The last three months have been a complete alskdjfo awijern cioco iuerieak wnwpe rowd invm ocijarwe.
(If that made no sense, then I think I have explained my condition accurately.)
I purposely and unintentionally stopped writing here because of school, school, and questioning what to share. My head’s been spinning, trying to keep up with people and work, that I forgot to spend time on the things I enjoy the most and are most important to me (even though I would deny it all in person). Having some time with spring break, I have blown off the cobwebs to pen some thoughts on the blank pages.
Relationships. Are. Hard. (How hard, Dave?) Not just the ones you probably immediately assume, but friendships, familial ties, work ties, etc. They’re like consumer goods: everyone enjoys them until they go wrong, in which they try to trade up and over. But relationships aren’t commodities. They’re much more important, and I feel like the dumbest person when I iterate that.
Growing up, it was strenuous having to move all the time. (I feel like I’ve told this story already.) Every few years, I would have to leave the friends I had just started to enjoy being around, only to have to start over. Probably a nice skill to develop, except meeting people was extremely difficult for me. Most people would just blame personality type, but to be honest, I was worried what others would think about me.
I’m weird (if you haven’t deciphered). I’m not like white T-shirts or low-cut socks. I’m really really difficult to be around when I talk, and it’s worse when I start to force my opinion down your throat. I did tone it down a bit by talking less (or not talking at all), and it’s only by the grace of God that I have any friends.
I’m also notorious for burning bridges, which is ironic to the point of hypocrisy. If I don’t value a relationship enough, I’ll let it die or worse, and I’ve gotten all the backlash from those moments. You would think after the first or second time that I would learn from my mistakes, but the story never works itself out. In a sense, I think of it as a “cleansing,” removing the chaff, but it’s never that — it’s more like cutting out an organ. Only in hindsight, though. Again, grace of God that people even talk to me after the first encounter.
I think it wasn’t until recently that I realized that my friends like me for who I am regardless of what benefit it is to know me other than to know me. It breaks my heart, cause if I were in their shoes, I would cut and run away from me. The Christian would say, “He needs love. He’s just as broken as we are.” My immediate reaction would be, “GTFO.”
And yet, everyday, I’m starting to notice who my close, ride-or-die friends really are. There were many people that did the whole “don’t forget us little people when you make it big” when I left Seattle, but slowly, most of those people ended up doing the thing they asked me not to do. I don’t blame them, as life keeps us busy, but all the same, I do feel disappointment that the relationship I viewed was not the same relationship they viewed. It does stress the fact that it takes two to tango, and it takes two to make a thing go right. It’s not just their fault, but also mine. And no one’s.
Failing is a skill that never gets easier. If you ever listen to comedians pontificate, they often say that you’re not a real comedian/-enne until you bomb (once). It helps you learn from your mistakes, makes it easier to take rejection, and solidifies “who you are.” As Nietzsche famously said, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
As a famous ex-network talk show host once rebutted, “What [Nietzsche] failed to stress is that it almost kills you.” And he’s right. Once it happens, you feel like someone just snatched the life right out of you. You may cry, you may hold it together, but you always feel broken inside. And it’s the worst when it’s something in which you hold a lot of pride.
Mine was my first ever screenplay. Anyone can write a screenplay, but like music or art, it takes a master to make it great. And I thought mine was on the way to being good enough to hopefully get in the good graces of my hard-ass professor, who would hopefully send it to an agent that could land me a job once I graduated. Bake my cake and eat it without getting a sugary stomach ache.
Instead, he tore me a new one. While there have been students that cried due to his brash criticism, I held my ground, much like someone trying to save face while taking a public whipping. Even so, it was the most incredibly embarrassing moment in my film school life to date. All eyes staring at me, watching me as my work was shredded to bits, maybe hoping to see me crack. (Note: though my professor sounds harsh, he still cares for all of his students.)
It was depressing the next few days. Could I salvage this story, or would I have to start something new and be completely behind all the other students? I wracked my brain for countless hours, and eventually, I decided to start fresh with something closer to the chest.
And it was like a breath of the freshest air from any of the peaks of Washington State entered my lungs with rejuvenation. I was technically behind, but I felt like this was it. This is a good story that I want to tell, not so much one that I want to get made into a picture to earn a ton of recognition and money. This was the one that really spoke to why I wanted to come to film school: to move and motivate people to do something better.
I’ve got a lot to catch up on work-wise, but for once in a very long time, I feel like things are going to be okay (with school). Even with all the stress, mess, headache, crying, sleepless nights, forced malnutrition, etc.
In everything, I cannot begin to illustrate how much Christ has done, and maybe it is serendipitous that it is
Palm Sunday Passion Week as I write this. In all my problems, the solutions stood right before me, tapping on my forehead. I was just too caught up in everything else to notice.
Knowing God makes it easier to keep relationships, and knowing Christ makes it easier to fail. It’s crazy and sounds too good to be true, but it is easier. And free. And free-ing. I think less about marriage, jobs, how I’m going to pay off all this debt, and the future (although they’re still there, in my mind wasteland). It’s kind of like emptying your mind, but it is also filling it with God.
The buck’s not supposed to stop at me. As Christians, we’re called to spread the Good News to all; and yet, I still hear of stories of Christians with good intentions, but no tact or manner. It really does suck that it happens, and then other people generalize Christians as such — they make the molehill steeper every time they “profess” the Word of God.
I do want to share my faith with others, but I’ve realized that it’s not a one-and-gun deal. I hate to harp on short-term missions, but sometimes, I wonder if the impact will last and take root — most of the time, it just turns into a vacation. Not to say that they aren’t beneficial, but I’d rather get to know this person or people, walk with them, talk with them, live life with them. It might be why I don’t have the urgency to travel, or constantly looking for “a good time.”
Spreading the Gospel is work, but it shouldn’t be force-feeding scripture. It should be an lifelong, open invitation, regardless of reception. You till the ground and nurture the crops, and then hope to God something does happen. It’s a waiting game, not a baiting game.
I could throw more clichés or well-worded phrases and rhymes, but at the end of it all, it’s just a bunch of words. You would have to walk or talk with me, one-on-one, everyday for the rest of my life to see if what I spew is hypocritical or something sublime. And even then, you would have to come to the conclusion, not me.
And if that wasn’t an invitation to walk or talk with me through this crazy stupid fine thing called life, then I don’t know… but I got a good feeling.