spiritual puberty and the further chronicles

I recently wrote some advice for young bloggers. I said,

There are some downsides to starting so young. I will be writing soon about the “spiritual puberty” the whole internet watched me go through. People saw me change and go back on my words and say things that I disagree with now, and that’s uncomfortable. But it’s not wrong. I will always be changing, even in the realm of beliefs. I don’t regret having published my thoughts at such a young age.

And that’s true, I don’t regret it a bit. As a matter of fact, as awkward as (physical) puberty is, it’s not something you want to go through alone. I remember when I lived at the orphanage, telling my older sister that I felt terrible for the girls there who had to go through puberty in an orphanage. The funny part is, she looked at me and said, “We are going through puberty in an orphanage too, ya know.” This was true! However, we had our mom there. She was there when I had freakish emotional outbursts because one of the kids hurt my feelings and when I started to shave (yes-at an orphanage!) and when I got my first set of make-up in our little Petionville apartment. Puberty wasn’t something I had to go at alone, and I’m thankful for that now.

Of course, a little more privacy would’ve been nice at times (see also: eleven people sharing one bathroom.) I feel the same way about the changes you have all watched me go through online. I opened my blog with this beautiful piece of writing and I have stayed true to what I said there for the past six years: “On this blog I will ramble about random things that are on my mind or happening in my life, but I don’t think it will be unbarably boring, so stay connected.”

Has this journey ever been “unbarably” boring? No. It’s been delightful, embarrassing, educational, humbling, exciting, encouraging, frightening and frustrating but never boring.

I have started several blogs since then, submitted guest posts, become a contributor, shut down several blog, helped several other people start blogs, but Clickety-Clack was my first and I’ve never given up on her. She has grown with me. Changed, gone through many seasons, served various purposes.

Y’all have been a faithful little following, even with all the ups and downs. You were especially sweet and supportive as I prepared and pitched a book last year. That book is now tucked away, probably never to be published, but there has been nothing wasted. None of your good cheer, support, prayer, critique, patience or encouragement have come back void. I’m a better, braver writer because of your contributions.

The reason why that book is tucked away is because three publishers turned it down and then I realized it was for the best. I wasn’t entirely sure, still, what that little book was trying to say. Since then (over a year!) I’ve gone through another growth spurt. I’ve realized that my book would’ve scraped the surface of some deep issues. I’m not saying it was a failure or that it was evil or stupid, but just that it’s not what I want to write right now, not what this world needs.

I still care very much about the issues the book addressed. I still think our society needs to see some serious change in regards to feminism, legalism, education, rights and the role of the family. I think what happened is I finally read my own book. I saw that I didn’t really believe myself when I said that I supported women who left home and went to college and had a career and didn’t want kids. I had trouble swallowing that because, deep down, I still believed that those women were, in a way, feeding some sick societal brainwashing machine.

I don’t think that anymore. I’ve watched my friends go all the way through college now. I’ve seen them make decisions about who to marry and where to live and what to do. I still firmly believe that many women miss out on their true desires because of societal pressure, but that doesn’t always look like what I used to imagine. Sometimes that means not going into the mission field because you’re single or not starting a business because your friends are all having kids by now. These women are missing out too.

I still believe that the majority of women will be happiest as wives and moms and homemakers, but that there is a percentage who simply have different desires that they need to pursue. I still believe that we should all (men and women alike) think twice before going to college. It’s a big decision and there are alternatives. (No regrets there!) I still believe a lot of what I wrote, but I also believe in a certain form of feminism which really shouldn’t have to be called feminism at all. It’s a belief that every person is equal and unique and that sex, like race, should never exclude someone from freedom, education, opportunity or the global conversation.

Maybe those thoughts will become a book someday. I’d also very much like to write about eduction (my un-schooling experience) and adoption (my pineapple sibling experience) down the road. But do you know what? I’ve gone back to my first loves: blogging and writing children’s books. I hope you hear a lot more about that in the near future.

Now, if you would continue in your patterns of kindness, would you fill out this short survey for me? It will help me see what you have enjoyed about Clickety-Clack, whether you’ve been reading for years or just scrolling around today. No promises that I’ll take your advice (I’m a bit of a rebel when it comes to these things!) but I am genuinely interested to hear your feedback.

Here’s to many more years of Clickety-Clackin’!

Love to you all,

Everly

“I do not think that I will ever reach a stage when I will say, “This is what I believe. Finished.”

What I believe is alive … and open to growth” -Madeleine L’Engle

3 Responses to spiritual puberty and the further chronicles

  1. Natasha Metzler November 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Love this, Everly!

  2. Jen November 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    I appreciated this very much, since I’ve been writing and/or blogging since I was 13 and I blush looking back at some of the things I clacked! There were times I thought I was so theologically sound, but I could barely spell theologically. :) One thing that blessed me the most about this was to not only remember that it’s okay to constantly change with growth, and humbly revoke past statements, but also give the same grace for others. What people say may not be what they used to believe, and it may not be what they will always believe. If I want grace to grow, I need to give grace to grow.
    This was a delightful post, thank you for sharing these deep and provoking truths about ourselves. I’ve enjoyed being a new-coming follower of your blog, and hope you keep clacking that sweet heart out. :)

  3. Laura Jinkins November 14, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Well said! Earlier today I was talking to my husband and I made the comment that the only think I know is that I don’t know. We are continuing to grow, to learn, to reevaluate our life experiences and how everything lines up with our understanding of God’s will for us. All I really know is that I don’t know, but I’m going to keep on growing, learning, and living all the days He has for me. :)

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