I’ve found the words if I could just stop thinking.
The room is spinning, I have got no choice.
Be patient, I am getting to the point.
- Spinning
, Jack’s Mannequin

Slow down. It’s spinning and I have no control over it. I have to let it spin, hold on for the next few weeks until I can reenter the life I want to live with the people I want to live it with. Too much has been lost this year, but much has been gained as well. The question is: what do I have to show institutions for these eight months of my life? Will they even care?

My head spins when I look too far ahead into a future that doesn’t exist. My mistakes in the present, the result of my poverty, make it hard to see a bright future ahead. Living in the now has meant living for momentary satisfaction, what I’ve needed to cope with life as it is right now. I can understand the plight of others, the mindset of living just to meet needs and feel secure for a day. With this understanding, I must move forward and work to gain the confidence and ambition that is needed to live this life successfully.


I know his secret.

He’s beautiful, but I don’t tell him that. You see, he has a secret and I know it now. I can’t let on that I know, because it’s his secret and his alone to hold onto or to tell the world. I just get to be one of the few that holds onto his secret, just as I hold onto my own secrets and the secrets of others. In many ways, his secret is that he is the same as me, that although we have so much in common, we would have more in common if we could talk about that secret. What would happen if we could depend on one another?


The letter (into the future)

Happiness feels a lot like sorrow. Let it be. You can’t make it come or go…
Happiness damn near destroys you, breaks your faith to pieces on the floor. So you tell yourself, “That’s enough for now.” But happiness has a violent roar.
– Happiness
, The Fray

I may have finally had the bad day I’ve been wanting for so long. I need a bad day every once in awhile to remind me of how good I really do have it. I need days with some sorrow, some grief, some emotions I can’t even describe. I got that today, and the only way to deal with it was to listen to music and write a letter to someone in the future.

I have a feeling I will remember this day for a long time to come. I have the letter to show for it, and someday it will go to who it’s supposed to. This gives me hope.

To my friend in the future,
I love you... That’s the most important thing. Mark 12:30-31 says to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. That’s what I’m trying to do with my life. I hope that you pursue those same things. I know you do. Keep being the loving, generous person that you are.


Fifteen days

The blonde, the cat lady, the best friend, the newlyweds, the sixteen year-old, and the idealist—these are the people that the summer of 2009 has revolved around. Everyone that I’ve wanted to spend time with, I’ve done so about every fifteen days. These people make my life interesting. They give me opportunities to just be, without asking for anything in return. In fact, I sometimes find myself unwinding and talking only about myself when I’m around them, for it seems like I have to take every opportunity I can to process my thoughts and figure out where I’m at in this moment in time. However, the conversations are all starting to sound the same, and I begin to wonder if I’m actually moving forward or just stuck in this moment.

Having four months of summer gives one an opportunity to create and progress in one’s life. I’m not sure it was meant to be a standstill moment where one waits until life begins again at his or her school or university. Traditional college students are stuck in the routine of life they’ve had since they were five, perhaps even four years old, which is life lived from fall to spring, the demands of education being the demands of life. Summers during one’s childhood are full of laughter and play, but what are summers supposed to be for the young adult still in the educational schedule? Even my friends who pursued their Master’s degree right after their undergrad still find themselves waiting for life to begin come August or September. My friends who become teachers may never get out of this routine.

I wonder if the day will come for me when life won’t have to be lived out of suitcases and storage containers. These days a few clothes packed away, money, identification, and a means of transportation are my freedom to go where I please, to live life anywhere. It feels good to know I have this freedom, but on days when I actually use my given opportunities, I long for a home.

So much relies on a big man in his late forties, beaten down by the hardships of life and the mixed up chemicals in his brain. My sense of home, my sense of security, my sense of family; he holds these loosely.

I think I’ve seen them all in the last fifteen days. I’ve spent time with them, and others, trying to figure out who I am and how I got here and how they became my friends and family. That’s enough for now, but what happens come September?


Our Father, music, or humanity?

“You know the great thing, though, is that change can be so constant that you don’t even feel the difference until there is one. It can be so slow that you don’t know that your life is better, or worse, until it is. Or it can just blow you away; make you something different in an instant.” –George, Life As A House

As we stood in the dark singing, “Don’t let me go,” I couldn’t help but wonder who we were singing to? Was Isaac leading us in worship to Our Father, or to the god of music, or to the greatness of humanity?

Just three years ago I considered myself a worshiper with no boundaries. I found freedom in worship—freedom which meant being comfortable closing my eyes, raising my hands, and dancing. Over time, this comfort began to decrease. I began to criticize other worshipers because I saw those who experienced emotion in worship but no depth in life. I wonder if that was me back then. I wonder how I got here.

The difference between me then and now is the depth in my life and the way in which I experience worship. I don’t limit myself to the traditional worship experience, though I do find that worship services are some of the most meaningful times in my life. Instead, I believe that when I appreciate Creation, when I try to love others and do something selfless, when I ‘let go and let God,’ I worship because of my enchantment with the world and the presence of Almighty God in it.

Getting here has been such a slow change that I didn’t even realize it until Sunday night when I found myself worshiping with a crowd of thousands. I’m just not sure we were all worshiping the same thing. I’m not even sure if I was only worshiping Our Father. I may just have well been worshiping the music or the accomplishments of humanity. I wonder if well-played loud music in a dark setting with deliberately bright lighting on the players may just create a certain emotion and physical reaction for human beings. What is the purpose of a concert anyway? What is the purpose of a concert setting in a worship service? What does it mean that I acted the same way at a concert this week as I did just a few years ago in worship services?


Too young and too dumb: part 2

No one ever taught me how to be a son. It’s what I’ve always been expected to be just by being born into this world, but no one taught me how to fulfill this social role. Further, how was I supposed to know that this role would change over the course of one day, my 21st birthday, which I wasn’t even home to experience?

I live with my dad for about 5 months of the year, while the rest I spend living on my university campus, soaking up the independence I’ve gained over the last three years. That kind of independence is what I share with my peers, but I’ve always been more of an independent person than most. How is it that someone like me, so young and so dumb, has been able to grow up so fast?

I find it all too common for young people my age to have conflict with the same sex parent. Daughters resent their mothers and sons resent their fathers. As an adult son, I’ve been trying to work through my feelings toward my father that have developed over my childhood so that our relationship as two adults can be rooted in love and understanding. It’s extremely difficult, though, dealing with my emotions when I have an emotionally absent father. Or is it the other way around? Does he have too many mood swings? Have I lost the ability to feel? Have I never formed an attachment?

I watched the film Life As A House once today already, and I’m currently watching it now. Honestly, I could have cried several times throughout the film—if I could actually cry ever. I have these romantic notions of a perfect father/son relationship, and I know it will never happen for me. I don’t have a father like George, someone who wants to pursue me, and I’m too resolved to the fact that my father will never know me intimately. We can’t communicate on the same level—I guess I’m always trying to be better than him. Dad cries and wallows in depression because he sees himself as a failure. As much as I tell him he isn’t or doesn’t have to be, I also believe it’s true. So, I have to be “better.” I think some walls between us are just permanent, that we could never tear them down and rebuild a beautiful relationship. We’re simply individuals, he in danger of losing everything and I just starting life.

Too young and too dumb: part 1

I’ve been around for a little over twenty years,
And to anyone who needs advice on getting here
Don’t ask me, the path I took was not exactly by the book.

I was too young to know and too dumb to figure out
That you can lose yourself in all this traveling around,
And you can reach a point of no return
Losing touch with lessons learned…

And the only way to love yourself:
Giving love to someone else.
Don’t believe in everything you hear.
Growing up is more than simply living through the years…

So it took a little time to get this right.
The guilty and the innocent are always side by side.

I’ll be me, and you be you.

--Jon McLaughlin, The Middle

During the summer months when it can be hardest for college students to live fulfilled lives, I’ve found that I have been sustained by the blessings of friendship. Though it seems I have abandoned or set aside some relationships for the time being, there are also the select few that I have been able to consistently nurture, which I find benefits all involved. One of the greatest difficulties of growing up in our socially networked world is having the ability to know about everyone, but at the same time being clueless about who people really are. I ask those who want to get to know me to make the effort, while I also try to make the effort to truly know some of the people that I’m surrounded with. I admit that I may not want to know you as much as you want to know me, and maybe there are those that I want to get to know who don’t care to know me. What are we to do with that?

I’m reminded of something a friend once told me. Some friendships are only for a time, while others are life long. When you start one, you never know which it’s going to be.