I wish this were my anthem. Instead, I wake up every morning wishing it were my anthem. May I meditate on these words and begin to learn from them. And may I trust what I learn even when it doesn’t look like I expect it to.
“Life is a growing expedition through the tangled and unfilled-in parts. What happens after age nine? Because of the fear we don’t trust our own life? Our story? Our colors? To be afraid and leap regardless…there is such power in that. To live into the questions of our lives when nothing feels clear. We have this chance to do absolutely anything, to reach out to another, vulnerable and true, to dance on the roof in euphoria, to pray into the ocean and let go. We have this chance every moment to be alive and give to this world, which needs each one of us.
We must show up for our own life.
Be brave be messy. Be loud and strong. Trust yourself.”
-The True and the Questions by Sabrina Ward Harrison
I have a stash of my most honest thoughts that I constantly distract myself from. This is what I found when I made it halfway to the stash:
It seems like I find myself either remembering a glamorized version of Daddy, or I find myself only able to remember his flaws. This frustrates me. It actually makes me feel further from him than I already feel. When I really think about it I feel somewhat frantic because it’s like I can’t get to my real dad. My memories won’t align the right way. Rather than enlightening him, they cloud him. As much as I “know” I’m not deliberately clouding my memory of him, I feel somewhat responsible for not remembering him right. If only I had paid more attention. If only I had told him more. If only I let him tell me more. I “know” it’s not my fault I only got 15 years with him while they got 20, 22, 26 years. I know it’s not my fault that the whole time I was getting to know him I was a child. Yet the reality stands: I didn’t know him like they knew him. I didn’t know him that well. And that reality presses on me everyday. It can’t rest on his shoulders, and I really don’t blame anybody that it rests on mine. Except God, maybe.
So for the past ten months or so I’ve been pretty adamantly ‘anti-blog’. There are two main reasons for this: (1) I generally don’t do something unless I’m pretty certain I can do it well, and (2) I generally don’t do something unless I can see that it has at least one very clear purpose, and it usually needs to be one that I believe in. Now I’m not necessarily affirming that these are good and healthy principles by which to live. But turns out I’m a lot less emotionally healthy than I ever thought I was.
So when it came to my blog, I concluded that since the people reading my blog were mostly people who I already had at least a semi-close relationship with, I should just tell them personally whatever heart felt blurb I was going to post on my blog. And if I wasn’t that close to whoever was reading my blog, well then they didn’t need to know my blurb in the first place. Then I thought that even if I ignored those two conclusions, I still didn’t believe in posting on my blog because my writing isn’t really that good. In other words, it isn’t worth sharing. This actually resulted in me not really writing anything at all for the past several months. I’ve been having a mini hate-party on my writing. Which essentially has been a hate party on my own thoughts. Not good.
Well, I guess you could say I’ve managed to climb over these obstacles. It’s been a slow climb. And I think I get confused and climb backwards sometimes. But for now I’m going up and forward and that means….I’m actually forming thoughts into words and writing them. Well, typing them rather. Three cheers for technology. And for this image.
I’ve hit a wall in writing my Critical Analysis Essay due tomorrow. The words are NOT flowing. So for now I’ll take a break and listen to Daddy’s words. This is his journal entry from September 16, 2008.
The Positive Side of Brain Cancer
I can’t believe that our last journal was weds. We really like to keep in touch more because we treasure hearing from you all as well. I thought that I would make a list of the benefits of brain cancer. So here goes (don’t take this to seriuosly): if you have brain cancer you can stay in your pajamas all day; you can have people wait on you hand and foot; you don’t have to comb your hair before you go out; you have the perfect excuse to get out of anything, anytime; you have the perfect diet, it’s called “the nothing tastes good diet”; you get to eat lots and lots of salad; you get to help the organic farmers stay in business; everybody in the hospital knows you on a first name basis; you feel like a celebrity because your bald head with a six inch railroad scar turns a lot heads; you don’t need a costume for halloween in order to scare kids; you can take a nap whenever you want to; your wife can’t get mad at you for not remembering things anymore; your family gets to park in the best spot in the lot, if you are with them; everybody cares about you, and you don’t have to care about anybody, and it is OK; you’re on a permanent vacation; you get to take lots and lots of pills; the pharmacists love you (it wouldn’t be because of those chemos that cost the insurance company thousands of dollars would it?); where normally you would be the mean, old, out of date dad, now you get lots of kisses and hugs and are the perfect dad!
Seriously now, there is one very important positive that God wants me to learn through brain cancer. As James 1:2-7 explains, trials have a purpose. They test our faith to produce patience which works perfection in us. In other words, God uses trials to bring us to the point where we deal with things in our lives that we would not normally deal with. Things that keep us from an intimate relationship with Him. He wants us to grow closer to Him. It is an ongoing process that goes a lot better when we cooperate, and it will culminate when we see Him face to face. Then it will truly be all about Him. Dan
P.S. I’m preaching to myself. We are all works in progress, and I need it more than most.
Only you would find a positive side to brain cancer, Dad. Miss you.
oh my goodness. I have been here exactly 2 weeks today and it feels like 2 months. It’s so crazy. And pardon me for a little shout out- family, I miss you! a lot.
Ok now, on with the updates. School is hard. It’s true, people at King’s really are smart and the classes really are difficult. But the teachers really are good, too. Right now I would have to say that my favorite class is College Writing 1 because we discuss a lot and analyze a lot. It’s still pretty hard though…in fact I should be writing my second paper right now but frankly, I don’t want to. :)
As far as socially and emotionally, it’s weird because it hasn’t been that hard or lonely for me here. I’m not sure whether to just appreciate that, or fear/anticipate those feelings of loneliness. I’d say theres a good bit of both thankfulness and worry inside of me, which I think might just be okay. One of my top 3 fears coming into college has been not finding people that I can relate to, or people who understand me. Now, I’m not saying I’ve found these deep, life long friendships already. But for the most part, people here get me. The parts of me that I’ve shared are understood I think, which is just SO freeing because it literally takes off burdens. I can’t wait to keep discovering community here. And speaking of community….
I’ve done so many fun things with them this week! Tuesday, we went to the Brooklyn Bridge and walked across it and it was SO beautiful. It was nighttime, and so we could see the whole city lit up. So awesome. Then last night, we went to the Williamsburg Bridge also at night and got a different view of the city. It was so pretty and my favorite part was this wall of graffiti.
I didn’t take this picture, but it is a picture of the same wall just in the daytime. I love it. And then today we went back to Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Flea! Which is a flea market there, and by far my favorite place I’ve been since I’ve been here. Oh my gosh it was so beautiful (I know I over use beautiful but until I find a better word thats just how it’s gonna be). Brooklyn in general is gorgeous. I was walking around and just thinking about how pleasant it felt, how pleasant I felt, and how content I was. I seriously could have just looked at the city there all day, and just watched. And I very much plan to do that.
I also officially started my New York City to-do list which 1) gets me very exited and 2) makes me so less overwhelmed with the BILLIONS of things to do here! I mean it… billions. Here’s a sneak peak: The Candle Cafe, Peoples Revolution, Nylon Magazine, NYU, Columbia, Niagra Falls, the Financial District, Cafe Lalo. Theres so much more, and the list only continues to grow.
So it seems that blogging will take more determination than originally expected. But that’s okay! I want to do this, and so I will. It’s as simple as that.
I started class on Wednesday of this last week. My classes consist of Logic, College Writing I, Economics I, Intro to the City, and Western Civ I. Definitely most excited for College Writing and Intro to the city. It’s looking like my classes aren’t gonna be too easy, so we’ll see how things play out. I just need to get into my pattern of when to study for what. And if I’m completely honest, it’s actually hard to feel like school is my priority here because theres so much more that brought me to the city other than solely academics. But still they were a big part, and I really need to remind myself that I will be take care of here. I will be okay no matter what. There’s so much hope in that.
On a lighter note, or maybe not such a light note depending on the level of love for the city, I went to Bryant Park today to study. It was AWESOME. I could have sat there all day long. Well, maybe with a slightly comfier chair- the ones there were hard and tiny. But there is a big grass area as well, so I think next time I’ll be bringing a blanket to lay on. I can’t wait to go there during Fall. ahhhhhh. Oh, and for all you fashionistas out there…no more fashion week in Bryant Park. I’m not actually positive where they moved it to, and I know that I’ll be out of town for part of the week. But still for sure wanna make it to some if i can.
Another adventure: thursday night some friends and I went up to Central Park for the free film festival that took place this past week. Every night they showed a free movie on the grass, and so thurs we went and saw Saturday Night Fever. Almost more than the movie, I loved looking at the hundreds of people covering the whole grass area. That’s something I’ve been realizing about myself a lot lately- I loved masses of people or things. Collages. Mixtures. There is something really great and really beautiful in them.
Overall, I’m loving it here. Today I caught myself literally smiling as I walked down the street by myself. Stuff makes me laugh here. Not really a ‘laughing at something’ laugh, but almost more of a happy giddy laugh. Is that weird? Probably. But oh well, can’t really help it. It’s so fun meeting people and making friends. People who know me know that being able to relate to people is one of my number ones. And so I’m so thankful that has actually been happening, relating and connecting with people. It’s awesome.
Hello everyone, it’s blogging time. Starting this blog has been one of my goals in the whole transition into college life. And it has been quite the transition because, as most of you know, I now officially reside in the beautiful NYC! Yup that’s right I’m a legitimate New Yorker- or maybe that only happens once I’ve mastered the art of walking down the street without acknowledging a single person. For now though, my awe and curiosity keep me wide eyed.
In fact, today was the perfect example. Story time! I decided to make my first grocery shopping trip solo, just cause I like that. I set out for Trader Joe’s which is about 10 blocks down from where I live, and popped my ear buds in as I turned my ipod on- cause that’s what you’re supposed to do in NYC, right? Look forward, stay focused, don’t make eye contact. But I just couldn’t help it! I kept looking around, looking at the buildings, the people, and all the life around. I’m sure it has so much to do with the fact that this is actually only the second time I’ve ever come to the city. And I know that the excitement will die down eventually, but the amazement and wonder that the city provokes- I just really hope that never leaves. I don’t intend it to.
So my main purpose for having this blog is really just to spill out what I’m thinking on the inside, my reactions to what I see here and what I experience. And soon the pics should be flowin’. I’ve been really bad about bringing my camera around with me, which is necessary due to my lack of iPhone or other picture upload-able phone.
There is definitely more where this came from! But for now I have to be a good college student and get my beauty sleep. Night!