Thursday, November 8, 2007

Where to Go, What to Do

Here lately I've been thinking quite a bit about my future. I find myself currently at a time in my life where I could go in any direction I see fit to go in. I'm only twenty-four, my job is about to come to an end, I have no wife/girlfriend/boyfriend or anything like that to tie me down, no kids... so, I find myself considering all my options.

I've thought a lot about moving. Just packing my bags and going on some grand adventure, some journey of discovery, away from everything familiar. I've always thought that if I did move away, I'd want to go someplace either in Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, or maybe West Virginia. I guess I'm just in love with the mountains in those states. But if I do move away, wherever that turns out to be, that place would have to be better than where I live now. Otherwise, what's the point in moving? It would be nice to find a town with better jobs. Or a church where a person can actually be accepted even if they've been involved in something as horrible as, yes, heaven forbid, homosexuality. It would be nice to find a church where people openly love God and the people around them. It would be nice to find a place where I could be myself without fear of anyone ever truly knowing me. I'd like nothing more than for everyone just to know I like other guys and for it to not be a big deal to them—that they wouldn't treat me with disgust or as some sort of freak or different. I've thought for a long time now that if I could just move away I could live like that. Living where I do now, I have family to have to deal with. Not to mention all those people I grew up with. And as much as I love my family, I don't always feel like I can be myself or honest with them. I fear being honest with them sometimes, and I know that leads to me not being honest with others for fear that my parents or other family members will eventually find out by word of mouth what it is I struggle with. If I lived someplace else, I wouldn't have to worry so much about my family finding out. I could just be myself more.

I also think about what career to pursue. Writer, teacher, house builder, architect, interior designer, farmer, ... what? I still don't know what to do with my life. Thing is, I'm increasingly beginning to believe that maybe I should settle for being a jack of all trades, but master of none. Maybe I should do a little bit of everything? Of course, something really should be a main source of income, but what? I still don't know what to do with my life. I just don't want to wake up at sixty years of age or older and have to wonder if there was ever anything significant, important, or meaningful in what work I've done during my life. I want to do something meaningful and worthwhile.

So, with all that, I have been considering what sort of future to make for myself. And in considering all these things, I have to keep in mind what God wants for me. I've been praying about these things for quite some time now. Thing is, I only recently realized how great an opportunity I have coming up for making some big changes in my life. And I know that the only thing to hold me back is really just myself. I have to admit that the prospect of moving away or going to a different church does sort of frighten me some. It means that I'm on my own. But I realize that's not necessarily a bad thing. It could actually be a really good thing, because often, when you're on your own like that, that's when you tend to learn the most. You grow as a person and as an individual. At least I do.

This leads to thoughts of other things. I realize how much growing up I've had to do the last couple of years. I realize how much I've held myself back in the past. I never pursued anyone for any type of relationship for being afraid of rejection. And yet the very thing I've always wanted was acceptance. Well, it's kind of hard to find that if I never pursue any friendships with anyone. I've learned that, and I've now made several friends because of that. I'm stepping out more than I used to. But I get discouraged sometimes. I make friends and then I push them away, and then I don't try to make friends like I should, and when I do make friends I tend to be insecure enough in that friendship to be a little panicky about losing those friends. And then I know I probably get a little weird at times because of that. I just keep trying to be myself and to open up around others, but I find that really hard to do sometimes. I get self-conscience and nervous. There again, I fear.

I also know that I've relied too much on my parents for things that I shouldn't have. I've allowed them to take care of me more than I should have. That's something I didn't realize until just a few months ago. So, here lately, I've been trying to rectify that by being a little more self-sufficient about certain things. I'm glad that my parents love me and care about me, but I don't think it's so good that they care for me enough to do things for me that really I ought to be doing for myself by now.

I've also learned not to be so naïve about a few things. Such as: most politicians will actually lie just to get elected; preachers do not equal God; I'm not the only person who struggles with certain things in life; most businesses are only in it for the money; some people will take advantage of you so long as they think they can get away with it; other denominations aren't necessarily worse than my own—some are actually better in several regards; and my parents aren't always right about everything.

I guess to sum everything up, I'm just wanting a new start. I've spent the last couple of years trying to grow up and discover myself and figure things out, and I'm tired. I feel like I'm being held back. I'd just like to get away from everything for awhile and start all over again with a fresh start. I'd like to actually begin my life rather than just trail along as I've been. I feel like I know better what I want now, and I'd like to go out and finally start getting those things. All I know is that I'm in the mood to take some risks, there's nothing holding me back, and I'm ready to get started. I'm anxious to get started. There's just so much I want to do and so many places I'd like to go.

Lord, please help me to find my way. Lead me in whatever direction you'd have me to go. And help me to be happy with my life and in whatever I do. Amen.


MR said...

I am saying this with caution, hoping you will not take this the wrong way. Have you ever thought about moving here to Seattle? If you like mountains, you can find them here. I have spent a lot of time in the mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee, and I like the mountains around here even better. There are churches here where you could be open about your struggles without the rejection from leaders you described. There are a lot of jobs here.

Seattle is not only where I live, but several other bloggers you know of are here. The writer of "As Were Some Of You" goes to the same church as I do. David of "Resolving Realities" is considering a move here. James Reggio(, who comments on many of the same blogs as you, is moving here this summer. James is friends with me, the 2 mentioned above, "Journal Of A Battling Christian"(Rik Fleming), and "Pomoprophet." We could all have a Side A/Side B/ex-gay/confused struggling bloggers’ convention LOL.

Brandon said...

Hey MR,

It's definitely an idea. I had sort of caught on that several of you lived in that area. It must really be nice out there. And I have to admit, a convention of us bloggers does sound sort of appealing. However, the move I had in mind was sort of to be a baby step for me. So, moving waaaaaaay out there on the whole opposite side of the country is just a little bigger step than I think I'm ready for right now. However, it's still something to consider. And I don't mean to sound completely opposed to the idea, because I'm not. Thanks for the advice. It's much appreciated.