Thursday, April 30, 2009


working in a restaurant has shown me a lot of things. i hate to admit it because i don't like my job and i have been trying to find something better since i left my job at the church, but it's hard to deny that there's a reason that i'm there. today the reason happens to be to teach me something about how we interact with one another.

there are a lot of interesting and diverse people at the olive garden. yesterday i made an observation about one guy i work with. he isn't very educated (ged, no college), but with the way he can speak and banter with a quick, sharp wit you'd be hard-pressed to believe that. i know it's stereotyping, but it's pretty common that the more educated someone is, the better they are at interpersonal communication. that being said, this guy is an exception to the rule. he is satisfied with his life and therefore has no problem with his schedule and life as a bartender at the olive garden, which i can respect.

when we were talking about golfing the other day i wanted to get his number so we could coordinate some plans. he gave me his home number and told me he doesn't have a cell phone. he doesn't have a computer, either. then i realized that his impecable ability to communicate well person-to-person comes from the fact that he simply does all of his communicating face-to-face. he doesn't get sidetracked by how he talks with people on the phone or via text messaging or emails. his only way of communication, and therefore mastered way of communication, is through real life interaction.

this got me thinking about how we've become so sidetracked by technology. as i talked with co-workers about the fact that this guy doesn't have a cell phone, all i can say is that i wish i could do the same. it'd be nice to live your life on your own without a way of other people contacting you 24/7. sometimes there are more important things than receiving a phone call, like sleeping is for me (i shut my phone off at night).

but for all that we christians want to love one another, we stil get sidetracked. we focus on our computers and cell phones, sending texts to people who aren't with us, while disregarding the people who are with us here and now. i wish i could go without my phone and computer, but i simply can't, not in this day and age. i have developed too much of a reliance on them. but i applaud people like my co-worker who have learned the value of spending real time with people and really valuing that interaction. sometimes the last person you expect to learn from can teach you some of the most valuable lessons.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


lately all i've been thinking about is the transitional period i'm experiencing in my life. i've immersed myself into a position where i have graduated from college and am awaiting the start of grad school. i'm living at home and trying to pay my bills. my career hasn't started, but i don't feel completely comfortable with where i'm at because almost all of my friends are either in school or into a full time job. i've learned to live my life day-to-day and just enjoy things as they come, but that is about to become more difficult as another transition happens with many of my close friends graduating and/or leaving pittsburgh.

for being a pretty friendly person i think i have a fairly unique approach and thought process when it comes to my relationships with others. since about junior high i tend to guard myself from relying on others. when i was younger i felt let down and sometimes betrayed by people who i thought i'd become close friends with, so from that young age i decided that the only person i could rely on was myself. and that has stood true in my life through today, in a way.

i value friendships. no matter what you read in this post just know that i do value my close friends. i simply have found that i don't maintain "best" friends like other people might. i try not to get too attached to anyone in particular because i know that they're going to make decisions for themselves and that i might not be able to rely on them 100% of the time. that might sound like i don't have faith in people, but the truth is that i don't want to feel let down or sad when someone doesn't do what i hope they'd do all the time. i feel like this disconnection allows me to be more independent in my decisions as well.

that all being said, i feel like i don't end up with any "best" friend(s) but rather a large group of people who i'd consider my closest friends. and here i am writing because i have allowed myself to get close enough to a group of people that i will be pretty sad when they are no longer in my life as frequently as they have been the last couple of years.

we grow up, our lives change, our priorities change, and we have to adjust. this isn't the end of friendships, but rather the turning of a page and the start of a new chapter. new friendships will come from new endeavors. other friendships will become closer as a result of proximity. some friendships may dwindle for the same reason. but the closest ones will maintain. i'm interested to see who will be my closest friends this time next year and how my life will have changed.

thankfully one thing that can't be taken away is the memories. no matter what, i'll always be able to remember riding bikes from south oakland to centre plaza with mike and andy in freezing temperatures just to hang out for a few hours. i'll remember the walks to the south side to catch monday movies last summer. i'll remember the first and second hamloaf breakfasts. and that's only the start.

i didn't mean for this to be written to a specific group of people, but i do want to thank those of you who are leaving pittsburgh soon because you've changed my life. i've opened myself up to close friendships again and i consider you all my best friends. but we won't be saying "goodbye" as much as "see you soon".