What am I doing?
That’s the first question that came to mind when I actually started looking into making a blog. You see, starting a blog is something I never thought I’d do. In fact, it’s something I never even considered. I always thought my reasoning was pretty simple: I’m just not all that interesting. I don’t have this incredible life story. I’m not super knowledgeable about any one topic. I don’t have any particularly unique skills or talents. So why would I write a blog?
Like I said, I never so much as entertained the idea of starting a blog. That is, until Wednesday, January 31, 2018. For whatever reason the possibility of starting a blog crossed my mind…and it lingered. I didn’t just brush it off like I normally do. Instead, I wondered “what if?” What if I actually looked into this? What in the world would I write about? I figured those were pretty valid questions. So I reached out to a handful of friends and told them this was something I was actually thinking about. One of my friends asked me what I was passionate about. The Office, Star Wars, and donuts immediately came to mind, but those obviously aren’t things I’d blog about (…right?). I still wasn’t convinced a blog is something I should pursue. Let’s say I did find something to share my thoughts on. Questions remained. Who would even read it? What would be the point? Would I just be wasting my time? Speaking of wasting my time…
For the last 2-3 years I’ve been in this weird, funky cycle. Every few months I’ll find this motivation and desire to feel alive. I’ll have this strong urge to try something new. I want to experience and do exciting things. And I’ve done some incredible things! I’ve taken a road trip out to Utah to see my favorite basketball team play along with some of my best friends. I’ve run a half and a full marathon. I’ve been on some absolutely amazing retreats with my youth group (shout out to St. Cletus!). I just recently spent a week in El Salvador, something I never imagined I’d do. Those are just a handful of experiences that stand out. The one thing that each of those experiences has in common is that I left each of them feeling alive. And what I mean by that is that I felt a strong sense of purpose and conviction. I felt inspired every day. I had such a greater appreciation for the people and the things in my life. I felt so much stronger spiritually and in my faith. It’s hard to put into words just how at peace I was with life after each of those experiences.
The problem? That feeling wore off. Every single time. I would fall into this funk that would usually last months at a time. Don’t get me wrong, I live a very blessed and happy life. I’m surrounded by so many loving and caring people. I understand that I’m very fortunate to have the things I have. And yet, it would always feel like I was missing something. I couldn’t put my finger on what though. I wanted to recapture that feeling of being alive again, but I didn’t know how. I couldn’t figure out how to sustain that feeling of being alive after each of those experiences. I liked to blame the monotony of everyday life. Obviously life isn’t going to be exciting or fun all the time. You can’t possibly be inspired every single day. And so I’d end up going through the motions. Work, eat, sleep, repeat. I would enjoy my time with friends. I still loved helping with the youth group. But it would still feel like something was missing. I felt stuck.
I couldn’t help but compare my situation in life with all of my friends. It seemed like everyone was getting engaged, getting married, having kids, moving to cool new places, getting promotions. And I was doing…nothing. I can’t count the number of times I’ve bumped into to someone and they’ll ask me what I’m up to in life. My response is almost some variation of “Oh, nothing” or “Not much.” In my mind I wasn’t doing anything exciting or noteworthy. And that mindset gradually sapped me of my energy. It depleted my enthusiasm and passion. I’d get home from work and I’d just lay on the couch and watch TV for hours on end. I would tell myself that I needed to get up and run, or read, or go to adoration, etc. I told my friends I needed to stop watching so much TV. Now, I wasn’t a total recluse. I still spent plenty of time out of the house. But over time I felt less and less engaged. I felt like I wasn’t truly present. And the worst part is that I knew I needed to make changes. I knew I needed to be more active. And yet, there I was on the couch, wasting away for hours at a time every day.
Like I said earlier, I’d go through these funks for months at a time. Those were all rough months. And again, I have so much to be thankful for and I live an incredibly blessed life. But I just didn’t feel fulfilled. I knew that I was capable of doing so much more. I knew God was calling me to be more. That just made those funks all the more frustrating. I knew I had so many gifts and that I had the capability to make a difference. So why couldn’t I just get off my butt? It felt like I was wasting not just my time but my potential. Through this all I knew God had big plans for me and that I needed to trust Him. I understood that I needed to be patient. But that’s hard!
I still remember the day I decided to run a half marathon. I had “planned” to run numerous other half marathons but my “training” would always flame out after a couple weeks. But this time just felt…different. I had been in one of those funks and I was longing for that feeling of being alive. And there was something in me that just wouldn’t take “no” for an answer this time. I had this gut feeling that I was actually going to follow through with this. And so I trained hard for four months (shout out to Chris for all the extra motivation). And I did it! I ran a half marathon! It felt so good to work for something and accomplish a goal I set for myself. During that whole training process I felt good physically, mentally, spiritually. I felt alive. That feeling lasted a month or two before eventually fading again. But imagine where I’d be if I didn’t have that random burst of motivation.
I said earlier that I’ve blamed my funks on the monotony of daily life. I believed that’s what drained me of my energy, and subsequently my motivation. What a lame excuse. I was basically just sitting around waiting for something to change. Well, I’ve gotten tired of that. I want that feeling of being alive but I’ve been afraid to chase it. I’ve allowed myself to become comfortable with being lazy and complacent. It’s been through the amazing people in my life that I’ve realized that there is joy to be found in that boring, monotonous life I’ve complained so much about. There are countless opportunities for me to feel alive. I just think every few months God has to open my eyes by giving me that motivation or presenting me with an incredible opportunity. He’s been waiting for me to finally figure it out. I imagine He’s like “See! This is how amazing life can be if you just do something about it!”
So, why would I write a blog? I see this being my way to examine everyday life through a new lens. You might ask, why not just journal? That’s a fair point. I’ve tried that a handful of times but to not avail. There’s just something about writing things in a forum where other people can read it that sounds appealing. I like the accountability that it provides. And even if no one reads what I write about, I really don’t mind. (PLEASE READ MY BLOG)
I’m honestly excited about where this could go. I’m hoping this gives me a reason to reflect on the positive things in life a little more deeply. I’m excited about this being my outlet to talk about the things and the people I’m thankful for. I’m already planning on writing a post about my experiences in El Salvador. And to be honest, I hope this inspires me to go out of my way to do cool things so I have more things to write about.
There’s definitely part of me that wonders if this is just one more of those random bits of motivation/desires to try something new. I can’t say for certain that this will have any staying power. For all I know this could be my only blog post ever. But just like I had that gut feeling about my half marathon, I have that same gut feeling now. I feel confident that this is something I’ll be passionate about. People asked me what I’d write about and I didn’t have a clear answer. After having some time to think about it, I still don’t really have a specific answer. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to talk about in regards to my faith. But I guess more generally I’ll just be talking about life. And that excites me.
People ask me all the time what I’m doing, both in that specific moment and in life. And my answer is usually “nothing.” I’m confident that when I’m asked that question from here on out I’ll have another simple answer: living.