A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (or is it?)

I posted this blog on my MySpace account yesterday, however I have had 0 views thus far.  Not really surprising if I think about it.  So, I have decided to post this blog here on WordPress, as well.  We all know that we WordPress people like to blog, right?  And, I really want to share this with everyone here, too.  Please note that the word “here” in this blog refers to MySpace, since I originally wrote this piece with solely MySpace in mind, however, I am now posting it in its entirety on WordPress (with some slight editing revisions).  While it is slightly wordy, I want to point out that I was NOT trying to beat 1,000 words due to my title (however, I happen to hit 1,795 words).

A picture is worth a thousand words….hmmmm….is it?  I kind of wanted to test that hypothesis, albeit sociologically speaking, because I had a suspicion about my MySpace profile photo, and it turns out that I was right.  I wanted to test (loosely, with data not quantified for any purpose other than my interest in human nature) to see what would happen when I changed my MySpace profile photo to one that had me with a child in it.  I will tell you about the correlation that I found (which is what I expected), but first I want to back up and give a bit more of a preface, plus another relevent explanation, as well.

So, I was off of MySpace for maybe a year or 2….I used to LOVE MySpace. I mean absolutely love it.  I used to do a lot of music promotion at one season of my life and I was constantly volunteering for a Christian radio station in my area and around the state.  I would even organize radio station volunteers for concerts in my area and often go on stage to speak…I love that kind of thing.  So, what drew me to MySpace was the amazing amount of bands and artists on it, plus many of my college friends and my brother used to be regulars on here.  But then everyone pretty much left for Facebook (all except me), and these days my college friends (for the most part) just have profiles on here they never use, or else they deleted their profile when their boyfriend did…stuff like that.  Unfortunately, Facebook was part of one of the absolute biggest friend hurts a friend has EVER done to me….but that is another story that I don’t really care to blog about.  Anyways, MySpace lost its appeal for me when no one I knew was keeping up with it…but I found one day that I still loved the music on Myspace and kind of missed it, so I made the decision to get back on MySpace.

Which brings me somewhat up to today.  So, when my sister (who is not on Facebook or MySpace, actually, but I think at one point her husband tried to sign her up for Facebook) heard that I was doing MySpace again, she told me, “you know, I heard that MySpace is just ONE BIG BOOTY CALL.” Those are her words, not mine. My sister calls it like she sees it….blunt and all.  Anyways, I hoped SURELY she was mistaken. Surely.  Let me NOT FREAK OUT (definitely NOT the type of girl looking for anything like that, you know)….and I thought I will give it a chance.  Surely that isn’t true.  And, beside, mainly I am “here for the music”, and sometimes I also like to blog about life and write poetry about God and love.  I figure even if I blog and no one reads it….well, all is good, because personally I find writing highly therapeutic, fun, creative, enjoyable, relaxing….the list goes on and on (Side note- although, I must say, it is very nice when people read what you write.  That is so cool).

Actually, I need to back up again and make a very important point.  My MySpace profile used to be private. Friends only access. A lot of that was due to when I worked as a Counselor for around 5 years, and ethically speaking I wanted  a separation between my work life and my personal, private life.  When I was getting my Master’s Degree in Counseling with a Community Concentration, of course they taught us ethics. One of the big ethical mandates was do not DATE your client. I want to say “DUH”, but there are those who do that, and worse. That type of thing is a horrible misuse of the power and authority that you have in your role as a Counselor, in a setting that is all about intimate emotional sharing and trust. It completes violates professional counseling ethics.  Another variation of inappropriate ethics when you are a Counselor is the blending of the work role as a Counselor into also being a social, hanging out friend….you are not supposed to do that either, but I think that happens  often, especially in smaller towns.  Also, I think that sometimes clients may think that Counselors have all the wise answers….or at the very least, that you have it all figured out with relationships….not quite.  Anyways, I decided when I was working as a Counselor to have my MySpace profile private in order to not affect my clients in any adverse ways or to cause any ethical problems or issues.  Although, today, I am no longer working as a Counselor, because the Center that I worked at closed, which resulted in some changes for me and a shift in where I work presently.

So, to get back to my results: I found out that my sister had largely heard RIGHT.  MySpace IS largely a booty call by many people, from my observations.  I make this observation because once I changed my profile to being completely open (in an attempt to be transparent and to expand outside of my “box”), all I can say is that it seemed like the FLOODGATES were open. I somehow probably inadvertently made it worse because (up until recently) for a long time now I have selected as my profile pic a picture that I really liked that was taken a couple of years ago by my friend after she dyed my hair and did my make-up (my friend is actually a Genius with those type of things, actually).  The next thing I know, I was getting CONSTANT friend requests…..from guys, almost NEVER from girls…and also I would get requests from bands, too- that makes sense.  But here is the problem: besides the plethora of friend requests, I would also have things like a guy sending me a private message with a virtual rose, guys proposing inappropriate hook-up requests with me using gross and vulgar language for male and female genitalia, guys asking to instant message me (I don’t even know how to do that, actually)….plus the 18-year-old who asked if I had ever fantasized about being with a younger guy and how young would I go?…or the girl who said I was so pretty and she wanted to get together and that she has been with 2 women previously…and on and on and on.  Seriously, that is NOT why I am on MySpace!!!  It does make me want to, at times, lock the door and change my profile back to private…people can friend me if they are on MySpace and want to be my friend….but, honestly, transparency is a good thing, and sometimes we can “throw the baby out with the bath water.” Sometimes.

I am still thinking about my options, but I have hope that I can be transparent and NOT be sexually hit on in gross ways or feel like I am being looked at as a piece of meat (not cool is the understatement!!!).  Thus, I decided to change my profile picture.  I appreciated that my friend, Tisha, and her guy friend helped get me up to speed with some tech stuff to easily (ok, MORE EASILY) get photos on MySpace and on my laptop (I think that it is fair to say except for a couple of unusual speed bumps that seemed to even slightly surprise Tisha’s friend, a smart techie….side note- I DO need some technology help for me to get up to speed with our technology driven world, but it makes me feel lots better if techie type people tell me that the litany list of problems that I always seem to face tech-wise is NOT JUST ME….sometimes I think technology doesn’t like me…but I know, I know, it is NOT human….that is just my attempt at humor).  But, I am digressing and turning this blog into a longer piece than I meant it to be, and hopefully the few people who may read this are not nodding off waiting for me to get to my point…..so I will cut to the chase.  Once I semi-recently uploaded some recent pictures of my family to MySpace for a new photo album (yay!), I decided that I wanted to update my profile pic to a cute one of me with my nephew, Devin.  He is really hard to get a picture of or even with- he is CONSTANTLY on the run, or he will look away from the camera the second before you take the photo. So, I am really glad to finally have a good picture of me with my little nephew.  Anyways, I kind of wondered at that time if a change like my picture of me with my nephew would cause the MySpace craziness to calm down.

So, here are my results. Yes, the craziness has calmed down. How is that for scientific results?  LOL! I am thrilled to report that, for the most part, guys don’t seem to want to hit on me inappropriately these days.  That may be because they think I have a kid.  Although, one divorced single Dad around my age did propose us meeting up for something serious.  But, the constant messages and friend requests and gross innuendos have stopped. I don’t remember exactly how long it has been since I changed my profile photo- maybe a few weeks at most. But I have only had a few friend requests that I can count on one hand, and one or two of those were bands.  So, I am much happier. However, I do wish people would not use MySpace as one big hook-up….it really mars MySpace and somewhat harms the potential good of MySpace.  Alas, I am just one among a possible small number of people who may think the way that I do….from what I can tell, there are many people who are just looking for a hook-up.   Me, I am off writing poems about regret.

 Peace out. ~ Julie

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Mud on my shoe (a poem about regret)

Muddy, Moldy Shoes

Muddy, Moldy Shoes (Photo credit: keristars)

I walk alone.

Sometimes the day is sunny.

Sometimes the day is cloudy.

Rainy.

Thunderstorms loom and threaten.

But, alas, there is no umbrella

to shield me

and to shield

the turbulent storm in my heart.

The dismal weather matches my fluctuating mood

of melancholy and regret.

 

The puddle looms but I don’t see it.

Am I weary rose-colored glasses?

Perhaps.

Sometimes a girl can only see a puddle

when she is already in it.

Such is life. Such is love. Such is heartache.

 

Mud clings to my shoe.

Tenacious.

Uninvited.

Bitter and lacking any mirth.

The epitome of my regret.

I try to scrub it off.

Still some mud lingers

maddeningly

mud

mud (Photo credit: Jared Kelly)

and it seems

nothing I can do will change that.

Mud intertwines with my regret.

Hindsight is always 20/20,

so they say.

I sadly agree.

 

You live and you learn.

So true.

Mistakes will be made.

It is inevitable.

Unfortunately,

growth often involves pain,

mistakes,

and heartache.

Some mistakes are cleansed by the cool touch

of healing waters

while others seem to fester like open sores

and linger on

and on

and on.

Thus, like the mud on my shoe,

these mistakes are not cleansed,

nor are they forgiven.

Regrettably.

 

Forlorn.

I walk on alone.

Hoping for a sunny day

and perhaps

a rainbow

or a moon

and a starry night.

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night. Oil on can...

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The Poky Little Puppy and Obedience (a.k.a. a Spiritual Devotion)

The Poky Little Puppy= one of my favorite Little Golden Books as a child

The Poky Little Puppy was one of my favorite Little Golden Books as a child.  I was an avid reader and an animal lover, and somehow I could intrinsically relate to the Poky Little Puppy.  Not that I am a puppy, mind you, just in case you are wondering……although I must point out that the Poky Little Puppy was a bit more adventuresome than I.  He had a perchance for adventure, and an independent spirit.  He liked to do his own thing, too.  However, he was not the most obedient puppy, and was kind of a rule-breaker.  Alright, he WAS a rule breaker. Eventually it caught up to him in the end.  I myself am not a rule breaker.  Some people disregard rules and law, however I am one who has respect for rules, law, and authority.  However, I do think it is important to observe the “spirit of the law” and to not be legalistic…..and there are cases of civil rights or civil disobedience too, but that is not what I am talking about here.

Actually, as I am reflecting on it, and wishing that I knew where my copy of this classic book is, I am thinking that perhaps the Poky Little Puppy was not so much of a rule breaker as an adventurer who did not follow the crowd of his sibling-puppies.  He DID eat all of the dessert that was supposed to be for all of his siblings who got in trouble though, which is not the best sharing atttude and actually kind of gluttonous.  However, I am not one to point the finger at someone with a sweet tooth by any means….desserts are a weakness of mine.  And, I relate to the Poky Little Puppy with his “pokyness.” I am sure that is not a word, but it works for my meaning and point here.  He kind of meandered about, was misunderstood, but yet he knew the

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in 1921

Image via Wikipedia

adventure he was on even if no one else got it.  I think that is cool.  Life is not always about following the crowd either, and some of the world’s greatest thinkers, like Einstein, may have not always been understood on the road to their adventures and their dreams.  Dreams are important.

In the case of the Poky Little Puppy, I think his adventure was good in many ways, but he chose a course of action that was not good (eating the dessert that was meant to be shared with his siblings),  In that way, I think he was disobedient from what his mother wanted for him.

Obedience and Disobedience is an interesting topic.  Sometimes things are not always black and white, such as life.  The other day I read an interesting devotional thought from a Christian woman who often challenges me by the name of Joyce Meyer.  Her devotion that I read the other day is called “Testing the Motive of the Heart”, which is based on Genesis 22:1-3.  This is the story of when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son, Isaac.  That story is hard to understand, and I do not claim to have all the answers or to be a Bible scholar.  However, I do enjoy reading the Bible and often I have things that I observe while reading.  I want to share a few observations and insights that I had while reading this scripture and Joyce’s devotion.

First,  I noticed that God pointedly stressed that Isaac was Abraham’s son and that he loved him when God said for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  When God told Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering, that doesn’t really make sense in a lot of ways.  Why would God ask Abraham to kill his own son?  That sounds so outside of the character of God and God’s love.  I personally do not think God would have allowed Abraham to kill Isaac.  This sacrificial situation does make me think of God and God’s son, Jesus.  Many people today doubt that Jesus existed, that Jesus was God’s son, and a plethora of doubts.  I do believe in Jesus, and honestly I believe that He died and was resurrected as a Savior for human-kind.  It is hard to cognitively process how a Father could allow His Son to die in order for a world’s salvation, but I am convinced of this truth no matter if the world tries its best to convince me otherwise.

Another question I have with Abraham and Isaac is this: was what God asked Abraham to do an obedience test? Genesis 22:1 says God tested Abraham, so I think that this is the case.  One fact that stood out to me on the day that Abraham planned to sacrifice Isaac was that Abraham got up EARLY, saddled his donkey, split the wood for the burnt offering, and began the trip to Moriah where God had told him to go.  God didn’t even say to leave early, however Abraham did so.  I can’t imagine rising early when you know the horrible event ahead, as Abraham did.  Personally, I am not an early riser, and leaving early for the most horrific thing one can imagine really hits me over the head.  Abraham was NOT a dawdler, as I myself often am, as well as the Poky Little Puppy (Author’s random side note: dawdling is not always a bad thing).  Abraham was amazingly obedient to God, even though I am sure he did not understand WHY God would ask him to sacrifice his son.  Although it is important to note that in the end Abraham was stopped from sacrificing Isaac by an Angel of God (Genesis 22:11-12) and a ram was provided as a substitute sacrifice.

Finally, I want to close by making a plug for Joyce Meyer.  Many people either really love or really hate her, and honestly I am glad that I gave her a chance.  I find her insightful and earnest, and some of her books have encouraged me when I have been in a darker place or struggling with various issues.  If you are interested in reading a devotion by Joyce Meyer, here is a link to one that I read recently that is thought-provoking and interesting (but note that it is not the devotion that is referenced in this blog).

http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=how_much_is_too_much