View Smith House in Chief Architect’s 3D Viewer.
Twisted up all tied together.
Feeling like I can’t escape but not sure I want to.
Learning more about the things life doesn’t care about.
Feeling like it should be better.
In the end no one is dead.
I’m not homeless and my belly’s fed.
Just wishing there was an easier path.
Life is life and that’s all it is.
I’m but one player, an insignificant one at that.
Learning my place will be the hardest lesson of all.
(This was inspired by a writing prompt I found on reddit. Enjoy!)
The music was banging through my skull… Loud. So very very loud.
I could feel the pressure building within my chest. That pressure of, I need to be alone. I was very familiar with this pressure and I was typically able to keep it under control. But tonight it wasn’t going to happen. I needed to find some place to myself soon or I was going to snap. I knew I couldn’t drive since Kelsey had decided she was going to drive us there in her Daddy’s new sports car. I thought it was a bad idea (I usually think all of Kelsey’s ideas are bad ideas) but she decided to drive.
Now we were at the party and I was starting to lose control. Being an extroverted introvert sucks. Great around people and everyone always assumes you want to hang out with them. But a lot of the times, you just want to be by yourself and get lost in your own world. Like I was right now…
I’d been lost in my own world up to that point. I hadn’t noticed when he came over and started trying to flirt with me. Or at least, I think he was trying to flirt with me. He was telling me all about the vacation his parents had gone on. Pointing at the different pictures on the wall. I really couldn’t care less. He had been leading me down a hallway towards what appeared to be the bedrooms (the last place on earth I wanted to be with him). So when he turned to point to another picture and start in on another story from their trip to white sandy beaches that I’d never been to, I turned back down the hallway and walked through the first open door I found.
Closing the door as quietly as possible (so he wouldn’t know which way I’d gone when he noticed I was gone), I realized I had stumbled into a bedroom. I fought back a brief moment of panic realizing that I was alone in the bedroom so that was fine. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I started to notice toys around the room and posters on the wall. A desk in the corner with a laptop covered in boy band stickers told me whose room I was now a refugee in. His blonde little sister was vacationing with parents while he through a party.
“Go away.” I nearly screamed when I heard the voice. Thankfully I didn’t otherwise I’m sure I would have been caught by him.
I started glancing around the room trying to find the owner of the voice. After a few moments I saw a person shape standing in a darkened corner. “Go away.” the person said again. “This is my hiding place. Not available for fucking.”
Taken aback by the directness, I stumbled some words out before I finally managed, “Can I just hide in here for a few minutes please? I’m not trying to fuck in here, I just need to get away from all the people.” The person didn’t move but somehow I knew they’d agreed to let me stay. I sighed and collapsed to the floor. I ended up in the opposite corner of this stranger with my back partially leaning on the door. We sat in blissful silence for a few minutes. Nothing but our own thoughts to occupy ourselves.
The peace was short-lived however, “Who are you hiding from?” the voice asked. I wasn’t sure who the voice belonged to yet but I decided that I could trust a fellow person hiding in the dark.
“Which one is Chad?”
They didn’t know who Chad was? I thought everyone in our school knew who Chad was. “He’s the guy who lives here. I’ve decided his parents had to buy a house this big in order to fit his enormous ego.” I chuckled a little at my own joke but she just brushed hair out of her face and said, “Oh. Him…”
I had figured out that it was a girl that was taking refuge with me from the storm of teenage angst and hormones. She seemed to be pretty enough from what I could see. All I could really see was some flowing blonde hair and a face that was well framed by it. She had a somewhat long face that came to a nice point at her chin. The only other feature I could make out was the light from the street lamp shining off her eyes. The light seemed to dance, almost as if she were on the verge of crying.
Her response to my attempted joke was not what I expected. It was laced with the odor of an untold story she’d rather forget. My gut told me it had something to do with Chad.
Not wanting to bring up unpleasant feelings in my temporary room mate, I decided I’d try to cheer her up (being an introvert that cares about people’s feelings sucks…) “What’s your name?”
“Are you from around here?”
Again, silence. She had up to this point seemed lost in her own world ever since I mentioned Chad.
“Hey… Are you ok?”
She finally turned her head to me as if being snapped out her of herself. “I’m fine. I think I should go though.” She tried to stand up but for some reason was having some difficulty. I stood-up and started to walk over to her but she held up her hand to top me. “I don’t need anyone else touching me tonight.” I stopped and waited. A moment later she struggled to her feet. Although I couldn’t see anything physically wrong with her, she walked very gingerly as if she was in an extreme amount of pain. She walked past me without saying a word and walked out into the party.
The next time I saw her was the first day back after the party. I was sitting in the cafeteria at school waiting for class to start. Our school had TV’s hooked-up to the different news networks so we could, “…keep up with the current affairs of our world.” according to our principle. It was on one of those news networks I saw her picture. I got up and turned the volume up on the TV to hear what the news caster was saying:
“Her body was found by some local fishermen this morning as they were getting ready to go out on their boat. It appears the cause of death was a suicide. A toxicology report shows that she had 3 times the recommended amount of vicodine in her system. According to the Medical Examiner, she had been dead since Friday night.”
I stood completely still. Unable to think. Unable to breathe. What had just happened? I willed myself to not go into shock just yet. I turned my attention back to the newscaster.
“Authorities also believe there may have been foul play involved. There are signs of a sexual assault.”
That’s why she had walked so gingerly when she left… She’d been raped!
My mind filled with rage as I thought about Chad. I knew he was the one who’d done it to her. She became so quiet when I mentioned his name… And he was gonna try and get me into his bedroom too!
Before I knew quite what I was doing, my phone was in my hand with 911 already dialed. I smiled as I pressed the send button. I was going to make sure that Chad paid for what he did.
I have had this feeling for the last couple of days that I just need to sit down and write something. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be writing about but I feel like there are words inside of me and I’m going to explode unless I get some of them down on paper (or on the Internet as this case may be).
Why do I need to write? I have no idea. Seriously. Not a clue. At this point it almost feels like a compulsion. But I’m just not sure what is making me have to get these words down.
Maybe it’s because so little of my time has been my own lately. I’ve been spending all day at work and then going from straight to work into rehearsal for Les Mis. Then when I get home from rehearsal, I’m spending time with Jaden and Theresa. It’s literally been about 3 weeks since I’ve set foot in my office or turned on my laptop for any extended period of time.
And don’t hear that as me saying I don’t like my life. Right now I love my life. Lots of wonderful things are happening in it. I have an amazing wife and child. Both of whom are extremely patient with me while I pursue something I love. I’ve got a great job that I enjoy. I love the people that I work with and the projects I get to work on. And I love that I’m getting to do Les Mis and play Thenardier. It’s a really wonderful life that I get to live right now.
But all of my time is spoken for. All of my time is spent doing projects for other people or serving other people. And maybe that’s just the way it has to be. Maybe my role as husband is meant to be a servant to others before a servant to myself. Or maybe that’s just who I am in general. I dunno.
It’s hard to set myself in the background. Seems very counter culture. “My own happiness should be the thing that matters most” seems to be the mantra of the culture. But my happiness at the expense of others isn’t something that is going to make me happy. The idea that other people have to be put on the back burner so that I can be happy is one I don’t appreciate. What’s even worse is how much I do that in my own life. My wife and son spend their time on the back burner right now while I’m in a show. They should be first on my list. They should be above all the other things going on in my life… Now I’m just preaching to myself and sometimes I need that.
So 2013 is about to end and I realized that I wrote a blog post about my goals from a year ago. They were pretty ambitious. Since I wrote a Goals for 2013 blog post, I thought I’d write a post reviewing what my goals were and how I did with them.
Recently this quote popped-up in my Facebook feed:
First of all, for those of you doing “thankful” stuff each day in November. Why just November? Are you not full of gratitude in your life the rest of the year? For me, gratitude is a daily, if not continuous thing. I’m quite fond of “Thankful Thursday” — nice way to let the world (and remind YOU) all that you have been thankful for the week prior. Don’t wait until November — let your gratitude live always.
This was type up by a friend of mine who I greatly respect for many different reasons. His attitude on life is one of them. His post got me reflecting about all of the things I have to be grateful for. While I’m not going to list everything I could think of, I am going to take a moment to write out some of the most important things that I’m thankful for and why I’m thankful for them.
Seriously. I couldn’t do anything I do on a normal day without my wife. She is the one who I can always turn to with whatever is on my mind. I can trust her completely. I know that she always has my back and always wants what’s best for me and for us.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood in amazement at something my wife has done. She is constantly blowing me away with her generosity and desire to better the lives of those around her. She is compassionate, loving, and an all around wonderful blessing.
I am also thankful for the times of growth that we experience from time to time. It means that we’re learning and changing and growing. It’s an important thing in a relationship. I love that we’re growing because it means I get to learn how to love her in a whole new way.
Parents are always supposed to be thankful for their kids but in this case, I’m not just saying that. My son really is a great blessing. He can always bring a smile to my face. His energy and joy for life is infectious. His desire to learn and understand the world is incredible to watch. He’s constantly asking about things and trying to understand what it is he’s seeing through his eyes.
I pray that he never loses that curiosity. I hope that he will apply that curiosity to his faith, and that he will come to discover, as I have, the riches of Christ and the joy of being his disciple.
I am slowly learning the importance of a community. As an extroverted-introvert, it’s hard sometimes to be around people. I love it, but it takes energy from me more than it recharges me. But what I’ve learned in this past year of discovering community, is that community can be a catalyst for change. And I’m thankful for my community that’s helped me to grow in this past year.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and about my God that I thought I knew. My world is continually rocked by the amazing people I get to call my friends. Whether I’ve met you through church, or work, or theatre, or gaming, or whatever other method is out there, I do want to say thank you for being a part of my community. You’ve been a great blessing on my life and I am truly thankful for the marks that you leave on my life.
In a world that can seem very dreary and depressing, it’s nice to be reminded of just how truly blessed I am.
I recently participated in one of the most wonderfully challenging theatre experiences of my life. It was the role of Matt in the show The Marriage of Bette and Boo by Christopher Durang. It was AWESOME!
The show was put on by Ignite Community Theatre. It’s a smaller theatre in the Spokane area and The Marriage of Bette and Boo closed their 8th season of shows. It’s kind of been under the radar for a few years now but it’s starting to pick up some steam and get some traction with the local theatre community. I’m extremely excited to see how their 9th season goes.
Continue reading Debriefing one of the hardest theatre experiences of my life
This year so far has been a difficult year for me. I can’t point to one thing in particular that has made it difficult but it’s more like God is working on me in uncomfortable ways. I’ve been challenged more than I ever have before and I’m growing in ways I never knew I needed to grow. I’m wanting to try new things and I am actually trying some of them. I’m figuring out that I really don’t have any of my crap together at all. And that’s OK.
Continue reading Challenges
I consider myself an artist. Not great by any means but there is a drive in me to be creative and express myself in artistic ways. I am afraid to be an artist though. Being an artist means being vulnerable and sharing my heart with people around me. That’s scary because that means I could get wounded… Badly. I try and avoid that as much as possible but it comes back to haunt me. By giving in to fear, I lose out on life. I restrict myself to a safe, boring, uncreative life.
I don’t want to be that. I can’t be that. I’m trying to be the man God wants me to be and praise Him the way He made me to praise Him. That praise can take on several different forms. Music, drawing, writing, singing, etc. The point is the desire is constant haunting me. I don’t want to be stuck in the boring, mundane life. I dream of bigger and better things for my entire family.
It starts by taking a step. That starts you. You then have no choice but to finish what you start. Or you can accept failure. Because, starting is a challenge, but being brave enough to finish is the real challenge. Baby step after baby step, you can accomplish your goal.
So, take the first step and then the second and the third. Don’t let fear keep you from doing what you were designed to do.