I have never believed that a blog is a place to post thoughts that you know are only going to lead to your friends reading it and "consoling" you. I feel rather strongly that there should be a difference between one's blog and one's personal journal. That said, I have felt a drive to return to this blog to share thoughts that have been back-logging in my brain for the past few months. Some have to do with my future, some with my present, some with my writing (though that is nearly non-existent at this point), and some nothing to do with me at all. This is going to be a terrible post, overly dramatic and written only to relieve some pressure in my own brain. I apologize for wasting your time. Of course, if you turn back now, very little of your time will have been wasted....
Who knows if I will even post this, but here are my jumbled thoughts.
1. Lately Facebook seems to exist solely to remind me of the things in life I so not have. My friends are getting dream jobs, or at least working. My friends are meeting new loves, settling into established loves, creating new humans to love, spending time with loves. My friends have friends that they spend time with. I am not complaining about what I am doing or the opportunities I have. In three weeks I will be graduating from law school. I live in a community that loves me, and have a support system I do not deserve and many would kill for. I am more blessed than I should be. But some of the choices I have made have left me lonely, frustrated, and a little bit dreading the future. I feel like sometime around 25 I may have lost myself, and as I look at those who are or were a part of my world that seem to be finding themselves, I fear my pattern of wandering may be leading to a life alone, knowing no one well, including myself.
2. Connected to this, I am a bit afraid that I have made a huge mistake. I went to law school with a vision of what I wanted to do with my life. I still have that vision, but I have not taken the steps necessary to make the vision come to fruition. I fear more than anything that I will settle into a life of simply "getting by" and will never chase what I really am meant to do. Part of this is because I have no fracking clue what I am meant to do. This is what I know about me: I love people deeply. I truly believe that if I can do something to better another person's life, it is my duty to do so, and without much concern for my own life (not being a dramatic martyr here, just saying that if an action inconveniences me, I do not believe I should shy away from it solely for that reason). I know that when I hear of people being kind or loving to each other, especially strangers, I feel that this broken world is pieced back together, at least a little bit, for a little while. I know I desperately want to play a part in that. I know I do not currently know how to make that happen.
3. The world is a dark place, I know this. Lately, it seems that the world is an angry place, that mankind has the constant dogging anger of a person who has been walking three days through humid swamps while chafing and hungry. People are looking for reasons to hate and fight. The internet has become a place to equally learn of the wonders of the world, and spew hatred to those who also seek to learn of the wonders of the world. Governments, and the men and women who run them are seeking to take what they can from the people before the people get fed up and fight back, not preserve people's rights and better the world. The people are seeking to be given as much as they can form their governments without having to give anything back. People are killing people over misinformed hatred, loneliness and lovelessness gone unchecked, and pain exacerbated by isolation. The world saddens me, and I must find a way to bring laughter, light, and love to it. With all the things I don't know, I know this is one thing I must do. And you, dear reader, must do it as well.
4. Call the Midwife. I admit, I watch it. I am in Season 2 right now, catching up on Netflix. It is a girl show all the way. Women living and learning together, delivering babies and finding love. There has not been one proper fight scene that I have seen. Testosterone is at a critical minimum. So why do I watch it, neigh love it? Why do I tell people that I watch it, unlike when I accidentally watch the Anne of Green Gables cartoon for three hours (that has never happened...stop judging me)?
I love it because it highlights people fighting to better the lives of everyone they meet. Women from homes filled with dirt, sweat, and the slop of life are treated with dignity and loved for the gifts they bring to the world. Broken people, whom society has given up on are sought after and redeemed. Literally, the nurses and nuns of the show fight, and I mean FIGHT for the lost souls of the city. Unwed mothers (the show is based in the 50s) find no judgment, only concern for their health. Compassion is not a show put on, it is the breath of the characters lives. The show is a reminder of what happens when you stop worrying about your own comfort and position, and seek to make the lives of those around you better. And at least the first season (maybe the second?) is based on an actual memoir, so I love it even more knowing that, while romanticized, the stories are based in true experiences.
There is an episode where one of the nurses must go into the home a war veteran whose legs are covered in ulcers. She must clean them so they do not become infected. The man is elderly, and has lost his wife and sons over the years. He lives alone in an apartment that is filled with bugs, because he cannot clean the place on his own. The man is lonely, and wants the nurse to stay for a drink with him. The state of the apartment gets to her, and she retreats. However, her boss sends her back, explaining that she is to serve him no mater what her discomfort is. She does, and a loving friendship develops. It leads to the man having some truly happy and wonderful moments as his life comes to a close. It cost the nurse some comfort, and her time, but is helped her to see the world differently, and with a loving eye.
The point of this thought, in my overly long and not well thought out set of thoughts, is that as I watch the show I am struck by the thought that if people truly would serve one another, without thinking about what they will get out of the interactions, if people will put aside their abundance of comfort to ensure that their neighbors receive greater comfort, the love will be like a balm on the angry world we live in.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Some think that makes me a fool. Others may just assume it makes me a hypocrite and loudmouth. Think of it what you will. The teachings of Jesus state plainly that my purpose is to love my neighbor as myself, and to look after the orphan, the widow, and the prisoner. The more I contemplate these teachings, the more I see that if I follow these instructions, I may make the world uncomfortable with my love, but I will not have room for judgment of others or to get involved in fights of faith. When you are literally covered in the filth and grime of others, but loving them all the way, you do not have time to argue with people on blogs about whether other people on other blogs are good enough people. Instead, you are busy loving real, actual people. It is a way of life I continually wish to pursue with more success.
5. This is the last one, I promise. If you are still reading, you must be a friend of mine, or you started and you feel that you must finish, and you just wish I would get on with it. So I shall.
Beauty. The world is full of it. Some of it is natural. Scientists have recently discovered a plant in Chile that can change its appearance to match that of the plants around it. If the leaves on a tree grow long and thin, this plant will do the same, but if the next tree has short, multi-pointed leaves, the plant will change again to match those. Absolutely beautiful and wonderful. And a great basis for a super-hero-from-science-gone-wrong story. Some of the beauty in the world is man-made. Poetry, painted art, sculpture, photography. But also the joy of sharing life with other humans. The joy of knowing that your best friend is about to become a dad, or that another best friend just had her third kiddo, or that another friend has found love. These things highlight the beauty of the simplistic mechanisms of life. But they are beautiful. And I (we) need to remember to focus on those more.
Okay. This is a horrible post. If you are here, of you have come this far on this journey, I apologize. Hopefully the next time I wander through this place, I will bring something of better quality. And maybe some humor. Or a picture of a cat, the internet still likes those, right?
one, little, big, giant thing
4 days ago