Holy amazeballs - I haven't updated in the better part of a year! I've been writing a lot in a real life journal, but that should not excuse me from neglecting my friends who may want to keep up with things. Sorry, friends! I love you. :)
The past few months have been a whirlwind of passion, stress, excitement, heartbreak, and just plain growing up. As I approach the 25th year of my being alive and amazed by this world I am so graciously allowed to inhabit, I find myself becoming more and more who I've known myself to be in the depths of the heart region. It's a wonderful feeling, one that is very difficult to full describe. I feel more at peace than I've ever felt, and I believe a lot of that is because I'm discovering what it may mean to actually have faith and simply know how to relax. I'm a Connell - relaxation doesn't come easily to us - but I find rest in the beautiful parts of my day that make me stop and think, It's great to be alive.
I got baptized in May, so that was pretty cool. You can see the profile here. You can see the video here. It was a beautiful milestone in my life. I couldn't help but cry the whole service because I honestly felt like my life was changing by this experience. I'd gone through a period where I didn't want anyone to know I loved the Lord because it seemed cliche and uncool and, actually, kind of stupid. Our culture has such a weird way of handling Christianity. It seems that you're either looked down upon as stupid and simple minded (Imagine that.) or you have to fit into some sort of box where you buy all the Jesus shirts just to make sure people don't have to question you to your face. (I'm paraphrasing a long conversation in my head here.) I've always felt different, though, and I wasn't sure how to handle it. I wasn't even sure how I felt, to be perfectly honest, because since Nathan's death and my departure and disassociation with Campus Outreach, I was a bit deterred from the whole idea. Since finding my community with Vox Veniae, I've discovered a people that resonates well with my ideals and my heart, and I realized that it was really my faith that lead me to them. I've never met a more loving, warm, encouraging group of people in my life, and they not only support me, but they share themselves with their neighbors as well as our community. I realized that I had known Christ my entire life, but only when I found this community, I started actually following Him and doing what He says. All of that to say, my baptism wasn't a testament that I had "found Jesus for the first time." It was a testament that I had found Jesus for the last time - you know, the Jesus that doesn't judge or hate or point fingers, but the one that really, truly, earnestly loves every single person without question or fail. The perfect example of Love is what I want to be apart of forever ever (forever ever).
So, there's that. I got over my expired relationships - all of them - this summer on my roadtrip. Two solid weeks of driving and crying, seeing family, listening to old music that brought up incredibly poignant memories that shattered me all over the highways of my past, and seeing some of the most beautiful landscapes I have missed passing through over the 3.5 years I've lived in Austin. I made peace with my old private school by visiting the campus and seeing the faculty. Some amazing things happened at that school that have shaped me to be me, the me I love so much today, and those are the moments I am choosing to carry with me. High school is horrible for pretty much everyone, so why did I harbor these feelings that were so long ago? So, I got over it. I got over a lot of things. I saw the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I let my tears cleanse my soul to get ready for this next, huge part of my life.
That brings me here to today. I survived Austin Fashion Week, and learned my boundaries/limitations. In my business, I am stressed out a lot of the time - more eustress, not so much distress - and some of that is due to time management but the fact that I have some great people in my life who want me to do creative things for them. How awesome is that?! I've been doing a purging of stuff from my apartment because, really, why do I need a lot of that stuff?! Get rid of it! It feels great, and no, I am no where near done. I'm learning to say the word "No" more, and it's a great word to say for yourself. If you haven't discovered it yet, you should try it. I've paid off some credit cards lately (THANK GOD.) and I'm trying to save up for some business endeavors. All in all, things feel really great, and I'm getting ready for the East Austin Studio Tour again. This year, it's going to be really personal for me, especially in light of the business I've been building for over a year now and also in light of the recent events regarding suicides of our youth across the nation. I'm really excited about my installation, which I am involving a few of my friends in, and I feel great about it.
Things are going well, and I guess I just had to stop fighting becoming an adult and just... do it. It's harder than I thought it would be, especially since I decided that, okay, I will keep up with my damn taxes. [Insert eye roll here.] Even still, I haven't lost that spirit inside me that demands fun and adventure. I'm just learning how to add it in with everything else that requires me to become a strong, independent, successful, healthy woman because that is exactly what I am on my way to be, and I'm learning so much good, great stuff on this journey.