1.31.2013

Courage

So I'm starting to wonder when people ask "how are you?" and I respond with anything that is even slightly negative if I'm the only one that feels that way. Or, perhaps, I'm just the only one who is being honest.

My default response these days has been "I'm doing alright, how are you?" This answer of course, is just positive enough for the conversation to keep rolling along but slightly ambiguous as well, as though I am prompting the thoughtful mind to consider what lies underneath the tip of the Freudian iceberg. But who would want to explore down there.

I took a trip to the ocean with a friend of mine, and I immediately plopped down and fell asleep on the sands of Tybee. I had one of those experiences where you dream you are somewhere else and when you awake you are totally lost, just for a moment. It's like when Ellen Paige tries to remember where she is and the baskets of vegetables start exploding. Of course, in real life, you just remember that you drove to the beach or you are riding the red eye to Heathrow or you are in your bed at home and nothing explodes. In that moment when you are totally lost though, it's bliss to me, as though the continuity of my spirit gets to take a break and I have no responsibility.

Actually, it wasn't even once it happened, but three times as I dosed on the beach. I was in my dorm back before I graduated, then a jolt, where am I? Oh yes, the beach. Then I was home, and then I was in Searcy watching the preaching majors tossing their frisbees. I told my friend if he knew that feeling, when you are lost when you wake up because you dreamed you were somewhere else, and that it just happened three times in about forty minutes. He remarked "I guess that just shows the transient nature of this point in your life" and chuckled a bit.

I realized how true this was, and at what a significant crossroads I have arrived. I just graduated, and I am home for a little while until I figure out what I'm doing. Home is a little too much credit, though. My interim house is a better descriptor. Regardless, this rite of passage is proving wearying for me.

But in this transient point, I've decided the iceberg is surely worth exploring and that people don't do it enough (this is a common theme in my musings). For people like me, the underside of the the surface reveals loss and doubt as to the direction for the future. It spits in the face of the American formality of "how are you?" and autopilot answers.

I also think people need to care because it is so hard to properly see the merit of oneself. A friend of mine asked me to pray for courage. This was difficult for me to understand because this person is literally one of the bravest people I've ever met. My other friend needs clarity, and I see this person as having a distinct and steady sense of discernment. It almost seems to be a common theme that my friends pray for the things that they are the best example of. Would it not encourage them to tell them so?

I think so, anyway. So I've been trying to tell those people what I see in them but it's a tough sometimes.

A few asides: it is a difficult process to search for jobs. For me, the worst isn't even the fact that my bank account is dwindling, but rather the endless flux between lazy days and tie and shirt interview sprees. Some days I sleep until eleven. Other days I'm interviewing at nine. The tension is annoying. I've been listening to My Head is An Animal, and it has sort of become my escape in my Atlantean adventures. It is a terribly good album. I would definitely marry Nanna if she would have me and she's a great replacement for Zooey anyway.

1.06.2013

Beliefs

I was reading this article that chastised the millenial generation for being too ironic. The author noted that so much of what my generation did was indifferently self deprecating so as to avoid the conflict of true beliefs and ideals. Instead, we purposefully dress nostalgically or strangely (or hipster), we disclaim our scruples with a backbone-less agnosticism, and we politely avoid meaningful interaction by filling our conversations with pop culture references and sarcasm.

Each point was interesting, and I think the author is very much on the right track. However, I feel that the real ailment of our western culture is that it just isn't accepted to believe in anything anymore. Tolerance has become paramount, and this isn't necessarily wrong at all by itself, but somehow tolerance has become mutually exclusive with personal belief as though the two are mortal enemies. It isn't really cool anymore to really stick up for something, especially if everyone else has to hear about it. Don't offend anyone, stay nice and tolerant.

Last Friday I was invited to see a film with some friends of mine. The movie happened to be an extremely stylized action flick about a slave-turned-bounty-hunter in the late 1800's. I assumed the rather unpopular position of actually not wanting to see the film due to its explicit content, but I searched for some reason I could get out of it... Perhaps some other friends could make some more tame plans so I could dodge the movie.

I realized then that my supposed "intolerance", along with other demonstrations of personal conviction, are extrapolated into a disdainful condemning somehow... But I'm not condemning anything. You can do what you want; I don't care. But the problem remains that if people actually stand up for things they are labeled bigoted and intolerant.

I used to be wary of people who believe in things, and I still am a little bit. It's pretty uncomfortable to see other people who are passionate about things if you haven't decided what you think, or at least it was for me. It was kind of annoying to have to deal with those people, you know? To decide what you are going to do and think. I think us millenials are raised to just do what we want.

Really recently I realized again why so much of Christianity deals with love. The people who don't have love and believe in things give off that aura drenched of... dare I say it, intolerance. They are fingernails on chalkboards.

But the people who do have love and passion at the same time are immense in character and spirit. That's the difference. I guess a lot of people don't have love anymore, and that's why all us young adults would rather you just shut up and let everyone do their own thing.