Archive: May 2017

Any day now


My friend recently asked if it made me feel unaccomplished to see younger people succeed. It’s a question I’ve heard people ask in one way or another, mostly late at night after a day of doing nothing. The classic example is that Jesus changed the world by age 33 and here we are working at <insert terrible employer here>. And the answer is no.

It’s always tempting to compare yourself to famous people who accomplished things early in their lives. James Madison joined the continental congress at 29. Mary Shelley published Frankenstein at 20. I see LeBron James dominate the basketball world and wonder: why I wasn’t doing that in my twenties? Or thirties…

Let’s just remember that the game’s not timed. Starting early or late doesn’t matter, just starting.

And for that matter, can’t we adjust for our modern lifespans? It only seems fair. I’m only like 18 in Jesus years. So relax. He spent the last 9% of his life performing miracles and healing the world. I promise I’ll do the same. In about 12 Jesus years.

And I could have been a LeBron, if only I had talent, athleticism, dedication, and height.

Face to face


I’m afraid that people won’t like me. It colors a multitude of my actions.

I don’t speak much in a group setting. I avoid eye contact. I stick to customary greetings and interactions, almost to the point of rudeness sometimes. Like I didn’t care enough to show up. People who do spend time getting to know me seem surprised to learn how thoughtful and sincere I can be. I just don’t show it to many because I’m scared.

Fear of rejection affects my aspirations as well. I was born to be a storyteller, always brimming with ideas. There are piles of notebooks scattered throughout my house with plot summaries and storyline diagrams. The act of creating is deeply personal and very beautiful. But. There is this sense of terror- or maybe it’s dread- that I might pour my entire soul into a project and have my efforts met with yawns. What would I do then? For what purpose would I live? To be rejected or misunderstood is an odious fate.

Better to stall. Find a reason to push off that project. Find a different project and get caught up in the “planning phase” of that one for a while. I seem to do this effectively, scattering my focus and never stopping to act. That book will never get written at this pace. Which some days is fine by me; there’s a monster at the end of the book. Better to keep it safely in the future than to meet it face to face.

I guess babies are the same way. It scares me to think of creating a human being and then looking it in the eyes. What would I see? Would she be proud of her father? Would he want to be like dad? Would they like my stories?