Inspired Documents

“howdoyoudocument” has existed in cyberspace as my blog’s namesake for a few years, even though I haven’t been diligently blogging for more than 5 months.  For me, blogging has been one of those things that I start out with good intentions; I’m going to maintain it and have engaging and captivating posts everyday that will draw in hundreds of followers that eagerly want to read my content, that, well, at least I find interesting.  And when I’ve been posting for two weeks and have a grand total of 3 followers, 2, which are those pesky “make your blog your business if you use my services”  followers…you know who you are…I get discouraged, and bored, and I also get busy with other things, or draft half-written, unorganized thoughts, and the blog suffers.

But this time around, I’ve been semi-diligent about keeping posts up to date and providing my 30 + followers with engaging content, and that’s if you consider my life experiences engaging.  I do.  Sometimes.

So you might wonder, where does the name of this blog, “howdoyoudocument”, come from? (or you might not, and in this case, you may want to be lame and stop reading)  Well, aside from all blogs being electronic ways to “document” our lives, passions and advice, I was initially inspired by one of my favorite rock opera musicals, RENT, and its namesake song – lyrics, by the late Jonathan Larson, below.

How do you document real life
When real life’s getting more like fiction each day?
Headlines, bread-lines blow my mind
And now this deadline, eviction or pay…rent

How do you write a song when the chords sound wrong
Though they once sounded right and rare?
When the notes are sour
Where is the power you once had to ignite the air?

We’re hungry and frozen, some life that we’ve chosen
How we gonna pay? How we gonna pay? How we gonna pay?
Last year’s rent?

How do you start a fire when there’s nothing to burn
And it feels like something’s stuck in your flue?
How can you generate heat when you can’t feel your feet?
And they’re turning blue

You light up a mean blaze with posters and screenplays
How we gonna pay? How we gonna pay? How we gonna pay?
Last year’s rent?

How do you stay on your feet when on every street?
It’s trick or treat and tonight it’s trick
Welcome back to town I should lie down
Everything’s brown and uh-oh, I feel sick

Where is he? Getting dizzy
How we gonna pay? How we gonna pay? How we gonna pay?
Last year’s rent?

The music ignites the night with passionate fire
The narration crackles and pops with incendiary wit
Zoom in as they burn the past to the ground
And feel the heat of the future’s glow

How do you leave the past behind
When it keeps finding ways to get to your heart?
It reaches way down deep and tears you inside out
‘Til you’re torn apart, rent

How can you connect in an age
Where strangers, landlords, lovers
Your own blood cells betray?

What binds the fabric together
When the raging, shifting winds of change
Keep ripping away

Draw a line in the sand and then make a stand
Use your camera to spar, use your guitar
When they act tough, you call they’re bluff

We’re not gonna pay, we’re not gonna pay
We’re not gonna pay, last year’s rent
This year’s rent, next year’s rent

Rent, rent, rent, rent, rent
We’re not gonna pay rent
‘Cause everything is rent

The poignant lyrics really hit a nerve for me; “Real life’s getting more like fiction each day…” And on a large scale, it really is.  It is so hard to digest the horrible things that happen in our world on a daily basis.  And it’s very easy to focus on all the “bad” in our world; the news is constantly documenting the negative, but maybe, just maybe we should decide to focus on documenting the positives.  Maybe we should stand defiant against the evils of the world.  You know, measure our lives in love, as the musical emphasizes later on.

Not to sugarcoat everything – a lot sucks in this world.  There are too many people living in poverty for me to say everything is sunshine and rainbows.  We just witnessed one of the worst mass killings of innocent school children in my lifetime, maybe even my parent’s lifetime, and we document that with politicians yelling at each other over gun control.  People aren’t allowed to love who they want – they aren’t allowed to stand next to their sick companion in the hospital because some stupid law over an antiquated institution does not allow them too…anyways I digress.

We learn that the past is hard and it has the power to affect the present, but we’ve got to try our best to keep our heads up and focus on the positives so that our hardships do not consume us.  This is difficult to do.  I am well aware.  The lyrics, “forget regret, or life is yours to miss…” have, I’m sure, gotten hundreds of RENT-heads through difficult times.

What RENT, the musical, ends up teaching us  is that, even in the worst of times, there are small things to be happy about.  And that we have to take a hold of our lives and live them fully.  Even though we might not be where we thought we would, when times get tough, we still have the power to make change to things within our power.  That everybody lives an important life.  It also reminds us to cherish the people we care about because we don’t know how long they will be on this earth…how long we will be on this earth…

…and this post has gotten a bit wordy…and rambling, I apologize!  I don’t even know where I’m going with this, except to say that RENT has been inspirational and this blog is an important way for me to express myself; having a medium to do that is priceless.  This blog, is how I choose to document my real life – a life filled with amazing people, food, travel and creativity.  A life of ups and downs.  Of course, when documenting, we have to learn to focus on living our life first…sometimes I get obsessed with the documenting (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, etc.) that I forget to live.  So remember to live, and to live a life that makes you happy.

How do you document? 


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