Sunday, September 10, 2006

There you have it.

And so I was a bum, for a few days at least. On the first night, a Saturday, Smurf was manager and I was the lead server, so we were the last people to leave the restaurant. We left Los Hermanos sometime around 2:30 AM on Sunday morning and then changed into our church clothes so that we could sleep on the church lawn of Smurf's new ward and wake up just in time for church at 9 AM. By this time, Smurf had actually rented a new place, but was just willing to be my homeless buddy for kicks and giggles.

The last few weeks have been a dichotomy.

I did stupid things, things I should repent and talk to the bishop about. I haven't yet. I feel sort of like a joke. Have you ever felt like this? I mean, I've resolved to do better so many times since I was 16 that it almost feels ridiculous to let myself believe that I can keep a promise this time. I had been doing so well for so long, and then, boom. i pull trigger and blow myself away. Again. The sad thing is I'm not sure I'd even forgive myself this time. At least I'm not sure if I'd take myself seriously. If I was another person looking in at pathetic little me, I might forsake the cause after this much abuse. And I like to think of myself as a person who would forever give the benefit of the doubt and be reassuring and merciful, mainly because I'm such a screw up myself.

At any rate, I was pretty depressed and discouraged. And just disconnected I guess. There was just sort of this shame hanging over me that makes me want to run away really bad. I used to do that as a little kid, when I felt crappy or was mad at my older brother and parents. I would pack a paper bag full of belongings or my backpack and run away for a day or part of the night if my parents didnt catch me first. It felt very romantic even though I would only run somewhere inside the apartment complex or across the street to Central Park or to the high school.

But now there's just stoicism and a resolve to keep doing things. I at least have to hang onto my grades. It was this same fatal mode that destroyed them last year, and I really can't afford to let myself go like that again.

I don't want to talk to a bishop. I've been wondering about that lately, why we have to talk to bishops when we commit serious sins. I've done it before. The talk is usually the same; I do my best to bare my soul and the bishop sympathizes and mumbles things and reads me some scriptures. Sometimes I am chastised or punished, but never given any terribly helpful insight. When all is said and done, however, I always walk away feeling better and like I can start again. Why can't I just do this on my own? Can't I just pick myself up off the floor? Doesn't the rest of the world get over these things without going to the bishop's office? Why should I do this again? I'm not going on a mission or anywhere fast really, I'm getting along alright, I just feel like shit at church, that's all. I wonder if maybe I should just see if I can actually be good for longer than 6 or 7 months, and then think about talking to a bishop again. I'm burnt out on ecclesiastical authority.

I don't know. It's frustrating, but I'll probably once again end up telling another bishop much more about myself than he or I ever cared to know in the first place. I hate this.


As for the other side of the dichotomy, I've moved into my new apartment (actually at the same complex I lived in last year) and things are running very smoothly. My roommates are very cool and also pretty clean, which is a good change. I didn't end up moving into the ward that Smurf was trying to stack with all his friends, but he has plenty of friends in that ward already and my ward is pretty cool even though its full of strangers. I'm doing well in school so far. I'm running pretty regularly again, either by myself or with Gilmore Guy (who is now happily married) or Blueshorts. Brown Sugar, Smurf, Wiggle, Blueshorts, hot Rachel and I have all started this dinner group where we each make dinner one night of the week. My night is Tuesday, and you're always invited to my place if you let me know you're coming. It's one of the best ideas we've ever had, as it saves all of us money, gets us fed just about every night of the week on a delicious balanced diet, and gives us all a chance to get together regularly which I like.

There is a Los Hermanos Book Club now. We are currently reading Freakonomics, which is fascinating. We have also read Black Like Me and The Alchemist. Next we will read Brave New World (incredibly book, read it). I like reading. I'm about half way through Freakonomics right now.

My little brother has moved up to Rexburg to go to college for a year before a mission. He likes it a lot so far. My little sister is the only kid left at home with my parents. Last night I went over there to do laundry and have a good talk with my mom, which I think is good for her sanity. I let my little sister listen to some cool music I've heard lately and stuff I thought she would like. Then we watched The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio and my mom liked it a lot and that made me happy. My family is kinda lame, but they're so wonderful. I think I admire consistent, steady, wise lame-o's better than the highly spirited, witty and capricious. Though it's always wonderful to be in the company of the latter. Maybe because that's the only thing that makes me feel like the former.

My older sister is going to have another baby! Except, shhh!, don't tell! I'm not supposed to know this until Kylie's birthday on the 18th. Hehe. Nieces and nephews(?) make me really glad. Man, I want babies... If anybody wants to be my baby's mama, let me know. We can get married and all that, it's cool.

I just got back from regional stake conference. It was so good. Cecil Samuelson spoke on gifts of the Spirit and Elder Wirthlin spoke on "carrying on" which was really something I needed to hear. He talked about how the people we revere and look up to, our heroes, alway manage to pick themselves up in the direst of circumstances and bear a heavy, often times disproportionate burden. The entire time he spoke on the theme "carrying on" he was having a horrible time squinting into the monitor he was reading from and also remembering what he was going to say. He tremored visibly and misspoke a lot. His age was obviously getting to him and he was exerting every ounce of control he could muster to focus his mind on the words he was saying. His delivery was, in essence, an illustration of what he was trying to say - no matter what the problem, or stumbling block, keep doing what you need to do. Don't quit. I liked it.

After that, the star attraction was President Monson, who just spoke. There wasn't really a theme, but he talked about all the musicals he likes and how much we can learn from movies and books. That made me smile. He showed pictures that little kids had drawn for him and told all kinds of great faith promoting stories. He talked about patriarchs and listening to the spirit and interesting individuals he knew. Also he was hilarious the entire time. It wasn't scripted like in conference. The man is funny. And incredibly uplifting.

And I'll stop there for now, because I like the word "uplifting."


Darrin said...

(you do NOT need to allow this comment - these are just my weird observations)

Very interesting post. Maybe you should consider going somewhere, like on a mission. Not really on a mission, but set a goal, some great, special, uh...gospel-oriented kind of thing. You like babies (little kids are truly funny), what about that? Perhaps it's inconceivable right now, but you should or could start planning now for that eventual moment.

(I have 30 nieces & nephews. Some of them are hilarious. My own kids, not so much. I'm probably too close.)

Anyway, I am a new bishop. It seems to me that you don't see what you are missing out on by committing your sin. Maybe that's why you go back to it once in a while - there's nothing really to keep you from it. If you figure that out (find out what you will miss), then you might be more motivated to not do it anymore.

You should be heading somewhere, though. Otherwise, it doesn't matter really what you do. There is really no use talking to your bishop until you are really ready to give it up. SWK has some strong opinions on this in his book (Miracle of Forgiveness). Interesting....

el veneno said...

Man I miss hanging out with you Pinetree. 1. cause you were a good influence on my physical fitness and 2. cause I love your authenticity which shines in this post. I hear the plan is that you'll be in Salt Lake this weekend so we better meet up at some point. Luck with everything. If you need someone to write a paper for you or something I'm always bored up here.

Elbow said...

I don't know why, but your writting style is really fun to read.

You can do it. You are an amazing guy. From what I read, you have a lot of ability to do whatever you want to.

Jeremy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeremy said...

I know it never really works, but dude--stop being so hard on yourself! I'm constantly telling my wife when she's being unreasonably hard on herself to treat herself in the same understanding and tolerant way that she treats others, yet it seems almost impossible. Life is too short. Of course, I'm probably not the best person to be giving advice, as my reputation on my mission was the person to go to if you needed to justify something. Anyway, great blog--it really makes me miss Provo! (And THAT'S saying something!)

AttemptingthePath said...

i loved brave new world. and Elder Wirthlin's talk was exactly what I needed to hear too.

Samantha said...

AHHHH!!! I'm being stalked by my husband on other people's blogs!!!

Yeah, he says the same kinds of stuff to ME all the time... (feel sorry for me, okay?)

Brave New World--one of my all time favorite reads, definitely a favorite author--I love his word choice, his style, the cadence of his prose...I may have read everything Huxley has written...maybe I shouldn't admit that.