Thursday, April 20, 2006

I'm just tired.

I'm tired of not knowing anything. I haven't made decisions; I don't have the information necessary to make those decisions. Everything is in this potent "blah" state. I haven't decided on which seminary to attend, or even if I WILL attend seminary this coming fall. We haven't decided (aka 'been told') when we will be moving out of our LVC house - this year is the last year Beth Shalom will be in the Frogtown section of St. Paul. I have no idea what's going on with my mom. She's already gone, but how long will she stay here?

Today the weather has decided to stay in step with me: the warmth, though extremely welcoming, has backslid to the 50s. It's escaping into a hole, mirroring my own desires. (There IS a chance of thunderstorms today, however, which admittedly cheers me back up.)

It's all relative. These aren't horrible things going on in my life - they are just unknowns.

I spent the last year of college admist a mode of thinking that emphasized the 'unknown.' If you knew anything for sure, you weren't fully opening yourself up to the world around you, and letting it all "soak in." Sure, the world was one big black-and-white picture for some, but if you truly understood yourself, you would personally overwhelm that picture with a million shades of grey. You must do other things, too, like "open yourself up", "take your time", and the ever-present demand to "live in the questions."

I am almost positive that a lot of my questions at this time in my life are the reason I have gone through periods of stress, depression, and downright angst. I don't want to live in them, I want to answer them.

Foolish optimism, you may say. I would agree, in part. We can't answer all the questions. But there is a point where you need to sit up, open your eyes, and start living your life. I spent college covered with a huge metaphorical poncho drenched with droplets of the unknown. It never stopped raining, but I stubbornly kept wearing that damn poncho. And now, fresh out of college, I find myself half-wanting that poncho back, and half-wanting to just step out in the rain and throw my hands up in a liberating, quasi-Shawshank Redemption fashion.

This is the point where I would politely give a caveat for my previous words. I would say that I understand the viewpoint that embraces the grey. And I do, don't get me wrong.

But living in the unknown in college is one thing. Trying to do it beyond college is something altogether different.

I can't capitulate and go back on my words. I DON'T think that living in the grey is this glorious and wonderful thing. At some point, (and I shudder to type this) we have to grow up. I can't continue to ski in the liberating sea of the unknown, especially when I have loans to pay, details to work out, vocations to choose, and sanity to keep.

Dear God, I just sounded like my father. Well, I'm not advocating a conservative political viewpoint, nor am I bashing those still in college. I will cherish that time in my life like no other. It's just a whole lot different out in the rain without the poncho. It's both freeing and scary as shit.

I will go forward in this time of unknowing, confident that the One who created me will always be with me.

Earlier in this post, I may have made it seem like there are only two choices - the black-and-white picture, or the grey one. Well, I am sure there is a beautiful third option. And I am sure that option...must include...color! Yes, a huge, interwoven, inter-dependent mosaic of colors that adorn a massively warm quilt. It's a feast for the eyes, but also scary at the same time. How can we ingest all of those colors?

As if I haven't butchered enough metophors in this entry, allow me to say this: We don't ingest, we don't complain, we don't protest its lack of grey-ness. We just cover up in it, feel its warmth, and say softly, "It's all gonna be okay."

And then we sleep.


At 10:18 AM , Anonymous James said...

You and I have had many discussions about the post-college syndrome and the phantom weights that rest upon our "grown-up" shoulders once we leave our final...playground.

You remember the playgrounds don't you? Your parents would throw you into this small world where other socially inexperiences kids, like yourself, would gather. And it was a process of figuring out what everyone else's motives were, and in turn, determining what your own intentions were.

The educational system is just as much of a social-school as it is anything else. Surely, you may miss some of the intellectual stimulations and challenges of school, but I'm sure that I'd be safe to say that you miss the social aspects even more. Where else will we get a chance to be with our peers, similar in age, interest, general maturity, etc?

Once we're thrown into this "real world" the playground no longer exists. At least not for us. We've grown beyond the "under 4 foot limit" and we just have to watch from the outside. It's the parking lot outside the playground, and then beyond that, another chaotic outter ring of the unknown. It's scary. At this point in our lives, we're supposed to have an idea of who we are, and where we want to be. But dammit, I've still got sand in my shoes and I just wanna get back in that sandbox.

It's unfair isn't it? College is probably the first time in my life when I actually started gaining some perspective. And in just four short years, I'm expected to soak it all in and then leave it behind. What are the lessons we take from college?

For people like you and me, college became our first controllable environment...a home that we chose and to which we adapated. Let me say that again...a HOME that we CHOSE. Everything prior and everything since seems to be like channels on the television, and we don't have the remote. But,'s all gonna be okay.

College isn't the end of the world, just a cold bucket of water that's thrown on our face to wake us up. And we're still in shock. It's only been a year since our "re-birth", if you will, and in time, the shock will wear off, and we'll begin our day...our lives. Not to worry, friend. You've got advantages in life that most don't...and that's the wisdom to see beyond black and white. The shades of grey can be quite beautiful, and depending on how you look at them, you might realize that what you were looking at this whole time wasn't were just standing under a shadow. And can you guess what is casting that giant shadow???

I haven't got it all figured out either, but...I'm starting to see beyond the playground. You will too. Peace, bro.

At 8:15 AM , Anonymous PL said...

Hey, guys.

I graduated from college 19 years ago, and strangely find myself in a similar place to you. The difference is, being FABULOUS at 40, I'm a bit more comfortable there. I don't want too many answers, too many absolutes; the unknown also allows some freedom in which to move. Plus, you get to sneak back onto the playground when you want, once you stop worrying what other people think of you, which is another benefit of age.

And, do not underestimate the gift you young adults are to the rest of us. Integenerationality (ha! new word) is so important, which is why we who have children need you to babysit. I mean, invite you to share in our family lives. My life is richer because I am challenged by people older and younger than I am, people with different experiences who guide me toward or away from new ideas. Yes, you must have some friends who are peers, but you will also bless and be blessed by friends of all ages, and they won't all be bosses.

And a little chastisement for the backsliding, Jason--you don't get to choose your vocation; it chooses you. Are you Lutheran or not?! So, let yourself off the hook for that responsibility, and get thee to a seminary.


At 1:19 PM , Blogger Tikkun ha-Olam said...

'When you try to seize or think you are holy, you have lost holiness.' That's what a monk once told me, and he is right. Don't despair that you feel tired or confused: I am in seminary, feel tired, stretched, angry, out of touch, and unsure about everything. But maybe holiness is precisely there -- we must go to where God is apparently not, to our dark selves, to the outcast, in order to find God and ourselves. Remember Jesus' words on the cross -- eloi, eloi, lama sabacthani! God Incarnate said to the Father that he was lost and didn't know where God was! Crazy stuff. But then Christ, in death and the destruction of his very human being, finds God, commends his spirit and then -- and this is damn huge -- and then experiences resurrection! Hold onto hope and joy, even if it is only a memory right now. Memories can be a gift from God to sustain us. Peace be with you, now and always, brother.

At 11:20 AM , Anonymous Bethany said...

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Jason, reading your blog is like reading thoughts from my own mind! And that, my friend, is why I love you so -- and why we need to get together very soon!


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