Friday, November 28, 2008


On Thanksgiving, I really try to look at my life and see all the good. There is so much freakin' good. Even though I complain sometimes, and feel lost sometimes...there is still so. much. good.

Yesterday, I sat in Starbucks and decided I would write "Thank You" notes to people who have made me who I am today. I think one of my gifts in life is my ability to say and write things to make people feel encouraged, and I don't think I use it enough.

I sat down and wrote a letter to my grandpa on my dad's side. He is an amazing man. He wakes up at dawn every day and prays for everyone in my family. By name. He has been praying for me every day since the day I was born. That's pretty powerful. He's hilarious because every note he writes to me for either my birthday or Christmas concludes with something to the effect of "I hope you can find a woman who is deserving of your love." I think he wants to be alive when I get married, since I'm the last grandkid unmarried. I hope he can be there...but I guess I can't see the future. He's getting pretty old.

I also wrote to my grandma on my mom's side. My grandpa, her husband of about 60 years, died a couple months ago. He was a strong man. I'm sure she doesn't really know what life is supposed to be like without him, nor should she. I thanked her for her joy and love in my life. I think my grandpa would really want me to be constantly reminding her of how much God loves her, because he wants to see her again soon.

I wrote to my parents. I don't even know where to start with them. Two of the most amazing people I've ever known. I mean, most people love their parents, but I've truly been blessed with two people that if I can follow in their footsteps somehow, I will know I did something right. They have given me all I have, from love to respect, from discipline to affection, and I owe them everything.

I wrote to my best friend, Jim. He's been by my side since I was about 16...and even though I haven't gotten to spend more than a few weeks in the same place as him in the last six years, we have a connection that I think all people should have with someone else in their lifetime. I intend to die with him my best friend still (heck, you may be reading this right don't get a big head, punk).

I wrote to a couple of guys who formed my faith and ideals in high school, pushing me toward the man I want to be today, yet still fall short of. Cory and Phil were examples of faithfulness and lives led in the intention of doing God's will, even when it wasn't easy. I rarely talk to either of them anymore, but they will always have an undeniable spot in my heart, because I owe much of my personal understanding of what's important in life to them.

I have so much more to be thankful than that...but that was a taste of what came to mind. I think when we live a life of thankfulness, it helps us get through the hard times. If you think of people in your life who seem to be happy, it may not be because they HAVE the most stuff, or KNOW the most people, or HAVE the best jobs. Its people who are thankful for what they do have, and never lose sight of what's most important to them.

I have great people around me...not just geographically, but more so with the touch of a few buttons I can be connected to someone I truly love and who loves me back. That's amazing.

So, if you're reading this, think of the things you have to be thankful for...even if things may seem to suck today, or this week, or even this year. I know how you feel. But life is bigger than that. And a change of focus can bring the clarity to make it through the day.

Much love.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Stop, Collaborate, Listen

So I'm not entirely sure how to be 24.

Am I supposed to be settled and happy with where my life is and where it's going and how things seem to fall into place? Am I supposed to be constantly searching to find something to satisfy me, or am I supposed to consistently feel slightly out of place forever?

I just don't know.

And everyday I feel more and more like I may never know...when I'm 25...then 30...then 40...then whatever...

Life can look like so many different things - there are so many different paths to take. I have no idea if I'm even NEAR the path which will bring me the most joy...which is kind of scary. Because we get one life. And every day that goes by is an opportunity to find joy and fulfillment...and the moments we remember and cherish are those filled with love, laughter, and deep meaning.

So how does one balance the so-called "responsibilities" of the world...making a living, etc...with these things which obviously bring us so much more fulfillment? And how do we know the place where our gifts align with our opportunities in harmony? And do some people never find that harmony?

I love to write and play music. I love to play soccer. I love to speak to people (though it scares me to death). I love to solve complex problems. I love to love people. I love to laugh. I love to travel.

These are things I know. What do these things do for me in LIFE though? Should I compartmentalize the things which bring me joy from the things which provide my survival, or do I meld them into something which joins the two? Maybe its immature to think I could somehow gain more joy and satisfaction from what I do on a day-to-day basis and I should just accept that there is a clear line between work and all these other things...but something in me tells me it doesn't have to be like this.

I'm 24. I don't even know how to be 24.