Monday, May 30, 2011

In The Field

Well, I made it here. The whole time I've been here, I keep repeating that it's weird. California is a foreign country and it sure feels like it. I don't really like it but it's interesting to visit.

Being on this trip has taught me that I don't really like to travel. All of the things I normally enjoy in life, like routine, friends, familliar places, just get thrown out the window here. I live in a tent, sleep on an air mattress, and move around every 10 days. My brain has reacted to this by filling up with anxiety or totally turning off. I'm not really sure either is a good thing right now. I am trying to cope in many ways though. I bought a Blackberry while I'm out here so I've been doing my best to correspond with people. I usually get 1 or 2 emails in a day and people have been writing me which is really nice. It helps the time pass a little more quickly. I have also learned to appreciate podcasts of various kinds. This past week I started listening to sermons from Mars Hill Church (in Washington) and Mars Hill Bible Church (in Michigan). Listening to both churches has been really interesting because they are both mega churches but they could not have more different perspectives. Two sides of the same coin as James might say.

Being out here has forced me to ask a lot of tought questions and reconsider a lot of things I've been doing. I am a Christian and in my quest for academic success and friends, I think I lost sight of that. I became afraid that my perception of reality would put a bad taste in people's mouths. I have come to the conclusion that it does not really matter how people percieve me though, what is important is that I fully invest in what I say that I believe (orthopraxy as it is called). Right now not much has changed but I have another two months here and I can feel my perspective starting to change.

I might write again, but I also may not. It depends on how the mood strikes me. Things written on here may be somewhat different than they were before though.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Final Thoughts (While Listening to All Delighted People)

I'm leaving for a while. I don't know exactly when I'll be back, although I do know the season. I've spent the past week preparing to leave by taking care of some old business. I wrote some notes to people, I finished some stuff I agreed to do for some people, I cleaned up my mess in the house, arranged to have someone take care of my plant, and watched some hockey.

I was telling a friend over beers that the fact that I'm going to California for the WHOLE summer wouldn't hit me until I got on the plane. I was wrong. It is hitting me now. I am going to miss the entire Ontario summer. I need to think about this.

I feel a bit like John the Baptist in this situation. I don't eat locusts and wild honey, I don't wear camel hide, and I'm not preparing the way for the savior of the world, but I'm running off into the wilderness for a while. Part of me hopes that I will have a profound experience while I am away in the wilderness. It would be awesome if I could come back and change the world with some kind of revolutionary idea. I think it's unlikely that this will happen because I usually just come back with some pictures and strange stories, but I am open to the possibility.

I was reading about Sufjan Stevens this evening (because I do things like that when I have few responsibilities) and I discovered that in the 5 years since he released Illinois, he suffered from an unexplained illness and had an existential crisis. That's what you need to do these days if you don't want to be a celebrity. Just have a nervous breakdown and then you can hide out while you make your next album.

I feel like something's going to happen while I'm on the dunes, but you won't hear about it til I get back...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


(Please excuse my posting schedule. Life is crazy for the next 4 months on account of being out of the country)

Recently, I was talking with one of my housemates. We were discussing the various hobbies or past-times that boomers seem to have, whether it's model airplanes, carving, gardening, toll painting, or whatever else. It seems like once you reach a certain age, you pick up a hobby and that becomes the thing you're known for.

So then the questioning turned to both of us and what kinds of hobbies we might like to have when we get older. I didn't really know how to answer this. For the longest time, I've been a nerd and so my hobby has been video games. However, on account of my recent lack of money and a desire to spend my time in other ways, I've gotten rid of most of my games and have turned to other pursuits. This is a process that's been ongoing since High School, and so I'm kind of in between hobbies now.

I'm trying to branch out and move into outdoor activities instead of doing indoor stuff. I have a bike and I'm trying to ride it, I have a skateboard and I try to use that, and I often toy with thoughts of cross-country skiing. I don't seem to have the same focus that others do about their hobbies though. I feel like I should probably pick one hobby and then stick to it.

What about you? Where do you fall on this hobby-based journey? Are you an expert at something unrelated to your field or do you dabble like I do? You should look into these kinds of things. You never know when you might have some spare time.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I'm writing this from the library on this beautiful Sunday morning as I am currently sort of homeless. Let me explain.

Yesterday my 4 housemates and I moved out of our 7 bedroom apartment. As you can probably imagine, we had a plethora of stuff and were woefully underprepared for the amount of work it was going to take to move and clean. Fortunately we had a lot of gracious helpers (My sister, my parents, my roommate's brother and parents) and we managed to finish in time but not without a lot of hard work and two u-haul trucks. Thanks to everyone's help we got the last of our stuff out and the last things clean just in time to make our 12 AM deadline. Then my sister, my girlfriend and I spent an hour trying to find a hotel before settling down and tossing and turning for a few hours. I am so incredibly sore but am so incredibly glad everything is moved and cannot fully express my gratitude to all those who helped us today.

However, I can't move in to my new place yet. My stuff is there (it currently fills the shed, a corner of the basement, and part of the dining room) but I can't move in yet, so I'm waiting in the library, writing this post, and trying to rest my sore muscles. I have little concept of date or time, and at this stage all I am aware of is that it's Sunday May 1st and I'm pretty much done moving.