Well, hey y’all! I just got back from a “Sabbatical” in Dallas and it sure was wonderful! I stayed away from my phone and social media to just really be present and soak up whatever I felt like God wanted me to hear! And it rocked. Naturally. I mean, you might argue that sabbaticals belong only to old men pastors but you’ve OBVIOUSLY never taken a sabbatical yourself. It’s scary to be quiet and still–you don’t know what you might hear in the void. But I promise it’s worth it.
One thing I found this week was a poem that has completely shocked my senses. These few lines are exactly what I need to hear on a daily basis.
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
“Many people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried
they are until seventy-five.”
-attributed to benjamin franklin
I want this.
What in the world am I doing with my life?
…Yes, working at ad agency, thanks Captain Obvious.
But what about the big picture?
I’ve been reading SO many great essayists lately like Malcolm Gladwell, Nora Ephron, David Sedaris, etc and honestly, I would love to write like that someday. Having a book/memoir/collection of essays (semantics) would be my dream. All I want to do is travel places, eat local cuisine, and write essays. Really.
I love this quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his short story “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (familiar to the masses thanks to that 876 hour Brad Pitt beauty shot fest):
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”
Although I’m utterly unsure about my future (as every 20-something in all of history ever was (minus heiresses because they don’t count)), I have unshakeable hope, free from doubt. I know God’s plans for me are perfect and directed. It’s beautiful.
“But I like the inconveniences.”
“We don’t,” said the Controller. “We prefer to do things comfortably.”
“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
“In fact,” said Mustapha Mond, “you’re claiming the right to be unhappy.”
“All right then,” said the Savage defiantly, “I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.”
From Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
I first read Brave New World in 10th grade and thought it was absolutely the strangest, most depraved thing I had ever read. Upon rediscovering it a year ago, I’m absolutely fascinated by it and especially this bit of dialogue.
Doesn’t it just say so much about the human condition? In America, everything is about comfort and ease–the new American dream, if you will. But is all of that comfort just a panacea to coverup the real and frightening urge that we crave danger? We want God, poetry, love, freedom, goodness, adventure, sin and for all of time, we keep ripping off the proverbial bandage of safety to get what we want. You cannot believe anything or love anyone comfortably or safely. But yet, contradictorily, we only want a small amount of “inconveniences” before the consequences set in. Why do we keep turning back to comfort and ease to protect ourselves from the possible heartache of actually feeling and living a full and abundant life?
We are unhappy paradoxes.
(If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m somewhat of an existentialist and exponentially more so at 1:24 am.)
Have a great weekend! I’ll be in Atlanta, living it up (kinda!)