So it’s that time of year when my blogging friends usually post an annual recap. I’ve never done one before, but 2015 felt like several years crammed into one.
Although I’ve been blogging sporadically since 2010, I started posting more consistently in September 2014. Working at my college newspaper for a few years tightened my words and enabled me to synthesize ideas for tight deadlines.
10 firsts in 2015
- Told my story. How I left home as a 23 year old homeschool alum attending college. How I didn’t go to Bob Jones like my parents wanted. Within 20 minutes of posting the first part, my cousin in Washington texted me. I was barraged with Facebook messages from other extended family I’d lost touch with and pastors and pastors’ wives from churches we used to go to. In 2015, I stopped hiding.
- Created my own YouTube channel. I’d vlogged a few times with the CleanPlace writer’s group, but I didn’t used to like myself. In 2015, I worked on accepting my physical self–my face, voice, and body. Now I enjoy being in front of the camera.
- Organized a protest of Jim Berg’s conference on Christian living at my old church in January, despite my former pastor’s efforts to shut us down. It was very cold. But I made two amazing friends on that night who continue to support my efforts. I wrote, “I never thought I’d see anyone cross over from the other side, blessing me with healing.” I still think they gave me one of my small miracles.
- Watched Pulp Fiction with my friend Aaron, who blogs over here at Bringing Thought To Life. It was part of “Eleanor’s Pop Culture Education.”
- Got a tattoo to celebrate my own healing and completing two semesters of Koine Greek.
- Walked in the UCCS spring 2015 commencement. My whole family was there. I’m finishing some paperwork and one additional course, but that’s all.
- Played Cards Against Humanity this summer with my friends Shelby, Peter, and Ivy, who blogs over here at Through Ivy’s Eyes.
- Moved out of state on my own, away from my family. My fourth move between my two home states, Texas and Colorado. This time I’m back in Texas.
- Joined a church. Yes. This spiritual hobo finally found her home.
- Stuck glow-in-the-dark stars on my bedroom ceiling. My child self is making up for lost time.
- Dark Lord Funk by K-Face Rules, a Harry Potter parody of “Uptown Funk.” Possibly my favorite earworm this year. I sang the chorus over and over until my best friend said, “Your fandom has no shame.”
- Away Away cover by Jellyrox. That guy rocks my socks.
- Darkest Part by Red
- Soap by Melanie Martinez
- Hoodie On by Matt and Kim
- Colors and Ghost by Halsey. My new synesthete friend Keri gets credit for introducing me to those.
- Broken Arrows by Avicii
- The entire Soak album from New Life Worship. Instrumental, yoga class style music. My favorite church-produced music in years. I use it for relaxation and grounding.
Unfriended – The first horror movie I’ve ever seen that occurs entirely using social media platforms on one Macbook screen.
Pan – I posted this after leaving the theater:
The Visit – One of my favorite Shyamalan films yet. But I also loved The Village, Sixth Sense, and Lady in the Water.
Crimson Peak – Now I understand the Tom Hiddleston fangirling. I found an excellent analysis of how the film subverts Gothic literary tradition over here.
Best TV Shows
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, because I am basically Kimmy. My friends Midget and Silver even say so. I was the first person they thought of when they started watching it.
Supernatural, because my friend Ashley finally convinced me to start watching the series. It resonates so strongly with how I view the world. I watched seasons 1 and 2 this summer during downtime while working at a call center.
Blonde Roots by Bernadine Evaristo – My friend Shelby lent me this satirical fantasy written as if the slave trade had happened in reverse, with Africans capturing Europeans. The continent of Aphrika is north of Europa, making the geography of Evaristo’s world literally upside down. There’s even a version of the Underground Railroad.
Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs by Elissa Wall – This memoir haunted me. I did not grow up FLDS, but I understand isolation, I remember trying to dress like a pioneer girl, and I lived in a high control group. Elissa’s story hurt to read, but I was so glad she was able to break free.
Dream Interpretation as a Psychotherapeutic Technique by Fredrick Coolidge – This is a textbook for a psychology class at my college, and it packs a comprehensive but succinct summary of the history of dream interpretation, the science of dreams, and facts about PTSD and nightmares.
If you’d like to see more of my reading list, you can follow me on Goodreads. (Also, I need to find an app for keeping track of what movies I’ve watched.)
Best Webcomic: The Awkward Yeti. The struggle between Heart and Brain is so real.
Best Blog: Camilla Stark
Best Quote: “You don’t have any enemies, just very confused friends.” – Kollin Kahler
My Top Ten Blog Posts of 2015
- #WhyILeft Fundamentalism, Part 4
- Alecia Pennington, you are not alone
- #WhyILeft Fundamentalism, Part 3
- #WhyILeft Fundamentalism, Part 1
- Discredited BJU counseling director Jim Berg to speak in Colorado Springs
- #WhyILeft Fundamentalism, Part 2
- Protesting Jim Berg
- The UnBoxing Project: Cynthia Jeub’s Story
- When your parents stalk you
- The UnBoxing Project: Racquel’s Story