I am not dead.

…And here is a blog to prove it.

It’s been a while.  I’m not happy that it has been a while.  I miss this – writing and blogging.  I haven’t blogged in about a month, and I haven’t written for almost that long.  It isn’t that I haven’t had anything to say; on the contrary, I’ve had lots to say, but few words to say it with.  And since I’m not a fan of forcing myself to write stuff that hasn’t been fully formed within me, I held off.

I’m still holding off, but I wanted to make sure I hadn’t forgotten the password to get into my blog.  And while I’m here, I might as well write something, huh?  So I’ll tell you about my summer.

This summer has been a quiet one in many ways.  I’ve gotten to sleep in.  I’ve gotten to stay up ridiculously late.  There are more days that I haven’t put on makeup than days I have put on makeup.  I learned a rap.  It’s a rap from a musical, but it’s a rap nonetheless and I’m going to keep saying so because I feel a little bit hardcore about it.  I’ve become a belayer (belay person? belayist? rock wall rope holder?) and have succumbed to the joys of physics.  Because physics tells me I can be 100 pounds and still haul a 180-pound 11th-grade farm boy up a rock wall without anyone falling to their death.  And you know what?  PHYSICS IS TELLING THE TRUTH.  I’ve taught a camp staff about homesickness.  I made a Prezi and everything.  I visited camp and led an interest group about sign language and when I went home that afternoon, I wasn’t at all upset about not working at camp this summer.  Mostly, I was excited to sleep in air conditioning and not be directly responsible for the lives of 15 children.  I planned VBS for 20 preschoolers.  Then I taught those 20 preschoolers.  And my brain didn’t explode.  I’ve led a few Bible studies.  I’ve fallen in love with the youth group at my church.  I’ve had some of the best nights of my life, sitting around a campfire, listening to the workings of the Lord in their lives.

God is really, very good.

I’ve also watched a season of Once Upon a Time, a season and a half of Smash, and re-watched multiple episodes of Firefly and Castle and Grey’s Anatomy.  I got to level 34 in Candy Crush.  I’ve read some books.  So, I mean, there is a significant amount of laziness happening this summer as well.  Part of me wants to be bitter about it, but another part of me is really just happy to be lazy for a while.

I’m growing.  I’m learning about myself.  About the Lord.  About other people.  Sometimes, the growing is scary.  Growing close to people means you tell them all the ways they could hurt you and then trust that they won’t.  Growing close to God means you trust that He’s doing the right thing with you.  Learning about myself means both admitting to myself that I’m not as special as I thought I was, and also that I’m more incredible than I think I am.  I’m still working that one out.

But you know what?  A lot of the time, the growing is really awesome.  Growing close to people means having people in your corner, being trusted, being seen.  Growing close to God means finding this beautiful peace that everything could go wrong in your entire life, but that you would still be perfectly loved and perfectly saved.  And learning about myself means realizing that I am becoming something, even when I don’t feel like I am.  It’s quite the adventure.

I hope your summer is going well, too.  I hope you’re learning stuff and watching some TV and reading something good and investing in someone and allowing yourself to be invested in.  I hope you’re a little bit scared and a lot in awe.  And if you’re in Australia or Argentina or someplace where it is winter (because WordPress tells me some of you are down there), I hope your winter is going in a similar fashion.

I’ll write something with a tad more substance soon.  Poems and such.  The words are close – I can sense them coming :)

Which is a good sign.

 

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I Might Waste Days, But I’m Not a Wasted Life.

I thought maybe if I blogged tonight, I wouldn’t feel as though I wasted my entire day.  Normally, I don’t decide to write before knowing I need to write about something, so I sat around for a while trying to come up with something.  Of course, that meant I ended up wasting more of my day.  Which didn’t make me feel any better.

So then I thought about what it means to waste life.  In my head, things tend to get real deep real quick.  I generally try to go with it.

Ever since writing my last post a few days ago, I’ve had quite a few friends tell me they identify with the feelings I expressed.  You know – figuring life out, wandering foggy roads, trying desperately to trust God but questioning His ways.  Being stuck.  Being afraid.  To tell you the truth, I was sort of surprised that people felt the same way I do.  I don’t know why; I’m always surprised when I realize I’m not the only person in the world who thinks like I think.  I suppose I just expect most people to be more rational and put-together than I am (because I live inside my head, and it is weird in here sometimes).  Then, people come to me and tell me thank you for writing what they were feeling, and I end up having beautifully real conversations with friends.  I’m reminded, just like I’ve been reminded so many times before, that every person in the world is a million fathoms deep.  That’s why I love words.  Sometimes I am tempted to believe that my words are a puzzle only I am figuring out.  I think maybe the reality is that the things we do are more for others than they are for us.  Even if we don’t realize it.

It’s not that I’m happy that many of my friends are afraid of the next step in their lives, or that some of them can’t find jobs, or that some of them are pursuing what they love but aren’t as successful as they want to be.  It doesn’t make me feel better that other people are feeling the same sense of confusion and fear that I often feel about the future (or, you know, the present, occasionally).  But it makes me feel less like an anomaly.  It makes me feel more normal, and maybe a little more secure.  If we’re all going through it, surely there can’t be something wrong with all of us.  I’m not the only one who has crazy, far-away dreams.  We all have them.  We are all just as scared that we will never get there.  That no one will never notice us on our journey to the moon.

It’s not fair that we live in this limbo.  I know in my head and in my heart that Christ is here; that the Lord has made me exist for a purpose, that He’s made all of us exist for a purpose.  I know that.  But this curse thing is killing me – literally, which I’ve known for most of my life, but in every other way, too.  When the Kingdom comes, my friends aren’t going to have to apply for jobs that turn them away.  They will just do what they love, they’ll create beauty and goodness and the entire universe will enjoy it.  When the Kingdom comes, my friends and I won’t wonder if we’re wasting away our days and months – time won’t make sense, and it will be perfect that way.  When the Kingdom comes, I will write and write and write, and the lines I pen will come effortlessly; they will never be inadequate.  We will sit for eternities and talk about eternities, and walls around our hearts won’t exist.

I don’t like that the Kingdom is not yet here, and that everything is so uncertain in the meantime.  It shouldn’t be like this.  I don’t want to be okay with this.  I can’t give my friends jobs or promise them they’ll end up happy and rich and famous, but I really want to.  I can’t wake up tomorrow and do all the things I want to do, and I’ve barely even got a clue as to how to go about them.  I get that living the life the Lord has blessed me with is the thing I must do – and I desperately want to do it right – but I wish that I could do more.  I wish the Kingdom would come quickly.

I know I don’t have the ability to make it right.  Only Jesus can do that.  But I do have the chance to make it better in the meantime.  So, I’m going to do things to ensure that my life isn’t pointless.  To make sure that I’m more than just a bunch of words that never become action.  Most of my plans have to wait until this semester’s over – only a few more ravaging weeks – but I’m planning now nonetheless.  The first thing on my agenda?

Submitting some of my writings to literary magazines.  There’s a poetry contest with a fast-approaching deadline, and you win real money if they like your stuff, so that’s my first priority.  Even if I don’t win anything, maybe they’ll put me in the magazine.  Or, maybe they’ll send my stuff back and tell me I’m awful.  That would be decent news, too, I suppose, because then at least I’ll know (optimism, folks).  I think I’ll send a couple short stories in as well, just for kicks.

So, pray for me on that one.

Oh, and please PLEASE let me know if I can pray for you!  I keep forgetting to mention that I’ve set up an email address for bloggy things.  I have 599 unique views on this thing, but only one email.  It was from Google.  And that is lame and you need to step it up. ;)  Obviously, I know many of you in the offline world – and talking is highly preferable to emailing, so just talk to me.  About anything.  You’ll find that I like to talk about lots of things.  But if I don’t know you – and many of you are bloggy people whom I have never met – then feel free to let me know if I can pray for you or tell you a joke or something.  I want to hear from you.

My day still feels horribly lazy.  But at least I acknowledged it.  Counts for something, eh?