Sunday, April 29, 2012

Welcome to Changing the Beat

It took me an hour of staring at the computer screen, walking away, coming back and staring some more, and so on to figure out a title for this blog. It needed to be exactly right because I'm counting on this to be not only an outlet for me, but a place where I can rediscover the writer that I used to be. After thinking and pondering and tapping my fingers, I finally decided to look for inspiration in the one place that I can always be sure to find it: my quote books.

In 2002 I was a freshman and just getting a taste of the trials and tensions of high school. One day, for no reason at all, my mom gave me a book. I love books, and I always have, but this book, purple with a verse on the front, was filled with the best kind of pages: blank ones. The epithet on the cover is over-used, and I've seen it on countless posters in high schools and offices. You know, places where they are trying to inspire people. So would I use it today? Probably not. But that day, when my mother handed me that purple book, this verse was poetic gold:

"Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be."

Beyond the words on the front, there was a song in the back, lyrics written in my mother's careful hand.  "I'll be" by Reba McEntire is a song about trust and a bond so strong that nothing can break it. I'm glad that I can say that I still share that kind of relationship with my mom, and that I've copied the same song into cards for friends as I grew older. I try to give others the same support my mother has always given me.

The book was mine, to do with what I would, and the freedom was exhilarating. This was a safe place for me to put down my hopes, dreams and convictions. I've never been much of a journaler, so I put those hopes and dreams and convictions down on those blank pages using the words of others. Thus, the quote book was born, and four books later, they chronicle my growth and give me a place to look for inspiration when it seems like I have none.

So I felt silly when I didn't think of looking to my quote books for my blog's title. It seemed oddly fitting, because although I am still writing quotes and songs in that fourth book, this blog gives me the same sense of freedom that those blank pages gave me way back in the ninth grade. So, I flipped through the pages, and relived some moments, as I always do. And then, alongside a giraffe sticker and some seriously ill-thought out quotes that are written in spirals, I found this....and a blog was born:

"On a small planet, where minute follows minute, day follows day, year follows year, where tradition marches on with a deafening, orderly beat--sometimes the order is disturbed by a dreamer, an artist, a scribbler--sometimes the beat is changed one person at a time..." -Mary E. Pearson, "Scribbler of Dreams"

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