pretty much my life until now has been lived in a world of either or's // a complete binary to compliment the binary code we all live our lives according to // if anything, I don't think I would be at such a state as I find myself today if it were not for the experiences I've shared in the last two years // and I use the word shared here because I believe that's about the most honest way we go through life // nothing is ever within our total control // choices, sure // but the million of other simultaneous choices being made right alongside mine to perfectly coexist and parallel me is too much for me to understand // so I say shared // who said it, I can't remember; our words are only ever a metaphor // that sounds like as good a place as any to start
If I were to go back to the beginning I could easily give you a bulleted list and hit all the major highlights/lowlights of my life // and factual information is how I've come alongside my life pretty much so far // feelings, or maybe I should say "felt" feelings, are kind of a new thing for me // the feeling/awareness in my own body // the curiousity of my feelings especially // for example, was that really my dad in the bleachers that day when I was 10 playing outfield in little league? // and if so why didn't he say anything? // fear is a big reason not to ask questions // By age 10 I was already 5 years past removed from a "normal" family life // On top of a shaky foundation at home I was being taught the fear and guilt associated with my religious upbringing // I learned early on to internalize and retreat to my imagination
I can still feel the cold cinderblock walls along the corridor to my Sunday school room // fluorescent lights above me, linoleum floor beneath me, a cold unsettling within me // did anyone really want to be there?
Of course as a child you don't recognize your own towers your building up around you that will one day have to be torn down // Just like I didn't recognize my own need to safely sort through my feelings and questions // See that's what it feels like growing up in the church, there is no room for questions because "God" is the answer // You in pain, pray // You have doubt, pray // You need help, pray // And when you are handed the ultimate answer as a child how can you expect to look for answers anywhere else // so. fucked. up.
And if the truth is/was so absolute then why was my biggest fear not going to heaven // The problem, now I understand, is in the question // If heaven exists only ever as a place we need to get to then we have a lot of opportunities to mess shit up and get our passports revoked at the pearly gates // And yet this whole time it's always been about an awareness // More on that later
Turning 14 carried with it a heavy load // The path I had been on for 9 years, making friends, playing ball, kissing girls, all turned on a dime // A complete do-over // I'll never forget knocking on my friend Matt's door with my dad waiting in the u-haul parked on the street // stopping to say goodbye on the day I was moving // and the fucked up thing is I felt guilty // now realizing that my own sense of self-protection kept me from asking deeper questions about why I was feeling that way // so further in I retreated // punk music // skateboarding // all became safer outlets for me rather than talking about things
That pattern has not been easy to let go of // There is comfort in the familiar // But finally after 10 years of marriage I came face to face with the limitations of my old pattern and for the first time in my life sought out someone that could help me pull back the rug and start to pull out my past // More on where I've been these past two years and how that's affected my marriage, my faith and my work