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I’m trying to remember the me that once was.
The me who woke up every morning in excited anticipation.
The me who had long hair.
The me who wanted to know more about everything and everyone.
The me who didn’t mind dressing in sweats everyday.
The me who felt safe.
The me who was capable of saving money.
The me who didn’t care what other people thought.
The me who thought so often of kindness.
The me who was willing to walk miles to see someone.
The me who was an open door.
The me who was happy to share about the past and the present.
The me who went to sleep every night satisfied.
The me who is long since gone.
The me who I’m afraid is too lost to be found.
I’m trying to remember the me who I’m trying to get back.

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End of the line.

The air has changed.

The end is nigh.

Time to say goodnight, one last time.

Until then, hang on.

Everyday, we find beginnings and ends. I use the word “find” because such things don’t simply happen upon us — we look for them. We’re always seeking something new, something of the likes we’ve never seen before; on the flip side, we work to leave our pasts behind and move on when something has worn its welcome.

It’s all about equivalent exchange. It is said that every end has a new beginning, and of course, every beginning has an end. We see things this way for balance, for justice, for wholeness. Without the knowledge that the bad things will end and the good things will come (eventually), we are hopeless. Humans are wont to be hopeless. Human survive not on the basis of instinct, but on hope.

So I’ve always believed in that proverbial light at the tunnel. I’ve always believed that everything could be fixed — yes, even me — if enough effort was put into it. And sure, I’ve put more effort in some places than in others, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen negative progression in the face of my persistence. It, for lack of a better word, sucks, and I’ve reached and end without light, without hope, and without future.

I’m abandoning this war. Mostly for my own sake, but also because there’s been nothing there since the beginning. It’s been hollow and rotten — it was a war because I was always fighting. Not with someone, but with their pride. I swallowed my own to make attempts at reconciliation, only to be met with false acceptance. I set aside years of bitterness only to remember it every time I had to see your face or hear your voice or even just read a message from you. It has grown, evolved into the deepest, most decayed part of my soul. And I am here to carve it out, bit by bit.

Today, I found an end with no beginning to follow.

Whirlwind.

I’m always talking about getting my head screwed on straight because I go through weeks, mayhaps months of feeling like my life is attached to one of those horrid spinning devices you see in playgrounds.

And yes, I am aware that life has its ups and downs.

But there’s always some point when the spinning stops, and I clumsily flop off of the wheel of terror and stare up at the sky, watching the clouds turn every which way until everything finally stands still.

This is one of those times.

I feel like I’m at my best in these moments. Not that my best is going to go invent something fascinating or save the world or anything, but it’s one of the few times that I actually feel like a fully functioning human being.

I woke up this morning to the panic of being reminded that I had overslept and had a paper due in five and a half hours. My dramatic initial leap from my bed aside, once my tush hit the couch, I was calm. I knew I’d finish, and I did — early, mind you (though I did skimp on the last page because I couldn’t think of any more content) — and there was never a sense of panic or frustration. Just drive.

My mind is awake and alive and– okay, maybe it’s just the coffee, but the world doesn’t quite seem like it’s moving at a million miles a minute right now.

I think that’s something worth embracing.

Silence.

I’m not Catholic. I am, in fact, lacking affiliation with any denomination of the church — which I guess makes me “non-denominational”, but even that, in its own ways, entails denomination. Actually, in many eyes, I’m likely lacking a lot of what’s in the long list of things that makes one a “Christian”, but again, I refuse to be labeled.

At best, I’m a hopeless wanderer, waiting for a spark to set afire everything I know.

I digress.

There’s a lot of things that I lack, but if it’s one thing I fail at, it’s discipline. I suck at anything and everything related to routine, which is… terrible, considering that’s mostly what our world operates one. (One can only hope that the Kingdom has no routine involved, aside from weekly shuffleboard leagues.)

So this year, about an hour before the clock struck midnight on Ash Wednesday, I decided: I’m going to do Lent this year.

I can’t tell you much about Lent. In fact, I can’t tell you much about anything related to Catholic or even Christian, but I can tell you that it involves fasting something until Easter. Who am I kidding — you all probably know more than I do.

I considered fasting meat. (Who was I kidding?) I considered fasting red meat. (More realistic.) I considered fasting junk food, soda, and all those things that I don’t see much of anyway. Then I decided that all of those things would be too easy, and besides, my main motivation behind any food-related fasting would be to be healthier and lose weight.

So I considered silence. In the recesses of my mind, I recalled an acquaintance giving up speech once a week for Lent. I was captivated by the idea at the moment only to soon forget, as I do with most things. Now I’m revisiting it.

Why silence?
If you know me, you know that one of the top five words used to describe me is “loud”. And let’s be real — this is about as true as any word can get to describing me. I am loud and, at time, incredibly obnoxious. It’s been an issue more than once, and I think it’d behoove me to shut my trap now and then and just soak in the world.

Biblically, it is recorded in all of the gospels that Jesus retreated to a “quiet place” several times throughout his ministry, including just before he was arrested. I’ve found that in my life, I’m rarely ever in a quiet place. I’m always watching TV, with a group of people, in class, at work, in traffic, etc., etc. Yet I know that I function best in silence or, at the very least, with nothing but music. I simply haven’t taken the time to sit in silence, and in return, I haven’t been engaging with God that much.

But one can’t simply be “too busy” for the big man upstairs. It doesn’t work that way.

By taking a day off from running my mouth, I’m hoping to…
1) Gain some discipline.
2) Learn how to listen to others more.
3) Learn how to listen to Jesus more.

Once a week. One day of silence. We’ll see where this takes me. Let’s do this.

Drive.

More and more, I find myself wanting to shed the things that feel tedious to me, such as school and work, and replace them with the things that I’m passionate about, like writing or photography.

I could be an lifeless sack of pajamas and still write a script or take and sift through photos for hours. In the same state, you will likely not find me being productive in the office or with my schoolwork. And, coincidentally enough, those are the things that feel like they suck the life out of me.

The small things. I really do let the small things kick the crap out of me, and suddenly, all the good things — the vast amount of them — seem so far away.

We are called to remember. The journeys we’ve taken and the faces we’ve seen and the lives we’ve passed through.

I am called to remember. The hands that have held mine while traveling that dirt road and the smiles of the ones I love and the inescapable intertwining of lives so divine, so graceful, so perfect.

I will not forget.

Carus in oblivio.

Two.

Over two years ago, I sat there, soaked in the January rain and hands held by people I loved.

I leaped.

For one brief, glorious moment, I flew. Then, like a baby bird, I began to falter. I struggled. I fought. My heart felt like it might burst inside my chest.

I watched them. The ones who held my hands, flying off into the distance until they were but specks on the horizon. I felt joy for them, and nothing for myself.

Then, with the greatest certainty that physics could offer, I began to fall.