Tag Archives: Thinking

How Far

When I graduated college I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m not sure anyone ever entirely figures that out. Even when one has a normal, well-paying, steady job, has a fabulous relationship, or is happily single, has a nice place to live, has good friends, etc, it’s hard to know if one is ever really satisfied or has figured it out. I think we spend our whole lives “figuring it out,” and I’m not sure that goal is often accomplished in this life. This is all probably pretty cliche by now, but it matters. I think it’s important to be okay with admitting that you don’t know what you’re doing or where you’re going or why. I’ve been getting more comfortable about answering hard questions with “I don’t know.” There are a million questions that I don’t know the answer to, and that’s okay.

I do think it’s important to keep asking questions and to keep learning. On Thursday I went to confession and admitted to something I’ve been avoiding for a long time, and once I did, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me. Of course, later I accidentally did it again. However, I think I figured out how to solve the problem. Something I’ve been thinking about for months now is how an infinite, perfect God, who loves everyone, and made everything not only pays attention to, but loves me no matter what. It’s actually the “no matter what” part that baffles me most. The ironic thing is that the more I get to know Jesus, the more I see my own imperfections. I keep trying to answer questions about why he created me and why he loves me, when he just does. I keep asking these questions that I can’t answer because I’m broken and he’s not.

Yesterday I came up with a new question. Why am I broken? Obviously I can jump to original sin, and all that noise, but really my question is, why did humans turn against God in the first place? The cliche answer, of course, is “because we have free will, and maybe we wanted to see what would happen,” or something along those lines. I don’t think people ever entirely grow out of the curious, rebellious child phase. I still have it in me, anyway. I don’t think there is a good explanation. While I don’t like it, I guess it’s a good thing that I’m seeing my mess more, and I do want to clean it up. Before receiving communion in the Catholic Church (and it’s probably the same in other churches), we say, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” I think it’s helpful to think of my soul as a messy house. He sees the mess and likes me anyway. He doesn’t approve of the mess, and that’s why I’m going to clean it up.

Jesus taught me what love is. I don’t mean that I understand it because of his actions or his teachings, at least not entirely. What I really mean is that he loved me until I loved him back. He loves me completely so I can love him more. Trust me, if it sounds weird to you, it sounds weird to me, too. It understandably sounds insane. For awhile I was using the word “unbelievable,” but that’s not entirely accurate. I’ve switched to “amazing,” which doesn’t really do the feeling justice. It’s amazing and awe-inspiring and baffling and crazy and exciting and a lot of other things that I don’t really have words for. The God of the universe, who was also a regular human being two thousand years ago, and is actually more human than I am, loves me, and I love him.

A lot of things about God “just are.” He wants us to love him because he loves us and he loves us because that’s just what he does. That’s who he is. He has infinite power and can do literally impossible things, but the very core of his being is love, and what’s crazy is that it makes him relatable and in some sense, vulnerable because we can say “no” to that love. He made us knowing that, not only was it a possibility, but that it was going to happen.

Last night I woke up crazy late (or early) and couldn’t sleep for a while, so I decided to read. The Bible site I use was open on my phone, so I went to the chapter I hadn’t read yet this time around, which included the story of the Prodigal Son. Last week, really by accident, I watched a video about this story. Apparently the people Jesus was teaching were familiar with another story that is similar to this one, only at the end of it, the kid’s father gives him exactly what he asks for and no longer considers him his son. I decided to try and find that story, so I googled “prodigal son,” and I didn’t find the story I was looking for, but I did find an analysis of Jesus’ story, which emphasized the role of the older brother.

Apparently, according to Jewish law, the older brother would have got two thirds of his father’s estate when he split it up–not half. Also, while the brothers owned the money and the stuff, they didn’t have control over it, exactly. The younger brother could sell his third, but for one thing, he would have sold it at a loss, and for another, it would have to stay with his father until his father’s death. Furthermore, by asking his dad to split up his belongings in the first place, the younger brother is basically saying that he wants him to hurry up and die. The older brother says nothing. He just takes his two thirds instead of trying to make peace between his dad and his brother. At the end of the story, he’s ticked that his brother is back and safe, but when his dad says “Everything I own is yours,” he means it quite literally.

I think it’s possible to see ourselves in both brothers. Even last night I felt stupid for doing the exact same thing I had confessed to only hours before on Thursday. Sometimes when that kind of thing happens I get a little crazy, so last night after reading that analysis I was praying and I just kept thinking, “Please forgive me.” And then I remembered. It’s no matter what. In the story, God is represented by the forgiving father. He willingly does what his son asks, and immediately forgives him. There’s no mention of anger. I realized last night that sometimes life would be easier if I knew for sure that God was mad at me, but really this is because it’s easy to get mad at someone if they’re mad at you first, so I dropped that thought. Confession is kind of a tool. When I go, it’s not always because I want to. It’s because “sorry” doesn’t really cut it. It’s because explaining what I’ve done wrong isn’t easy, but it’s liberating.

Before returning to heaven, Jesus tells his disciples, “what sins you forgive are forgiven.” He allows people to forgive sins for him. God already knows what we’re going to do, let alone what we’ve done. I think that’s a large part of the reason it’s important to confess to a priest. It’s for us. It seriously cuts through a person’s ego sometimes. It took me quite a while to admit what I needed to, but the first time is the hardest. I think God allowed me to make the same mistake again (key word being “allowed”) so that I’d have to admit it again today. He knows that really irritates me. God doesn’t make anyone do anything. He only asks us to do things, and if we say “yes,” then he’ll work with us to see how far that “yes” will go.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

In The Audience And On Stage: How Does Live Music Relate To Worship?

Today I’m playing a little gig at our neighborhood block party. It should be quite fun because as far as I know, most of our neighbors downloaded my album, thanks to my mom. I find it awkward and funny and awesome all at the same time, but regardless, I’m going to play guitar today.

Last night my dad and I went to see Rend Collective. They’re a Christian band from Ireland, and they’re hysterically funny, talented, and otherwise awesome. My dad and I are concert buddies, and we were very overdue for some live music. The best part about it was that I was kind of in a foul mood before the show, but after it, I was happy as a fed guinea pig.

I was kind of thinking to myself that a rock concert isn’t exactly conducive to worship, but apparently it was without me explicitly knowing it. At one point the lead singer said something that I almost missed, but now I think I agree with it very much: he said Christians tend to think that spirituality has to be serious all of the time. The truth is that we’re supposed to celebrate and have fun. It’s sometimes hard for me to get past what I do wrong, and when I screw up, and I pray for forgiveness and I pray for him to fix me when I’m already forgiven.

I think this can be hard for a lot of people, including myself, because what we celebrate is, quite frankly, kind of confusing. When I really think about it, it actually pisses me off, what Jesus had to go through. I’m just going to go ahead and say that he was the nicest person ever to live. It’s pretty hard to argue with that. He was also the most innocent person ever to live, and he willingly went to a death he didn’t deserve. That confuses me and pisses me off.

What we’re supposed to celebrate is the freedom we now have and the salvation we have because of what he did, but there’s a bit of guilt that comes along with that. We’re not supposed to feel guilty, but a lot of times we do. It’s natural, and quite frankly, it’s annoying.

Last night I got an idea for a new song. Part of it was, despite the fact that the three bands who played last night were stylistically very different, they occasionally used some of the same motifs and metaphors in their lyrics. It’s a trap Christian bands often fall into. Rend Collective turned out to be a bit more creative, which I appreciated, but I decided that if I’m going to write a new worship song–which I am, it’s kind of what I do–I’m going to try and sneak away from convention. The idea for my new song is that the world is really loud and cluttered, and what seems to be missing is complete silence and complete darkness. I don’t know if I’ll even end up using these lines in my new song, or if they’ll be modified, but this is what I came up with last night. I think I like it.

I want to find the silence
I want to find the darkness
I want be where time Is endless
And there’s nothing between us
Nothing, nothing

I have a feeling the idea might end up getting muddled if I’m not careful, but then I’m the queen of convoluted. Very few of my songs are actually straight forward. Maybe it’s a problem, but I don’t think so. I decided something else last night as well. I decided that when I perform, I’m never going to explicitly try and make my shows into worship sessions, whether I’m playing at a college, or a bar or a church. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s hard because when you go to see a show, at least from my experience, you’re kind of going to see the band and freak out about how good their music is. Then again, I find that it’s sometimes easiest to worship when you’re with a whole bunch of people who are singing the same songs, maybe even harmonizing, and jumping around because, yes, the music is EPIC. In reality, whether it “works” or not is on us.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

If I Saw You In The Airport

I wrote this story after I wrote a song called “Airport Song.” It’s based off musings about what would happen if I ran into Jesus in a public place. It just happened to be an airport for some reason, and I think it works well. I haven’t really edited it much, but it’s very short. Furthermore, the narrator in the story sin’t necessarily me. She’s sort of based on me, but I’ve altered some details. Anyway, here it is.

If I Saw You In The Aairport

I was on my way to California when I met him. I had never been to California, and now I was going. I was finally going. I was so excited to see the West Coast. I guess I’ve always sort of had an idealized idea of what it’s like. I had never really left New England up until that point, and I was nervous as I checked my bags, got a hot dog and found my gate. The airport was extremely crowded on that day. It was early May, and still a bit chilly in Boston. It had been a long winter, and it seemed, or at least I guessed, that everyone was headed somewhere warm.

Finally I found a place to sit that was slightly less crowded near one of the big windows that look out over the runway. I sat for a moment in silence, rather breathless, and then, to pass the time, I dug out my phone and looked up the weather in San Francisco. Eighty degrees and sunny for the next week. Perfect. I had at least an hour to kill, so I ate my hot dog, played some games on my phone, checked Facebook and called my grandmother. Then I noticed the time and saw that I would be boarding my flight in twenty five minutes.

It was at that moment that a young man, I guessed a few years older than myself walked up carrying only a small carry-on bag with him. He looked tired, and perhaps a bit distracted, but content. When he noticed me watching him he said, “Hello.”

“Hello,” I said. “Are you looking for a place to sit?” There were several empty seats on either side of me at the moment.

He smiled and said, “Yes.”

“Well, sit down,” I said. “Where are you going?”

“I don’t know,” he said as he took a seat. “I’m waiting to see.”

“See what?”

“Who I’m traveling with.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll know where I’m going once I know who I’m going with. That’s all.”

“But what if you find out the person you’re supposed to be going with has already left?” I felt that I had been rather cleaver in asking this question.

“They haven’t. I’ll find them before they leave.”

“How can you be sure?”

“Because I believe it.”

It felt to me as if this conversation was going in circles. Clearly this man was crazy.

“I’m not crazy,” he said as if he knew what I was thinking. I figured since I would be leaving in a few minutes that it would be at least interesting to continue the conversation, and I would have a reasonable, not-rude excuse to cut it off if it got weird.

“Alright. I didn’t say you were crazy,” I said patiently.

“You were thinking it, though. Where are you going?”

“California.”

“Have you been there before?”

“No, I haven’t. It’s sort of a little present to myself. I just graduated college.”

“Congratulations,” he said, so sincerely that I was actually touched by this over-used, uninteresting word.

“Thanks… Have you ever been to California before?”

“A few times. I’ve been just about everywhere for my work.”

“Really? What do you do for work?”

“I guess you could say I’m a teacher.”

“Like a traveling professor?”

“In a way.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I don’t get paid because I don’t charge my students. I hardly ever spend a whole lot of time in one place, and I’ve never been tied to one institution. All I ask is that people listen, think about it, and spread the word.”

“How do you live if you don’t get paid?”

“I live off the charity of others.”

“Why?”

“It’s part of my teaching. I want people to be kind to one another.”

“I’ve never heard of anyone like you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Pretty sure.”

“Then you’ve misunderstood.”

“Misunderstood what?”

“You’ve misunderstood what you say you believe in.”

I was silent for a moment. I was very confused at this point, and my plane was leaving in just a few minutes, but for some reason I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to know more.

“You’ll miss your flight,” he said, once again reading my thoughts.

“That’s alright… I’ll catch another.”

“I’m glad. I like talking to you.”

“Thanks.”

He was silent for a moment, then he said, “If you could go anywhere, where would you go?”

“Right now, somewhere warm. Anywhere warm.”

“What about Africa?”

“Maybe.”

“Have you ever been to the desert?”

“Well, once when I was very little, but I hardly remember.”

“It can be beautiful, but also unforgiving. I spent a long time in the desert once.”

“Were you lost?”

“No, but I did a lot of thinking. Things were different after that for me.”

“What do you mean?”

“I guess you could say I came into my own. I knew what my purpose was.”

“And what was that?”

“To make the world better than it was before. That’s what my teaching is all about.”

After a moment I asked, “Do you know where you’re going yet?”

“Not yet, but I’m getting an idea.”

We sat in silence for another minute, then I asked, “Would you like something to eat? I’ll buy you something.”

“Alright. Thank you. I appreciate it.”

“Great. Do you like pizza? I saw a pizza place around here somewhere.”

“I’ll eat anything. Pizza sounds good.”

We walked over to the pizza place, and I bought him a couple slices of pizza and a bottle of ginger ale for us to share. When we got back to where we had been sitting we discovered that our seats had been taken, so we wandered around the airport, looking to see where all the flights were going. During this time we didn’t talk much. It didn’t feel like we had to. For some reason I felt very comfortable around this man even though he was a bit strange. I led the way as we walked from one end of the airport to the other. The whole place was very crowded and noisy. There were people standing in long lines waiting for food and sitting around talking about where they were going and what they would do when they got there. I wondered if my new friend was listening to any of these conversations. I didn’t understand what he was looking for in his mystery traveler, and I eventually thought that it might as well be me.

We sat down near a random gate. The flight was leaving for Nebraska in an hour. I thought about buying a ticket for this flight, but dismissed the idea as frivolous.

I asked my friend, “Would you like to go somewhere with me?”

“Yes, I would.”

“Okay. Where should we go?”

“You decide.”

“Well, where haven’t you been?”

“I’ve been just about everywhere. Where haven’t you been?”
I laughed. “Everywhere. I mean anywhere. I’ve hardly left New England.”

“How about Istanbul?”

“Alright,” I said. “Why?”

“Because you haven’t been there.”

“Okay. When should we go?”

“Tonight.”

“What if there isn’t a flight tonight?”

“There will be. Don’t worry.”

“How do you know?”

“It’s meant to be.”

“You wanna bet?”

“No, I don’t.”

“We don’t have any hotel reservations or anything.”

“That’s alright. We’ll manage. We’ll find a place to stay.”

“You’re crazy.”

“A lot of people think so.”

“We haven’t packed the right stuff to go all that way,” I said, looking at his small bag, and thinking of all my luggage, which was now on its way to California.

“Don’t worry about that. You don’t need a whole lot, really.”

I laughed. “Alright. I’ll go with you to Istanbul. Just don’t let me get lost.”

“I won’t. Just stay with me.”

“Alright, but what about my stuff? I missed me flight to California.”

“I’ll take care of it.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Do you trust me?”

“Yes,” I said after a moment. “I do.”

“So it’s settled then.”

“Yes.”

Dedicated To Harris Curtis

Harris Curtis was my grandfather. He passed away in November, and I still think about him. Anyway, I was thinking earlier today about how weird it is that Grammie-and-Papa has been just Grammie for several months now, so I wrote a poem about it.

We See Things In Our Sleep

Life is not a sitcom.
It was weird
when Grammie and Papa’s
phone number became Grammies’
phone number.
It was weirder still
when Grammie and Papa
became Grammie.

After the fall
things just fell apart,
And he had to leave home.

I remember reading somewhere
that life comes and goes
full circle.
We are born small and
speechless, and he died
small and speechless.

I wasn’t there
for the two-day vigil,
when my father dreamed,
and his father breathed
his last breath.

I was there for the funeral,
to play a song and send him off
wherever he was going.

We see things in our sleep.
My father and grandfather
walked amongst the trees
and strange creatures, until
they came upon the lantern man.

I walked with Death, who smiled
and said it would be fine.
Another night I heard angels sing.

Grammie saw her husband
kiss her son goodbye.

I saw him smile in a perfect photograph.

I Finally Asked Her

Last night I asked my friend a question I had been meaning to ask her for a long time: “What would convince you that I’m right about God: rather, what would convince you that God is a real, semiconcrete figure and that Jesus is his son?”

Her response: “I don’t know. I’ve had one spiritual experience in the past, but it didn’t really convince me that one particular religion or faith was the right one. When I was younger my mom took me to church, and I went on a retreat with a group once. I ended up crying a lot when they were talking about God’s love because it was just crazy that despite all of my flaws and everything that he would love me so much. It didn’t convince me of anything else in particular, though.”

I told her about the time several years ago when I was feeling very lonely, and long story short, I prayed about it, and God made it better. My friend said, “You felt that God answered you. I’ve never felt that.” We were in the middle of a Breaking Bad marathon, and I wasn’t sure what to say after that, so I just sort of let it go from there. I hope she thinks about it some more, though. I prayed last night that she would believe somehow. I pray about that a lot. I try not to be annoying about it, but I just wish she could have what I do.

Earlier in the evening she had mentioned that sometimes she has trouble sleeping because she just starts thinking. She said she thinks about sexism and politics and things like that. I told her I have the exact same problem, only I think about weird spiritual and philosophical things. Maybe that has something to do with our spiritual differences. I don’t know. Anyway, I’m off to school in a few minutes. I start my play writing class today with a professor I had last semester for a poetry writing class. It should be super fun.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

3 Way Split?

I was thinking earlier about different kinds of worship music. I’ve thought about this before, but I haven’t really come up with a conclusion about it, partly because I haven’t thought about it deeply enough; what is the (for lack of a better word) best kind of worship music?

What I mean by this is that there are several different kinds: there’s “sneaky” worship music, which I tend to like the most, there’s “me and You” worship music, and then there’s straight up “praise” music. Basically I define these as follows: “Sneaky” worship is when you take a song that could be about anyone/anything and direct it to God. For example, I have a song called “Passenger,” which is about driving home late at night and not wanting to fall asleep because I enjoy the driver’s company so much. The metaphor is that I don’t always know where my life is headed, but God does, and I’m pretty content to just let him drive. “me and You” worship music is explicitly spiritual in terms of the lyrics, and it’s about the human relationship with God. What I define as “Praise” music excludes the human element as much as possible and focuses entirely on God’s greatness.

The reason I was thinking about this was because I remembered last semester I was taking a music of worship class, and someone brought up the idea that music that includes the human element is somehow less worshipful than music that does not. I’m not sure I agree with that, but I’m not entirely sure what I think in general, which is why I’m posting about it.

It seems to me that it’s difficult to think about God in nonhuman terms. For example, most people think of God as loving his creation. Love is a very human feeling. Furthermore, most people think about God in terms of what he does; whether that is what he does for them personally or in general. Then there is the fact that for a period of time he actually became human (at least I believe so).

Obviously there are some distinct aspects of God that are not human at all. He created the universe, for one, and he has greater power, strength and knowledge than anyone that has ever lived on the earth or ever will. He can perform miracles that no one would even think of doing because the thought is just absurd. Lastly, he is invisible and intangible, which is obviously not a human quality.

It seems to me that both sides of him need to be acknowledged; of course the list I’ve made doesn’t even scratch the surface of who or what God is, but that’s a whole other story. My intuition says that music that acknowledges the relationship between man and God is more effective in terms of allowing someone to have a more worshipful experience, but perhaps straight up praise music is more appropriate in terms of actually acknowledging who God is. Of course there is always the argument that different music is better for different situations, but how does one know what to use and when?

My thinking is that maybe “me and You” music is better for individual worship; i.e. when someone just wants to have their own little spiritual jam session in their basement, but praise music is better for communal situations.

I’ve said this before, but I prefer “sneaky” worship music because it tends to be more creative and artful (at least in my opinion). I think because it’s “sneaky” however, it can tend to be less spiritual sometimes. This might simply be because of the fact that it can be played/listened to in less spiritual situations and still be enjoyed; the spiritual nature of it can basically be ignored. Maybe that just makes it better music; it can be appealing to a larger audience. I have argued before that if it is partly the duty of Christians to spread the Gospel (which is definitely the case), then it follows that music which appeals to a larger audience should be more effective in achieving that end. This is probably a large part of the reason that there is Christian pop, country, punk, metal and rock music.

If I remember correctly, the argument against music that acknowledges the human relationship with God is that it can tend to be self indulgent and and at times, whiney. It can definitely be whiney; I will concede to that. I still don’t believe that the style in general is so. Furthermore I think that less upbeat songs can be more helpful in someone’s spiritual life depending on their emotional state and their beliefs in general. Even some of the psalms are rather dismal; they’re essentially calls for help. Modern music does the same thing.

In general I feel that straight up praise music is less relatable, which doesn’t make it bad by any means. It just feels to me that removing myself from the worship of God alienates us instead of bringing us closer, which I feel is kind of the point. Of course the point is also to acknowledge God’s greatness, in which case praise music is just fine. I will conclude that in an individual or small group situation it’s up to the individual(s) to decide what will work best. When it comes to a larger audience however, I think the best thing to do is to do all 3 (provided the audience is willingly going into a worship situation). Some would argue that it’s best to figure out what works best for the person/people in charge and then like minded people will join them, but I feel that worship should be more inclusive than that. I think because the different styles of music appeal to different people that they are all valid, as long as the people can really use it to acknowledge God’s greatness.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

The Bystander Effect

Yesterday in my philosophy class we talked about the bystander effect. We talked about how a group of people will stand and watch a child drown purely because there are other people there. People seem to have a mentality of “no one else is helping, why should I?” It’s why the genocide of the Jews in Germany was even possible.

It’s also why there are millions of starving children in the wold. We talked about how it seems that a person who is able to help should be morally obligated to from an egalitarian viewpoint. We talked about how people act based on social norms and an innate sense of self preservation and how this does not  seem to correlate with egalitarianism or a common sense of compassion.

It disturbed me a little in class, but we have talked about this kind of thing numerous times before in other classes mainly on a theoretical level. It sunk in however when I read an add in the school bulletin that gets sent out once a day via email. A girl was asking for help with a public speaking project she had coming up and I almost replied, but then I thought, “Well, she probably already has several other people offering to help her and I’m busy.” It is midterms. What if everyone else was “too busy” as well? I most likely have a few hours to spare some time this week. Am I morally obligated to help that girl?

Something else struck me today. I remembered that Jesus said, “The poor will always be with you.” Why? Is it because people aren’t helping? Is it because of economic or social structures, as some would argue? Do they bring poverty upon themselves? Is it forced upon them? What bothers me most is that word always. Is there nothing we can do to stop it? Is poverty an undying force that can’t be stopped?

A question that plenty of people deal with all the time is; why, if God is good does he allow suffering? I don’t have an answer to that. Everyone suffers in one way or another. It’s because we live in an imperfect world. What I really don’t get is why some people suffer WAY more than others. What’s more is that often times, the more people suffer, the stronger their faith is. In fact, many people bring suffering upon themselves to strengthen their spiritual life. The thing about our God is that he suffered for us, and he suffers with us. I know that, but I don’t entirely know what it means. God is with us and he is with us in our suffering, but what does it mean that he suffers too? I think if I could figure that out I would understand a lot of other things as well.

Last semester in my creative nonfiction writing class I read a short piece called “Being Christ to the Traveler.” In short it was about a guy who offers to hold a drunk guy’s flowers while he pees out the door of a train (the guy had evidently just broken up with his girlfriend). We can help anyone by doing little things like that, but it takes so much more to help the poor or the people dying of AIDS over in Africa.

The thing is, I basically don’t have anything saved. If it weren’t for my parents I’d be dead on the street somewhere, but as it stands I live in an awesome house in a nice, safe neighborhood, I go to a super nice college and took guitar lessons for five years. I personally am very poor. I have a part time job, but because of school and music I don’t work much and I make peanuts; actually less than peanuts.

All the money I’ve saved or that I make goes to recording my first album, and that’s where I’m conflicted. My plan/hope is to be able to live off of music and have a little extra to send to charities, etc. What we talked about in my philosophy class was this; is it more morally right to take the money one spends on college/recording/whatever and just give that to charity, or should one wait, go through college/recording/gigging/whatever and ultimately be able to do much more and help many more people? I don’t know.

I guess a good compromise is to help who you can when you can, how you can, but I don’t think it’s quite as satisfying as being able to say you got a kid out of poverty. I guess we’re not supposed to look for satisfaction out of helping people. Again, I’m probably thinking about this too much.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Super Hero Complex

I thought about something after I posted yesterday. I think I have a super hero complex; or at least that’s what I call it. When I go to bed at night I pray and then I go to my fantasy world. In my fantasy world I’m a fairly different person. The character I made up to represent myself is named Kithryd. She lives on a farm outside of a small town that borders a deep and mysterious forest. She often goes on adventures in there and is fully capable of taking care of herself. I’ve tried to write stories about her and her adventures, but I can never finish them and yesterday I figured out why.

I love fantasy and science fiction because it is usually far more interesting than real life. I love mythical creatures and magic and the fight of good versus evil. Eventually, the stories I read or watch come to an end because the fight is over. Life will go back to normal for the characters and there’s nothing more to write about. I can’t write these stories because I can’t bare to bring them to an end.

This is bothersome in context with what I posted about yesterday. Yesterday I posted that I want to be someone’s rock. I want to help someone who is feeling alone or depressed or just confused about life. The problem is that it will forever bother me that there are thousands of people without someone or something to be their rock and if I help one person, I’ll want to help others. On one level, there’s nothing particularly wrong with that, but I’m worried that it could lead me to be less committed to a friendship or a relationship than I should be.

To be completely honest, part of the reason I want a very close friendship or a relationship is so that I have someone to help me and so that I don’t have to live with my parents forever or pay a stranger to help me with things. Luckily, I can do most things on my own, but because I can’t straighten my legs, I need a lot of help with some things.

I had never really thought about this stuff all at once until yesterday and I realized how complicated it is. I had to really think about how much love or friendship is involved in the relationship I want. On a purely emotional level, I would absolutely love to have a relationship with a guy, but I know that I could live without it. One of my aunts has been single her entire life and has been very happy. She lives alone and while she loves to spend time with friends and family, she also loves alone time. I can tolerate alone time. I don’t love it, but sometimes it’s nice and when it’s not I can deal with it well enough. I just like to have people around. Even if I’m not directly engaged in doing something with them, I like the noise they make and the fact that they fill a little part of the room. I don’t like when it’s too quiet. I would absolutely die if I had to live in an apartment all by myself.

I guess I need to be realistic. I can’t help everyone. I should be happy if I can help just one person. I don’t need to be everyone’s best friend to help them either. In fact, I don’t want to be everyone’s best friend. I feel that having a best friend is the best thing for people, but I have to remind myself yet again that it’s not my job. I’m meant to help, and helping just one person can still mean a lot. I’ve written about it, but I have to remind myself that simple acts of kindness can go a long way, whether I know it or not. Real heroes sometimes do great things without ever knowing about the effects of their actions, and they do it out of the kindness of their hearts. They don’t need to know that what they’re doing is working. They just need to know that they might be making a difference.

Why Do You Read?

I noticed something interesting just now. I was looking at my “stats” for how many views I’ve got recently, and what I’ve found is somewhat surprising. The most views I’ve ever got in a day is 30. Maybe that’s a lot, and maybe not. I just don’t know. What’s interesting is that I posted “Faith Lives On” and “Caught In A Lie” on that day. The former is about the current state of the Christian faith and really theism in general in the U.S. today. The latter is about nearly getting caught in a lie and feeling bad about it.

On October 29, I got 14 views. On that day I posted “Writing A Road: To Somewhere Great Or A Dead End Job,” which was essentially more of me complaining about not knowing exactly what I want to do with my life.

Just as a side note, I’ve decided to stop doing that on here. The internet really doesn’t need to know about me feeling bad for myself.

I don’t know if my views were all of the posts that I published on those days, but if so, it would be very interesting to know why. I’m not sure I’ll be able to figure that out, but I could speculate. Perhaps it’s because of the empathy factor. It could be that people like to read these types of posts because they want to know that someone deals with the same issues as they do, and perhaps (and I don’t mean this in a bad way) it’s comforting to know that somebody has it worse in one way or another. Perhaps there’s even a bit of nostalgia involved. I’m not sure of the age group of my readers, but I get the sense that many of them are at least a few years older than me. Perhaps it’s somehow gratifying to be able to say “I remember when I was dealing with that.”

What’s interesting is that I seam to get less action on the “big issue posts” that I sometimes write. I’m generally more interested in writing those, because I’m usually more interested in reading that kind of stuff. I write the shorter, more personal posts either to clear my head or because I think something just might be a little amusing. Sometimes I just feel compelled to throw something out there and see what happens. It’s kind of like fishing. I’m just trying different bate.