i’m always torn about how i feel when it comes to my childhood. i didn’t have a bad childhood but it was no sunny spring day when i look back. i’ve dealt with situations in my life that have scarred me for what I believe will be an eternity. no matter how often i say “i’m over it.” out loud, the truth is “i’m not over it.” i’m broken. broken into a million little pieces and i simply don’t know where to start putting it all back together.
i believe people on the outside believe i’m perfect and that my life has been easier than most. but that’s only due to not revealing a stained past. a past i still relive in my mind weekly. it haunts me and for the longest time i dreamt of having that part of me surgically removed. i simply find it astonishing how our mind and body allow us to relive past events as though they happened yesterday simply through a rush of emotions.
my father was an alcoholic when i was young. he was a bartender, a carpenter and a man with a sharp tongue. he knew all the right things to say and all the right moves to make. my mother was always in the medical field and she had a heart bigger than this world could bear to hold. she wanted to take on everyone else’s burdens and solve everyone else’s problems. not too say that she wasn’t a good mother because that would be far from the truth, but there was room for improvement, like most mothers, i presume. i honestly don’t know where to go with this because my story is so intricate and i’d hate to paint the wrong picture and give you the wrong introduction to my life.
all i wanted to say today is that the hurt i feel is crippling to the person that i can be.
crippling to the person that i want to be.
and crippling to the person that i will be.
is there really a way to overcome so much pain, so much anger, so much hurt that you can live a productive life? a life that won’t allow you to continue taking steps back every time those painful memories come flooding back in, filling every crevice of your mind. i don’t know. is there a separate Bible chapter for dealing with this kind of hurt? does it get better with time or do you simply suppress it every time it resurfaces?
why is walking through ‘the door of forgiveness’ such a daunting task?
I believe that somewhere in the past I was a birthday person, but I’m not very much of a birthday person anymore. I’m not sure if that is something that comes with ‘age’ or maybe its the realization of that you actually only have one ‘day of birth’ and the dates following that are only a reminder of your existence, or something like that. I thought that thirty would feel like some huge milestone. Like, I would be thirty and I’d be able to look back over all my accomplishments while sipping an over-priced latte and say, “all is well”. But that’s not how it turned out.
I’m thirty and I have a list of things to show for my twenties. The years that apart of me feels like I let go to waste waiting for my dreams to come to me as opposed to chasing them. I don’t intend on letting my thirties fall prey to the same condition. I’ll be more intent with the way I spend my time. I already know that my relationship with God is at the top of the list of things that need to be worked on. I haven’t been praying nearly like I should, it’s almost safe to say, I haven’t been praying. God hasn’t been at my center and I’ve been feeling off-balance because of it. I find myself listening to mainstream radio, becoming convicted by the lyric content and turning on some CCM (Contemporary Christian Music). I find myself telling people I’ll pray for them and I never get around to officially praying for them so I’ll say a quick something in the car on my way to work. I pick up the Bible with the intent of reading but I set it down in another location and begin doing something else of less importance. It almost sounds like complacency but I’m not completely sure what the root of the problem is but I know that it starts with me.
But this post can’t feel completely doom and gloom because some beautiful things have come out of my twenties and I’d be remiss not to mention them. I was still trying to figure out who I was and where I wanted to go in life when I moved to Sevierville, TN to attend culinary school. I was young and ambitious and I knew that I needed to leave Oak Ridge if anything would ever happen for me. I loved living alone and having my own space to explore the details of who I am and what I wanted to be. I made some great friends along the way and I lost some friends along the way. Some people became estranged and that can feel a little overwhelming when I think about it but I try not to think about it.
I met my beautiful wife in my twenties and we’ll just leave the whole fighting cancer thing out for now. But she’s on of the best things that ever happened to me and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel as though I deserve her. I left Sevierville and moved to Knoxville and then moved to Nashville, which I would say is the best thing I’ve ever done. I love Nashville and I love that it’s a city that breathes and inspires creatives of all types. I’m not sure what it is I want still? I’m not sure if I should sit down and make a list of pros and cons or if I should just keep doing what I’m doing until that moment of clairvoyance takes place.
All I think I know is that I want my thirties to be better than my twenties. I want to love people more and I want to be fearless in seeking friendships. I want to have meaningful connections with people beyond good mornings and hellos. I want to find people who will be invested in knowing me the way that I want to know them. I want to find a church home and begin to plan for our future as parents and productive members of our community. We bought a home this year and I want our neighbors to know us and I want them to know Christ if they don’t already. I want to begin leaving a carbon footprint that’s worthy of taking credit for. I desire to be more organized in my thoughts and not feel so overwhelmed when I have multiple tasks. I want to live with less stress and I don’t want to dispute mundane details. I want to take advantage of beautiful weather and go for walks and hikes and explore the beauty of living in Tennessee. I want to live with the intention that I’ll leave a mark of positivity on every one that I come in contact with–a mark that will leave them wanting more out of life as well.
I’m looking forward to my thirties and it is my prayer that God will bless me with the health and ambition to accomplish all these things. And during the process, I’ll continue to strengthen my relationship with Him. Be blessed and have a happy Sunday.
It was a rainy day in June 2009. I remember riding home on my way from work and I was listening to a bjork album, but had begun to tune it out. You know what I mean if you’ve ever heard bjork. But I vaguely remember being overwhelmed with the want to cry. It came from nowhere. I wasn’t thinking of anything painful nor was I having a bad day. But I remember pulling into a gas station to write this down.
she appeared out of the blue
concocted from the winds cold hands
and the warmth of the sand
there she lay barren to the suns harsh heat
and the stares of souls past
she was fragile and as frail as a starved child of many wars
awaiting a vessel of hope to be offered
from a warm hand
overwhelmed with the cracks of times
hurt anger pain love
the pearls of perspiration waltzed across her mountainous brow
where the agony of the heat pierced her shallow flesh
and the sun contrived hills and valleys from the pain in her soul