Saturday, August 02, 2008

Moving Forward

Hey friends, happy Friday evening. I'm sitting downstairs in the office in my cross country sweats. It's too hot for them, but I'm doing alright. I just ate a square of raw ramen noodles, and it was delicious. I've been texting a few friends, and my gallon of magic water is sitting on the floor next to my chair, just waiting for me to drink from it again. There are a few papers on the desk, all of them a little crinkled and covered in doodles and notes for work. My PLC hat is upside down next to the spindle of CD-Rs. The four-year-plans for every engineering degree at Utah State are all sitting on top of the over-sized desk speaker. The bulky avaya phoneset is towering over my sleek black cell phone that just recieved a text from somebody I want to talk to. The cell is sitting on a pile of mail I got- a credit card application. The mail is sitting next to an empty saucer which held key-lime pie a few hours ago. There are three packets of fruitsnacks on the desk, as well as two daily to-do lists. One is crumpled up with a whole in it because I get bored at work sometimes. It was a marginally successful day. The other is in pristine condition, with 10 to-do's, all crossed out in bold sharpie. There are a few notes scribbled on it for work, and a little "100" circled at the top of the page to show how happy I was with getting things done. My big headphones are just to the right of my wireless mouse, sitting near Kyle's copy of Starwars: Knights of the Old Republic II, which I installed but haven't played yet and probably won't.

No, I'm not Jaron or Nick, but sometimes I do just like to describe things on my desk.

So, you remember graduation? I clapped the loudest for Santy. At least I think I did. I wanted to. Looking back, I hope I did. You wanna know why? Because I'm proud of him for graduating. Because for him it was actually sort of a big deal. It wasn't just one of those things that just happened for him. He had to work for it. And I admire that. Graduation means a lot to Santy, and I was very happy for him. Amidst a sea of hundreds and hundreds of names being read that didn't mean a thing to me, I was genuinely happy to hear Santy's name. All feelings of "this is taking so long..." and "congratulations, faceless graduate #304..." were gone for a few moments as I basked in Santy's accomplishment.

I don't bring that up for any specific reason, other than to point out that there's an interesting nook of personality that most of us seem to have. I love the underdog, always, and accomplishments always mean more when someone has to work for them. Regardless of the actual value of the accomplishment, when someone worked for it, I'm happy for them. Of course, It really helps that I care about Santy as a person and as a friend, and that I'm interested in his journey through life. I just find that contrast interesting, though. I was happy for Kyle to graduate because it marked a transition for him. It was a step towards the rest of his life. I was happy for Santy because of his accomplishment. Even though his accomplishment was the exact same as Kyle's, it bore more weight in my heart than Kyle's. Interesting that our relationships in life have a tendency to throw the absolute value system out the window. Fortunate, clearly, but interesting nonetheless.

I didn't come here to write about Santy's graduation. But a text I recieved made me think of it, so I decided to run with it. I'm in the business of running with ideas when I'm writing. Even if they're a bit tangential.

I think that's one interesting (do you notice that everything is interesting when I write? Reminds me of what Jaron said- maybe my eyes are smoldering too...) thing that has developed with my blogging. Regardless (I also use regardless a lot. I'll explain that later though...) of my frequency in writing, it seems that when I do write, I just let it take me. I do usually come with a vague idea of what I want to say, but it usually doesn't show up. More often, I come to write because I feel a need or desire to write, not because I have anything specific to say. I come, and I write about what comes to me.

I think that this has developed for a few reasons. I've always believed that truth is the absolute defense. I also believe that truth, by its very nature, makes us happy. That is one of the main goals of this blog, and has been since sophomore year, I think. I feel like the things that I talk about tend to be about truth. Or, at least about my pursuit of truth. They're usually about understanding myself and others. I think that's something that we don't generally get to study, and I think it's something that's important. But, if I can offer bits of truth for myself or for others through this discursive writing, why shouldn't I?

Another reason that it happens is because of a dual weakness/strength that I have. My life is a sine graph. I realize that most teenagers believe that their life is a roller coaster. The math nerd inside of me knows that it's a sine graph. It's not exactly periodic, but it does *always* come back up (or down, depending on frame of reference). But, I go through phases of motivation. I know you've all seen them, whether or not you've been cognizant of them. I recognize that sometimes I'm very excited about blogging. I want to advertise by word of mouth to get more readers, I want to write informative and humorous posts, I want to start series, I want to be on a schedule, I want to do everything. When the motivation sine graph goes down, though, my blog is forgotten.

I've come to recognize this, and I believe that my writing style is an adaptation because of it. When I come to write, I come and write what I can. This post is more or less entirely encapsulated in this evening. It doesn't require any writing or planning from before, and it makes little responsibility for me in the future. It inherits the thinking I've done for the past 18 years of my life, clearly, but that's freely available. This post exists in its entirety here tonight, because it cannot afford to count on any other existence to keep it alive. This post holds a place in my heart and in my mind and on my keyboard and monitor for this evening alone. I cannot guarantee it that place tomorrow morning, as I don't know if I will have that inner desire or urge to write.

I think that's why I write the way I do. And I'm happy with it. It is, as I've said before, the way things are. And I love recognizing that things are the way they are. Sometimes I don't do that, and that's when I get unhappy. One of my most beloved excerpts...

11:41: "Why are things the way they are? Why, because if they were any other way, we would be asking ourselves why they are the way that they are, totally ignorant of the fact that things aren't the way that they are in the world where they're not different."

That's one thing I certainly do love. Wisdom from the past. Not that the excerpt is a great morsel of wisdom, but simply that it represents a moment in my life where I learned something. Or, remembered something? Depends on how you look at it. It joined my inventory, or spellbook, or whatever vague RPG reference you'd like to make. I like that.

I think that every sentence carries a bit of a flavor with it. That one, back there, the one about the vague RPG reference- it had a negative flavor to it. Or, sarcastic, or, condescending, or a bit cynical? I don't know, but it didn't fit as well. It didn't match the flavor of the rest of the post. It's all subconscious, obviously, but it reflects the feeling and mood that I'm in right now. I don't want to say something that doesn't reflect that mood.

It doesn't require much editing, this flavor thing that I tend to do. I do it when I need to, but mostly it comes out pure. That's something I love about this writing. Purity. It's just me, writing about what I'm thinking about. It's exploration and discovery and sharing and caring about others and practice and progress and love and following and leading and fulfilling and so many things at once.


Sometimes writers leave an "Mmmmm." paragraph to be poetic, or to make a statement. I will admit that I have done that in the past. This is not the case with the previous paragraph. It exists because it's what I was thinking, seeing, subvocalizing. It's a deep (but not sharp) intake of breath, slowly accepting life into one's lungs. The last sentence, it is a step too far into the realm of abstract transcendtalism, I think. Well, at least, it's one step further than I usually go with my writing. Not that it's a bad thing, but it's just not something that I'm usually in the business of doing. Some nights call for that kind of language and thinking. I believe that this night called for one sentence of it. Maybe later on it will call for more, we will see, won't we?

I wonder about readers sometimes. I've heard before that sometimes its very hard to make it through my long posts. I understand. Since I started working, it's very hard for me to make it through all the blogs I normally read. I let the personal finance blog I read get backed up to about 40 entries before I read some tonight. I understand if people don't read. And I know that these posts can be difficult to get through.

Why do I post such material, then, if it's so clearly difficult? Because I still think it's a decent thing to do. Because I'm not in the business of pleasing everybody. Because I think my posts, and these posts in particular, fill a need for me and perhaps for a few others. I like to fill that need.

Do you believe that we are destined to do things, to be things? Do you believe that that destiny wasn't ever written in stone? I feel like this blog sort of has a purpose. But, it wasn't born with that purpose. And, it wasn't created with that purpose in mind. But, because the blog has become something that is able to do something, something has destined it to do that something. Take from that what you wish. But, well, I believe it, in a way.

And it's not just about the blog, but about us, as individuals. I think that because of choices we make, we're given things to do. But I don't think we'd be given those things to do if we hadn't made certain choices. I like to think about things like this. And I like to write about them here. I hope that all this talk about things I think and things I believe doesn't bother my audience. I never really intend to put things I write about out there as fact. I'm trying to learn things, and I feel like I do that through finding an idea that I feel good about, and then adopting it as if it is true, and finding out through living if it is. If it's not, life will break the idea, and I can toss it out.

Wow, I just had a learning moment. It came through text, even. I believe that this may be the first deep post that I have been texting through. It seems to be the first one I've admitted to texting through, at least. But I think it really is the first. In any event, someone important asked me, talking about my blog, "what is it that you like about it so much?" And I gave her an answer, but it was an answer that I hadn't ever put together in words before. I said a few things, but the most important one was this: "It's like I'm preserving part of me so serve- even after I'm no longer around."

Do I believe that? Yes. I believe that I've been blessed with a lot of truth. That whatever we choose to believe in, I feel like I have some truth, and that I have the ability to share that truth. I feel like that blog is a way for me to do that. And I believe that that truth is something that helps people.

Now, of course, I'm not setting myself up as some prophet of blogging. But, haven't you heard me write so often about saying things, "as a monument to the way I'm feeling tonight"? I do it all the time. It's like I'm capturing a part of my life and preserving it. Not because I think it'll be a good idea in the morning, but because I feel like it's the right thing to do. I feel like it's a responsibility and an opportunity I have, to leave monuments to my journey through life. How do I say what I feel and know inside? If I've been given what I believe I've been given, I feel like I have a responsibility and opportunity to share it. And I feel like these monuments are, perhaps, not simply for my benefit.

I believe we're connected. I understand that there is a lot of religious diversity amongst the readership. I celebrate that. But I don't think I'll offend anyone with this. I believe that we're all very connected, and that we are not meant to journey through this life alone. I believe that we exist, in large part, to help others exist. I believe that this blog is an opportunity for me to do a little bit to fulfill the purpose of my creation.

And that's big. Really big. For more than one reason. And, it's alright if you don't believe it. But it's what I believe, as funny as that sounds. You can tell I believe it, because I've got that smile right now. No teeth, but my cheeks are pulled up a bit without me thinking about it. You can tell.

Do you ever wonder why you are the way you are? Do you wonder why you're here? And not only why you're here, but why you're here in the way that you are here? I wonder about it a lot. And I feel like I have a lot of those answers, but I also feel like there's a lot for me to discover yet. But I feel like one of the reasons I'm here is to serve. I think that's one of the reasons why I am the way I am. And there are reasons that I believe this way, that I can share with you if you'd really like. But I'd like to do it in person, if that's alright. If you're interested, you know how to get a hold of me, I do love comments.

But, well, I feel strongly about my life. And about reasons for my life. And about our connectivity. There are experiences in my life that speak a lot about that connectivity. Did you know that I've loved? And I'm not talking about a relationship, and that's something that makes me very happy. It helps me sleep at night.

And maybe that's where my writing ends for the evening. I'd love to continue, but, I feel like it may be a good idea to stop here. I have learned something tonight. Or, reaffirmed something, stronger. It's given me a greater reason to blog forth. So, I've got a plan. And I think you'll be hearing about the plan shortly. But I don't want to share the plan here, because I feel it'd be a shame to leave such a good post with a plan that might not actually come to fruition. But I hope it does come to fruition.

So, I know that I end my posts like this often, but, thanks for being here friends. Thanks for being who you are. Thanks for being part of my life. I hope that you're doing well. I hope that things are okay for you. I hope that we keep being connected like we are, maybe even more.

This individual is going to take what he's learned tonight and head to bed. But I'm going to try to remember, because it's important. Life's important. Thanks friends, I'm sending that smile.


Nathan said...

I've heard before that sometimes its very hard to make it through my long posts. I understand. Since I started working, it's very hard for me to make it through all the blogs I normally read. I let the personal finance blog I read get backed up to about 40 entries before I read some tonight. I understand if people don't read. And I know that these posts can be difficult to get through.

Why do I post such material, then, if it's so clearly difficult? Because I still think it's a decent thing to do. Because I'm not in the business of pleasing everybody. Because I think my posts, and these posts in particular, fill a need for me and perhaps for a few others. I like to fill that need.

That's a longer block than I usually quote, but you said exactly how I feel there. You know well my tendency to write excruciatingly long posts after I've gone on a vacation or done something else important, and I don't get a lot of comments on them. Why do I write them, then? The biggest reason is that they fill a need I have for myself to preserve what I think the future might value (whether it's my kids or an older me).

And thank you for the rest of your post, as well, Thatcher. Some parts were a little tricky to wrap my mind around at first, but I can definitely say I agree, and also that I admire those thoughts. It's been a spiritually and emotionally charged weekend for me, and my mind has been on a few similar things that yours has. In response to some of your words, I just want you to know that you have made an impact in my life, both through your blogging and your person. Perhaps it's something you were called to do, or maybe I might merely be the odd person you've lifted up on your way to something greater. But whatever the case, things happen for a reason, and you've made a difference. Kudos!

Jaron Frost said...

Bwah. Your posts blow me away. This one was especially good. There are a lot of really great thoughts in here.

I suppose your posts can be a little difficult sometimes, when everything else out there on the internet is competing for our collective attention, but I'm always glad I stay and read them. Your blog is what inspired me to start mine, and I've learned my own share of lessons from that. Thanks for that.

I totally get what you mean by the whole monument thing. That's what poetry is for me. When I have a really good day or something significant happens to me, I feel like I need to put it into a poem. It's a shame I sometimes slack off, but hopefully I'll improve as I spend more time with it all.

Keep up the good work, Thatcher. :)

M-smash said...

I'll admit I was scared to read your post. Not because it's long, but I feel like it's gonna be really good and I might get all emotional about it :)

Thanks for helping out at the school yesterday. :)
Also, I'm glad you came to the meteor party. I was feeling kind of prolly know why, but somehow you made me feel better.


PS We have to be friends in college. No Battle.