Later today my wife and her family are going to be putting their dog down. SoCo, yes he is named for Southern Comfort, has had a life full of love, but also a life of health problems. It is no shock that his time has run out as he has been struggling immensely for the last few months, but still, he has carried on and it seems as though he can carry on no longer. His life may not have been what my wife’s family had dreamed it would be, but it was a good life for a dog.
It seems as though a lot of things in my life are turning out different than I thought they would. Back when I was a freshman in college, some 7 years ago this August, I did not know what I was even doing by going to college. I did not know who I would meet or what I would do. Over time I began to think that I was destined, along with my close group of friends, to affect change. To bring down walls and break down systems. But 7 years later I can tell you it wasn’t me or my friends who brought the system down, it was the system who broke us down.
The groups I was a part of were once vibrant and alive, now they are nearly nonexistent. The adults in charge were once perceived as bulletproof, but I have seen them take their hits. This ebb and flow of life, while not unexpected, forces me to continually redefine or re-imagine my place in this world. Once I did not see my self as amounting to much. As time went on I thought that maybe I could have an impact. When I went to sem I was broken in two and left for dead. But now, as I live a life renewed I realize that there is actually no place I’d rather be than the one I am in. I have a great job, a loving wife, and I am going to school to finish what I started. Sure it isn’t in the same place I thought it would. And yes, the people I was once close to are now nowhere to be found. But the fact remains that I am being pushed and challenged in ways I never have before.
This morning I had a chance to catch the commencement address that Conan O’Brien gave to the 2011 graduating class at Dartmouth. If you have not watched it I suggest you do. (CLICK HERE). Despite the hilarity that emanates from the comedic genius that is Conan O’Brien, he notes something that I have experienced to be true. Your dreams will change, and that’s ok. Whatever you think you are now, wherever you think you are going, this too will change. I know it has for me. And rather than sit back and seek to go back to some romanticized version of the past where everything seems to be better than it really was I want to keep moving forward. Building up and tearing down. Deconstructing and affirming. Doing all of those things that challenge me and push me to arenas I didn’t know existed.
As cliche as it sounds, things change. But rather than run from the fight I want to run to it. Rather than sit back and defend that which I have, I seek to place that in harms way. So here goes…
I am a postmodern. I do not believe this excludes me from Christianity as some claim. I admire satirists. I seek to change the way people see, understand, and interact with theology, the church, God, and each other. I am a husband. A son. A student. Sarcastic. Jaded. Perspectival. Open to challenge and questions. Unfinished in my thoughts and philosophy. Constantly evaluating where I am and where I am going.
And although this is where I am today it doesn’t mean Ill be there tomorrow. And thats ok. Life does not need to be figured out, it need only be experienced.