I tossed and turned last night because I decided that I wanted to change the name of my blog. Why on earth would I do that? Toss and turn about it, I mean :-)
At first I created this blog because I wanted to express my thoughts outside of songwriting. I have had songwriting articles online since 1996, which translates to aeons in the web universe, but I decided awhile back that I wanted to have another place to write about things that interested me outside of songwriting. So the name became IJ's Blog because a lot of people followed the links from my website and already knew me as IJ.
A few articles ago, I wrote about my father's battle with Alzheimers and a couple of fascinating discussions we had in between his foggy moments. I called it From The Inside Out because I was finally getting a glimpse of what his world was like these days under the influence of that disease. On a walk yesterday, it occurred to me that everything I write about in this blog is more or less from the same perspective, from my inside out.
As I thought about it, I realized that we all experience our lives from the inside out. Not only that, but our outside is very much a reflection of, and affected by, our inside. None of us experiences the same thing in the same way. When I sit with my husband's many siblings, for instance (he has five of them), and they talk about their childhoods, they each remember different things about events they all experienced together. This boggles my mind, having no blood siblings myself to reminisce about my early childhood with; that they would each see the same event so differently, and sometimes one or two not even remember it at all!
As time goes by, I realize more and more that not only does my inner self affect my outer experience, but I can work to change myself to affect a more positive experience of my life, from the inside out. This has become more important to me as I see so many changes happening around me and become increasingly aware of what Buddhists call "impermanence". If we hang on too much to the way things were, we suffer.
My friends have always considered me somewhat of a "philosopher", and as far back as I can remember I've been fascinated by what makes people tick. When I was a little girl, instead of the usual stuff, I wanted to be a "wise old woman" when I grew up. Not a nurse or a teacher, but a wise old woman. I imagined myself helping people with their problems, having answers for them. Thinking of that now it sort of astounds me. Either I was a weird kid, or I had an inkling of what was going to be required to get through life, not just for myself but for everyone around me. Perhaps I should have been a psychologist or a social worker.
But I'm a songwriter and a musician. And I have spun the "wise old woman" idea into simply trying to understand and reflect the world around me. From the inside out.