Friday, September 24, 2004

clear the mind.

i'm constantly wondering and thinking about my time in L.A. back in 2003 and wondering why it was so great. much of it had to do with the release of being attached to certain responsibilites--whether that be volunteering for a campus ministry or attending meeting after meeting after endless meeting--and much of it had to do with other things. i was in an unfamiliar place, yes, and there's something to be said for that i think. when you are stripped of who you are, unable to be defined any longer by the people you call friends, something very strange happens. i think you either abuse the nakedness of yourself and your vulnerability, or you accept it and learn how to make it through without falling apart. the latter is what i think i did, and when i realized i didn't fall apart, i think that's what made my time so meaninful and fulfilling and important to me. when you're stuck in the middle of two places, not really having somewhere to call home, you're forced into meaning or forced into numbness. i think L.A. last last spring was the first time i was put in a place like that, and i didn't choose numbness. does that make sense?

it's funny to talk about this L.A. memory like this b/c here i am again, not wanting to relive the same thing but trying to figure out how this time will be different from the last. granted, i'm a year and a half older, and i'm still being told again and again (yet, i choose not to hear it) that love is worth the risk. i write those words but i don't think i believe them b/c so many instances of the past year have revolved around love not being worth it to me. let me try to explain without getting too personal.

last weekend, i had one of those amazing moments, where I was confident God was real and existed and that maybe, i wasn't the only one going through something hard. i think as a 22-year-old, part of your job is to play the role of thinking the world has it easier than you do, and that often, few understand how bad you really have it. yet, when i enter into someone else's time and attempt to listen to their own world and how it sucks for them, i think that maybe we all are just really screwed up and in need of one another. we need to touch each other--not b/c of our sexual nature but b/c of our human nature--and it's this very thing i think i don't (and the world) doesn't do enough of. now, don't label me as a sensitive-Jesus-wannabe-hippee just yet b/c there's one more thing i wanna say (soapbox time).

i went to a movie today, alone, and in the theater, there were 8 other people who were alone too. that may seem like none except that there was only one couple other than us 9 there. this got me thinking: what is going on with the world? why are we constantly becoming more and more isolated? in the movie i was watching, the guy and girl were having a conversation about if the world was becoming better or if the world were really as sucky as everyone thinks it is. the guy said it was getting better, the girl said it was getting worse. and as i thought about it, i wondered where i fit. was i a hopeful, Jesus-loving optimist, constantly reminding myself that the best was yet to come OR was i the one holding people down, making them deal with things they don't like and making them listen to ugly things and facts about the world? i think i go back and forth, but really, this all goes back to L.A. a year and a half ago. then, i was thinking like a winsome optimist, full of hope and everything. now, i'm not so sure. i want to believe that so much but after sitting in a theater by myself with 8 other people who were just as alone as me, i wonder. sorry for going off a bit, but i needed a little bit of flushing out of the head right now. there's much going on up there even if this post doesn't reflect just that. good night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Neville --

Funny you should talk about the "world not understanding" -- I feel sorry for myself constantly! I've been working on this HUGE presentation for work during the last month, and have my sigh down pretty well now. I'll come back to my desk from one of my few-and-far-between bathroom breaks and just look at my piles of papers and work undone and let out this sigh of "woe is me." Funny thing is is that I am SO not alone in this high-stress mode I seem to like to operate in -- EVERYONE is stressed in their own way. You and Ben in seminary, and me in work. I DO like to think I have it more difficult than most people but I certainly don't. Someday I hope to find a job where my stress level can stay low, but I'm not sure what that might be yet. I hope you find it, so you can save yourself from the sighs that plague me.

Have you read 'The Life You Save May be Your Own' by Paul Elie? I am about to start it and have heard it's very good. I hope it makes me want to live my life differently. I hope it inspires me to think deeper.