Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Life for the Other.

The happiest times of my life have always been the times I was living for others.

I don’t mean that others were the only things I was living for…there have always been reasons to live even if there wasn’t any real love of life to speak of. What I mean is that I have been happiest when I was wanted and “needed” by others. The times when I knew that certain people would notice if I weren’t there – that they would miss me while I was gone.

I know that people say they miss me. But few show it. I never feel missed unless someone shows it. It is not enough for me – or maybe not for anyone – to say “I miss you.” If you miss someone, do you reach out for them? Invite them back into your life? No? Then you do not really miss them.

Right now I feel as though I am really only living for myself. I am not necessary. When I get money, I spend it on myself. I have no one else to spend it on. When I have time, I spend it for myself. I have no one else to spend time on. Even when I’m with other people, I am not necessary for the party. It would go on if I were not there. I once thought it would be enough to simply be invited out by a friend once in a while. Now I know that is not true – it only hurt to be left out. What is really desired by me is to know that I am wanted by a person for who I am.

I know that I am at least liked by others (if not wanted), but I do not think they know who I am. I know they think they know, but what they know of me is really a shadow of my real self – or a caricature. They fill in for what they do not know. To really know me, someone has to ask about the things that I think and feel and attempt to understand. And who does that? Whether because of habit or the intimidating task of the act, no one I know right now really does.

Does this mean I want romance? I do not know. This one thing is what makes me doubt my intentional avoidance of any relationships. For on the one hand, I know that I feel some acute stress every time I think about dating, and feel disgusted every time I imagine myself dating anyone anymore, but on the other, I know I want to be loved just like anyone else. I don’t want to lie in wait for love to fall on me, as if love is crammed behind a closet door, waiting for someone to open it so it can tumble all over. That’s not the way it works. But I can’t bring myself to care enough to change anything.

What I do know is what I always know – how I feel. And right now I can handle this feeling just fine. It’s unpleasant, like a dull ache that an aspirin can’t cure, but tolerable. But whether by choice, or chance, or the long decay of time I know that will change. And I know that I am stubborn enough to hold to suffering rather than let go of bitterness.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream of loving loneliness.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Technicolor Canvas.

You were a child
Crawling on your knees toward him
Making momma so proud
But your voice is too loud
We like to watch you laughing
Picking insects off of plants
No time to think of consequences

I'm amazed at how people fill in for what they don't know.

Instead of asking questions, most people assume a truth they can deal with. In a lot of cases, the assumption is false or incomplete. For instance, once I stopped talking for a long period of time in a group of people. Instead of asking why I was so quiet, they simple told me I was quiet ("Yup," I said) and exclaimed that I must be tired and continued with their conversation. It blew me away. Although they clearly wanted to know what was "wrong" they didn't do the simple solution of asking (it wasn't a big deal, I actually wasn't talking because the conversation was boring).

It is the same way with getting to know people.

Most people have a way of liking people who don't talk very much, or talk about themselves very much. I am like this. Not because I wouldn't gladly tell someone about myself, but because no one asks. Which has interesting consequences.

There is a lady at work who thinks I'm just like her son. I'm probably nothing like her son, I'm just the same age, and she wants to believe I'm like her son. To her it's true...and she can now mother me like she wants. She adores me, but has no idea who I am. She's never asked.

So it seems to be in a lot of cases. People like me for whoever they want to believe I am. I am all things to all people because I make myself a blank canvas. I can be anyone I wish, because no one in this city knows the truth.

Though, I wish people would ask about me. What I think about the world, what I've found joy in and pain in. Who I really am. But I'm not going to do it without being asked. I don't like when other people spoil conversation by sharing unsolicited, or just talking about themselves incessantly (and thus forcing others to do the same or change the subject). So I'm not about to start, even to fulfill a need. I have to know that other people want to know.

I think I'm an interesting person, just as I think other people are interesting. I like the song Life in Technicolor ii by Coldplay because I think it really captures how I feel about myself. I'm not a blank canvas for other people to fill in, I'm a technicolor canvas. I hope someone out there discovers that someday.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for people to see the true canvas.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The art of listening.

Listening is something everyone thinks they know how to do, but most people don't have a clue.

I've noticed people do one of a couple different things when they talk:

  1. They talk to themselves at other people...meaning, they spout out some vaguely on-topic anecdote that is really only designed to posture themselves as not fitting their own insecurities.
  2. They just talk about themselves because there are ears around, regardless of whether anyone else in the room might actually have something important to share
  3. Get something off their chest, invited or uninvited
  4. Interrupt people to be funny/loud/share a good idea first
  5. Ask questions, invite discussion, clarify the thoughts of other people, respond to other people, progress the discussion
That 5th point is, I think, what is very, very rare in conversation these days.

I have found that I enjoy and participate in group discussions less and less these days. I think it is simply because I am more aware of how much of those first four are really done, due to my training and experience in counseling. It's aggravating, and I wish to go back to the time when I was blissfully unaware of how much of what people say is only posturing, ego fluffing, and just plain rude.

I suppose some may believe it would be a lot better use of my time to point out to people what's going wrong, but I don't think so. I don't think it would do any good at all. It'd be like trying to kill a hive of bees with a flyswatter. Sure, I might get some people to change, but the sting of making people uncomfortable about a behavior they probably aren't even equipped anymore to change, and then watching them shrink away from making conversation with me because of it would be worse. That alone isn't enough for me to decide not to say anything, but it's knowing I wouldn't even get the whole hive that puts the lid on the coffin. Our culture is the queen bee. We don't teach communication skills as a culture, and we don't learn them. We just get worse. Except me. Except a few other people I've met in life. That's it.

So, when I get frustrated with it all, I stop having anything to say. And when I don't have anything to say, I don't talk. That sets me apart from others. Makes me weird. I'm OK with it.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for good communication.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Continuity of life.

I've been contemplating something lately.

I've been very happy here in my new home. There are easily multiple reasons for this: financial security, routine, the dignity of work, new friends, the excitement of relearning how to live and have fun. And I do have lots of fun.

But I think there has been a hidden reason, one that came to me after conversations with two friends. Both of them are old friends, both of them I enjoy talking to, but the difference between them is that after talking to one, I feel happy, and after the other, I feel sad. I think neither of them read this blog, which is why I feel safe saying this. But I talk to a lot of people...maybe they'll not know for sure who I mean.

Regardless, because of my history with one of them I always reminisce about what passed between us...and with the other, I reminisce because that is our relationship and what we talk about. The combination made me think about how life had gotten where it is now. I realized not only that I was not yet over what happened between my friend and I, but that I had forgotten about it for a time while I've been here. In fact, I've started to think of my life here as a new life, and not a continuation of the old. I broke the continuity in my mind, and so the painful, hurtful past felt like it never happened.

But I can't forget the mistakes and the silly things I've chosen to do in pursuing what I saw as my future. The future was never mine to choose even with all my effort - God had already picked one out for me that I clearly love. So be it. How do I keep this future bright?

I had already chosen to fast from dating for a time, likely several months, before I moved here. Recently I've added the decision that my new attitude towards dating is that I would avoid it altogether even after the fast is over. Since this future I'm living happened to me through God forcing it on me, and all of my failures were due to my efforts to prevent a future God planned for me, why not apply this to dating, and avoid women altogether? Whomever I am meant to be with will be thrust upon me whether I like it or not, and I can save myself the pain I put myself through over and over again.

Still, it's not a comfortable way to do things. I wonder if I've gone too far. I wonder a great many things. And this wonder has reduced me to silence the past few days. Thinking about this, thinking about my old life and my new life, and how it is really one life and I'm the same fool I've always been. I made my new friends uncomfortable a few days by saying almost nothing. It's eye-opening to discover by their discomfort how much I actually talk in a group of people when I am struck silent by my thoughts.

I wonder if I'll ever really figure out the grand scheme of this life, and how to get where I'm going.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to contemplate the stream of this life.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Count.

"My kingdom is bounded only by the world, for I am neither an Italian, nor a Frenchman, nor a Hindu, nor an American, nor a Spaniard - I am a cosmopolite. No country can say it saw my birth. God alone knows what country will see me die. I adopt all customs, speak all languages. You believe me to be a Frenchman, for I speak French with the same facility and purity as yourself. Well, Ali, my Nubian, believes me to be an Arab; Bertuccio, my steward, takes me for a Roman; Haydée, my slave, thinks me a Greek."

I am re-reading the Count of Monte Cristo. Beautiful book, well written. One thing really stuck out to me - the game that the characters play in the story is really remarkable. It seems to me like high society back in the 19th century and earlier did nothing but try to flatter and attract one another, trying to usurp from one another a higher "position" in the social hierarchy, through negotiating intermarriages between powerful families, and acquiring wealth, and friendships. Fascinating!

As a person who generally likes everyone, I, too, play this game. But I don't do it to gain anything or to achieve some selfish purpose. I just want to get to know lots and lots of people, and make lots and lots of friends.

Like the quote at the beginning, said by the Count of Monte Cristo, I try to fit into whatever group I find myself. Perhaps I flatter myself, but I think I'm quite good at it. I do not lie or put on a mask, but I present a side of me that I think least likely to annoy or repel people I want to know. least until I get too excited. Then that's anyone's guess.

It is interesting trying to become a part of a new group and acquire as many friends as I possibly can. I love getting to know people. When I meet someone, I want to know everything about them. Well...maybe not everyone I meet, but most!

My only concern is that my curiosity will get me into trouble. I admit that in the past it's gotten me closer to people, most of them of the opposite sex, than I intended. The "get to know you" game is seen as played between potential lovers, not potential friends. I don't want to repeat the mistakes of the past.

It can be seen in my present group of friends that there is a much more reserved nature to them than I am accustomed to. What I have considered innocent acts have nearly sent the wrong message to people.

Fortunately, I am much more cautious than I once was. Being new here, I don't yet have much of a reputation, and I want it to be a good one. I don't need to cause a lot of heartache and rock the boat again. I am having fun, and I'm getting to know new people all the time. I kinda just want to continue on and take whatever comes my way - no planning, no flirting, no destiny. Just life.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to fit into this life.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Hardest Part, part 2.

I was listening to one of my favorite songs, the Hardest Part, by Coldplay, and reflecting on how it had been my anthem for a little over a year...until now.

The Hardest Part speaks to me about how hard letting another person go is. Saying goodbye as they leave your life that they filled so full of love and joy...even though you might try to fight to get them to stay in your life somehow. They were your silver lining on the cloud, and now they're gone, and you can't figure it out or what it's all about. It's the hardest part of life.

...And then again, maybe the reason I had been so upset over the last few years at college is that there was no breath of fresh air. No sweeping in of new people in the front door of my world. Only a few, here and there, but I would be so eager to welcome them I'd ruin it for both of us. They would come into my world and I would make them my whole world...even done tactfully so that I wouldn't overwhelm them like a clingy borderline person, somehow even if they were my whole world in spirit it would still be ruined.

And here I am. New city, new job, new life. I'm happy as I can never recall being. My life has new dignity that I never knew I needed from working for my pay, it has new excitement and adventure from being in a new place with new people. And learning new things about God! I didn't realize how much my faith life had been stagnating from being in a community that remained the same age while I got older!

There's just one thing that's...odd.

It feels like I've known these people before. Even as I've been writing about new aspects of my life, there's something that feels distinctly the same. Every person I meet reminds me strongly of someone else...sometimes I know who that person is, and sometimes it's only that I feel déjà vu when I see them.

It's an odd new cognitive dissonance. On the one hand I feel like everyone I meet is so unique and unlike anything I've ever experienced...a new universe to get to know! It's so exciting! Limitless potential to explore the life and experiences of another soon as we know each other well enough, I guess. Then on the other hand, it feels like I already know everything about them. Is this a counselor thing? Is this my intuition gone wild?

Maybe I'm just imagining things.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream that the hardest part was over.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The new journey.

I find my lack of faith disturbing.

Of course, I always knew I would find I was wrong about the whole transition away from college but I never really felt it in my heart. All I knew was that I was moving away from everyone and everything I ever loved and that I was broken over it.

However, I think I'm finally sane again.

I think being in my beloved college home made me crazy in some ways. I really do. To no wonder! Think of all I put up with during college: saying goodbye to dear, dear friends every year; watching people fall in love, get engaged, get married, move on; trying and failing to gain that for myself; watching friends come and go out of my life constantly. Of course I went insane!

These days, I have already made significant strides in becoming a capable adult. Only occasionally now do I feel an overwhelming urge to call someone on the phone crying, whereas while I was up north it was daily, even if I rarely followed through. I am not nearly as lazy as I used to be, and I feel like I think clearly and with much more confidence. Overwhelming confidence! Not the norm for me.

The best part is I am much less interested in dating than I used to be. Not a day went by that I didn't think about how nice it would be to share my life with someone. Nowadays, I still have that a lot, but I also think about how good and right it is to be single right now. It just makes sense and feels like a good fit. Being single for most of college was hard! I had to watch so many lovely relationships blossom while I spent my nights alone. That was a bitter pill to swallow, especially when it was someone who I wanted for myself!

God's plan pulled through and makes sense, as it always does. I am with good people now - the people I work with, I mean. It's a good fit, plain and simple. They are my kind of people. I also have new opportunities to make lasting friendships, even though it is a much slower process...yuck! I'm building a future full of financial security, much more than I could have hoped for. If I ever have a family, that's going to be a necessity, and why not start now? My whole "I'll live in a box if it means I don't have to leave all my friends" idea...maybe wasn't so smart.

Speaking of friends, the church group seems like a dream come true. It has the seriousness and solemnity I grew to love at the beginning of college, and all the unity of purpose and emphasis on social events that I found later on. I can finally grow in my faith again, something I've felt has been lacking during the past couple years.

This is a good new journey.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to have faith in something new.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

This side.

"It's foreign on this side,
And I'll not leave my home again.
There's no place to hide
And I'm nothing but scared."

So, I'm all unpacked and settled in my new home. It's a nice neighborhood and I have a decent job that I'm starting tomorrow.

But I don't feel good.

Last week I left what I considered my home behind, something I always knew was going to happen. You can't just go to school forever - the point is to learn how to become a productive member of society with a job...and that's what I am now.

The hour when I need to be courageous and put behind my college days for good has finally come, and I'm scared. I feel so alone in this new role and I don't want to screw anything up. I wish I had a friend - any friend here to live with me and comfort me. But what choice do I ever have except to pull myself together and do what needs to be done? It's the only choice I've had for a long time now and I don't see a day coming soon where it will be any different.

I don't understand these feelings and I'm ashamed of them. But at least the path ahead is clear, even if it's dark.

I'll get used to this side.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for this side to become home again.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Over the bridge.

I wish I felt like I had a little more control over my own life.

Nevertheless, I am resigned to this path that seems chosen for me. It makes me feel a little awkward when people congratulate me on "my" success. My career and education are like a a body slide. If I try to slide off to the left or the right, I'm going to slip back into the middle and keep sliding down. So when people congratulate me on my new job and upcoming graduation, I feel like they're congratulating me for staying in the middle of the slide. It's not like they're doing anything wrong - quite the opposite, I appreciate the sentiment - it's just awkward for me, because I don't feel like I really worked for it at all. I've fought this path and lost. I put most of my effort into things that didn't work out. You won't hear anyone congratulating me on that!

Now I am coming to a bridge, much like the one I crossed six years ago. Back then I was a naive 18-year-old, scared to leave home but more scared not to, lonely and ignorant. Now I'm 24, confident and capable, anxious but unafraid. It feels a lot different than the last bridge. The last bridge's crossing felt like an escape, and though I didn't know what was coming, I knew it had to be better than what I came from. This bridge feels like the end of a long movie...a movie that I really, really enjoyed. Although I don't want the movie to end, I know it's over. There's no more plot, nowhere else for the movie to's over. The sequel looks promising, but I really don't know much about it at all...there's no promises that it will be better than this movie, or even that it will be as good. Life in this town was the movie. Life where I'm going is the sequel. This is the bridge I'm crossing.

I don't have any choice, so I'm going for it.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to put all bridges behind.

Friday, July 12, 2013


"Maybe it's time to change...And leave it all behind! I've never been one to walk alone, I've always been scared to try. So why does it feel so wrong, to reach for something wanna live a better life? What am I waiting for? 'Cause nothing stays the same. Maybe it's time to change."

I feel like many of the changes and choices I've made in the past year and a half were not my own. My career has never been my primary concern in life (perhaps a fault) but yet, in the past year and a half I've completely changed my career path, and made it a reality...almost effortlessly. I applied to a competitive program late and got in...two years later, I'm going to graduate. I passed both my major exams to become a counselor, with barely any effort. I've been getting congratulated on passing them, but honestly...I barely studied. How did I succeed?

Yet, the things I've put the most effort into the last six years have been mostly unsuccessful. The things I chose for myself, the things I wanted most were always out of reach. My career was always something off in the corner...a necessary burden. But yet, I've succeeded in that effortlessly.

It feels like a path has been chosen for me. Sometimes I wonder how I ended up where I am. It seems like just yesterday, I planned to ask my girlfriend to marry me within months, find a job in English, and keep in touch with all my friends...two and a half years later, I don't have any plans at all, but it looks like somehow I'm going to go off alone to a distant city to be a counselor with no plans to date anyone ever again. I could have never planned this. In fact, I didn't. This wasn't the plan at all, and I have done barely anything at all to push it this way. Quite the opposite. I've fought it every step of the way, laying down my own plans...good plans. I was very methodical, very intentional in everything I did. Yet here I am.

I accept this, now. I don't like it, but I accept it. My good friends tell me I should like it. I agree, I wish I could. I wish I could want what God apparently wants to give to me. But I don't. I don't yet understand or know how to want something that I don't really want. I'm just not there.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to unrail.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Aragorn and Boromir.

It is no mystery to my friends that I am a huge fan of the character Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings.

Aragorn, the strong, enigmatic leader of men, the adventurer, the destined King of Middle-earth. The one of whom Tolkien wrote that at his death, "a great beauty was revealed in him, so that all who after came there looked on him with wonder; for they saw the grace of his youth, and the valor of his manhood, and the wisdom and majesty of his age were all blended together. And long there he lay, an image of the splendour of the Kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world."

But alas, I am not like Aragorn, as much as I would like to be. I am a little more like Boromir.

Boromir...proud and willful, valiant but reckless, blunt and impulsive. Alike in stature to Aragorn, but of less grace and majesty. He is jealous of Aragorn and knows he is better. His best quality is that he is remorseful after he tries to take the ring from Frodo, and valiantly gives his life to protect the other hobbits.

In my own life, I fall very far short of the person I would like to be. Like Boromir, I want to be Aragorn but I am still only Boromir, struggling with the smaller things in life.

I think it's important to have appropriate standards in life. Boromir will never be Aragorn and neither will I. I may never get all the things I want from life, even the really good things, just as Boromir will never be king. The best I can do is make up for my mistakes and move on.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to be a better Boromir.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Trying again.

"Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt." -J.R.R. Tolkien

It's amazing how thoroughly clouded my view of the world around me can be when I am upset. The world can seem like such a dark place when you've gone a long time without hope of good things to come. You start to forget about the love and kindness that you are being shown by others right now. I can only say how sorry I am that I do not recognize it like I should.

Furthermore, the rather dark nature of this blog over the past year has more than once got me into trouble. Hard words can be interpreted in even harder ways. I no longer know how to reconcile my desire to share my feelings while being obscure enough to conceal my identity and the true circumstances of my life from the internet, and also being understood perfectly. It has gotten me scolded once, and now I've lost a friend for it - or rather, accelerated a disintegration of one.

I do not know how to reverse this process I am going through. It is true that I have a poor attitude. A very poor attitude, indeed. I am attempting to improve this. Already I have made progress. I have enjoyed a wedding without being focused on self-pity very much for the first time in a few years. Furthermore, I feel I have gained some measure of resolved toward rectifying my spiritual life. This is progress.

I think what is most needed in my life right now is to maintain an attitude of gratitude for whatever it is I have right now. It is useless to continue to count my losses, whatever they may be. I have a small group of people in my life that really seem to care about me. I really don't know why. I think most people I interact with I make uncomfortable or am just rather grumpy and rude. But that shouldn't matter. They are there, so they are there. In addition, I also need to be more generous and less self-focused. Of course if I focus on myself, I will  get lost in all the sad things that have happened to me. I will get lost in my worry about the future and my anger over having to let go of my passion for my vocation and focus only on my career. If I give myself to others in whatever way I can, maybe I will forget about myself altogether. Nothing that happens to me has to bother me. That is my burden, my responsibility. I can feel good about life, even if I don't know how yet.

It's just time to try again.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to start over.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Things that are OK.

I am OK.

Just OK, though. Not especially good. But not especially bad, either.

I went to a job interview today. I was worried about it, but it wound up being pretty easy. Too easy. In fact, that was the only good thing about today. I did OK at an interview.

Everything else was pretty bad. I ended up not visiting anyone I wanted to visit in Cincinnati. I'm pretty sure the place I interviewed at is a terrible job where they treat you like cattle and work you to death until you quit or get fired. Is that what I worked all this time for? To get in a job like that?

My little brother has a girlfriend now. She's nice, I like her. They are both great together. They seem happy. I hope they are together for a long time. I thought I would be jealous of his happiness but I'm not. I'm just OK. I'm OK with the fact that nothing seems to really work out for me and that I've given up on dating relationships for...I don't know. As long as it takes for it to be OK to date again...or try to.

Why am I OK with these things? I don't know that I am. I just feel OK. I can think about all the people I can't call but I wish would call me and then just...not think about it for a while. I'm not numb. I'm just acclimated to this stuff.

Before long I'll have to decide where to go from here. What do I do with my life? I suck air and eat food and drink water and go on. I do the best I can do with what I have. I feel nihilistic but I try to think Catholic. I hold on to hope. Sometimes.

What else can I do?

There was a dream that I dreamed, an OK dream.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Breaking my idols.

I'm the kind of person who tends to glorify the people I really love.

When it comes right down to it, though, people are actually quite predictable. I build other people up who I love and make me feel good as heroic, idyllic paragons of love, mercy, and justice. But in the end, when it comes down to painful human experience, they really are just like everyone else. Even when I say otherwise. I'm wrong.

It's easy to run away. Sticking things out and doing the hard work of picking up the pieces and figuring out what went wrong is the hard thing to do. I'm not sure why I'm the only one who ever wants to do it. Perhaps no one considers me worth the effort. Still, I'm starting to get used to this. The last time I went through something close to this, it took me over 3 months to recover. I'm already starting to feel better after a few days. At least a little bit. How can someone get used to something like this? But here I am.

I really feel like I saw this coming. I started to make odd predictions out loud that I had no reason to believe. I thought I was being insecure and paranoid, but everything I said came true. I have decided that next time I get these intuitions, I'm going to act on them. I was afraid of self-fulfilling prophecies, but now I'm not sure about it.

Here's the first prediction I'm going to act on. If I can avoid my habit of idolizing people and putting all my happiness and hope into them until well after I move out of my current town, I will be OK and make a long-term recovery...I will change and become happy by myself. If I don't...I'm not sure. My prediction doesn't go that far.

I hope I'm not just going crazy. If I read this on someone else's blog, I would think they were trying to get attention. But this just keeps happening. I'll get a feeling about something and it will end up true.

Right now, I feel like breaking my idols.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream of apostasy from my false religion.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

On being foolish.

There's nothing like making the same mistake twice to humble you. And making the same mistake multiple times...

I am grateful this morning for the lack of nightmares. That much, at least, is different from the last time something very similar to this happened. I had nightmares for a long time. Since then, I have more or less made mistakes of a lesser extent, but similar manner, and now I have once again committed a huge blunder of the magnitude of...well, before I started writing this blog.

I have told myself in the past that I have learned a lot since I began this blog, but it seems I have not learned nearly as much as I supposed.

Like, for instance, that the more you tighten your grip on something hoped for the more quickly and easily it slips through your fingers. Like how to take people at their word rather than fantasizing about what they really mean. That last one is a surprise. That was something I was proud of knowing...or "knowing." It seems I don't really know it at all.

There is this much, at least: I know now that my problems really have been all my fault for a very long time. I hope I do not soon forget how foolish I have really been all this time. No, my ignorance is bared forth so powerfully today that I can no longer deny it. I am powerless against my own desire for love and affection, and it is destroying my ability to have it. No one wants to love a person who needs it. I do not speak here of the friendship love, or the love of affection, or the love of a Christian to his neighbor. I speak of the love of self-gift. It is precisely because someone does not need us, in this kind of love, that we wish to give ourselves completely to them.

The problem is I don't know what to do. I have done many different things now, and I have had a great share of hope in things to come, and now again while I was trying to rectify my mistakes I incidentally made them again.

My foolishness will not be coming to an end anytime soon. I can only stumble around in the dark, hoping that somehow I finally find the light switch and turn it on so I can finally get out.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for an end to my foolishness.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

On the expression of feeling.

Emotions are a wonderful thing. It seems like everyone has them but not everyone knows what they're for.

Emotions are messengers - they are supposed to send us a message and then leave us in time. When they fester, they become a problem. Momentary anger, for instance, can spur us to the defense of something good or to correct some injustice. Lingering, festering anger leads us to vengeance. Momentary sadness can lead us to seek others or to fulfill a need, but lingering sadness can lead to self-pity, self-hatred, or self-destruction.

I am not ashamed to admit that for a man I am unusually in touch with my feelings. However, this has had its drawbacks as well, because I can't escape them sometimes. I have found healthy outlets for my feelings...but some of them were good only temporarily, or misdirected...see my last few posts if you want to know what I mean.

In the quietness of my life right now, I have returned to writing down my feelings (outside of this blog). I don't really have very many people to talk to at the moment for various reasons, so this is a good alternative. Usually when there aren't many people around anymore, I get all-consumed by my loneliness, and that hasn't happened yet in this quiet space. I feel totally OK. I would very much like to keep it that way.

So, today I wrote a poem expressing my feelings. Tonight, I will be writing a letter I won't send. Tomorrow, who knows? I might write someone an email. Or call someone - if they answer, and if I can think of someone to call.

I suppose for the average person, managing a period of quiet in one's life is probably not a struggle. Not for me. I am weak to my feelings and always have been. My Dad would shame me for crying as a boy, and my elementary school principal told me I wear my heart on my sleeve. If that's a problem then it's mine to bear for good because I haven't yet found a cure.

I am very proud of myself for my progress. At this time last year, I was really a mess from my feelings of abandonment and loneliness. Now, I simply see this for what it is. I accept that if I do not reach out to people, I cannot expect that anyone will reach out to me. I expect that when I reach out, some people may not respond. It's just a fact. For you, reader, this may seem silly but for me this is revolutionary. When everyone left where I live, and no one tried to stay in touch and I was all alone I couldn't handle it. I did not handle it...very well at all. Now I am. Now I can.

I think what also helps is that I now see myself more for who I really am...not completely, but much closer than before. I am really not that great. I am not very special. But I'm worth something and I have dignity. I am necessary and I am loved. I am not always loved by people. I am often not loved by people. But I continue to make my way in the world - the often senseless and thoughtless, sinning, ordinary human being I am has a purpose I still have to discover...some kind of way for me to be a conduit for God's glory in the world...otherwise I would not be here, I would be dead already. I am no longer pretending I know what it is.

I think many times earlier in my blog, I felt I knew my purpose...and that vision led me to despair because I wasn't getting engaged, I wasn't getting a job, I wasn't growing deeper in friendship with certain people, and I wasn't getting anywhere near what I felt my purpose was. Now I know better. I do not assume I know what the future holds, nor do I look ahead. Oh, yes, sometimes I get little fantasies about what I hope will happen. But I try not to entertain them. I am only planning what I absolutely have to plan...because at any moment, God may blow my plans to smithereens and lead me off in a different, wonderful direction.

Who am I? I'm just me. Where am I going, and what's waiting for me there? I really don't know. How do I feel? Just fine.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream of true expression.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Facing outward.

This will be my final post for a while on emotional modesty...this one is meant to tie all the others together.

Here's where my story with emotional modesty begins: I never had any close female friends in high school.

Even when I did have them, it was not by my own choice (they befriended me and I just went along with it) and it was always a bit strange to me. But I acted like myself and never really discussed anything of any depth with girls. Girls were weird...guys I understood. The end.

When I got to college, I actually did get some close female friends, one or two of whom I felt close enough to share some personal things. Women were still more uncomfortable to be around, although not enough to be a deterrent. Still, it was never to the depth of my male friendships until my senior year. I started to change a little bit - mostly because at that time I was engaged in deep reflection about myself, and I discovered that girls tend to do that much more often than guys. Soon, I began to fraternize more frequently with women, especially after I discovered I had a lot in common with many of them. This would inevitably lead to some attractions, but I never considered that a bad thing even when I was eventually turned down. This is where I really began to fail at emotional modesty - and never knew.

It's really only after the past year that I've seen exactly how destructive this kind of sharing could be. I have become attracted to friends against my will, and some friends became attracted to me against theirs.

I actually had three pretty bad experiences in a row the last few months with emotional modesty.

In the first, we had the kind of friendship I would call the "fusion." We were emotionally intertwined and interdependent, leaching off of one another. Why? We were both lonely, and we both had the same reason for being lonely. It was like a blew up and fizzled out. We grew to like each other very quickly and grew to dislike each other just as fast. She got sick of me, and I got mad at her for it. It took quite a while to heal that friendship, and it's never going to be a good friendship again.

In the second, I did a little better. I was trying to incorporate some emotional modesty in that friendship, even though I did not at that point understand why...therefore, I stunk at it. This friendship was what I would call the "face to face" approach. It didn't work because as hard as we tried to keep a detachment about it, we were constantly faced with one another. That friendship exploded as well, but this one seems to be healing.

In the third, we were dangerously close to a "fusion" friendship. But this time, I think through some hard decision making (and discussion) I have managed to finally make our friendship "face outward." By this, I mean that we are friends without being emotionally intertwined to the point that we are acting like we're dating. We are looking more out at the world together, and not at one another. And we're great friends.

Before these events, I thought that because I never got attracted to girls who had boyfriends (even if we shared emotional things), it meant that this was possible in every guy-girl friendship. However, I am now thinking that this is an exception rather than the rule. The only reason I never get attracted to girls who have boyfriends is because I am practical and see a relationship as impossible in those situations, and my feelings cooperate with that. However, I am now seeing it as very possible that any other relationship with a girl can involve attractions where there has been mutual sharing of feelings - and that even though I have experienced it as a good thing, it is not always a good thing at all - because it has really damaged a lot of those guy-girl friendships no matter how well and how craftily I tried to fix it.

In my contemplation of this problem, it occurred to me how there is actually a real level of emotional connection between a boyfriend and girlfriend, and how I had built this connection with women before without any commitment to them other than as a friend. Only then did it occur to me how unfair that was, and how it would thus follow that I could only consistently share things like that with other men, as there is no danger of attraction there. The only really difficult thing about that is that most of the men I know who were open to discussions like that with me are no longer around. But it's not all about me.

Even if I were really, really good friends with a girl, our relationship would never and could never look like a dating relationship, unless we were dating. While we might from time to time share feelings, or even cry, those times should be few and far between. If that is how it must be, then that is how it will be.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to face outward.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The longest lesson in a song.

Phoenix, a band I like, came out with a new album. All of their songs are pretty upbeat, but one in particular has really grabbed my of course I had to look up the lyrics.

I think this song represents for me the life lesson that has taken me the longest to learn. I'm not sure if I've actually talked about this "lesson" in my blog yet. Here's how I interpreted the song, and you'll see my lesson.

Just don't bother
Don't fed the animals
Don't let them run in circles

Don't be told
They just don't matter
If you're more than ready, run away
From dusk to dawn

Bad situations become worse when you feed them. If people are being unreasonable or are crossing lines with you, you can let them run in circles on their own and leave.

Last night on the couch you're livid
It's a poor complaint
It's the only thing
You're sad and underweight

You can be upset and withdrawn and self-pitying...but that never solves anything. Ever.

Whatever, we're so close to "serious"
Whatever promise you made
I have no problem to say "no"

Often when people become emotionally involved with one another, it can become a tense situation where things are more serious than either party is willing to commit. Sometimes we say things we can't really fulfill ("we're destined to be together forever") and you have to be able to say "no" for the best of both of you.

I'll never know
I'll never know you
Reach out for me
I'll never know you if you don't

We'll never understand each other if we don't communicate. We'll never really know one another as well as one can know oneself, but being open with one another is the only way to even get close.

It's just another
It's just another complicated case
To settle down the road
Whatever we're too close to "serious"
Whatever promise you made
From dusk to dawn

Being in relationship with other people, if you are doing it in a meaningful way, can get the point where if it's your habit it might happen a lot. Still, you have to be able to settle it at some point.

Don't swear that it is your fault
You're sophisticated
I saw the chandelier
I'm foreign and under stress
Whatever we're too close to "serious"
Whatever comments you make
I hear the rattle to say "no"

In any situation between two people, there is liability for what happened on both sides. It's useless to denigrate yourself. All one can do is one's very one can ask for more.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for an infusion of music to learn from.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Emotional Destiny.

Emotional modesty is something I never really understood until recently.

To be honest, I think it is underestimated in Catholic circles how much guys need to learn this lesson. I had to call up a guy who graduated years ago to explain it to me because I was having so many problems with it.

I am an emotional being, and I'm male...and I'm constantly looking for people to share my emotions with. But it's caused problems.

One problem is the one from my last post - that I keep getting emotionally involved with people whom I did not intend to...and then I need to let them go for a while. Not a very healthy process.

Another is that this blog has become a sappy outlet for my feelings. It's not what I originally intended it to be: a place to chronicle my dreams and life lessons. Furthermore, at least one person has felt like they were singled out by one or more of my posts. I sometimes forget that there are actually people reading this blog regularly. I must admit, on more than one occasion I've questioned my own judgement about writing this blog. Although I disagree that it contains the same things that I would write in a diary, I talk about things in my life vaguely enough that it can be interpreted to be passive-aggressive communication. It's unfortunate, because the intention was to actually make it indecipherable so that I could communicate the feeling and the lesson/moral without anyone being able to feel like they were being targeted.

I think writing posts when I'm feeling good is something I need to get in the habit of. I wanted to chronicle my triumphs, not my sadness. My latest triumph is that I am finally bringing my friendships back to where they need to be - and viewing them as they are. I am happy with's been a hard-won lesson.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for emotional mastery.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The circles of this world.

"Let us not be overthrown at the final test, who of old renounced the Shadow and the Ring. In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! We are not bound forever in the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory." - Aragorn, the Lord of the Rings

The final test. I have often attributed that phrase to anything I have to do that is very difficult. It is such wishful thinking. That one final act can, if I succeed, lead to happiness. I never truly expected eternal happiness. Not in this life. Just wishful thinking is all it is.

I notice that consistently the things that I love most about my life are taken away from me. Every time I think I've gotten something I might not have to give up, I must give it up, for some greater good. Or for what seems to be no reason at all.

I have had such good friends...such good and wonderful friends...and it seems as though none of those friendships will ever remain what I want them to be. Perhaps it's selfish of me, but I know how I feel. Hopefully someday I will look back and realize how silly I was, and how much happier I am having much fewer and much shallower friendships (as seems to be the direction all this is headed), but that is not how I see the world now. I was starting to get used to this idea. I was starting to accept that my friendships may not ever be what I want them to be, and that I could just love people however I was able.

And now, I don't even have that anymore.

My love, it seems, has been imperfect. Not just "normal human sinfulness imperfect" but imperfect in how open I have been emotionally, especially with women. It is something I have suspected but ignored for a long time, and finally, I asked the truth. I asked for the truth where I knew I could get it - from two different people - and I received it. The worst part of giving up something you value so much is knowing that you have to - that you are not mistaken.

Yet another treasure I am giving up for the Lord, and I only barely understand why. I only know that I am loving certain people so much more by holding myself back than by doing what I would like to do. I only wish I had some other way to get my feelings out. I wish I didn't have to keep doing this sort of thing. It just never ends.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to move beyond the circles of this world.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rise or fall.

"Aragorn, Arathorn's son, Lord of the Dunedain, listen to me! A great doom awaits you, either to rise above the height of all your fathers since the days of Elendil, or to fall into darkness with all that is left of your kin."

I like going to counseling. It helps to talk to someone who is completely outside of your life to hear everything you can say about it and help you work through the issues that present/have presented themselves.

Soon, though, it appears as I will be done with my current counselor. We've both kind of recognized that I've reached my limit of things to bring to the table. I concluded our last session by telling him that I recognize that whatever happens to me now, I recognize that I will either adjust to it or not adjust to it...and that I always adjust.

That's a nice thought. It's good to be able to say with complete honesty that I always adjust to my problems after a while...sometimes it takes a long while but it always happens.

I think since I started counseling I've made some good adjustments. I am no longer as prone to expecting people to respond the way I believe they ought to my gestures of love and friendship. I've learned to strike a balance between how much I give to friendships and how much I let them go. I've learned to cut toxic people out of my life instead of letting them fester in my wounds.

I also accept that there is still hope. There are still really good people in this world, and I'm still meeting them. Sure, I've lost and let go of relationships that were beautiful, and found out that some people were not as wonderful as I once thought, but in the end that's OK. As long as I am being a good person and treating people how I wish they would treat me, there will be people attracted to that. The people who are just fair weather friends and are not willing to be my friend even when I'm not all that fun to be around will fade away. The lovers will remain.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to rise above all of the problems of the old days.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Turning the page.

Oddly enough, lately I've felt mostly at peace now with everything that's happened.

Resisting the downward spiral of relationships (both friendships and romantic-but-not-really) has proven futile, and even doing nothing about it all has proven to be a poor solution.

It's time to admit that the only way out is to leave.

In August, I will have been in this college town for six years. I will have two degrees and a lot of good memories and really bad ones, too. In August, I will be leaving.

I'll be leaving the same way I came in: only a few friends and lots of uncertainty, and little sanity.

Despite that, I think I've really become a stronger person. Although I am not in as good of a mental state as I used to be, I am much, much better at coping with things. The fact I am not now currently huddled in a corner crying and am instead feeling at peace with the world is a testament to this strength.

I don't want to divulge too much information lest I hurt someone's feelings, but recently I've been thinking that I've had a lot of people go in and out of my life repeatedly over the past year or so. To be honest, I'm not sure if I can or should keep putting up with that. I've mourned the loss of friendships only for them to come back, for me to get attached again, and for them to subsequently disappear and leave me alone. Every time it feels a lot worse. Should it not be time for me to say no? For me to turn the page of my story and move on?

I've been thinking that I ought to just let everything go and hold on to this peace I have until September. No trying to get friends back, no trying to make something work in my love life. I will move on and go somewhere where things might work better. This place was never the end all, be all. It was only a stepping stone...something I always knew but still denied. This place and these people were all just passing things.

Only a few more months, and then I'll be out of here.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to turn the page.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The war of the self.

Often I feel like there are two people inside of me.

One sees the world in a very calm, relaxed way. "Let it be what it is," he says. He takes things one step at a time and trusts to God's providence. He is the heart.

The other sees that sometimes loving is hard and rational decisions have to be made that might feel bad. He is the mind.

Then there's me...and I'm trying to figure out how to reconcile the two: the rational and the emotional.

Today I made a choice that I think is my first step in finally reconciling my mind and my heart. For the first time, I am not polarizing myself, using just my reasoning or using just my heart. I listened to my feelings and thought about what to do. And then I did it.

It was not easy, but it was right. I think I'm going to be OK.

Though the outcome of what's been happening the last few weeks was not what I wanted, I think I finally understand why I was led here. It's because after I learned how to use my heart without using my head, and then learned how to use my head without listening to my heart, God wanted me to learn how to use both. So he gave me this difficult situation and I responded to his will.

I'm going to look forward to the next lesson. I hope it's a happier one!

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for head and heart.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Melee: a confused struggle.

I'm in a melee. I'm struggling and I don't know who I'm even fighting anymore. Myself? Someone else? Satan? God?

It seems lately like every time I write one of these posts, it's to undo the last one. Am I just crazy, or does my life really change this quickly? Do I really gain so much only to lose it a few days later?

I don't know what I've done, but I'm getting punished anyway. I feel like the world owes me an apology. I am trying to cope and stay happy but this is really something else. As tempted as I am to blame one person, this is not the fault of one person...this is just a lot of people doing little things over time. I am worn out of it. I have talked incessantly about all of the things that have bothered me in my life. I am tired of it. All I can do is just wait until I can move on, and I can hold on to the good friends I have until they move on.

I did so much, and it never mattered. But I didn't know that I could get hurt by doing nothing, too.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to see the face of the enemy.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A whirlwind in my head part two.

Title is in reference to this post.

"It's like a whirlwind in my head...but if I concentrate, I know what people are thinking all over the world. Presidents; diplomats; scientists. I can help them understand each other." - Highlander

The last time I titled a post like this, a lot of things were changing at once in my life. It was like a whirlwind in my head...and it's happening again. In a very similar way.

I'm amazed at how I can finally plant both feet firmly on the ground only to have God knock me off of them. In a good way, of course. Lots of really good things are happening. Jobs are still an uncertainty, but I'm not worried. I think I know what to do.

I am feeling a little old. Yesterday, I happened to walk in on an engagement party. I had no idea these two were getting engaged...scratch that, I knew they would get engaged but I had no idea it would happen this soon. I wasn't really ready. I remember when they were just arriving to college...little more than children to my eyes. They are still really only children to my eyes. And now, they are going to get married. It's stunning. And here I was, off at a bar having a couple drinks with a friend. Life is leaving me behind.

But the good news is that the life that has left me behind is no longer relevant. No offense to those that this comment applies to, but I think the generation of people I poured my soul into the past five and a half years have turned out not to be the people who would remain in my life. It's the younger people who I never planned to meet (hey, until I applied to grad school I was planning graduating and planning to move away) that have turned out to be the ones that have really been reliable. "So much of life has left me and gone on ahead, but what was behind me this whole time has been better than I could have imagined." There are some really special people I would have missed if I had continued to spend all my energy on the people who continue to move on and away from me. I'm not trying anymore - it's just not worth it. God put new people in my life and the old have been swept away. That's OK.

I am continuing to take my own advice and just doing the good that comes to me and trusting in God to take care of everything else. I am really not at all sure where I am going anymore. I am not sure where I stand with my friends, especially one special friend in particular, and quite frankly I don't think it matters that I know. Good things will come to me in time and I will know, I will know what to do when it arrives.

This whirlwind is a good one, I can feel it.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for the wind at my back.

Friday, March 15, 2013

On that which can't be revealed.

A lot has happened since my last post.

To be honest, I'm not sure I can really reveal much of anything about it. It involves a lot of trust issues that I don't understand and find confusing and frustrating. I am really doing my best to accommodate this new situation in my life but everything I do seems to come out wrong.

I really thought I was done with all of this weeks ago, but I guess God had different plans. As excited as I was at the beginning of the week with the prospect of something beautiful breaking into my life, it has turned into something full of anxiety, turmoil, and lots of fear.

My greatest strength, which I believe is conflict resolution, is useless now because I can't talk about the person it needs discussed with.

I am frustrated and confused but I at least know what I need to do. I need to wait. Just wait.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream of revealing it all.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Let it be what it is.

Just recently I went on a nearly-week-long trip to Kentucky for the fourth and last time. I think this trip has been one of the best things to happen to me in a while.

It's like a fresh hypo of grace has been injected into my life. My head is clear for the first time in perhaps a year, and now I can look at my life with new eyes.

I think my most recent life lesson is that relationships need to be what they are. What I mean by this is that I have been so afraid of not having relationships or having poor ones...or simply not having the kind of relationship I want with a particular person has caused me to attempt to control them by means of a desperate system of mass invitations to be a part of my life that left me often exhausted and/or disappointed at the results.

With a little time I think I've realized that perhaps my last post was tipped to the opposite end of the scale. I've needed to find my balance, and I think I know what it is now. This week, there were only four other guys in a group of 24 (?) who went to Kentucky. I was literally forced to break my vow of only investing in male friendships. I did rather aggressively bond with my fellow men, but there were also several women that God figuratively dropped in on me that I was meant to be with. God needed me to fill a role, so I did. As always, God has the better idea. So I let those friendships be what they are.

I still have no plans in the near future to engage in any sort of romantic relationship, but I think I want to be more open to God intervening anyway. Which is really no different than what I said in my last post - only God himself will stop me.

Now, though, I am going to strike a balance and let my relationships be what they are. So much stress is taken on by myself and others who attempt to make relationships something when it doesn't matter (and never has mattered) what we have done. Relationships will always be what they are meant to be. Always. It is only up to us to let them be what they are. Is this a friendship? Then be a friend. That's it. No further questions nor actions necessary.

Thank you to everyone who helped me really cut loose and clear my mind. It's been great. I love you all.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream that was what it was.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

No more.

"Roland of Gilead, son of Steven. Who speaks to me?"
"GILEAD IS NO MORE," the voice mused, ignoring the question. Roland looked up and saw patterns of concentric rings in the ceiling. The voice was coming from those.
"I and my friends are the last."

I can do great things when I'm angry. I can do great things when I've had enough. Sometimes, it's the only way I can do certain things.

Six years ago, I didn't have any female friends. At least, none that were all that close, and certainly none that I really chose. Five years ago, when I graduated and came to college, I got a couple. Probably no more than two or three. Four years ago, that began to change. I actually chose a few female friends. Perhaps maybe a third of my friends were girls. Then three years ago, it was half. Two years ago, my male friends diminished significantly. Now beginning a year ago, I have really only one or two close male friends, and a bunch of female friends.

No. More.

As that pattern had changed, I considered it a fluke. I mused that the population of women in Bowling Green was skewed, and the population at St. Tom's even more increasingly skewed over the years. Of course I would have more lady friends. Right?

But no. Somehow, somewhere along the line I really began to prefer the company of women over men. And somehow, I failed to see what a problem it has caused me.

On another note, I am very sick of the kindergarten baby crap that the opposite sex has put me through as I have earnestly and honestly pursued romantic relationships over the years. I have tried lots of separation, little separation, lots of communication, no communication, high speed, low speed, NO speed, I'M DONE! I have put myself through hell trying to be the kind of man who deserves a good woman, only to discover that most women just have no clue what they want and don't deserve a guy like me. I have no qualms about saying that. I really have done a great job in pursuing relationships in an open, honest, christian manner, and I'm through with it.

From now on, I am only going to seek the friendship of my fellow men. Sure, I will hang out with women if they ask...but ONLY if they ask. That should suffice to comfort whatever female friends I still have. Furthermore, I am not even going to think about dating for as long as I feel like not thinking about it.

Why? I have many, many reasons.
  1. Girls get closest to other girls, guys get closest to other guys. Here I've been, stuck in no man's land. I tried to become best friends with girls, but it would never work. I could never be as close to a girl as another girl. And all the time, I wouldn't be invited to spend time with girls because they were having girl time and I was a guy. And I wouldn't be invited to guy time because I wasn't hanging out with guys so they wouldn't think to invite me. THIS WAS A VERY, VERY LONELY EXISTENCE.
  2. I have been emasculated. I think because I've hung out with girls so much, I got used to it. So did girls. I became one of the girls, instead of a guy hanging out with girls. I can only get masculinity from hanging out with guys. I want that back.
  3. On a similar note, I think it's made me unattractive to women. I'm really not sure how it all works but I don't care. I still think I ought to be married someday, and something is not right about hanging out with women all the time and not getting anywhere all this time. Time to try something different.
  4. Similar to number one, I have had such bad experiences with female friendships. My best friend at one point was a girl. Now, she ignores me and doesn't even have the decency to tell me why. I literally have no clue what I did. I've noticed most of my female friends are always too busy to hang out and don't really ask me to come over or anything, which sucks because a one-sided friendship isn't really a friendship at all.
  5. Hanging out with guys used to be fun. It can be fun again. I remember having great times TPing and playing Mario Kart with my guy friends in high school. To this day, I laugh a lot more with the few remaining guy friends I have than with women. Women tend not to be as funny as guys. And laughing is such a cure for anything. It would be nice to bust a gut when I'm feeling down instead of talking about it with girls and just eventually realizing there is no solution and feeling worse.
So, yeah. I'm not going to talk, text, invite, or otherwise seek the company of women. If any of my friends are offended by this, then let it be so. You had your chance to seek me out, and you still do. I won't say no to hanging out with anyone, I never have and never will. But I have to do what is right for me. Even more, I have to do what is right. I am angry, and justly angry, and it is my anger that is enabling me to finally do this right thing, even though it is hard. I will have justice for myself and Christ who leads me to this. No one can stop me.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for masculinity.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tiny threads.

It's safe to say I feel like junk again.

It had been pretty good for a while - I had a nice week and a half or so break from my sadness which I used to really revitalize my social life in a way I had no longer thought possible. I think having a true friend has really helped  - a wonderful woman of God who has deigned to be an excellent, loyal friend.

I'm really hoping this will just go away on its own - after all, I've spent so much time saying that if I only had one really loyal friend, I would be able to bounce back from anything. But boy, does this hurt. I can't face this kind of rejection without feeling at least a little sad. It would help if I didn't dwell on it so much.

It's times like this where I wonder if I really can keep taking this sort of thing. I think, "Is my sanity hanging by tiny threads like I feel, or am I just being dramatic?" I tend to conclude the latter. Still, just when things start to look like they're changing, they become the same again. A little dig here, a stab there...I go lower and lower, and just when I think things can't get worse they do.

Before I write a blog on self-pity instead of my dreams (as this blog started out, long ago, if you can believe, and to be honest I really don't want to be the kind of person who wallows in self-pity, that's disgusting to me) I want to say that I really think that having this loyal friend around I mentioned has really helped. Whenever I'm really starting to get upset about things that have happened (or not happened that I feel should have happened) it's been nice dwelling on the fact that I have someone who really wants to make time to talk to me - about anything. It doesn't even really matter to me that it's not a romantic relationship...this is someone I really trust who considers me a close friend and includes me in the things that she does. Wants me around, and notices when I'm not. That sort of thing.

That makes it better.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for a long rope of sanity tied to a true friend.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happiness and memories.

I've noticed there are two types of people: those who see a happy picture from long ago and feel happy, and those who see a happy picture from long ago and feel sad.

I am one of the latter. The difference between myself and those who see old pictures with happiness is that the happy ones are the ones who know that those times will come again. Me, I don't. The future terrifies me.

Why? Because I know something other people don't. I have discovered that when people have a good group of friends, they don't look for more friends. They don't care about friends that have gone before them - at least, not in any real conscious, present way, just in the abstract "I hope wherever they are and whatever they're doing, they are happy." As long as my friends have plenty of other friends, I am disposable. The only way it is ever different is if I do something to make them feel guilty - or their other friends leave them. And neither of those are solutions that interest me. This is the truth.

My time is over. It has been long over, in fact. My senior year of college was two years ago, and now I am all washed up, even if am still a student - a graduate student, but a student nonetheless. I look around me and see happy people who were first brought into this community by my class - some of them by me personally. It has never really seemed to matter. So long as they are happy, they could care less how lonely I am. They can certainly pretend to care - they have to in order to feel OK about themselves - but in the end, if I never reached out and asked people to spend time with me, I would probably talk to people a couple times a year. There are a few out there who are legitimately busy - I understand that very well, indeed I do - but there are others who have their band, their group, their "one from many" of which I can never hope to take part. I'm too old - even when I do somehow spend time with people here, I feel like an outsider. I belong to a group of people who have already left me behind.

The times I've been happiest in life is when I really felt a part of something greater than myself. The times when I wasn't just a friend, but part of a group of friends. Those were the best. And now, I am on the verge of leaving behind every good thing I've had on earth. All that I ever really had was here, at school. If I couldn't make friendships that last here, what hope do I have out there, where it is so much harder?

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream of constant memory.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lies, tears, then anger.

I don't often get angry, but when I know I have good reason to it's rather easy.

But anger is never first - at first I'm just sad. I'm happy about that because I think it's proper to mourn an injustice before having the anger to rectify it.

I'm angry, world, and I don't care who knows it. I've been forgotten about, discarded, ostracized, disrespected, and now...lied to. Lies, damn lies, are something I have a terrible time forgiving. There is no worse thing to treat me with than deception. Especially when that deception concerns something so close to my heart.

I think one of the wisest quotes from the Dark Tower is from one of the villains. "Only enemies tell the truth...friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of regard." I don't know who my friend is trying to gain regard from, but it's certainly not me.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for honesty.

Monday, January 14, 2013

On shrinking ground.

"The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of all."

Funny how my world has shrunk.

Not long ago, if I felt comfortable complaining about my life (I rarely do anymore), I would have probably whined about not having a girlfriend after all my effort at courtship, perhaps not having the friends I want or the family I want. Perhaps I might have said I wish I had more time to read or something of that nature.

Now, all I want is three meals a day, a little more sleep, and just one person to talk to every day.

At this point all I want to do is make it through grad school and move on to somewhere I can find a little peace. A few weeks ago I also would have told you school was the only thing in my life going pretty well - now I don't have that anymore. I got chewed up and spit out and now I'm questioning my ability to even be a counselor...not because of counseling but because of paperwork related to counseling. I'd say it was pathetic except that seems too shallow a term.

I have one thing, though, and that's the consolation that I've already done things I never thought I could do. In fact, I never thought I'd be capable of taking on as much work as I've done and still lived. Really. I was convinced I'd kill myself long before I got to this point, and here I am. Chugging along. Doing what I thought was impossible for someone like me.

Knowing what I'm capable of now, and knowing how I've consistently done what I thought I couldn't several times in the past few years, makes me feel pretty good. It's probably what I'm holding on to most at this point, as everything else has proved to be slippery ground.

Friend of mine happened to mention he felt my attitude to be "survival mode." As if it were a bad thing...Well, I suppose it would be better to really enjoy life. But that's not all what life is. Right now I am in "sink or swim" territory. Adapt or die. I will not easily get another chance at what I'm doing - perhaps not another chance at all. I need to work hard, get through this semester, graduate and get a job. That's it. What I'm doing now is what I must do. I can't let the opposite sex, friendships, family, or anything else like that get in the way. I just can't.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for higher ground.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

All that I am.

The only way to be great, is to be a part of something great.

The real tragedy of selfishness, I think, is not that it results in too much goodness for the self but too little. In the grand scheme of things, one person's effort is very little. I have learned through trial and error that everything I do for myself always comes up short. That's why after my last post, I actually changed my mind. Being a part of something greater is worth more than the sum of all of the personal reasons I had.

When I put forth effort to make myself great, all I ever really do is just attempt to feed a desire that can't be fed by myself. It is only when what meager gifts I have to offer are given in love to others that I am actually able to spread myself out into something greater. While I alone am small, together, many people are something great. And by being a part of that, I am great, too.

That is what makes life so grand. That is why God demands so much of us. In the end, the love we give is the love we receive. When I make someone else smile in whatever way I can, I also feel loved. Even when I am very upset and feel like life has been really unfair to me, if I can still make myself small and put others forth, all of that is erased. I diminish, and so do my worries. Others joys can become mine.

This is my only true pleasure in life, which is why I am dedicating it to the pursuit of healing and happiness in other people (my career). I only regret that it really took me so long to realize that the problem was not that others weren't doing enough for me, but I wasn't doing enough for others. In fact, it could never be enough.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to give over myself.