Sunday, October 20, 2013

How do the Clouds Stay Up?

So, I've come to a realization recently...there are a lot of very uncertain things in this world that we encounter everyday. Am I going to fall off my bike on my way to class? Will I meet someone new today? Will that person be a good friend? A future spouse, perhaps? Will anyone I know do anything spectacular? And how in Bill Nye's name do clouds stay up in the air?

I'm kinda tired of these uncertainties. The idea of not knowing what comes next, the suspense, it's killing me! But I've realized that it's an inevitable and ultimately crucial part of life. Now you may ask, "Crucial? What's so crucial about leading a life of uncertainty? What's so important about not knowing what comes next?" Well, your name here, I'm glad you asked! It is my belief that the uncertainty of life is the key to relinquishing your iron-like grip on the reins of your day-to-day grind.

Now, you may or may not have read my previous (and coincidentally only other blog post from like 4 months ago), but a chunk of it discussed the idea that my lifestyle of selfish living got me into the nastiest, dirties, muddiest mental rut of my life. Now you may say, "Well of course! That's karma because selfishness is bad, and you're a bad bad man." And you may be right in saying that. But stop and think for a second on how fine of a line, if any line at all, separates selfish living and attempting to control our own future. I would argue that you cannot attempt to control your life without exerting an air of selfishness in anything you do. Don't get me wrong, you can point yourself in the right direction and hope it leads to where you want, for example: study alot-->get good grades-->get into a good school--> maybe get a sweet job someday. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that. But that's not what I'm talking about, necessarily. I'm talking about attempting to achieve surety and a definitive path towards what is best for you. Why is this selfish? Because who in the world are you to know what is best for you? Seriously! And if that question pisses you off, then I would sincerely like to meet you, because that means that in every plan and action you have set out for yourself, you have succeeded. But not just that; you have succeeded and lived perfectly. Does that sound like you? Then PLEASE comment here so I can meet the faultless human and help you get yourself into the Guinness Book or Time Magazine or something.

Now, over the past year and a half I have found myself investing in my most wild thoughts and desires. As I stood on the edge of each rabbit hole of desire I found myself convinced, each and every time, that there is no way I'm wrong, this is the best path for me, or at least there's no way the cons outweighed the pros. Each time, I was wrong. I found that every rabbit hole I dove head first into (the Russian judge gave me an 9-out-of-10) ended up full of acid that scalded and scraped away my morality, my judgement, and my sense of purpose in life. My desire for control over my own life led me to lie, cheat, and become angry. It led me to drink Nicaraguan gutter water, vomit (not because of the gutter water), and intensely hurt my friends. My moral compass looked like I had attached electromagnet to it. I don't call this "bad judgement", I call it "being human", which goes hand-in-hand with "weakness". Humans are sinful and weak, some just slightly less weak than others.

Now, after that mass of depressing insight into my past, allow me to cut to the chase (I put that phrase in there solely for that link). At the beginning of this blog I made the statement that the uncertainty of life is crucial. I think a better phrasing might be, not fighting life's uncertainty is crucial. Fighting life's uncertainties, as I did, is like putting two south ends of a magnet together; they violently veer in the wrong direction from each other. In this case, however, one magnet is ten billion times larger than the other. Only one is being pushed in the wrong direction, and I'll give you a hint as to which one; it's not life's uncertainties. The good news is that there's no need to worry about the uncertainties because the future will take care of itself, you don't have to babysit it, I promise. Doesn't that sound like a nice load of responsibility off your chest?

Here comes the hard part: letting go. Letting go of planning out every moment, letting go of assumptions, letting go of absolute self-assurity (not self-confidence, they're different), letting go of worries. You have to loosen up on that steering wheel a bit. You have to be O.K. with letting life run it's course sometimes rather than you trying to run it's course for it. Live in the now and enjoy it! Maybe listen to a little .38 Special. It's my belief that the only truly successful way to do this is by seeking a relationship with God and putting Him first in your life. This is because a relationship with God, is really not about you, it's about Him, and the things He has done for you. It is the polar opposite of selfishness and narcissism. And I believe that God's the only one who knows what's truly best for you.  You may disagree, and that's fine. If you can think of another way let go and leave selfishness behind, by all means give it a shot. By the way, from my personal experience as well as anyone I've talked to, drugs, sex, and alcohol are not successful ways to do this. When used as a staple in your life, they are just more acid-filled rabbit holes.

Let the uncertainties be uncertain, let selfishness die, watch the rabbit holes get filled in, get a good whiff of the present tense, and smile once in a while, because Hey! Those clouds STILL haven't fallen out of the sky!

Luke 12:22-34Do Not Worry.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Brain is Bananafied

The banana blog? Yeah, I agree, it's kinda weird...alright, it's really weird. It's especially weird because the things I write about will more than likely not discuss bananas in depth. I just decided I wanted to pick up a random hobby of carving bananas and using them to portray and enhance the expressions of my thoughts as I post on this site. I feel like sometimes they might be a bit of stretch, a gimmick, perhaps. But a fun gimmick nonetheless. This will sometimes be about my life, sometimes the world, sometimes my thoughts, and sometimes my thoughts about my life in relation to the world. I hope you enjoy it!

My first attempt at banana carving...let's hope it improves.

Blog #1, I guess I'll get kinda real with you guys; I feel a lot like this little banana man. I feel a bit lobotomized these days. I feel like my life, my nice little simple life that I've grown comfortable with over the course of 19 years, is becoming...frustrating? Confusing? Unsatisfying? Maybe a combination of the three. Let's call it "bananafying" because I don't know of a single word to help me out here. So my life, as of July 1, 2013 is bananafying, and the fact that I just made that statement should give you a little insight into my lobotomized brain.

My life? I'm a 20 year-old man (thankfully that part, thus far, is not the bananafying bit). I am a suburbanite living just outside of Philly. I am a Christian. I am a musician. I love animals. But, anybody who knows me could tell you those things. Anyone. What they might not have been able to tell you is that over the past year my brain has felt like is peeling away piece by piece(another banana reference. I'm getting good at these). My grasp on exactly who I am and where I am going is diminishing. I feel my integrity slip daily, my drive for life stall out, and my joy contort itself into something unrecognizable. I have stopped seeking comfort and solace from the only source that has brought healing and hope SO deep into my soul that...well, I just sat here for a few minutes without being able to come up with some awesome metaphor, but let me tell you, the source is God, and he heals real deep.

Not turning to the one thing, the one person, that I am sure would remedy the situation? Maybe I'm self-sabotoging. Yeah. That wouldn't surprise me. But it also comes down to the fact that I'm selfish. WOAH! Big shock right there. A human being is selfish?! The Philadelphia Inquirer is already en route! But seriously, though, once I realized that blatantly obvious fact, many things became clear. The biggest was that my selfishness and self-centeredness is the base that holds up my crooked Jenga tower of issues. I realized that none of the problems that seem to be plaguing me should be all that shocking. The more I started living for myself the more demons I permitted into my life, and they were all visible from a mile away. No binoculars needed. I was just too selfish to do anything about them. These things feel good for a while, but they NEVER fail to bite you in the ass.

My life is bananafying. But I'm on a mission from God. A mission to relinquish my tight grip on my life and shake off my selfishness. A mission to seek the only one who I could ever fathom as able to get me out of this mess that I, and only I, made. It won't be perfect, but it'll definitely be interesting! And I'm really looking forward to seeing how this all plays out! Hollah!