31 Days of Getting the Glitter Back in My Blog: Introduction

31 Days of blogging

I’ll be upfront. Writing is not my best friend right now. I’m in the midst of a wonderful poetry class that at least is forcing me to write a poem every week. It’s something. But I’ve been neglecting and missing this blog and the honest reason is because I feel stuck in my life. Even as I’m taking steps to improve my life. I’m learning to drive, I’m making time for my marriage and friendships, I’m in this writing class, I started therapy, I’m constantly looking for new job opportunities, I’m starting a Girl Scout troop. Plenty is going on, but I still feel like I’m neglecting my love of writing, and feeling stuck. So what do you do, throw yourself into a writing challenge to get the glitter back. So that my awesome followers, is what I’m doing. You can look forward to awesome content from Post Graduate Glitter everyday! And I’m also hoping it’ll help me in on what the focus of this blog should be, what direction I should move in. If you’re interested in learning more about the challenge go here. And this is where you should go if you want to see what I’m writing throughout the month!

Glitter on!

Juanita

Quick News and Updates

We’re just into the year (though it’s been over 3 weeks (!!) since I last posted) and the inauguration is mere hours away, but I wanted to give you some updates on what’s going on with me and this blog … Continue reading

Ostentatious Writing (Authenticity is Hard)-Daily Prompt

Real writing is hard. Real writing–the kind of writing that comes from a truly authentic place within you seems somewhere close to impossible. It’s not that I have a lack of things to say. I have strong opinions about things … Continue reading

2015, Good times, old chum

It’s the end of another year.

The end of something and the beginnings of something else. For me 2015 was such a time of transition. I got married, I left a job, I said goodbye to a handful of friends, only to welcome some of them back and then see them go off on adventures again. I went on trips. I laughed and cried. I hosted parties and Thanksgiving went to parties and Christmas. I learned how to cook and to shovel my own walkway. I learned how to communicate better and I got on a budget. I prayed more and I angsted plenty. I thought more about the world and it’s issues and took action. Basically a year and a half after graduating I learned even more what it means to be an adult, which sometimes I think it’s as simple as this: to be responsible for someone/something beyond yourself and to show up.

“Today I’m going to believe that showing up is enough.” Brene Brown

So while I’m moving a bit beyond thinking of myself as just a graduate and owning my titles as adult, wife, and woman this blog is still going to be an integral part of my writing and learning for next year!

That said I thought it be fun to look at this past year so without further ado here are my top 5 most viewed posts and some insights into why I wrote them, why I think they were so relevant and a fun video that may or may not actually connect with the post.

1: Surprise! Life After College isn’t Always Happy (July 8, 2015)

For a post about unhappiness this post seemed to resonate with a lot of readers, and I’m not surprised it was one of my favorite pieces. I must say getting married released a lot of the melancholy of being engaged! But seriously sadness is an emotion we as graduates are very familiar with, I’m also just impressed with my ability to incorporate Jesus, A Practical Wedding, and Inside Out in one post.

2. We Got Married! (August 22, 2015)

Ironic considering my generation on average isn’t marrying till well after college, but I respect that and try to make my posts as universally appealing as possible. It was really about pursuing your dreams and goals in the face of others doubts especially in your youth. I don’t ever want to forget the lessons I learned from falling and pursuing love as a crazy young thing.

3. Seek the Snitch (January 6, 2015)

So my word was seek. I don’t know how good I was at it, I certainly stumbled upon some adventures. Some updates: I’ve certainly grown spiritually and have come to a greater understanding of who I am as God’s child, what that means for church and day to day life isn’t always so clear. We got married and it’s amazing (even with the crap). The Bible play was an OVERWHELMING success, I’m just curious what our director is going to do with it in the new year. Career, well, I didn’t think I’d still be with Miss J, but I learned a lot and getting to be much better at interviewing and talking about myself. I wonder, should I choose a word for 2016?

4. Why Can’t Everything Be Easy? (February 23, 2015)

Found this funny video, but really I’m surprised it was so viewed, this was just me ranting and complaining and getting over what turned out to be a manageable disappointment. I to perform and I had my party, just not on my schedule. But you know even when we’re in the wrong sometimes we just need to express our unhappiness and being an adult as much as it is a joy is full of compromise and disappointment.

5. Lessons Learned from Wedding Planning (July 3, 2015)

I was pretty much in the zone at this time we were knocking things out in anticipation to being married. There was stress, but so much excitement. And in the after math of marriage those lessons are still ones I’m learning. Especially the last one: Not living by others expectations is something I’m doing my best to embrace, sometimes it’s really hard to be yourself.

Before I say goodbye are there any posts you loved, content you want to see more of, emotional rants you hope will continue, advice on job searching? Let me know what’s good and what’s not!

Thanks for reading glitter gang, most likely this is my last post of the year, the husband and I will be heading to my grandmothers and spending a couple days with her (just have to get through a few days of work first). See you in the new year!

Peace, love, and glitter,

Juanita

Fourth Advent Wednesday

advent-candles

So there’s no real agenda for these posts, but they have had a definite social justice bent. I’m a huge believer in both individual choices creating change as well as groups and communities working together to confront systemic issues, we need both.

Currently I’m reading a fascinating book: Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelism. I don’t agree with everything in the book. What is really sitting with me isn’t that the Church should be the safest place for Queer people and Queer Christians, how People of Color tend to look at sin systemically and individually, or even how feminism and Christianity should go hand in hand.

More than all that I’m just understanding that it’s so important for each of us to share our voice in the Church. It’s so important for us all to be the parts of the body we were created to be and to realize fundamentally none of us have it completely right, which makes it ever more imperative that there is room in the Church room in the World for each of us to be our true selves. Outside of sin God created us to be our unique selves. When we suffocate that under the guise of biblical living or right theology we do a great disservice to God.

 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

We don’t all look at the world the same. We don’t all have the same experiences.

We need voices that know personally the burden of systemic sin and why racism is much more than name calling and one off racial slurs. We need to hear women’s voices especially in regards to family planning, violence, and leadership. We need to see Queer people as people, not as stereotyped militants out to “destroy the family”. We need to be part of communities that are diverse. Diverse in general population and absolutely in leadership. It doesn’t help if women have a unique perspective to share, but men are the only ones included in conversations or groups that create change.

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all..For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. I Corinthians 12: 4-7; 12-14

I think about how in some circles I’m still nervous to share what I truly believe. That I fear others rejection or condemnation. I don’t feel I always have safe spaces to share my thoughts. I don’t think my thoughts would be seriously considered by some people, I think there first reaction would be correction without any serious consideration.

Part of why I love my husband and chose to marry him is because he’s someone who has fully accepted me for who I am. He loves and values that I’m a Jesus lover, writer, feminist, and people embracer (don’t confuse that with me being a hugger, I’m too moody and bony to always appreciate hugs). He never tries to change me. He’s accepted that I’m perpetually messy and will always choose comfort over aesthetics. He embraces my introspection, obsessions, and concern over emotions. I do my best to do the same for him, but I also have a terrible desire to make him more like me, but it’s okay I’m working on it.

I also think of the community of women who were part of the Women’s Bible Play I was a part of (not it’s real name). We still have a facebook group that we communicate through and while we absolutely did not agree with everything we always listened to each other. We shared our stories, our hearts, our lives and it was a truly safe place. So many tears, laughter, joy, and pain was shared and it came together to create a show that impacted people.

I hope I can foster more safe places in my life and the lives of people I know and love. I hope we all have people who fully embrace who we are. I hope we can all be true to ourselves and our stories. We were each created uniquely. We must each embrace our neighbor fully for who they are and, what is sometimes even harder, fully embrace ourselves.

Love and glitter,

Juanita

 

Dear Freshman Juanita (A Reflection)

Dear College Freshmen Juanita,

You are so anxious about this new part of life, even though you are commuting to a school less than 20 miles from home. But I get it, because I am still you, and transitions are hard. If it makes you feel better you’re 5 years older and you still can’t handle transitions without a healthy amount of stress, lots of hugs, and an embarrassing amount of crying. I get it.

Why are you crying? You go to such a beautiful school!

But you really didn’t have anything to be anxious about. Sure you make friends who don’t stick around for long (don’t worry, you make friends much more easily than you realize, it’s a gift), but you’ll also make friends with people who are in it for the long haul.

Summer 2011

Summer 2011

That professor you got intimidated by when you sampled her course, turns out that’s mandatory for everyone in the English department to take, plus you end up loving her and taking a class with her almost every semester up until graduation.

Oh yeah, and you know how you’re thinking this will finally be your chance to date around and have some fun. Ha! Think again. People don’t do that at this school. They date forever and then they break up or get married. Or they’re just perpetually single. There is no in between. And despite all your protests and attitudes and trying to be SO independent, you end up falling in love and marrying your first boyfriend, but don’t worry you are still sassy and independent. It’s part of why he loves you.

You will get so close to Jesus in this time. You will also seriously question, your church, God, and the state of the world. It will strengthen you. You will have so many intense moments with God, and you will also find you feel connected to God even without the intensity. You will pray constantly. You will have many conversations about God with people of varying levels of faith and it will all be incredible.

You will meet your best friend in the world (literally this friendship will cross the world, and gosh you will just miss her, but you will care for and cherish this relationship SO much). You will make a number of amazing friends, but it will shock you how much this relationship grows and develops and stretches across state lines and time zones. You will call her your sister, and it’s true.

The best friend and I <3

The best friend and I ❤

So don’t worry you will have your ups and downs, and the best year of college is coming up (Sophomore year, dude you even live on campus), and you’ll have fights and scares, and you’ll cry a lot. And I’m just as confused about life as you are now, trust me I did not expect that at 23 I would be taking care of a woman with dementia, watching all of my friends go off on adventures, while I get married,and oh yeah, my husband and I, we share a home with 3 other women. Life is weird. But you know you’re going to grow so much in your time there. You’re going to have so many adventures, laughs, and you’re going to learn. You’ll learn so much in and out of the classroom. And I still treasure everything I learned even the hard stuff. You might be anxious right now, but trust me these are going to be some super amazing years so enjoy them, cause soon enough you’ll be married and have debt to deal with and all the responsibility.

But yeah little college girl, things are going to be okay, because God’s got this, and even though you get the plans less and less, you let go of control more and more. So kiss and dream (and yes those stupid 3 AM adventures were SO worth it) and live, cause you’re going to college and it’s one of the best decisions you’ve ever made, trust me, I’ve been in your shoes.

All my love and glitter,

Future Mrs. Juanita