New Years resolutions are often about organizing your life, becoming more prepared and refined. Yet this year I encourage you to do the opposite. As humans we often have this need for our lives to be clean, planned-out, and comfortable; and it takes away from the beauty of life. As much as I love Instagram, life isn’t made to be filtered; it’s made to be experienced raw and unedited. When you polish, revise, or refine art, you’re taking away part of the artist’s natural sentiment. It’s why hip-hop heads would rather listen to their favorite emcee spit a freestyle in a cypher instead of a pre-recorded verse. It’s raw and it’s real. The artist is fully expressing themself with no restriction or rules. I believe this is why Wisconsin band Bon Iver received so much acclamation on For Emma, Forever Ago. Stranding himself in a remote cabin in the woods for three months, with nothing more than a few microphones and some old recording equipment, he produced a raw sound that reveals his personal distress, despair, aches, love, hurt, and guilt that had been bound within. If you listen close you can hear the creaks and accidentals and it’s this rawness, this imperfection that I find beautiful.
And this is my vision for the newspaper this year, to be real, raw, and edgy. Last semester I believe we channeled the voice of campus; this semester we’re creating it ourselves. I don’t want this to just be another issue of the school paper that you read for the laughs and throw away. Mars’ Hill was founded as an independent underground newspaper that was meant to entertain and inform fellow students. This year I want to bring Mars’ Hill back to its roots: a publication that negotiates radical and provocative ideas on paper, before it’s primped and sugar-coated in the writer’s head. I believe as a newspaper in past years, we have become predictable and thus, at times, boring. Politically, we have been put into a box and been confined. While keeping the integrity of the paper, it is my goal to move towards a more independent style of press, challenging our own internal beliefs as much as the external boundaries imposed upon us.
It’s the same thing God asks for in our relationship with Him. Before, I thought I needed to clean up my life first, get my sins together and then I could come to God. I thought I had to change myself before I could come to Christ, but I had it all wrong; Christ changed me. There isn’t a recipe for God’s grace; there is no formula for the perfect prayer. God doesn’t want your perfect clean reputation, He wants YOU. He longs for a relationship with you as you are; He wants to hear your struggles and thoughts unfiltered. At times I feel as if we treat God like our parents, saying what’s on our hearts, but meticulously cleaning and censoring our thoughts. Instead, just let it all out to Him. #nofilter