Thursday, October 18, 2012

Old Friends

I recently met up with friends from a long time ago. I haven't seen them in years. We used to be neighbours in the Great White North of Canada until they moved to the other side of the country. Recently, they have moved again, to my home town. It was so good to see them again. We will be working together. It's amazing how the paths of our lives can meander and turn in ways no one expects. I never thought I'd see them again, and just yesterday I was giving them a hug. It was a good day.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Two years ago today I started this blog.
It was one of many changes I was making in my life at the time.
It became a public record of the intentional effort I was making to break through old barriers from my past and forge a new path for my life. Reading through previous entries, it really is cool to see where I've come from and get a sense of where I'm going. Yay, me!
I never thought I had this much to say.
In fact, I thought I would burn out after the first month or two.
I get the sense that the last two years of my life are a complete chapter.
I suppose that means a new chapter is starting in my life.
The story will continue.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Couch

When I was 12 I started sporadically attending my church's youth group. I didn't really want to but it was expected that once you reach grade 7 you attend. Growing up in the church that I did, there was almost no one the same age as me to connect with. For most of my youth I was the only kid my age. There was no one within 2 years of me, older or younger. That changed occasionally. Eventually by high school there was one or two people my age.  However, back in my first year of junior high, I was pretty much by myself. Back then our youth  group was junior and senior high combined. It was run by the bible college students that attended the school associated with our denomination. I was always intimidated by them. They were older, and strange, and I didn't understand them at all. Mom made arrangements for the students to pick me up on the way to youth group and then drop me off again after it was over. I dutifully attended, but I did not want to. All the youth in my youth group were older than me. They were all friends with each other, and in some situations related to each other. Then there was me. I was different in pretty much every way possible. Emphasizing the difference was the fact that most of the bible college students themselves were only a year or two older than the high school students. They all seemed to connect with each other and I was the odd kid in the corner that no one knew what to do with.

One night, for reasons I no longer remember, I hid behind one of the couches in the youth room as we got started. We spent the entire evening in that room visiting, playing games, and doing a devotional. Everyone except me. I was behind the couch listening to the goings on. And no one noticed I was missing. Not even our "leaders" who drove to my house to pick me up and bring me to youth group. I remember thinking shortly after I hid behind the couch that this would be funny. Eventually they would realize I was gone and I would jump out and surprise them. I tried to think of what I should say. Was "Boo!" too cliched? Eventually my enthusiasm began to fade. No one noticed I was missing. No one cared that I wasn't there any more. My life was so isolated I could disappear right in the middle of youth group and it would not affect a single person in the room. That hurt. I spent the whole evening behind the couch waiting for them to notice my absence. They never did. Eventually the night came to an end and people started going home. I stayed behind the couch. I was very sad by this point. I had a little bit of a George Bailey moment (from Its a Wonderful Life) only to realize that I could completely disappear from the face of the earth and no one would notice. That's how I felt at that moment. I decided to wait. I wanted to see if I was so inconsequential that the very people charged with watching me and giving me a ride back home could actually forget about me completely. The lights turned off. The footsteps went downstairs. I heard the doors lock. Silence. Then I heard a voice ask if anyone had seen me. That was as far as I needed to take it. I ran to the exit, hopped in the van with the students, and they took me home. No one mentioned the fact that I had seemingly disappeared the entire night. I don't think they really noticed. If it wasn't for the fact that they picked me up that night they probably would have locked me in the church and left.

There have been several significant events in my life that have had such an impact I can trace who I am or how my life has unfolded back to them. This was one of those events. I came home from youth group that night feeling alone and rejected. I felt useless. I had no friends. I barely had acquaintances. I may have suspected it before, but that night confirmed it. Even in the church, the place where I thought we were supposed to take care of each other, I was alone. It's really hard to maintain some semblance of self esteem when no one notices or cares if you exist. And that's how I felt after that night. It was a devastating belief that I carried with me for much of my life.

This summer I hid behind the metaphorical couch again, all these years later. I withdrew from every thing I had been involved in. I retreated back into the isolation I have worked so hard to free my self from the last 2 years. And I was worried no one would notice. I was scared the lights would turn off, the doors would lock and I would be forgotten and alone. That did not happen. I'm so thankful for the people that noticed I was missing. I'm still trying to figure out where I fit in this life. It feels like I have been heading in the right direction the last few years. The search continues.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I went to Australia.
Did some stuff.
I'm back now.

(The little specks on the bridge are people)