December 29, 2009

On Paper

It came to my attention in a loud and unmistakable way that I have not been blogging. For the few of you who have been on hunger strikes, you may dig out your forks and knives and abstain from nourishment no more. My sincerest apologies to everyone, and not just the seven people who read this, everyone. In the world. Why not apologize to the world?

I used to blog a lot. Somehow, I mustered weekly inspiration to scrape out some bit of truth from my everyday life. Lately, that's been tough. I'm still writing. Usually about how hard it is to write, and everything else pertains to what I ate for dinner/how tough work is/what free cable is like, and it usually gets placed in my journal. C.S. Lewis, so I read or heard, never liked journaling, he didn't see the value in it. I kind of like looking back at my thoughts from, say, sophomore year of college. I like having a few books squirreled away that chronicle my life from 2003 on in a naked, vulnerable way. Which reminds me, I need to destroy them before I die. But I like having them. Anyway, I'm writing, mind you.

It’s tough, though. It’s not that I don’t have much to write about. It just turns out there’s less I know about. And that’s not as postmodern as it sounds. I bet most people find that the older they grow, the more stuff they don’t know about.

Consider this: I went out and got myself a job and I can’t for the life of me figure out what I’m doing here. A few people have asked me how it’s going (which is a frustratingly general question). And I have to tell them that, no this isn’t my dream job, but it’s going fine, and it’s far too early to conclude anything about it. It’s far too large a life move to tuck my tail and head back to Grand Rapids to comfort and familiarity. (And to think, I’m just an hour or so down the road. Do come visit.)

I like budgeting. When I got a job I thought, I’ll be making more money than ever before. I’ll get to buy junk I’ve always wanted. When I delivered pizzas, I never knew how much money I’d have. But with a set income, things always seem to work out on paper. And I’m learning: Things do not always work out on paper. I’m still behind, financially. I have no idea where my money goes. I know I’m not spending it. There’s no way I’m going to pay for cable. I am, however, considering a YMCA membership.

But forget the stuff I want. I have a list of things I “need.” Every time I go to the store and hold one in my hand, I tell myself I can go without it. I have on three different, nonconsecutive occasions stood in the aisles at Meijer holding the very same letter file, thinking about how disheveled my desk looks with all the bills and papers and letters in a rumpled pile of chaos. And then I think, this rumpled pile of chaos may not look nice, but it is free. And the letter file is not free. I usually put the letter file back until I go grocery shopping again. This, I think, describes me better than I ever could with my own words. Next time someone asks me to tell them about myself, I’m going to tell them about this, and they’ll really think I’m crazy.

The truth is, I would rather go places. I don’t want things. Forty hours a week makes it hard to go places, that’s my biggest gripe. I went to the bank in Dowagiac after a snow storm the other day, I’d never been there before.

I told God while I was driving there that I didn’t get it. I never asked for this job, never aspired for a life on the lakeshore in Saint Joseph. I like to think that this has been a life move put upon me outside of myself. I have always asked Him to make the moves, while I would watch or follow. So as I drove on slippery white roads stained with gravel for traction, I told him that I didn’t get it, but I would give it a year.


lbcarizona said...

smiley face.

Gamblest said...

We are fortunate to be at an age where we have options.

I feel like thanks to this economic down-turn, everything has been shuffled a bit.

I like to think that we silly writers will be needed more than ever when everything straightens out. Until then, wander on Jim. :)

j.spears said...

man. your good. thanks for writing on your blog. no pressure though-just keep writing on paper about your dinner if you want-but i do enjoy it when i can read your thoughts. they are honest and appreciated.

Dan said...

Welcome back. I still owe you a visit.

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