Thursday, December 25, 2014

On Memory.

There are a lot of things I wish I could forget.

In that I'm not alone, I imagine. I'm sure a lot of people would say that they wish they could forget X or Y. But what is unusual in my case is that sometimes, only when I'm in a bad mood, I want to forget many of the good things I've experienced in life.

Occasionally I will look people up on the internet that I used to know. Just to see if they're alive, see if they look happy. I would sincerely like to know if joy always comes with the missing afterwards. I wonder if I can ever love someone without eventually having to face the reality that I will never see or talk to them again.

It can make you question whether it is worth meeting people at all.

These days, most of my friendships I have to admit are not very intense, intimate friendships. I might even say that I don't have very many friends anymore at all. It is a lot different than my life, say, a year or so ago. I am starting to become a very solitary creature. For some reason, I don't feel bad about this at all.

But every once in a while it makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Because I used to have such close relationships with other people that I could never imagine living without them. But here I am. I have no friends now that I don't think I could live without.

Is there no golden mean here? Will I always have to have intense feelings toward other people to have good relationships with them? Because I'm all out of intense feelings these days.

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

An apathetic friend.

The further away I get from college life, the less I care about it.

It used to be that I was really broken up about the end of my life as a college student, and how much I missed the lifestyle and the friendships, but these days I am finding that more and more I do not miss it and do not care if my old friends have anything to say to me. That does not trouble me because I wish it were different, it troubles me because it is so opposed to everything I thought about myself.

It used to be that I firmly believed that all friendships could and should last forever, and that only a faithless friend says goodbye after life changes. But now, I am finding that the longer ago it is since I called someone, the more I think about just never calling them again. Friends whom I shared life with and thought warmly of, friends that I felt so much love for, and now...I just don't care.

Have I become a selfish person? Have I just become comfortable with my daily routine, apathetic toward the lives of others? Does this have something to do with becoming a counselor? I do not know.

Maybe I have just become like everyone else...perhaps this is how most people feel about friendships, and all along it was I who was missing out, not understanding why other people don't care about me - perhaps they did care, but were apathetic about showing it. I wish I knew.

It's been over a year since I left college, and it's been a good half a year since I made regular efforts to reach out to friends from my old life. More and more, I find that now that in my new life, I also don't care as much about being friends with people. They can reach out to me or leave me alone...I am apathetic. This troubles me.

I am afraid that my personality is changing, and I'm not sure if it's for the best.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to care forever.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

On jumping ship.

I had an encounter recently that made me angry.

It wasn't a very good reason to get angry - at least, if you don't mistake my anger for righteous anger. It wasn't really the carelessness towards something I cared about that made me angry.

I had an encounter a while back with someone who was deciding whether or not they wanted to leave the Catholic Church. I talked to them patiently about it and gently prodded and poked until it came out that they didn't believe what the Church taught because they never tried to learn why the Church teached it in the first place. I encouraged the person to "make the faith their own" and read some books or articles, they said they would "read," and we said goodnight.

Recently, the person spoke to me again. I brought it up and they said they were in the process of joining another Church. As we talked, it came out that they never did what they said they would do. They did not care about the truth. They said they still thought the Catholic Church was the Church Jesus founded, and yet they still wanted to leave because they "just wanted to be happy." They said they didn't read because they were afraid they would be convinced to if it couldn't be more clear that they were simply running away.

Well, I got angry and told them exactly how I felt about what they were doing. I suppose I wouldn't have been so hurt if it weren't for the fact that they lied. If they had said before that they had no intention of giving an equal chance to staying and going, then I would likely have had an entirely different conversation with them. As it was, though, I wasted my time on gentle encouragement and providing some of my own knowledge to try and help light their way. But really all they wanted was "Yeah, do it! Who cares what the Church has to say? It's only been around 2,000 years, they've never really thought about any of the cool heresies stuff we've revived discovered since the 60's!"

I wish this person had been as eager to learn and make informed decisions as people who had never even heard of the Catholic faith. All they wanted was to throw it away because it was too hard. They didn't want to go to confession. They didn't want to wrestle with finding what was true anymore. They just wanted to be happy. And I told them if that's what they wanted, that's what they would get. Because it's absolutely true. But people should want more than happiness. People should want greatness. And you will never be great if you do not care what is true.

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On taking life seriously.

I think that I do take life seriously.

It may not seem so, though, because I am always trying to make life simpler. I like to make decisions simpler, breaking things down into simpler elements so that no one has to be paralyzed by uncertainty.

There's nothing like the sort of talk I had Sunday to make me doubt myself. It was the "what are your intentions for my daughter" talk. I am becoming more aware that I have grown used to people just trusting me and thinking I'm pretty swell, when someone doesn't do so my confidence is easily shattered. I don't like that about me. I am not sure if it's a new life trait or anything but I know it's not good.

Still, I know that I was honest and even if I didn't have nice things to say about myself at times, I had good things to say too and in the end I hope what I seemed to be in the end is someone who takes life seriously but doesn't over-complicate it. I want to be both idealistic and practical, and I don't think those things necessarily need to conflict.

I know that I'm not as good as I should be. I fail at a lot of things and I am lazy. But I am honest and I take into account more things into my decisions than maybe I am given credit for, and I am good at keeping in mind what is really important. As long as I continue to grow and take life seriously, I think I will be OK.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for intentionally growing.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Some simple rules.

I'm coming up on one year as a mental health counselor (it will be this August 19, precisely) and I have made up my mind to write down a few simple rules that I've discovered make almost every aspect of life much easier.

Part of this is, of course, because I've discovered a lot of people end up in my office precisely because they don’t know the rules and don’t follow them. Furthermore, I’ve found that many of my friends don’t follow my rules, much to my exasperation. It’s not like I feel that I can demand that they do; my exasperation is much the one of someone who sees a simpler way to do things and sees a good friend struggling to do it the hard way.

Here are the rules.
  1. Say what you mean, mean what you say.
  2. Other people should inform you, but not form you.
  3. Emotions are messages, not commands.
  4. You are responsible for your own feelings; no one can make you feel anything.
  5. You are not responsible for other people’s actions; you are responsible for your response to them.
  6. Your obligations to other people are what you decide they are or have made yourself committed to by your words or actions.
  7. You can’t give what you don’t have.
  8. You can’t give if you don’t get (any rest, peace, support, etc.).
  9. Don’t try to fix what you can’t change.
  10. Forgive, but don't forget; or forgive, and then forget 'em!
  11. Only plan ahead as far as you must.
  12. Worrying is a useless emotion – just do what you can and what will be, will be.
  13. No one can demand better than your best.
  14. If you fail, you either do better next time or you find another solution.
  15. Arguing with an idiot makes you a bigger idiot.
  16. If you act like a fool, you give others permission to treat you like one.
  17. You can either warn people , give them chances, or save them over and over, or let them suffer the consequences of their own actions once.
  18. There is no written rule book for how you must feel about something.
  19. Relaxing and enjoying yourself is really just recharging your ability to work.
  20. The words of family and friends can become our inner voice.
  21. No matter how many times a falsehood is spoken, it will not make it true.
  22. A good attitude and cheerful spirit can be all you need to succeed.
  23. Ask more questions.
  24. Listen more than you talk.
  25. We belong with other people – no one can make it through life alone.
There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream that guides me through.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Flock of birds.

"A flock of birds hovering above
A flock of birds
That's how you think of love

And I always
Look up to the sky
Pray before the dawn
Cause they fly always
Sometimes they arrive
Sometimes they are gone
They fly on"

A reminiscence: Once upon a time, I believed in romance. Some day soon, I may again.

Unfortunately, I believe that my lofty ideas of romance, held what feels like a long time ago contained a great amount of naïveté and a lack of rational and practical thought.

I suppose these days I am wondering how far off of the mark I really was. The closest I ever got to marriage was when I was still exactly as I describe: romantic and naïve. I have met someone who reminds me of these times long ago, and I have to wonder if it is I who have the wrong idea and she the one who really knows what's going on, even while I question what she really understands of how things are supposed to work, and what she needs and thinks she wants.

I suppose all I can do is pray and wait and find out, but it would help if I understood how much of my transformation the past three years or so was due to bitterness and a cold reaction to hurt. I am feeling things awaken in me that I left a long time ago, and I know that this makes me uncomfortable, and even angry with myself...a sort of "how easily you unlearn" sort of anger.

I don't want to be headed nowhere in the world of love, and I don't want to think that I haven't found something real, good, and substantial...but I don't want to be stupid, either. I hope that by taking time to really examine my feelings, motivations, and my rational mind, I can prevent making old mistakes.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for love to be more than a flock of birds.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A song for this blog.

This might be the first post without any thoughts of my own. I just really wanted to share this song. It follows along this blog really well.

All the leaves on the giving tree have fallen
No shade to crawl in, underneath
I've got scars from a pocket knife where you carved 
Your heart, into me

If all you wanted was love
Why would you use me up,
Cut me down, build a boat and sail away?
When all I wanted to be
Was your giving tree
Settle down, build a home and make you happy?

I lie in the dead of night and I wonder, 
who's covers, you're between
And it's sad layin in his bed you feel hallow
So you crawl home, back to me

If all you wanted was love
Why would you use me up,
Cut me down, build a boat and sail away?
When all I wanted to be
Was your giving tree
Settle down, build a home and make you happy?

Well I see a trail that starts
A line of broken hearts behind you
That lead you back to me
The once sad and lonely fool
With nothing left but roots to show?

If all you wanted was love
Why would you use me up,
Cut me down, build a boat and sail away?
When all I wanted to be
Was your giving tree
Settle down, build a home and make you happy
Settle down, build a home and make you happy.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to be the Giving Tree.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

On fantasies.

If my supervisor is right, Disney and Nicholas Sparks have a lot to answer for.

I think my problem is that I expect so much from the world...perhaps things that don't even really exist. I've opened up to this guy a lot - my supervisor that is - about how I think things should be. He laughed at me, and maybe he was right to do so. I suppose the world and life and fun and love are not what they had been built up to be my whole life.

I never thought that I had actually picked up fantasies from movies and books, but reflecting on my expectations of what life could be like...should be like, depending on my mood...I know that these things are at least much more common in fairy tales.

Regardless, letting go of the expectation that someday I might have something great of my own feels like giving up, and this always seems less desirable than holding on to the hope that maybe someday things will be different.

By all accounts, right now things aren't really so bad. Yes, my job is incredibly stressful and there are certain people in my life that could be considered to owe me a little more support. But I really do have all I need. My problem is that I want so much. I can't even rebuke myself for it, because all the things I want are good.

I wonder what God would say to this. I pray but I never feel closer to an answer. But I get all the answers I like from songs like "1,2,3,4" and "Kiss Me" which is of course sappy, ridiculous, and probably too embarrassing to mention unless it were very true - which it is.

I keep thinking that all I need is a little time to recover or regroup, mature a little more, learn some lessons, and then I can try again and hope things will be different. But because of the pattern I always end up in, I have to wonder if maybe I'm crazy. The only thing that remains consistent is me, and whenever there is a situation like that it calls for some reflections.

Like this one.

If I'm not crazy, then perhaps I'm trying to live in a fantasy world that doesn't exist. And if so, if I ever want to be happy I need to stop.

But I just don't want to. So I guess I'll just have to continue getting browbeat by life until I do.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for dreams to be real.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

On my identity as an adult.

Try as I might, I still can't take myself seriously enough to see myself as an adult.

Even now standing at a quarter of a century (not old to most points of view, but still an adult age) I don't really feel significantly different from my younger self. I may have taken some strides in intellect and maturity, but there really seems to be no fundamental difference.

I also see this in others, too. I recently had lunch with a 40-year-old couple and felt no real age gap between them and I...and I don't think it's because I'm older, I think it's because the differences I felt years ago were all imagined. Adults think in many ways alike to younger people. Frustration, insecurity, uncertainty...they all exist for us now as they did when we were younger. It was just hidden from us.

Still, though, I think what sets me apart is that I am unwilling or unable to avoid acknowledging this. While I find it easier to relate to older adults now, I've not ceased relating to teenagers. I think I would be hard-pressed to find an adult who said they could understand a teenager - or would admit it.

I embrace it. For the most part and for most of the time I like who I am. And what I am is not what someone would think of as a very adult persona. I am still wild, still absurd, still maudlin, irresponsible, and capricious; I am outgoing, energetic, and passionate; playful, creative, fun.

And strangely, I am successful. At least, I am successful compared to most of my generation. I have a job with a lot of demands. I am paid a modest wage and I take care of myself (for the most part). I have a purpose that I have embraced.

And yet, I really don't feel like I fit into any particular category.  Am I an adult? By most definitions, yes...but I'm not adult. Am I a teenager? By most definitions, no. But in some ways I am teenaged.

And it's times like this when I wish someone would come along and want to understand me.

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

Monday, February 17, 2014

On being counter-cultural.

It occurred to me the other day that I haven’t really written anything insightful on this blog in a least, that was insightful to anything other than how I feel. So here’s something for your minds to chew on.

I love the culture that I have chosen, not because it is easy (on the contrary) or because it is most pleasurable, but because it is so rebellious. In the distant past, it was, perhaps, a rebellious thing to drink to excess, to treat sex as other than a part of marriage and family, to accept that there “is no truth” and that everything is permissible. Now, that is what it means to be of mainstream thought. That is the culture. So the culture I have chosen is strictly counter-cultural, and, therefore, rebellious. And I love it!

I remember very distinctly a wonderful evening I had with a close friend. We were college students at the time (well, he still is, actually, since he’s going for his doctorate) and had decided to go downtown to get a drink to St. Patrick’s health on St. Patrick’s feast day.


No sooner had we arrived in the bar area than we were exposed to women dressed immodestly, hordes of young people spouting vulgarity, a young man trying to cross the street who was too drunk to be able to successfully pick his phone up off the road where he had dropped it.

My friend and I slipped safely inside a bar we enjoyed because it was quieter, and proceeded to enjoy a fine Irish beer in the spirit of St. Patrick (a Guiness). A beer. We talked to one another about the topic of what a truly good thing beer was and what a truly Catholic thing it was that a beer blessing prayer exists, and various other things while we drank, and as soon as that warm feeling of beer washed over us we paid and were out the door, headed home as we continued to talk. And on our way back, we went to stop in to church to pray and thank God for a wonderful evening. But before we did, we were stopped by a group of drunk boys (I refuse to call them men) who gruffly inquired why we were headed home “so early” (it was really almost midnight at that point). We explained that we had our drink already and were headed into church to pray. At that point they became very belligerent and informed us we were missing out on promiscuous sex, though not in such polite terms. They let us rebels really have it. Guess we made them uncomfortable.

I am never reminded so strongly how strange I am to other people as when I inform someone who is of mainstream thought that I spend time with girls as friends alone. Seriously! I remember one young lady’s reaction when I told her about a time when I had a 3-hour conversation with a girl friend of mine. She was stunned, and it took me a moment to figure out why. The reason was because three hours with a member of the opposite sex alone meant sex! And really, the thought never crossed my mind while I was with my friend. And yet I still cultivate friendships with women without any intentions of more than just conversation and laughs. I suppose that makes me feel very rebellious!

It is fun to be different. It is a good thing to be radically opposed to the Romanesque, decadent culture of the West, to be so diametrically opposite of what it typically means to be an American male in his mid-20s. If I am to take pride in anything, it is good to be proud that I have cooperated with grace just enough to rise above the influence of the current cultural climate. Though I still have plenty of faults, it is good to reflect on how incredibly different I am from the image that our culture proposes I ought to be.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a rebel’s dream.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Intuiting success.

I wish that I could do whatever I wanted. Or, rather, I don't, depending on your point of view.

My last post was a hopeful one, and I sincerely meant everything I said. But I am realizing that in order to do something, I must really believe in it.

I am able to recognize the solutions to my problem. I could solve all my problems today, if I really wanted to. But I don't want to be the kind of person who would solve their problems that way. I don't want to be someone who settles, I don't want to be someone who hordes attention and scares people into caring about me, I don't want to spend time with people pretending I have one intention when really I have another. I'm not going to trade my only virtues for vices, even if they promise to make me happy. I won't do it.

That's not the only problem, though. As long as it's not mechanical, I am able to recognize when something will work and when it will not work. I can take a lot of chances, but I hesitate to make ones that I know with very little doubt are not good ones. I am, perhaps, too sure of my own intuitions. But so far, every time I've really had a hard time were all the times I ignored my intuition. I'm not about to do it now, even if it will temporarily bring some joy to my life.

For now, though, I am doing something. I need new friends, more friends. I am trying to reach out to new people in the hopes that I will meet others like me, who love their friends in the way that I need to be loved. I can't hang out with the same people all the time and expect them to just learn how to conduct their friendships the way that I do. It's never worked.

It's good to be doing something. I just hope it works.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for an intuition of success.

Monday, February 3, 2014

"Like out of the Far East..."

I am…so very arrogant.

What I mean to say is that I am sorry, both to myself and to others that have spoken to me that I claimed I had done everything there is to do about my situation. There is still hope, and I wish I had the courage to acknowledge it to those who spoke to me – even those who spoke anonymously to me over this blog. In my hurt, I gave myself permission to pridefully proclaim that all other opinions about the situation were null and void, and that my despair was gospel.

Today, I spoke to someone in my profession who is much more experienced than I, and has been very credible to me since the moment I met him…often in a way I couldn't deny, even if I wanted to. This man, a 'mentor' if there ever was one, just speaks to me, and I believe what he says. Today I told him all about what has happened to me over the past several years, and he spoke to me about a philosophy toward my problems so bold and tenacious that I would never have thought of it myself. I can be bold and tenacious if the situation calls for it, but at heart I am cautious, and think first of the cautious approach to situations.

I did not agree to all that he said – not yet, at least – but I did acknowledge that his idea was attractive to me. I told him that his idea was a philosophy "like out of the Far East," a foreign idea coming to those Westerners who thought they knew it all. I did think I knew it all – but clearly I did not.

I have often spoke of characters from stories in this blog. I have readily admitted in one particular blog post that I admire most the characters who never give up, who are bold and tenacious. Like Han Solo, Magus, Vegeta, or William Wallace. I like them because we are so unalike, but they have qualities I wish I had. I told this to my mentor, and he told me that all men wish for such qualities. He is probably right. I am not special in this – but I am special in that I’m willing to try.

I've come too far to do anything else.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream full of boldness and tenacity.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mr. Brightside.

"I just can't look, it's killing me...and taking control. Jealousy, turning saints into the sea. Swimming through sick lullabies, choking on your alibies. But it's just the price I pay! Destiny is calling me, open up my eager eyes. 'Cause I'm Mr. Brightside.

I'm seeing a counselor again. She seems like a nice lady and everything, but I think I can tell what direction we're going to take. It's the same conclusion that my last counselor and I reached - that there's nothing to do, that other people and the world are what they are, and all I can do is become stronger, more tolerant, and carry on.

I am convinced that who I am is good. I really care about other people and am empathetic to them, and am a far better listener than anyone else I know. That is something I will never try to change, even if it makes me so lonely sometimes when I want the same in return. Even if it leads to periods like this where I want to disappear forever.

It is also true that every time I go through a period like this, I become more tolerant of the next one. I am beginning to feel better already, and though I know I am not even close to where I was last October, when I was probably the happiest I had ever been in my entire life, this is still a relatively quick recovery for me.

But I don't want my life to be all about being Mr. Brightside and just hoping for things that won't come. It would be nice someday to know that all I hoped for really was going to come true. That true, loyal, loving life-long friends will be mine. That I can get married and make a family. Unlike in the Killers song posted above, it would be nice to not watch while other people receive what I want from life, while I watch and hope for my turn.

I know there is nothing to be done, except to be a stronger person. At my mother's funeral, that was one of the things I quoted from her during the eulogy. "Don't pray for an easy life, pray to be a strong person." OK, Mom. I will.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to be a strong person.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


It's not so much what happened, it's how it happened.

If I fail at something, I want to know that it's a part of something greater, and that I could have done better - just not now. I want to know that I made mistakes that I could not have fixed before my failure, but that I will never make them again because of the failure.

I think I'm beyond that now.

Writing this blog has heightened my awareness of just how cyclical my life is. Compare the following posts: AND

That's just one example of the repetition of my problems. In the end, I really believe I don't care that I'm not dating anyone. I believe my present frustration and sadness has nothing to do with the fact I got snubbed again, after 5 months of preparation. I don't think I'm even really bothered that the only person I've been interested in a long time is dating someone now. Other empathetic, interesting, fun, intuitive women exist. I've met plenty (even if none of them liked me like that). But what I do know for sure is that I am so put out by the futility of it all...the futility of this cycle. It seems like nothing I do really matters. I have tried every strategy I've heard of, I've approached it at all kinds of angles, I've pursued women who were friends before I liked them and I've pursued women I just met. I've worked through fear, discouragement, and despair to do all of this, and none of it really mattered.

Is it really any surprise if I say that I would really rather not bother with it anymore, even if I want to get married?

The same goes for anything else, really. The only three things I really care about are friends, love, and God. And of course, those are the three things that I have the biggest problems with. It has never really made any difference how much effort I put into any sort of strategy or lack of strategy. Things always turn out however they were meant to turn out. And the result is rarely anything I'm pleased with.

If I'm supposed to only meet people who really don't live up to what I always hope for in a friendship, then why can't I just be someone who needs different things from a friend? Why did I become someone who craves a friendship based only on how people feel, and not something easy like a love of sports? Why do I want to have friends who reach out to me, instead of friends who stay in their own world? It just doesn't make any sense to me that I would become a person exactly unsuited to their environment, and then find it impossible to escape it.

I have really met my limit many times, and always pushed beyond it. I'm there now. I've had enough of life. Someday, I will be glad I am alive. And then I will suffer disappointment again, and realize that I just reached another point in the cycle. And in the end, nothing will change. Because nothing ever really changes. New job, new city, all the same problems. And none of my dreams have come true. It's hard to believe when I started this blog, I still believed in dreams. That's why I gave this blog the title I gave it, and end each post with a variation of the same sentence. But now, I don't believe in dreams anymore. I think dreams are a lie that serve as a foundation for false hope. I believe some people never get what they want from life.

I believe I will be one of them.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream that was no dream at all.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On why I write.

Writing can be a healing thing.

I would know, I have used it all my life. It hasn't mattered whether I was an introvert, like when I was young, or an extrovert, in my adulthood, writing has always been a healing matter for me.

When no one understood me, I understood me, and I could prove it to myself by writing about it. Having the words of how I really feel stare back at me was always satisfying, even if there was no one to read it. Here, at least, I can compose a perfect picture of what is going on inside me. There is no other way I know how to do that.

In my professional career, I have already used writing as a tool. Most of my clients would rather not write, but there have been a few that would. And I think they have found healing, too, because sometimes, there is just no one to talk to. No one that really helps, anyway. And that is where writing can heal when there is no other balm.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to write everything away.

On regrouping.

"Reform the line! Reform the line..."

On the battlefield, after a charge or just after a certain amount of time, things tend to get messy. Soldiers tend to go astray in their pursuit of the enemy. If they are allowed to stay like this, it is easy for the enemy to overtake many of these stray soldiers and kill them.

However, a wise leader will call for his soldiers to regroup. Soldiers are stronger in groups and far less likely to die.

Reader, I have been a warring nation. For the past seven years, I have never gone beyond perhaps a month without declaring war; I have always known what I wanted and been willing to try and take it. But I've only ever won a single war. For ten and a half months, I held my ground until I decided that my army wasn't compatible with the land and I abdicated it.

Since that time, things had gone very badly. I doubled my efforts. Tripled them. And still, somehow my charges would be broken, or the enemy would overcome me, or all would be lost in some confusing melee. And when all seemed darkest, I finally declared peace. For nearly 6 months now, I had fought no wars. I have often wrote of this in my blog. Sometimes when I wrote of it, I was happy. Sometimes, I was ambivalent. But at no point did I declare it a bad idea.

Recently, I fought again. Out of nowhere, it seemed, which made it all the more compelling to me. It just seemed right. I had lost a lot of confidence in myself, but I didn't want fear to hold me back. There were some confusing things going on, but even those I set aside, all for the sake doing what seemed natural. I had doubts about victory, and was at times certain that this, too, would end badly, but there were other things that encouraged me and made me certain that I would win this one. "If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight," says the Art of War.

But, as suddenly as it started, the war was over. I lost. And now my soldiers are scattered everywhere, dazed. It's up to me now. I must regroup. I must hold the line. Other people are counting on me to hold everything together, so that bandits don't burn my crops, or kill my people, or pillage my goods.

But it's hard. I wasn't sure that I could handle another defeat. I was sure that another defeat would destroy me for good. But here I am. As I've written before, I'm like the Gunslinger from the Dark Tower. "You darkle, you tinct. May I be frank? You go on." I will go on. Like before.

But to what purpose? Is this what my entire life is going to be? Here the allegory ends, and I will be frank. My job is to help people through their problems and for them to feel better. And among my friends, that is what I do, too. But at the end of every day, I am alone. I have no one. Everyone I ever had has left me behind for greater purposes, and I must accept it. But it just feels like no one really cares about me. For a little while, at least, that seemed about to change. But they're gone too. They have to go. And if they're reading this and not taking a break like I would, I want them to know I'm sorry, too. Maybe someday things will be different. But I don't know when that will be, and I don't care.

I just need to regroup for a while.

There was a dream that I dream, a dream of sure victory.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Requiem for a wedding.

I wonder why people make wedding receptions feel like a goodbye party.

I recently attended one for a dear, dear friend. Let me tell you about this friend. She was someone who, against all odds and reason, became my friend and was there for me during a difficult time in my life. Almost every day of last summer, she loved me as if I were her brother and helped me when I needed it the most. And I think I’ll probably never have that with her again. Things always change when people get married, which was all I could think about while I was at her wedding reception, and she was as beautiful and jovial and alive as always. Her story goes on without me. Exeunt: I have left her tale as a character, probably forever. Although I know we will probably speak again, it won’t be like it was in my last summer in the college town I loved…sitting there listening to her, and having her listen to me.

Sometimes when I wonder why it feels like the universe has conspired to make me exactly the strange person that I am, and destiny conspired to bring me to the people and places I needed to be at, that I was chosen for a role in people’s lives that brings so many mixed feelings. I met someone recently who sympathized with me on the feeling that our lives are not our own, but for her it was a joyful, pleasant thing. I would have to say that reading this blog would deceive my readers into believing that it is not so with me. I said mixed feelings: this is true. It was a joy to meet my friend, as it is a joy to have helped her in her times of struggle, and to have her in return help me last summer…all because of chance, it would seem. But the 'saying goodbye' is as painful as the 'getting to know' is joyful. I always lose as much as I gain. And that’s when I write about it. Because, what else is there to do? You can’t go back in time. So I immortalize my memory in type.

I do know that it is not truly destiny, chance, or the universe, but God that has done these wonderful things to me and through me. But as much as I wish it did, this has never brought me much comfort. Even when I sit in silence over the thought that God loves me and that my day will come, it never quite overcomes the feeling that the sort of happy ending I see at weddings is not for me, never for me. I darkle, I tinct, the Man in Black from the Dark Tower would say. It just doesn’t seem to “fit” the theme of my story. My life is about moving, growing, building an empire of love and friendship, watching it topple, and then building it all over again. Perseverance, not permanence; truth, not trust; cynicism, and not certainty.

But, of course, I still want it. Why not? It’s what I do. It’s all I do.

And so I go on as I always do, and I always make the choices that seem like they are the only choices…and when things go well, they go well. When things don’t go well, all I can ask is “what else was I supposed to do?” And there is never a reply.

For now though, I am happy. I am tired and happy, and I could not ask for better than that.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for a change in theme.