a word or more

I originally wanted this to be my first post after my #blawg reboot but for some reason, it wasn't 'enough'. Three months later, I'm reading it again, and I'm feeling it. Here you go. 

I never wanted to ~make waves~ in the blogging world, I was simply just growing tired of being confined to squares and 140 characters. I thought up the whole 'joysoaked' deal nearly two years ago, right before I got sad.

I lasted exactly three posts on Joysoaked 1.o. Maybe you remember them. Somewhere along the line, I developed the view that due to all the newfound emotional/spiritual/physical weight I had been carrying, I was not qualified to speak about happy things. Since, as we all know, you absolutely MUST have a FOCUS for your BLAWG or else what are you even doing like honestly, I shied away from the colorful opportunity I had to grow through this season -- through writing. I needed to dive in, truly. But I didn't. I had a journal, but I was tired. So drained. I kept composition notebooks in seventh grade that displayed more heart and soul than my journal from 2015 did. As for the blog, I was hellbent on posting as joy-filled, cheeks-hurt-from-smiling-too-much, what's-an-inside-voice Claire.  I was not used to feeling this hazy. The best way I could describe my 2015: I was dragging myself around. Like walking through a swimming pool on my tippy-toes, head to the sun, cursing the rays.

Joysoaked is not a declaration claiming I'm in this state of constant happiness and you should be too because there's so much to :) smile (: about. Life is hard. I'd be really surprised if you hadn't heard this by now, but happiness and joy are not the same thing. This sweet little condensed ball of joy lives so deep within us; it cannot be shaken by a parking ticket, a disagreement with a friend, or something good happening to someone else (that, my friends, is SALT. we will touch on this in the future). Happiness is highly dependent on circumstance. Happiness, for me, is having an iced coffee in my hand. Smelling fresh air after an April shower. Being able to experience Lemonade and VIEWS for the first time in the same week. Saying hi to puppies on the street. But JOY. Joy runs deep. Delighting, rejoicing. Walking with God. Palms up, spreading thanks. Feeling pain and sorrow not in place of this deeply-rooted sense of joy, but in conjunction with it. Delighting in the presence of the Holy Spirit, in others, and in yourself. Being a fountain, and not a drain.

Be a fountain, not a drain. I love this so much more than telling myself to 'just be happy'. Because if you have a history of anxiety and/or depression, you know that just simply does not work. Do not drain yourself of your feeling, and do not drain others of theirs'. Sometimes your fountain will be filled with your own dang salty tears. Better than no fountain at all. Don't let it run dry. Embrace it, and I am begging you, pick up a pen and start writing.