Have you ever felt like life was leaving you behind?
We see so many stories of Rebelutionaries seeking after God, doing hard things, and changing the world. It’s amazing to see the work other young people are doing. Writing books. Graduating college early. Starting ministries. Starting businesses. All of those are good and beautiful and amazing, and we applaud and rejoice with each of them. But sometimes, there can be a twinge of hurt mixed in.
Because we look on those things from afar. We’re happy for them, yes, but we’re not there with them. We’re not doing what they are. We’re not in that same place. Everyone seems to be flying past us, and the years are too. Rebelutionaries are teens doing hard things for God–but some of us realize we’re not teens anymore. There’s a frantic whisper in the back of our minds, saying we’re behind our peers, behind our expectations, and behind in life. And that’s hard.
I know. I’m in this curious stage of life where most of my friends are engaged, married, or pregnant. They’re getting professional jobs, graduating from college, or moving across the country. But I’m sitting here. Still the same. Perhaps you can relate, even if you’re in a different age demographic. Everyone else is graduating high school. Everyone else is going on exotic mission trips. Everyone else is going to fancy colleges.
But we’re sitting here, still the same.
My autocorrect is a passive-aggressive menace. Most days he follows along, a faithful butler who sees my needs and quietly corrects my errors. But, much like most movie butlers, autocorrect is not entirely compliant in his place.
He takes sideswipes at my past spelling mistakes by innocently including them in his suggestions. He won’t let me forget that one time I kept caps-lock on for an entire paragraph. He even presumes to know what I want to say, when in reality I want much the opposite. An exasperating fellow, that autocorrect. Still, I wouldn’t be able to get by without him. And sometimes, much like most movie butlers, he makes me stop and consider my ways.
The cause of such strange thoughts on autocorrect? A simple switching of vowels.
Almost every time I type the word “live” on my phone, this butler switches it to “love.” You might not think this is a huge deal. But this slight change can become quite a problem when you ask a friend if they want to go see a live show.
But though it may cause a few mishaps, I wonder if my autocorrect is actually correct. Perhaps those terms should be more interchangeable. Perhaps they should be more the cadence of my life…
Why do I write?
The question stares at me tonight. The span of time since I’ve written stretches far back into days, weeks, months even. A pulsing emptiness, the great void of silence. It asks, why should I attempt to bridge it? Why pick it back up? After all, there are plenty of other things to do. I could be studying. Or earning money. Or cleaning house. Or doing something, tangible, physical, real even. It warns me to back away from the canyon, to settle back into the normal life.
Because it’s hard to live the writer life. Making words is like giving birth–I don’t know how it works. It takes concentration, focus, and an undistractedness I rarely have.
So why do I write?
Because every word I write stands as a silent protest to this most chaotic world…
That desperate urgency to explain. That grim dread of questions. That awkwardness of trying to fill the space with more words. We’re not strangers to feeling like we must prove that we measure up.
And in some ways we’re more susceptible to this than the rest of the world. The homeschooler. The stay-at-home mom. The college student taking a different route. The young couple choosing accountability. The single who’s not focusing on a relationship. Because we’re different, we’re choosing a different path, so we think others inherently look on us with distrust or disappointment. We have this ever-constant pressure to explain ourselves.
I should know. I’m a graduated homeschooler, living at home, on an alternate route to my degree, and 100% single. I know they aren’t true, but in the back of my head I still hear the whispers, They think you’re a failure.
And I’m desperate to show them I’m not. If people ask me at all about my future, I’ll smile and launch into my speech about how my route is so much cheaper and faster, and how I’m not really interested in many of the things other people my age are, because I’m so busy with other work, and how I’m involved in this and that and succeeding in this and that and how planning to do this and that. Then they’ll smile and nod and go “Oh, that’s nice” and hopefully never ask me any questions ever again. I have my script, ready to rush through it at any time. But that desperate dread still sits in my stomach.
Because, really, it’s not their questions I’m afraid of. It’s not really their opinion. The fears and whispers assaulting me aren’t from outside. They’re my own. Continue reading
How do you measure growth? When you’re young it’s easy: inches and shoe sizes and buying longer pants yet again. But what about when you’re older? How do you measure the growth of the mind? How do you trace the trail of the soul? We can walk about with our eyes the same color, our clothes the same style, our days the same schedule; and yet our insides completely changed.
And we forget. Familiarity breeds — ignorance of it ever being any different. When we forget to look back, we think we’ve always lived in this same plane, in this same place. Which means we lose a little. We lose those hard-fought victories, we lose the jumping in exultation, we lose the heart-wrenching convictions, the spirit-overwhelming love.
Growth is good. By looking back we remember where we came from.
This last year has seemed so very short, and yet as if it’s been forever. Here I am, blogging for a year with about 150 followers. That’s amazing and wonderful and — terrifying. Continue reading
I read a quote the other day, from a title or an article, saying “You should spend every moment of your waking time as a single readying yourself to provide for your future home.”
And I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t actually read the article. And that’s not a direct quote. That’s simply the best I remember of it, though I do remember being shocked at how specific “every moment of your time” was. I did fully intend to read the article, willing to give the author credit for having an explanation, a caveat. But sadly, somehow its page was closed, and I couldn’t find where it came from or where it went. So I shall assume the best of the author, and believe that they intended to explain themselves, and place preparing for our future home in its proper order of importance.
Yet the fact remains, I know of teachers who might just accept that quote as it now stands.
I know of girls who believe that quote just as it now stands.
I know of people who live that quote just as it now stands.
I used to be one of them. Continue reading
Uncertainty. Fear. Confusion.
Those seem to be the words defining this generation. We are vividly, violently passionate about our beliefs — but uncertain about what those beliefs are. We claim ideas on which to live our lives, but don’t even check to see if those pieces fit together. We are indeed a generation divided — our hearts and our minds, our logic and our beliefs, our words and our actions, our truth and our love — our questions and the truth are seemly separated by so great an ocean that we haven’t even bothered to get our feet wet.
Just look at what passes for truth all about us. Continue reading
I’m not a writer.
Which seems a strange thing to say, since I am here, writing this; and you are there, reading my writing. It’s even stranger when you consider that I write for this blog twice a week, and have a dream of being a successful author in the future. But it’s true. I’m not a writer. It’s just not who I am. And it’s never who I will be.
Let me explain. Continue reading
I failed this week.
I was so proud of myself earlier. I had planned, I was organized, I was ready. I started my Facebook page, did all my platforming, wrote an average of 400 words every day, peer-edited with my friends, and — failed.
Because here I am, looking at my blog on Friday night, with nothing to publish. Nothing worth giving you. Not to say I don’t have plenty of articles and ideas lying around in my draft box — I do. And they’re all fine. But if this was in real life, they would be scattered all across my desk, scribbled and crossed out, fluttering despondently in the wind from my empty open window. As it is though in this digital age, they just sit composedly in their nice little list, looking up at me asking, “What is wrong?”
Nothing — and everything. Continue reading
Days they force you
Back under those covers,
Lazy mornings, they multiply.
Life is mundane sometimes. It’s slow, it’s dragging, it’s the same circle round and round again. The sun rises, and the sun sets, slowly spinning round again, and everything seems much the same. We work. We eat. We sleep. We get up the next morning and do it all over again. Life is reduced to dry facts on a page: breakfast, shoes, car, computer, water.
And facts, well, facts don’t do much of anything. Contrary to what we often think, they don’t command you, they don’t encourage you, they don’t comfort you. They only tell you what has happened in the past, and what is happening in the now. You are here, this is going on, this is all there is, and this is all there’ll ever be. Basic, textbook definitions.
So everything becomes a grey list of steady, unending, unrelenting march of facts. Dry monotones that dull your sense and close your eyes in slumber. Basic, textbook life.
But we were never meant to be a textbook. Continue reading