read it, save maybe my mom. My life really isn’t that interesting, and my thoughts surely are not that profound. Has my time for blogging come and gone? In college, I was constantly challenged and stimulated; I was growing leaps and bounds—in terms of knowledge, character, insight, and experience—learning new things daily, doing new things daily. My mind was always busy and active. It would have been an ideal time to have been communicating to the virtual world, sharing with it the knowledge I was acquiring, telling stories of my adventures and misadventures as an undergraduate.
Now that I’ve graduated into the “real world” from that oh-so-comfortable but oh-so-inspiring bubble of higher education, I’m unemployed and not producing anything of value. Yes, I am starting to build meaningful bonds with new Christian friends, and in that sense, I am producing a thing of value, but in terms of engaging my mind and my faith in new directions and to new degrees, I am sorely lacking. I’ve been so consumed with the demoralizing process of searching job listings, filling out applications, writing cover letters, and making follow-up calls (only to be ignored or flat-out rejected) that I’ve become almost stagnant in my pursuit of anything else but a career. I feel so unstable, so ungrounded. Newly graduated, newly wed, and newly relocated—everything in my life right now is new, and uncertain, and in flux. While to some that situational newness may inspire excitement, to me it inspires fearfulness more than anything else. If not for the gentle reassurance and comfort of the Holy Spirit, the biblical promises of God’s good-natured sovereignty, and the support of a loving husband, my emotions would have probably overwhelmed me completely by now. My point is that I’m currently fighting against so many insecurities, and I’d rather not use up server space just to moan and complain and solicit pity.
Another major concern for me is time. Is there ever enough of it? And even if I were to allocate a few hours each week to writing, would it be worth diverting my focus and energies away from job-searching? Because I’ve been trained as a journalistic copy editor, writing is a very time-consuming process for me. I’m very much a perfectionist. I’m one of those people who proofreads her own e-mails—twice (even if they’re just being sent to friends). That’s because clarity and impact have been hammered into my brain as two of the most essential traits of any written piece. And conciseness—now that’s something I’ve got to work on. I’ve always been told that I’m long-winded, a fault that I am truly trying to remedy. In the future, I will try my best to keep my posts an appropriate length.
Despite these hesitancies regarding content and time, I have now decided (after being prompted by my brilliant and talented friend and former roommate Yelena Pecheny) that maybe now is the opportune time to get started on my own blog. Yelena assured me that major life changes provide a great opportunity for growth and sharing, and the fact that I lack a set routine will only make my blog that much more exciting. I think she’s right that I ought not to be ashamed of my own observations and experiences, no matter how insignificant they seem to me. I think that the writing process will enable me to reflect back on my week; to process any information I took in; to consider any lessons I learned, thoughts that I had, insights I gained; and to praise God for working in my life in some way. Progress is often unnoticed from close distances, but step back and you can see that all along, you had been inching forward in baby steps, and all those baby steps amount to ground covered. So even though I perceive myself to be at a standstill right now (intellectual and otherwise), perhaps I will surprise myself by looking back at where I am today on August 28, 2010, or where I was when I first moved here July 7, from the privileged, retrospective vantage point of future dates.
I want to be active, mobile, in mind and in deed. I’m hoping that this blog will be an extra incentive for me to pursue my desire for enrichment and growth—not just my own, but others’ as well. So, this blog will serve mainly as a space for my various reflections on what I’ve been learning and experiencing throughout the week.
One of my main intentions with this blog, at this point, is to use it to explore and comment on various forms of art—visual, performing (music, drama, dance), and literary. I love art for its ability to stimulate one’s thoughts, senses, and emotions. Art can display beauty, it can speak truth. Art is colorful, expressive. Art teaches us what it means to be human; it beckons us, “Know thyself.” I try to attend stage plays, concerts, and museums as often as my minimal income allows me. I love buying new books and seeing new films. But money aside, I try to see artistry also in smaller things, like a well-kept garden, a fancy meal, or a beautiful piece of fabric. The definition of art is so amorphous, so subjective. To some, art is synonymous with beauty, but what is that, and who defines it? For now, let’s go with definition 4a from Merriam-Webster: “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination, especially in the production of aesthetic objects.” (Yes, I do consult and quote dictionary definitions frequently, so get used to it.) Maybe we can work on defining the term in greater particularity throughout the duration of this whole blogging venture. God, I thank You so much for imbuing mankind with the ability to imagine and create. And for creating for us in the first place a beautiful world with an ample amount of natural materials for us to cultivate and subdue: stone, wood, silks, minerals, resins, lead, charcoal, etc. Thank You, also, for giving us voice and mobility. God, You are the Master Artist.
In addition to discussing my impressions of the arts, I will also use this blog to discuss my developing spiritual walk with Christ, which includes personal reflections on biblical and devotional material, sermons, Christian music, religious trends, and apologetics. The Lord God, Jehovah, is the most awesome person I’ve ever known, and I’m continually trying to get to know Him more fully. (He is infinite and infinitely complex. His character is fixed—He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever—but He can be delightfully surprising sometimes.)
So, if you are interested in following me around on my humble journey toward the deeper discovery of God and self, please, become a regular visitor of my Weblog. I will try very hard to provide regular (my goal is at least once a week) and consistently interesting posts. I cannot promise something deep and thought-provoking every single time (and maybe not even the majority of the time—who knows?), but I do promise to be earnest and sincere in my attempt to parse out and document my growth.
Hurrah for free server space, a veritable soapbox for every Tom, Dick, and Harry!