sixteen thoughts of christmas break

(originally posted december 18, 2008)

1) my favorite thing to wear is shorts and a sweatshirt or jacket with, of course, flip flops. i don’t know why, but it just seems more comfortable than everything else. the perfect weather is warm enough to swim during the day, cool enough to wear a jacket and build a fire and hang out at night.

2) although i’ve known it forever, and my entire family seems to have known it forever, i still think the idea of going to seminary is weird. i don’t know why. it just is. everyone keeps asking what i want to do and my only answer is “i really hope it’s not a youth pastor.” i wanna work with kids (teenagers) but i don’t want to do it in a church role. i want it to be in a more secular role if that makes sense. i would love to have a regular job and then work with kids through coaching, sports programs, or even something in the church, but not be a full-time youth pastor. i’ve grown up around church politics and i can’t stand them at all.

3) i sometimes wonder if college was worth it. it just seems like a big waste of money. i’m all for higher education and all of that, but some of the classes were just absolutely pointless. if i didn’t have to take some of those, i could’ve been done with school in two to three years and $20-30,000 less. i’ve known i wanted to work with sports and youth. that’s why i was a sport management major and coaching minor. why the heck am i taking humanities, biology, british lit, multiple histories, and all of that? i understand having to take a basic college algebra class. i understand taking a writing class and even a reading comprehension class. Everyone needs to know how to communicate. They don’t necessarily need to know how Percey Shelley died or the scientific name for a heart attack.

4) This breakup has screwed me up more than I let on. I have dreams that she is in and no matter what time of the night it is that I wake up from them, I toss and turn the rest of the night. I can’t sleep after them. I didn’t enjoy football season this year. There were maybe two games that I legitimately enjoyed like I used to. There were others where I wanted to pack up the tailgate and just go home and others where I just wanted to go watch on top of the press box with Danny or something. It’s hard to enjoy the “super fan” stuff anymore. I hate that I can’t enjoy it anymore. I can’t listen to half the music I used to listen to and there’s a lot of movies or tv shows that I won’t even go close to. Ok, enough of that, but you knew there had to be at least one thing on here about it.

5) Growing up sucks, but it’s time to do it. As much as I love being a kid and all of that, I’m somewhat tired of it and ready to move on. I think that’s part of what it’s gonna take to move on from the break up. It’s time to get a real job, other than a part time student-worker position. As much as I love my friends, it’s time to start making more friends who are out of school and at the same point in life that I am. That’s not to say I forget about the friends I have now, but moreso to say that I’ve gotta start looking outside of Liberty.

6) I’ve thought a lot lately about how much I want to play music. I don’t necessarily want to play shows, record, or any of that. I just want to get together and make music with people. It’s such a good feeling when you can bring ideas together and make something out of it. I have so many ideas in my head it’s not even funny. The people I have showed them to have liked them, and I know that if I were to get the right people these ideas can turn into something that definitely doesn’t suck. I’ve surprised some people with the stuff I’ve written. They didn’t think I had something like that in me. The only problem is I’m not a good enough guitar player to get what I hear in my head out through my hands. I need other people to do that. I can write hooks, one-liners, and come up with ideas, but I need others to help put it together.

7) On a related note, I’d really like to make a couple videos/shorts or whatever you wanna call them. I’ve got some ideas for those as well. A lot of them have to do with songs or are based on music. Basically, between #6 and this one, what I’m saying is I wanna be a nerd again to an extent. My artistic side is boiling up big time and I’m ready to get it out. I’ve been doing this sports thing for so long that I’ve neglected that side.

8) This is kinda playing off of #5, but I thought it was interesting. Me and Nate were talking a week or two ago about this and it’s something that’s scary, funny, and a whole lot of emotions all wrapped in one. My entire life, I had an idea of where I was going to be 3-5 years from that particular point in time. I might not have known an exact location or specific job, but I had an idea. My senior year of high school, I knew 3-5 years from then I’d be in college. A year ago, I knew I’d probably be in grad school, working for dad, or at least in Lynchburg for a few years until I got married and then we’d see from there. Right now, on December 18, I can honestly say I have no clue whatsoever where I’ll be, what I’ll be doing, or who I’ll be doing it with 3-5 years from now. It’s crazy to think I could be married with a good job in that amount of time but that’s the reality of it. I could be in Lynchburg, Winston, Wilmington, or God only knows where else.

9) I’m 22 years old. I’ve never drank alcohol. I’ve never smoked. Anything. Most people can’t say that. It’s something I’m actually proud of. I was just talking to one of my brother’s friends who is over here and he is like most people and says that I should try drinking one time just to try it. I don’t really see the point. I like being able to say I’ve never drank. I’ve got my reasons for choosing not to drink, none of them being that I think it’s wrong, and I stick by those. I’ve had a lot of people tell me I would be fun to be around drunk. A girl at Coastal thought I would be the life of a party if I was drinking and wouldn’t believe me for about ten minutes when I told her I’d never drank. People look at me, see how goofy I can be, see how I act, and they just assume that I’m that type of kid that goes out on Saturday night and comes to church hungover on Sunday morning. Nope. Not me. I’ll go out on Saturday night, and maybe even to a bar, but it’s for a show and the only thing I’m drinking is water or Dr. Pepper.

10) One of the things most people take for granted growing up is their family. Some people can’t take it for granted because their family life sucks. I gotta admit that I’ve got an awesome family. From my parents, to my brother and sister, to my grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins (I didn’t forget you Carlie), great aunt, and even my dogs. They’re all great. Sure, some of them annoy the crap out of me at times but I wouldn’t have it any other way. They’ve all taught me a lot. They’ve always been there. They’ve helped me out when I needed it without me even needing to ask. They’ve raised me in a way where I wasn’t sheltered, was allowed to make my own choices, but also was taught the right way to live. My parents let me screw up on my own and were there to help me out when I did. They let me dig myself into holes and then were there to show me how to get out of it, but still made me do the work. My brother and sister are two of the coolest people on this planet. We might fight and piss each other off, but at the end of the day we really do enjoy being siblings. I remember my dad saying how glad he was that the three of us were as close as we were especially seeing how him and his siblings are. The more I’ve been away from home and the more people I meet who have crappy family situations, the more I’m appreciative of the way my family is.

11) I guess when you mention family it’s only natural to mention friends. Friends are something I’ve never had a ton of. I’ve always known a lot of people. I always had someone to talk to when I was at school, generally had someone to wave to while driving or at Wal-Mart, but never had a lot of friends. It’s something I’ve gotten used to and kinda accepted. It’s just the way I am. There’s an Anberlin song that says, “Although I know a thousand names I see my only friend.” That’s kinda how it’s always been. I’ve got plenty of people that I know from games, from class, and all of this other stuff but I’m still working to get that solid group of true friends. I wrote a song back in high school about sitting second chair. It was talking about always being the second choice or the fall back plan. That’s kinda where I’ve always been on the friends list. It is what it is. I’m not complaining. I know eventually I’ll find the right people. If not, I’ll buy a dog.

12) I think if I had to say what my favorite type of food is, I would definitely say American. Pizza, burgers, chicken. Yeah, I like chicken better than steak. I don’t know why, I just do. Ok, let me take that back, LarryG’s filet mignon might be the best piece of meat I’ve ever stuck in my mouth. Anyways, people always say they like Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, or whatever. I like American. God bless America, as fat as we may be.

13) Growing up, there were people that helped out that don’t nearly get the credit they deserve. I’m not talking about teachers and coaches and all of that. I’m talking about the people who have always just been there to answer a question or to talk to or even to just teach you by example. People like Danny and MzzBev who have just always been there from day one of me working at football whether it be work related, personal stuff, or even playing pranks on opposing teams. People like Dr. Nutter and Jeff Taylor who, while I can joke around with them or talk sports with them, were always there to answer questions about school, grad school, and all of the other things that go along with going through college. Then there are people like Jerry and Becki who have helped me out with whatever I’ve asked and have done more than I can say in one sentence. There were people like Mark and Carla and while I was only around them for a few months, they gave me another positive perspective of being good parents, not only to their own kids but the other people in their kids’ lives. I saw that stuff with my parents but it was nice to see it again and I still learned a lot from it. Lastly there are people like Nick and Kelli who while only a few years older than me, have always just been really cool. I know that sounds lame and like I should’ve come up with a better superlative, but that just seemed like the best way to say it. If any of you are reading this, I just wanted to say thanks. You all are amazing and I’m better off being able to say that I know you.

14) I wanna go somewhere. I don’t really know where, and I don’t really care. Actually, when I think about it, I wanna go somewhere but really go nowhere. Yes, that makes sense. I just wanna get in a car with some people and just go. If we end up somewhere, great. If not, we’ll turn around and come back. I just wanna see something new. That’s it. I know my way around three cities: Lynchburg, Winston-Salem, and Myrtle Beach. I’ve seen Wilmington. That’s all. I’ve never really been anywhere else. I went to the zoo in DC but none of the famous things. Never been to New York. Never been to Nashville. Never been to Philly. Never been to Atlanta. Never been to the Mississippi, much less past it. I’ve cross the Mason-Dixon line six times in my entire life, and four of those were in the past year. The fifth was to go to a football game and the sixth I was one and don’t remember.

15) The last five months have quite possibly been the worst of my life. Alright, no “quite possibly” about it. They have been. I say that not to whine or complain, but just to say it. They’ve been harder than any other point. I lost my girlfriend who was also my best friend and lost my main source of income in a three day span in August and I’m just now, just this week, starting to recover one of those and starting to realize what it’s going to take to recover from the other. I’ve had to deal with emotions that I didn’t know how to deal with and that quite frankly scared me. I’ve cried quite a bit, even as recently as a week ago and I’m not afraid to admit that. I’ve contemplated a lot of things. I’ve questioned a lot of things. I’ve wondered if it was going to get better, why it had to happen, and what the point of it was. Some of those questions haven’t been answered yet. Some of them have and I’ve learned from them. While all of this has really knocked me down, it didn’t kill me. I can come back from it. I’ve let it all ruin my life for too long. As dumb as it may sound, my New Year’s resolution is to get back on my feet both financially and emotionally. Right now I’m bitter, I don’t trust people, I question everyone’s motives, I’m rude at times, and to be honest, I don’t like who this has made me. I want to get back to where I trust people. I don’t want to be bitter. I don’t want to question if people truly like me or if I’m just a filler for them. I want to get back to being me – the kid that’s always smiling, that trusts everyone even to a fault, that is polite, and enjoys making people happy. I’ll get back to that. For now though, bear with me. I’m trying to get better.

16) It’s been an hour and a half since I sat down to write this. I didn’t wanna just write one-liners. Most people probably didn’t read this whole thing but I felt like writing all of this out. If you read it, I appreciate it and thank you. I didn’t tag anyone because I thought it was pointless. If you did read this, let me know. You don’t have to really say anything about it, just let me know you took the time to read it. I’ll appreciate it.

Say your prayers and take your vitamins.

Have a nice day.

Jonathan

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