Saturday, March 26, 2011

springtime and change

A couple of weeks ago I asked Cara what she thought of when she thought of spring.

This week I thought I would touch on that topic, but I took a couple of pictures to better speak to my thoughts.

You can barely see the purple flowers creeping up the fence.
When I think of spring I always think of grass, and cutting it.

Every time I get home I'm treated to this Pear Tree.

Thanks to Brian and Courtney we have some color on our front porch.

These are just a couple of things that I think of when I think of Spring. The one thing I think of most though, with any season, is change.

Someone once said that the only thing that remains the same is change. There's always going to be change, and life is never going to stay in on place for too long.

Every winter, about three months in I start thinking to myself "this is never going to end!" But right around that time we start getting signs of spring. And the right when spring seems like it's going to last forever, summer comes in with it's heat and humidity. But also with frisbee-throwing and cook-outing. And about when you think that the heat will never go away nights start getting cooler, and leaves change their color. They fall, crispness enters the air, and before we know it we're back in winter again.

For whatever reason the changing of the seasons help remind me of God's unchangeable love. Even though sometimes everything seems like it won't get any better, He is always with us. And his Hand is upon us.

That's what I think about when I think of spring, what about you?


Monday, March 21, 2011

"i don't think things are going to go back to the way they were"

If you can't quote yourself, who can you quote? Right?

After talking with Brian at work today I realized that I may have been a little dramatic at the end of my last post. I suppose I can blame it on lack of sleep and travel fatigue, though it also may have been exactly how I was feeling. I hope in this post to unpack the fallout of this roadtrip, and hopefully learn a little about what direction I need to be heading in.

This past week I spent the vast majority of my time with at least one other person. Usually I don't have the opportunity to be around people that much. I think that we learn as much about ourselves when we are forced to be with people as we do in any amount of reclusive introspection. And this is coming from a long-tenured reclusive introspect. Being around other people had the effect of helping me to understand my own personality more. Sometimes it's so easy to assume that you are one way or the other. But "iron sharpens iron," and being with other people helps uncover the stuff you're made of. After spending countless hours with Cara in a car/subway/bus/train and walking around too many cities to count, as well as being back in contact with some Brookwoods boys I have determined one thing. And I think that's so important that I'm gonna set it apart:

Good people are good to be around.

I know, deep. Wait for the second bombshell of knowledge:

Life is too short to spend it around:
     1. No-one.
     2. And people that don't fill you with life.

Just being in Boston for two days was enough to make me feel like my chest was going to burst with life. The feeling was similar to the one that a bright spring morning gives me. I didn't even feel like I needed to breathe, because the company of genuinely good people was enough to fuel me. 

I also learned a few things about me. I believe that I may have rushed into the graduate school decision. I was feeling trapped, and thought that I just needed to make a move. Not that it was the wrong thing to do since I learned much about myself by filling out those applications. So, from here on out, I am going to be researching schools to apply into for Ph. D. programs in Counseling Psychology, specifically within departments of education. On this trip I learned that the gift I have for deeply empathizing with people is a special one given by God - and thus it shouldn't be wasted. The purpose for doing this within education departments is because I think God has placed in my heart the desire for educational reform. I've seen too many students passed on through. It has to stop. Someone has to stand up, and I hope eventually to be counted among those who will.

The last thing I want to touch on is the fact that I am not alone in this existential mess of figuring out how to be a graduated single person. I was sure that I was going to be married after school and because of that I would have a purpose for working. I think that God has set aside this time for me to learn what it means for His will to be my purpose. It's true what Paul says, that it's easier for us single folk to follow Him with all of our hearts. It's just a shame that I haven't been doing that. Being able to sit and talk with Carson helped me understand this. I don't have any more answers than I did before this trip. But I do have the motivation to seek God, the desire for His will in my life, and the willingness to give up what I "want" in order for that will to be accomplished through me.

And if He wants to share me with someone through that journey, that's ok by me too.


P.S. Thank you for reading. It means so much to me that you would invest time in my thoughts. I appreciate the e-mails, texts, phone calls, and face-to-face affirmation. And if you ever need some of that yourself just drop me a line. I'll make you a cup of coffee (or tea) and we can be together.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

adventure #1: east coast roadtrip

Since the title of this blog is "Thoughts on Adventures" I thought it was about time to share a little less thoughts and a littler more adventures, so this is my attempt at that.

On Saturday (the 12th) Cara and I left for the East Coast. I guess I should give a little more background about how this trip happened.

A couple of weeks ago I got a text from Cara asking what I was doing the week of the 14-18th. I told her that I didn't have any plans, and she asked if I wanted to go to New York with her and some of her friends. After hearing the details of the trip (stay in Rochester, go to NYC and Niagara Falls) I decided that going was a good idea. But then, the week before the trip was supposed to happen, her friends had to back out. Cory was going to go, but he had to back out as well. So at this point the trip was in limbo. She, jokingly, suggested we go anyway. I agreed. So Cara showed up at my house on Friday, the 11th, at around midnight. And the next morning we headed out.

Our first stop on the trip was Washington D.C. Having never been there before I was looking forward to it. Thanks to Miss Abby we had a place to stay at a friend of her's (Ben). We got some pizza, played some Monopoly Deal, and crashed. The next morning (Sunday) we headed into town. In D.C. we walked further than I have in a very long time. We got to see the Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, WWII and Korean Vets monuments/memorials. Throw in the White House, Capitol, Museum of Natural History, and Air and Space Museum you've got a pretty full day. My favorite was the FDR Monument. Dude had some phenomenal quotes about love and justice towards your fellow man. At around 5 we were feeling pretty wiped, so we headed back to Odenten, Maryland and went to church with Ben.

The next morning we left the D.C. area and headed north to Philadelphia. While in Philly we toured Independence Hall (sweet), saw the Liberty Bell, toured the Philly Mint, and saw Ben Franklin's grave. We also had a cheesesteak, which was tasty. After hitting the spots we headed further north and crashed in Edison, New Jersey. Which is, by a funny coincidence, the home of the new offices of Royal New York, the coffee importer we use at Humphreys Street.

On Tuesday morning we got up early and headed to the train station. We missed the first train we could have gotten on into NYC by about a minute, so we had to wait a bit for the next. And while getting on the train Cara dropped her train ticked in between the train and the platform, it was like a movie. But thanks to her being a girl, she didn't have to buy another one.

After a hour ride we were in the Big Apple. We saw the Statue of Liberty, which was kind of a bummer. Then we grabbed some Indian food and went to a sweet coffeeshop. After that we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was amazing. It's so cool to get to see, in person, famous art that you've always seen photos of but never had right in front of your face. They also had an intense Egypt collection, and a new collection of guitars. After a walk through Central Park we caught the subway to Times Square and walked to Penn Station. Another hour-long train ride and we were back in Edison. We hopped in the car and drove a couple hours north to Cromwell, Connecticut (our second unplanned stop of the trip). While in Cromwell I wanted to get a drink to celebrate my Birthday (which it was), so we went to O'Leary's Digger Mc Duffs Tavern. Which was everything you want out of a bar in the middle of a state you've never stayed in before.

The next morning we jumped back in the car and drove the last couple hours to Boston. While in Boston we stayed with Carson, Joel, and Chris. All of which I worked with at Brookwoods, and I went to Belmont with Carson and Joel. It was great to get to catch up with them, and just like old times. And Cara didn't seem to mind listening to how great camp was. We even may have convinced her to think about working there this summer. 

 While in Boston we saw Harvard, the Freedom Trail, went to Mike's for a pastry, had some seafood, went to REI and H&M, and had two family dinners. It was a perfect time.

But as all good things must come to an end, so did our time there. So we left Boston on Friday morning and drove towards Columbus, Ohio. As luck would have it one of our gas stops happened to be in a town with an Applebee's, which Cara had a gift card to, and during the KU game. We stopped and had some dinner and watched the Jayhawks play some decent ball (for the first 3/4, it was getting late so we needed to leave. And they were up by 20) and got back in the car. We arrived in Columbus around midnight and got to hang with Chris Gatton for the evening, which was great. We got up late, and stopped for a couple of hours in Louisville on the way back to Nashville so that we could see Hannah.

We got back into Nashville around 7, and as it was the last stop on our trip Cara wanted to experence it for all that it was. So we picked up the roommates and Miss Abby and went down to the Big Bang and hung with all the crazy Bachelorette Parties. 

Cara left around noon today, and then I resumed my "normal" life. Though I don't think things are going to go back to the way they were. More on that tomorrow.


Monday, March 14, 2011

who i am, who am i?

First off, sorry about the week delay getting this post up.

This past week was my Facebook birthday; I'm assuming most of you saw this since most of you come from Facebook. I changed my birthday on Facebook from the 15th of March (my actual birthday) to the 10th. the reason why I do this is to see how many people will comment on both birthdays. It's a leftover from my Psychology Major days at Belmont. The thought is that most people won't realize that they are wishing the same person "Happy Birthday" twice in one month. The other thought is to see how many people actually know my birthday, though I suspect I may be doing more harm than good in teaching them this.

After the 10th I started thinking about this phenomena. What does this say about me? Then I started thinking about what my Facebook profile says about me as a person, and if it is accurate. My posts sometimes lean to the depressing, and other times to the cynical. Is this what time person I am?

When I was in High School I had a conversation with my youth pastor about identity. Some friends were angry with me because I was acting differently around them than I did around another friend. And I, as I usually do, took it a little hard. So I asked Joel (youth pastor) if this was wrong, if it was wrong to do this. And he suggested that it wasn't, that we naturally are going to act differently around different people. That there are different "Lukes" and that this is ok. So I accepted that and went on with my life. Since then I have lived my life along those lines. I act however I feel I should in any given situation and don't much worry if it's different for different people.

But this Facebook hi-jink got me thinking. What if there was a person who didn't know me at all? What type of person would they think I was from only my profile on Facebook? From my "follow" list on Twitter. From this blog? In one regard I think that I'd be ok with that. But in another I'm sad that I don't have a larger circle of people who know me better than the majority of my social media circle.

Right now I am in Edison, New Jersey. And part of this trip was to get out of Nashville. But the other part was to get to know the people that I meet along the way, and the friend that I went with. In the post-college life it's so easy to limit myself to expressing myself online. So my goal for this trip, and the days after, are to express myself in a real interpersonal way. To learn to communicate with people, to disagree with them, and to still be friends afterwords.

Well I suppose it's time for this meandering post to be done with. I'm going to get some good sleep tonight, and then hopefully on Wednesday I'll have some time for today's post. And I may just update you on the trip. By that time we'll be in Boston.

Thanks for reading,