Saturday, August 23, 2008

Now What?

I again return to mirror the patterns of the boomerang generation of which I belong. Meaning, I'm inhabiting the room where I lived for 13 years of my childhood just a few yards from the room where my parents sleep. Yup, I'm living under my parents roof again. Why am I here I wonder? I don't have a job. I've been surviving with my back and it seems to be healing on its own without medical attention. I don't have more then two friends here it seems. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't have an immediate plan. Sure I have my more long-term plan in place. I know where I want to go, who I want to work with. I have my application all in order and communications beginning in that department but even that has been put on hold and outside of my control.

So what am I doing with myself now that I have finally come to a place in life where I have no responsibilities (oh I still have financial responsibilities but that's a bit different then taking care of kids or classes)? At this very moment I find myself sitting in a chair where I've sat many times before at the most chic/trendy coffee shop in this medium-sized college town where I was raised being bombarded by noise from a local jazz band. The music isn't bad, I just had come here for respite from the confusion of home only to be met by a bad too loud for this small venue and lots of college kids some of whom I vaguely recognize talking about the boys now at LCU and what they are doing and what kinds of guys they want to date and what types of weddings they want and all the things that sound completely ridiculous to me now. No, I don't think I'm too good for these conversations, honestly I think I'm just lonely and out of my element.

How does a person become a foreigner in their hometown anyway? I've only been away for just over two years. But my personal culture and world-view began to change long before I moved away. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to move away. In elementary school I knew I wanted to move to Colorado or someplace beautiful like that to enjoy the mountains and be secluded from all kinds of people. But as I grew up I never became the homebody-type that would enjoy living in solitude in the mountains. In high school my identity began to change in such a way that I felt distanced from people and like I couldn't be understood. My experiences were unique but so are the experiences of every other person who has ever lived. These things perhaps I didn't so much recognize at that age like I do now at least a little bit better. Either way, I was free after that point to develop understandings and beliefs somewhat independent from my peers. Peer pressure was an issue for me in many ways but at the same time, my identity was not completely dependent on what others thought of me or how well liked I was. What a blessing it was to have that stability going through college. Those were formative years for me especially as I traveled to far off places like China and took epic adventures with friends into New Mexico.

After three years of college I finally moved from my hometown not to the mountainous lands of Colorado but instead deep into the mid-west, the great windy city (less windy then Lubbock) Chicago. The Wheaton grad school attracted people from all over the world like Russia, China, India, Rwanda, Australia, Togo, Bolivia, Uruguay, Peru, and from every corner of the US. Those of us from the US were interested in being scattered to the far reaches of the world also. What a beautiful place to fellowship and grow. I am so grateful for this time of training among so many diverse and yet similarly-minded followers of Christ. What each of us had in common was a desire to glorify God completely with our lives wherever He may choose to send us or return us. I have never been understood so well or when my opinions where different from those I was around I have never been so well listened to and respected.

And from that nurturing environment I have returned home. Now what?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Goals Revisited

A year ago I posted a list of goals to accomplish is life. I've had some interesting experiences over the last year and have a bit of a different perspective on what I really need to do verses what would make for interesting experiences to tell the grandchildren or whatever. So read on for the actual posting last year and at the end I'll create a new list of goals and a bit of a commentary on what things I have actually accomplished this year.

Friday, May 25, 2007
Life Goals
A couple years ago a friend told me about a list of things he wanted to do in his lifetime. He wrote it while he was in high school and by this point he had graduated college and realized his time was running out to accomplish some of the things on his list before the strains of adult life held fast their unrelenting hold on him. The most remarkable thing on his list was to run a marathon. This man was at least a hundred pounds away from running a marathon but that didn't stop him, it actually became greater motivation. He inspired me to come up with my own list. Now two years later I think I'm finally ready to give this list a try.

Life Goals:
1. Hike the entire Appalachian Trail
2. Run a Marathon
3. Spend a minimum of 8 years in another country
4. Adopt children
5. Write a book

Now we all know that dreaming about doing things is not enough. Unless we make concrete efforts to accomplish goals they will never get themselves done.
So here's where I'm at in accomplishing each of these things:
1. Looks like I'll begin preparing to make the voyage across 14 eastern states from March-September 2009.
2. I'm trying to run 2-3 times a week to maintain current shape but have not selected a marathon or year.
3. Preparing to work on a Servant Team with Word Made Flesh this fall to see if WMF would be an organization that I could serve with for many years.
4. I know that I want a boy from Africa and a girl from South East Asia but I'm single and in a transitional stage in life so I am not prepared to have kids of my own yet. I would prefer to wait until I'm married and plan to live in one place for several years before beginning the adoption process.
5. I have an outline for the book I want to write. I plan to work on the majority of it after graduation from Wheaton while working in Lubbock. Some before the AT and finishing after just before going overseas long-term. Approx. date of release: 2011.

There, that was a fun exercise. I'll come back to this in a year and see what kind of progress has been made. You should come up with a life goals list as well. No matter how young or old you are goals and very good to motivate us to constantly better ourselves and benefit the world we live in.


Alrighty, Well I ran the Traverse City Bayshore Marathon on May 24th 2008 and finished right at 5 hours. My goal was to finish in five hours and that I did.
I have not continued plans for the AT or made any significant headway on writing a book but I'm thinking I need to get busy with that because I'm headed overseas sometime in the next year guaranteed. I still have the book's outline saved on my computer somewhere but it probably hasn't been opened in nearly a year. I did write that I was planning on serving on a servant team with Word Made Flesh. I went with them to Rio de Janeiro. As far as adopting children goes I might just be happy unofficially taking kids in from the barrio or favela wherever I find myself living and working. These will be my kids and I don't have to be married to have and take care of them.

My goals now are to get a pet and be healthy again.
Last night I had other goals in mind that I wanted to write about but I've already forgot what they were so I guess they weren't that impressive or important.

9/10- I remembered what one of the other "original" updated goals was: have an avocado tree. I guess that can replace the have a pet goal. I want an avocado tree and to be healthy. Unfortunately I just learned that I'm never going to be healthy in the sense that I meant ever again. boo, sad day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Road Trip Path, kinda

View Larger Map
So this is the basic trajectory that I plan to take over the next couple weeks. Right now I'm in Eagan, MN. Tomorrow I'll be in Minneapolis. Wednesday I'll make my way to the western suburbs of Chi-town. I don't have any dates for the other places just yet.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Packing up, again

I don't have anything profound to write about today I just find myself in that strange tension and knotted anxiety again at the cliff of another relocation. It seems that the chapters in the book of my life do not last very long which is sad because apparently I have a way about me of developing really deep relationships and connections with people fairly quickly. Today I have been frantically pacing the church that we have called homebase for YouthWorks! over the past 2 1/2 months taking what things I can down and making list after list of things that I cannot forget to do while at the same time desperately wanting an excuse to stop, breath easy for a few minutes and realize what is most important, that being respectful to the people we work with and among. I don't know really what will be next for me. I know that I will have some much needed doctors visits to schedule and some job options to weigh out. But before I can even get there I have some soul searching to do that will stretch me the geographical distances of Minneapolis to Chicago back through Kansas City, Hope(fully) into Arkansas, and eventually winding my way back to the place of my origin, Texas. Anything could happen along the way. This will be my longest (miles and days) solo road trip and I do expect to experience some physical discomfort from the back injury and wont be able to take medication for it because I'll be driving, but otherwise it should be a good change of pace from this 24/7 gig I've been working the past couple months. I know lots of my friends are also experiencing major changes in their lives and I'm not alone in this soul searching scavenger hunt across spiritual and physical distances but nevertheless this will be a unique time in my life. The journey begins August 12. I move from Kansas City on August 10th and expect to arrive in Lubbock by September 1st. Don't expect any blogging between now and then.