Tuesday, August 18, 2009


it's an amazing thing. it can change lives. it can make you realize what you've left behind. it can also show you what you've never seen and what could be. i haven't done a lot of leaving, but i'm about to do some and it intrigues me. it makes me wonder whether the grass is really greener. it makes me wonder what God has in store for me next. it also makes me wonder if i'll come back, or if i'll even want to come back.

tomorrow i'm taking a trip to seattle. this was really a compromise from a road trip i wanted to take around the country when i first thought of the idea. i wanted to do this after reading "through painted deserts" by donald miller. i wanted to check out something new, head west, find myself. so i talked myself down to a flight to seattle to visit my newlywed friends jenn and ron cepek. conveniently my friend scott decided to join late. we'll be there the same time, but on different flights. when scott and i were talking about the trip he said to me that there's something about flying across the country that makes you feel like you're leaving something behind. what makes my situation even more amazing is that i really am leaving a lot behind.

today i am a resident of economy borough and an employee of olive garden in cranberry. when i get back from seattle next week i'll be a resident of pittsburgh, an employee of olive garden in green tree, and a graduate student at pitt. this trip is the transition between one life and another. life will be different and it's a difference i've been looking for for a long time. i've grown fond of my co-workers in cranberry, but this isn't where i belong. and that's a lot of what i'll be considering on this trip.

my favorite part about the traveling portion of this trip is the fact that scott and i are flying by ourselves. this will allow for hours and hours of personal reflection. i'll be reading "on the road" by jack kerouac, listening to seattle bands on my ipod, and writing in my journal for hours. maybe during my layovers i'll have a beer and make a few friends on the way. the possibilities are endless. and the trip is all mine. i've had so much time to take time to simply think over the past few months. i've spent more time by myself over the past year than i have since i was in high school. this has resulted in growing as an intellectual by simply thinking more. i spend plenty of time at work and in the car simply considering life and what it means and why, just why. much of the result of this thinking has been documented in this blog. it's really been an amazing opportunity to re-connect with myself.

so what do i hope to gain from this trip? well, if nothing else i'll get to spend some time with some good friends. i want to see seattle and evaluate whether it's somewhere i'd like to consider as a future temporary home. i want to see the pacific ocean. i want to experience beauty that i haven't experienced before. i want to take time to be on my own. i want to see a fish tossed across the room, then have it for lunch. i want to taste a beer made in the pacific northwest. i want to meet someone i may never see again. i want to see and express my thoughts on the other end of the country. i want to see the people living in houseboats and think about what my life would be like if i joined them. most importantly i want to leave. i want to leave everything here and try something else. i want to get as far away from here as possible, knowing that i have the comfort of returning on the other end of the trip. i want to try it out and see what i think. then i want to come home and consider leaving again.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


i've been forced to consider my thoughts on life recently. i've made some decisions that may have upset some people and for that i'm sorry. when it comes down to it i have really become a war of head versus heart, as the death cab-inspired title of my blog reads. i find myself in a constant battle of what should i do versus what do i want to do. what decision is best for the long-run versus what decision is best for me now. will my reasoning justify my decisions, or am i simply looking for some roundabout way for my priorities to see right despite their wrongness?

rory cochrane ("lucas") once said one of my favorite lines in empire records, which may have been taken from somewhere else. "i do not regret the things i've done, but those i did not do". the way i apply that statement to my life is that i know why i make the decisions i make and do the things i've done. in hindsight i'd certainly like to have made some different choices in my life, but i know that if i went back and did it again i'd probably do the same thing because there was a reason for it. whatever i did at the time felt like the right thing to do. i feel like that's the reason most people make decisions.

life is a series of actions and reactions, so things happen and then we figure out how to deal with them. i am who i am, and where i am, as a result of what's happened to me. some things were controllable, some weren't. but what's the point of contemplating what could have been? the Bible wonders what the point of worrying is because it will have no bearing on solving the problems or making today any easier. sometimes we make decisions that alienate people or cause harm, but we learn from those decisions and they ultimately make us better people. if i spent time worrying about people disagreeing with decisions i've made then i probably wouldn't have enough time left over to make anything positive happen. our time here is short and there doesn't seem to be much need for regret in my eyes.

i haven't been close to the ideal model Christian in a long time. i could make plenty of excuses for it, too. maybe it's because i got burned out by ministry. maybe it's because i've been isolated in cranberry and haven't attended any Bible study. maybe it's because i've lost hope for getting into a full-time job and have given in to the frustrations of my current job. whatever the reason, it may make sense, but the bottom line is that i know what it means to be a Christian and i still have chosen to not share that love as much as i have in the past and for that i'm sorry. i'll learn from the past year and move forward. the basis of Christianity allows for second chances and hopefully that can be granted.