“Why? You had a sudden urge to go skating?”

That’s a line from my favorite film, Funny Girl. It seemed somewhat appropriate given the circumstances. You see, I’ve blogged before. I’ve probably started (and never updated) two or three blogs in my time on the interwebs, but they don’t often last more than a year. I might have a little more to say this time.

I was lying in bed. It’s New Year’s Eve today. I started thinking about this past year and all that’s happened. And then I got a sudden urge to go blogging. So here goes… my first blog post as OrangeBackPack.

Sidenote: I’ll do you the courtesy of explaining where that penname/username came from. I own an orange backpack, and it’s the same stinkin’ orange backpack that I’ve used since high school. It’s since been replaced by a semi-red, semi-orange purse, but nonetheless, it’s still my signature orange backpack. There you have it. Simple enough? Plus, it was the only username available on Facebook and Gmail when I was looking for a new one. And apparently it is (rather, was) available on WordPress. It’s also easy to spell and memorable.

2011. Wow. I can’t even begin to describe to you what this year had in store for me and the people around me. I’ve often been told (by people who don’t share the same beliefs that I do) that I need stop giving credit to God for things in my life and take some ownership in where I am, what I’ve accomplished, and who I’ve become. I often do, on a daily basis, trading my humility for something others like to call a ego. Most of the time I call it self-confidence. But most of the time I know better, someplace deep inside where my conscience resides. That thing that I call self-confidence has changed this year. I no longer feel confident in who I am or what I can accomplish. It’s not because my spirit has been crushed and I feel utterly hopeless about life. I am not depressed. I’ve been telling those people close to me that it’s like God took a wrecking ball to my heart a couple months ago, and He’s been rebuilding ever since. It’s hard to explain, unless you been there, on your hands and knees in a tired and broken state before Christ, but there’s a peace that comes with knowing that I’m not in control, and I don’t have to be. I’ve always tried to DO too much: work to hard, push too far, act too quickly. I rarely let things be. He’s been teaching me patience with myself, others, and Him and reliance on Him (that’s a hard lesson!) and other people. I’ve never felt so dependent in my life, but it’s a lesson that I know I needed to learn. And with dependence comes humility, a trait that I’ve always lacked but often aspired to.

He has taught me so many things this year. Too many to name or count. I’m hoping that this blog will get me into the habit of journaling that I’ve envied of others for so long. I’d love to be able to express myself  in long handwritten moleskin notebooks with beautiful designs on the cover, like something romantic out of the 19th century, but I lack the patience that’s required to sit and journal for hours. I’ve always typed much more quickly. To quote one of my lesser-favorite films, “This could be the start of something new” (High School Musical). I’m hoping these brute life lessons and their delicate “food for thought” counterparts spill out into written words that will help me identify and make sense of a lot of what’s going on. And you get to come along for the ride, whoever you are.

Oh, and for the record, HAPPY NEW YEAR.