State of the Paulion Address 2013

It’s that time again. Like years past it’s time for the annual examination of all things Paulish. 2012 proved to be a difficult year. It’s only now that I’ve looked at last year’s State of the Paulion Address that I recall longing to see myself accomplish more than I had in 2011. Was I successful? Well, let’s see…

Last year was a difficult one for us. Some members of our family had found themselves in an abusive situation, and didn’t see a way out. So, three days after moving into our house, we opened our doors and took them in. It was a situation that didn’t start, go, or end well. Looking back, we did get them out, so that much of it is a win… But that’s about it. The first half of 2012 was marred by our home being filled with dark and oppressive muck that clung to our souls and our minds. In July, once the house was solely our own again, Leah began seeing a counselor and I underwent spiritual direction just so we could decompress.

At the same time, I was struggling to convince the place I work for to take me on as a full-time videographer. Despite a lot of promising moments, thus far I am still a lowly member of the Customer Service team. And finally, just as we had begun to find our footing, we received a notice from our landlords that they were going to need the home we were renting and asked us to be out by the end of December. By all rights, it seemed that our streak of having terrible, disaster ridden Christmases would go unbroken. (Every Christmas Leah and I have had since we’ve been married has involved more weeping than presents. It’s become a bit of a tradition in its own right.)

And yet, despite all of that, 2012 saw some milestones that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Despite the grim prognosis at the beginning of November, our Christmas last year actually turned out to be far and away the best we’ve ever had. (Admittedly, given the events of past years, that wouldn’t be a difficult distinction to earn.) This fortuitous turn of events is due in no small part to Leah’s new job. In November Leah began working as a nanny for a new family, the result of which was that we managed to have just enough money to successfully transition from our old house to our new one.

In addition to her nannying position, Leah began 2012 by taking a job as an art instructor. She then spent the remainder of the year moving from “one who dabbles with paint” to becoming a full-fledged artist. The studio she worked for closed at the end of December, but we’ve managed to convert the office of our new home into a fully equipped art studio which is something she and I have dreamed about doing since we were engaged.

On my end of the world, last August saw the anniversary of having published two blog posts a week for an entire year; a feat I had never even come close to achieving in years past. That accomplishment afforded me enough momentum to believe that I might actually be capable of finishing NaNoWriMo. As such, I spent the entire month of November furiously typing  50,501 words in the service of my first novel. (I took December off, but will be getting back to it this month.)

National Novel Writing Month has been my white whale for literally a decade. I first learned about NaNoWriMo when I was 18, and it’s taken me ten years to finally discover a truth that I couldn’t stop writing about at the end of last year: We can literally do whatever we want with our lives.

Prior to finishing my 50,000 words, I believed that there were just some things I couldn’t do. Now? I’m not so sure. As long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort required, I genuinely and truly believe that we can do anything. I can do anything I want to with my life. I can fill my days with whatever I want if I care enough to figure out a way to make it happen. 

And now, I’d like to turn my focus to the blog. Gaining some consistency was my goal for 2012. Forcing myself to write when I didn’t feel like it was a significant accomplishment for me, but after hitting the one year mark, I struggled with ennui for a few days.

I had done it. I had climbed my mountain. What was left? In the days that followed, I found myself trying to discern the future of Hunting for God. More than a few times I considered just being done. Done posting, done writing, done with all of it. But as I continued pondering that course of action, I realized that I’ll never be done. God is always there. My Faith is a big part of who I am as a person. Even if I wasn’t blogging, I’d still be seeking, still writing. At least this way there’s a possibility that my trail journal might assist fellow hunters.

But something had to change. Now that I’ve proven to myself that I can post consistently, do I really want to? And the answer, is no… Not really. At least not like I’ve done.

For the past year, I’ve been sitting at my computer, reaching deep into my brain-cream and trying to provide you with a heaping scoop of pure, unadulterated Paulish perspective. I think I’ve been more or less successful in that, but I feel like I’m scraping the bottom of the carton.

The solution, near as I can tell, is a two-pronged approach: More flavors, and more cartons.

The tale end of last year saw two new contributors step up and offer to write for Hunting for God on a monthly basis. I couldn’t be more thrilled. My goal for HfG has always been to provide a number of different ideas and perspectives on trying to find God and what happens on those rare moments when we catch him. I hope to only add to this number throughout 2013.

Just because one brain-carton is empty, that doesn’t mean that I’m out of things to say. It just means I’m going to have to figure out new ways of presenting information. So, to that end, I will begin handling the blog slightly differently this year. Instead of just writing chunks of what I happen to be thinking about and working through, you will soon see a series of features cropping up on the blog. I can’t go into detail just yet, but expect to see interviews, podcasts, and a heretofore unknown level of interactivity… in real life, as well as on the blog.

2013 has the makings of being a banner year for Hunting for God. Tighten your knapsack and stay close as we continue the hunt.


2 responses to “State of the Paulion Address 2013

  1. I know my comments probably don’t count for much, but I have always loves the way your writing cuts to the heart with the questions you ask. Even when there are no answers, Ive always thought it gutsy to ask questions. You have always, ALWAYS done that. Both as a kid and as an adult. I think it a very brave way to live…this pondering and musing and question asking. Please don’t stop…your questions are often the very ones posed in my heart as well. HfG has been a voice for those o us who are perpetually searching. And I am oh-so very grateful!

  2. Although I don’t comment often, I love the fact that you started this blog and have continued to write even in your dark seasons. I think that’s the most difficult part of writing (and one that has stopped me from blogging in the past 2 years). It is awesome that you have soldiered on and openly shared your most vulnerable thoughts. I am excited to see where your blog will go in 2013 and look forward to all you have in store. May it be a much better and more encouraging year than 2012 for you and Leah. 🙂

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