will's insanity

The Ramblings of a Mad Man

Category: Ramblings

Remembering the Gone,Looking Towards the Future

Screw 2016
Welcome 2017

Before we move forward, I think that it’s important that we remember those who inspired us with their talent, whether that’s music or TV or movies. Now, obviously a lot of people won’t be on here, But I’m going to do a majority of my favorites. Here we go:

Alan Rickman: “I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is not to take yourself too seriously.”

Glenn Frey: “We set out to become a band for our time. But sometimes if you do a good-enough job, you become a band for all time.”

Joe Alaskey: “HA! you never catch the rabbit being this heroic!” (From him as Daffy Duck)

Erik Bauersfeld: “It’s a trap!”

Morley Safer: “What does it say about us that people who are considered defective are instinctively caring and compassionate?”

Muhammad Ali: “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

Anton Yelchin: “I want things to be characters and not me. Why would I want to play me?”

Ralph Stanley: “I’m thankful that I have lived long enough to become a legend, and I hope I deserve it.”

Elie Wiesel: “I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I’ve been closer to him for that reason.”

Kenny Baker: “They don’t always use dwarfs, unfortunately. They shouldn’t be allowed to do that! How dare they do ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ and not have dwarfs!”

Gene Wilder (Because I deeply enjoyed his work, he gets four. Get over it): “I never used to believe in fate. I used to think you make your own life, and then you call it fate.”
“All right, you win. You win. I give. I’ll say it. I’ll say it. I’ll say it. DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME! DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME!”
“The suspense is terrible… I hope it’ll last.”
“What did you expect? “Welcome, sonny”? “Make yourself at home”? “Marry my daughter”? You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.”

John Glenn: “There is still no cure for the common birthday.”

Carrie Fisher: “I don’t think Christmas is necessarily about things. It’s about being good to one another, it’s about the Christian ethic, it’s about kindness.”

Debbie Reynolds: “I gave it all that I had, and it’s gratifying that others seem to be receiving it so well.”

William Christopher: (an exchange with Col. Potter)

Father Mulcahy: Colonel, an ambulance has turned over in the compound, you better come on the double.

Col. Potter: Anybody hurt?

Father Mulcahy: Well, the driver’s a bit shaken-up, but he’ll be all right.

Col. Potter: No-one else inside?

Father Mulcahy: No.

Col. Potter: Thank God.

Father Mulcahy: I already did.”

These men and women meant so much to us. They inspired our movements, our passions, our humor. They lived in and for the moment of each day of their lives. And, as I am sure many of you are, as you mourn your personal loved ones lost in the absolutely GARBAGE year, remember this: The world continues to turn, God continues to love and comfort you regardless of your beliefs, and your life is worth living just as these people above had. Meet 2017 head on, with a resolve and a determination that could only come from perseverance. Keep your chin up, fight back against the injustice you see, speak up for those who need it, and live life with humor and energy sometimes only found in movies.

Your life is your own. How will you use it?

(For just this point alone, I’m going to post a couple of links to videos you should watch)

Happy new year!

 

 

 

Thoughts pt. 2 or Why I Fear Independence

So this next installment of thoughts from my brain is more personal rather than political. Just a way for me to get some things from out of my head and on to a piece of paper (or in this case, on a computer screen). So anyway, here goes:

I am afraid.

Not of the election, not of a person, not even of this coming school year. No, what I am afraid of is after the year. True independence for me as an adult: bills, insurance, taxes, etc., alongside seminary and other personal conundrums.

You see, I know I’m lucky. I am very aware of the state of my circumstances. I will be able to graduate almost debt free from my undergrad thanks to my dad’s GI bill, and I haven’t had to pay a bill yet in my life. Trust me, having gone into poorer communities and poorer countries, I know how INCREDIBLY lucky I am, and there is nothing anyone can do to convince me otherwise. I am afraid that my lack of experience will be my downfall. That I will have been so used to this that going into the real world will break me down and apart like nothing else can.

I don’t know how to shop for insurance of any kind, I can’t do my own taxes, and I certainly can’t tell you how to find a decent apartment of any kind. In other words, in the real world:

I’m utterly useless.

Now, I can learn these things (and trust me, I intend to) in the future, through finance classes and mistakes and all sorts of experience, but for some reason that doesn’t make me feel any better.

After this year, there will be some HUGE decisions to make, ones that I am terrified to make by myself, but ones that have to be done. I know I’m financially screwed for the rest of my life as being a pastor doesn’t pay that much at all. I also know I’m not alone in this thought. A number of my recently graduated friends from college have expressed similar sentiments, so I’m positive that I’m not alone in anything I say here. I’m 21 years old for crying out loud! If this is the hardest my life gets, then damn, I am the luckiest man alive. If not that, then God must be intensely helping me in so many ways, just like He does everyday.

But I’m still afraid.

I know what is expected of me: to put my fear and my worry into God’s hands and have Him guide me through these next, incredibly stressful, nine months, but still: When you have anxiety as a symptom/cause/co-conspirator of depression, these things bounce around in your head like nobody’s business, and it almost feels like they’re shouting at you for being a failure at basic adulting.

Joshua 1:9 (NRSV) says “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

This one verse has stuck with me for a long, long time. Mainly because of a VBS song, but still, a long time, and has become a comfort to me in times of such panic. It may not make me completely better, but knowing that I am not by myself in these thoughts among peers and knowing that while right now I’m useless in the real world, I won’t always be. And even though I feel afraid, I know that God is there beside me. Maybe not taking my fear away, but helping me to control and combat it in so many ways. Personal decisions and financial responsibilities be damned, I have a God that won’t let me stray, a family to help support me, a girlfriend who loves me and keeps me sane, and friends to make the journey SO much easier. I may not be useful now, but I’m definitely not hopeless. There’s too much to look forward to in the future and so much to do in the present that fear can’t control me or dictate how I react.

And it sure as hell never will.

Love

Hello, thought I forgot about this? Well you thought WRONG!

If anybody has conversed with me recently, they’ll know I’ve been under a lot of stress. School, being an RA, being involved with my campus ministry (or attempting to), and everything else. Life has been, for lack of better terms or expressions, shitty. life has pretty much sucked. However, I continue to remember, or try to remember, the little things in life. Things mainly involved with people, such as patience, self-control, and love.

Wow, strong word love. There is a lot of meaning behind something like that, with the theological and practical descriptions spanning generations as each tries to define it in its own way. The new phrase I have encountered is “Love your neighbor as your selfie” meaning exactly what it sounds like. However, I think we need to be reminded of the fact that not only do we have to love ourselves and those we like, but those that drive us insane. The ones that hurt us and tear us down deserve just as much care and love as the next person.

“But why?” you ask, “They’ve been a terrible person! They’ve done X and Y and (sometimes) Z to me! Why should I have to love them?”

Because we all screw up. Yes, even you person asking the question, even you. While perfection is something attainable, it is not the standard definition of perfection. This perfection has to do with love (see, full circle. good job will). The LOVE that you show may not seem like it’s making a difference to those who hurt you, or disagree with you, or even just don’t know you. The fact is: if you show someone love, they could be more likely to show love to someone else. By attempting to show that everyone is worthy of some sort of legitimate affection, even if it’s just a sincerely asked “How’re you today?”, you show that you care. You may not LIKE the person you’re talking to, you may not even enjoy their company, but the main thing is you love them. You love them by putting up with the annoying. You love them by being with them. If their angry with you, take a step back and let them calm down. I you’re angry with them, take a step back and calm down. Don’t approach them with an attitude of hate.

If they’re sad, give them a hug.

If you’re sad, ask someone for a hug.

If they’re happy, share in their happiness, don’t shoot them down if you don’t care.

If you’re happy, try to share it with someone. If they shoot you down, tell someone else. Eventually, someone will be happy with you.

By learning that love, not just romantic or friendly love, but love of the unlovable, of the ones who keep you from happiness, is the way for keeping each other from complete insanity, then we can all get through the crazy, impossibly busy, “Ineedfivemorehourstodoeverythingontime” thing called life together. And hopefully, HOPEFULLY, in one piece.

 

UPDATE: The other night, I saw a pizza delivery woman walking back from a delivery, looking like she had had the worst day ever. I thought about it, and asked her how she was. She shook off my first attempt at asking, so I asked again. She said she was doing okay, and climbed in her car. I turn my back to the car, expecting it to drive off, when I hear her say. “Hey, thanks for asking! It really means a lot.”

Now I don’t share that story to brag. on the contrary, I don’t like sharing stories of that matter because I don’t want to get a big head about the little good things I do. But I thought it was a good example of how love really can help a complete stranger with something, how a simple question can mean the world to someone.

The best laid plans of mice and men……. Just might work out

As an RA, I get the privilege of listening, watching, and seeing my residents think and create. sometimes, it’s with their social lives, sometimes the psychological, and sometimes their scholarly. But sometimes, I get to be included in this development, and it always makes for an interesting time to hear what they have to say. Not 30 seconds ago, I was sitting in a residents room, discussing various sorts of things, when the idea for a program began to manifest itself. Now this program that they propose would take months of planning and prep, but they didn’t seem to mind. They talked about ideas to present to the student organizations on campus, ideas to keep the dream they had alive. While this was being discussed, I could see their faces light up and begin to get excited at 1 in the morning about this idea they had, and this caused something. 

It caused me to become truly excited for their purpose. I wanted in.

This was something they came up with, so I mostly stood back, offering the paperwork side of it and told them to get some kind of proposal together to present to my bosses, hall council, RSA (resident student association), and an assorted amount of people. But just to be associated with something that I couldn’t have thought of on my own in a million years brought me joy, and inspired me to start the cogs turning within the great bureaucracy that is college departments.

This is what I love about being an RA. Not the paperwork, not the meetings, not the planning, but the creativity that comes out of the residents on my hall. The ideas, the plans that manifest themselves in a million ways, this is what I live for: to help the others live their dream any way I can. Moral support, settling disputes, and yes, even paperwork. I love helping people come together in a community, as a FAMILY and supporting each other in any way possible. 

That is what I want out of this job. An opportunity to help others. And this is just one of the many ways I can do that. 

“Tell the truth and run.”

I am not a big calendar person. Literally, I don’t like the ginormous desk calenders that they sell at Office Depot or whatever. But in order to keep track of the date, I have this tear-away calender by the amazingly brilliant people at Despair.com. Anywho, the thing that the author does for Thursdays is called “A Thought For Thursday”. Today’s thing is the quote from a Yugoslavian Proverb, which also is being used as the title above. Convenient, isn’t it? 

Anyway, the point of the post.

I saw it and immediately a thought came to my mind: Am I afraid of the truth? My own answer; No. I will treat people the way I want to be treated, and I would much rather somebody tell me the cold, hard truth right to my face then have them try to work around it. 

So now that I had that question answered, another one popped into my head. Am I afraid of the consequences the truth brings? A little harder answer, and I think is far more important than the above question. Am I afraid of the aftermath. Honestly and truly, it depends on the nature of the truth. Is it one that is going to help someone live, or is it one that will lead to a further argument, coming out of the realm of truth and into the area of tempers and feelings? Is it one where the separate parties come away with more, or with less than they started with? 

I return to my first question for this point, because it essentially boils down to this: Tell the truth. 

No matter what, the truth is your best way out. regardless of the aftermath and the fallout or furthering of relationships. “little white lies” are still those, lies. Not half truths and it’s not twisting the facts. They are still lies. 

Now when going on about the truth it is important to remember how to present the truth. You can’t be angry when presenting it, you will allow your own emotions and feelings to be present in the oncoming storm. You must remain calm the entire time you speak with whomever, allowing instead of the guise of “cold, hard fact”, introduce it as a warm consideration. Don’t sugar coat and beat around the bush, but don’t be an ass about it. Hard to do, and I also have a hard time doing it as well, but I figure that all of this is something the human race works on together. cooperating with each other even after we know the truth. How we do it is confusing to me, but somehow we’re still around to laugh, cry, and love with one another. And that works fine by me. 

Neatness

Right now my room is a wreck. I mean, I’ve started picking up the floor and everything, but it still looks like a kind of controlled chaos. I have papers scattered everywhere, my desk is covered in things that need to get done, and my storage areas are absolutely insane. 

Just having all of that around me reminds me that I need to clean it up, get stuff done, and try to relax afterwards. But I feel like it’s just going to revert to it’s original state of craziness as soon as I get going during the week, and I sure as HELL am not cleaning every week. Right now, even as I’m typing this, I am trying to pick up the random pieces of trash that scatter the floor and throw them in the garbage can, attempting some level of sanity in this whirlwind. 

I’m actually feeling about the same way right now. The job of being an R.A., while rewarding, is filled with small pieces of work that just seem to build up around me. School is, as always, an abundance of reading and work that also piles up like leaves. And trying to have a social life at the same time as getting any amount of sleep, it’s almost laughable. As with my room, my mind is cluttered with these things, and trying to look at it stresses me out to no end. Pulling out of hair and procrastination ensue, just because I can see the whole picture, and it frustrates me to the point of not being able to get anything done. My mother at this point would probably say to me to look at it one thing at a time. Great advice, and definitely some that I would pass on if it was a third party asking me for some advice. But as for me, when I look at everything I have to do, categorizing just doesn’t seem to work very well for me. Trying to sort things and organize them into sections just doesn’t click sometimes, so I have the entire picture in my head all at once like a photograph, instead of it happening a little at a time.

The thing I do to cover up my room is really the same thing I do for my life. I close the door. it’s still there, but it’s not within visual. I can’t see it, therefore it does not have a direct impact upon me. Then and only then am I able to say to myself what I need to do. I can say i need to take care of the floor first, or organize my desk, or figure out where to put stuff in my  storage areas. Same goes with my own head. The reason I procrastinate is not because I’m lazy (okay, maybe a little…) but because I feel so overwhelmed that if I get started on anything, everything else will be in the forefront of my mind while I’m accomplishing that task. I need that time before hand to comprehend and figure out which part of the photograph of stuff I need to get finished. And little by little, my room and my mind get cleaned, and life becomes easy and simplified. 

There’s a first time for everything

So I’d figure I would give this blogging thing a try. I never liked writing, but the flow of blog seemed so strangely alluring that I had to give it a try. Not sure how much effort is gonna go into this, but who knows, maybe something good will come out of this. Anywho, here goes nothing.

The presentation style of this blog domain is called manifesto, which is defined as “a public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.” according to the all powerful Google. But I think it’s so much more than that. The first time manifesto appeared as a choice, I immediately went to the communist manifesto by Karl Marx (crazy guy, but that’s the history major talking). But then I kept thinking: A statement. That’s what this is. A way for people to understand whats going on in the minds of others. 

One’s eyes are no longer the gateway to the soul, it’s the way they say things. 

This does not apply to just blogs, but to the languages we speak, along with the ones we don’t. Your mouth is saying one thing, the mind another, and the body yet another. Our image says things too. Unfortunately, not just the words of rumor or praise behind our backs, but the way we present ourselves, what we do to find peace, the way we address the issues at hand, what we do on our phones, what we listen to on our I-pods, and the list goes on. 

The point is we are complex. To limit the way to for others to see us as we TRULY are, no masks, no walls, no filters, to one tiny part of our being is pointless. If we were meant for that, God would have made all expression through the eyes. By limiting ourselves to that cliche, we acquire one and only one method of thinking about a person. Maybe instead of looking at one thing, we eliminate the first impression bias and try a longer approach. Actually talking to people, verbally and non-verbally, and putting our phones down to notice such things. If we do that, our relationships with each other will grow exponentially. 

And that ladies and gentlemen, is my Manifesto. A policy, A statement. Not the summary of my beliefs, but a good chunk of one of them.