Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cleaning Out The Garage (Jay's Version)

You know, a few days ago I swore that my next post would be something lighthearted and funny, because the whole Calvinist/Arminian debate was emotionally taxing and, according to Peterson, sleep-inducing. :-) But, alas, I have some things on my chest that are applying a little too much pressure on my life right now. I don't think they're necessarily SSA-related. I think they're just aspects of my personality that would be evident right now no matter what my situation was. To put it simply, I just worry too darn much.

The future, for anyone, is a very uncertain thing. It is so abstract--so non-real--that according to C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters, it is exactly the place where the Devil wants our attention to be focused. I guess I'm playing right into his hands, then, because my mind has been wandering into that trap of uncertainty recently. I guess it's not too abnormal a thing. Everybody wonders about their future. But I guess I just always think of my future in a negative light. Scratch that. I don't think about it--thinking would require a vision, a certain image of myself, and a course of action (or non-action) to go along with it. I just worry about it. Worry is just a feeling. A stupid (but not completely without merit) mantra such as "I'm going to be alone," or "I'm going to have a nervous breakdown." No thoughts attached, not really, at least not at first. They come later. I get this image of my brother and sister settling down and having lots of kids, and me being the only singleton at family gatherings. And my mother being disappointed because I won't give her a set of grandchildren. I worry about growing up to be being considered "the weird old guy" in my community because I'm not married (and hey, I know that's how unmarried men are often viewed). I worry about who's going to take care of me if I get sick. I just get saddened by the fact that I might not have a child.

But all these things are silly. By no means have I committed to celibacy for life. I'm fully open to having a relationship with a woman eventually--if, and only if, there is a mutual attraction. But I don't want to try and force it. If God wills it, I want it to be done. The problem is--I still want it done my way. I'm a control freak, really. I've always thought I had OCD, and not just because I spend ten minutes making my bed in the morning and won't leave the room unless it's at a time divisible by five (yep, I do those things :-/). I just want my life to be perfect--simple, neat, clean, and with myself in charge. Sometimes I think it could have been perfect, but God had to go and throw a monkey wrench in my gears. :-/ I know, no one's life is perfect, but as I've said before...I think I've been dealt a bad hand.

The only time I think of my future as positive is when I think of becoming a published writer. You know, childhood dreams coming true. Winning the Pulitzer Prize and getting #1 on the NY Times Bestseller List. Sitting down for interviews on The Today Show and Charlie Rose (Yep, I watch it :-) Becoming a New York intellectual, so that way no one's really going to notice if I don't have a partner, and I can devote my life to work instead of family. But, geez, aren't I setting my goals a bit high? The only way I'll be happy alone is if I'm famous? *Shrugs* I really don't know.

I feel kind of bad putting this all down here. It seems like all I do is whine to you all. But I need to get things off my chest (clean out my garage as Pam would say ;-). I've always tried to be the person people came to when they had problems. That's who I was in high school, at least. But now, I just want somebody to talk to, and there's nobody here I feel like opening up to like that. There's the blog; that's always good. I just don't want to have any relationships where I'm the taker and not the giver. It's pride, I guess. It's pride and worry and an unwillingness to give my future to God, even though I think He's the only person who can make sense of it.

Still, all in all I'm doing well. Life is good. Don't think I'm clinically depressed or something because I worry about my future. I'm still living in the present and making the most of it. I can't wait until Thanksgiving, and I attended an RA interest meeting tonight to see if I want to be an RA next year. That would keep me busy ;-) Peace be to all of you,

Jay

15 comments:

Brady said...

Jay- worry gets into all of us sometimes. It sounds like you and Pam are dealing with a bit of the blues. All I can think to say is good things happen to good people. Sure, the bad things wiggle their way in sometimes, but I'd be willing to bet that your future has more in store for you than you are giving yourself credit for. Just don't go forgetting us little people ;-)

Amanda said...

Take it from me...you're not experiencing anything that isn't completely normal for a freshman in college to experience. It sucks, I know, but you're in such an important transitional time of your life that if you didn't think about things like this, I'd be worried.

That being said...you're a fabulous writer and I have no doubt that you'll make those goals. As for the rest of it...take it one day at a time and learn how to give the control to God one step at a time. :) You already know you need to...that in itself is the first step.

Irrational Entity said...

When you think you have everything figured out, then you should be worried. Life is a multi-faceted adventure with many possibilities.

Jay said...

Brady: A slight touch of the blues, perhaps, but not much. I've actually been pretty hyperactive recently, despite the worry. It's a mental thing, and isn't really affecting my social life at all. (And don't worry, I won't forget the little people ;-)

Amanda: Thanks, girl. You're the best.

Irrational: That's true. I guess once you're out on your own everything's uncertain. Perhaps that's one of the first things you learn about being an adult (I still don't feel like one quite yet, though)

kurt_t said...

Well, I don't know how this idea popped into my head, but, theoretically, couldn't you meet another celibate gay male Christian and have a sort of a marriage, but just without sex?

I mean, is that something you would consider sinful?

Jay said...

Hmmm...it's possible, I guess, and I have thought about it. I certainly don't think it's sinful in itself. Disputed Mutability went that route for a while, if I'm not mistaken. I think such a relationship would take a strong type of character that I'm not sure I have. Either way, even if it was on the table, I'd still be worrying about whether or not I'd ever meet such a guy ;-)

jerubaal said...

Jay,

Kurt's idea also might get in the way of going a different direction, assuming that's possible. I mean, fatherhood would be a good thing. It's like the ultimate stage of a man's life: birth, infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence, bachelordom, fatherhood.

Some of my friends and I hug and stuff and say we love each other... there's alot of good intimacy and affection to be had between guys. One of the many beauties of it is that you aren't restricted to just one such friend either, and no one ever gets jealous!

-Jake

jerubaal said...

By the way Jay,

There's a whole lot of thinking you can do about girls that isn't sinful. I say go right up to the line in your thoughtlife. Don't do it in expectation of any given result, but just enjoy the thoughts themselves.

I concur with Amanda. Being your age is like trying to navigate a wooden sailboat through a hurricane of insanity. Eventually, the storm in your mind calms down... overall.

I blame it on the prefrontal cortex. It gives you vast powers of control over your own mental processes. But you won't have a fully developed one for seven more years!

Jay said...

in·sen·si·tive [in sénsətiv]
(adj) 1. Mentioning the joys of fatherhood to someone who's biggest fears include never having children.

...I'm just kidding, Jake ;-)

I see where you're coming from, though. As far as the thinking about girls, thing, well...weird as that advice sounded, don't think I've never tried it.

Come on, prefrontal cortex!

Irrational Entity said...

Adoption is a possibility. The need is great domestically and internationally, but as a nation we have not kept up, which leaves several children to bounce between foster families and far less than ideal conditions. I certainly hope to adopt, and a similar willingness is on my list of characteristics to look for in a potential partner.

grace said...

Jay,
The only advice I have is to be careful and not rush into ANYTHING. I felt very much like you, at your age....it IS completely "normal" as all the others have commented....even apart from the "struggle".

Most days, I wish I'd been more careful, less impulsive in some of my major life decisions of the past....and yet....I can't say I'd trade the wisdom back in for the experiences. It's all a journey.

You're doing great!

love ya!
pam

Peterson Toscano said...

I will refrain from dispensing any of my sage advice except to give you a suggestion for your next post, something light.

How about a modest proposal of CS Lewis' presentation of Jesus as the perfect diety for the Furry Community? Come on Aslan is just Jesus as a Furry. Who knows Jay, slip on a bunny suit and you can be the first missionary to the Furries. How will they know if someone does not hop on over to tell them.

Jesus as Furry. Blog about it before I do!

tilts_at_windmills said...

Ditto to everyone else. I think you'd be surprised how many of your friends are just as worried. When you leave home for college you're truly alone for the first time in your life. It's awesome and it's scary, and it makes you wonder if you'll ever manage to build a home of your own that'll feel as loving and safe as the one you left behind.

I think you will, even if you never have a nuclear family. It sounds like you've got great friends. You'll keep adding more as you go through life. And Irrational Entity is right, you can always adopt, even if you remain single and celibate. There are a lot of kids out there who need someone to love them.

Jay said...

Peterson: ...we have a little tradition here in my dorm. If a situation ever gets awkward or uncomfortable, the person in that situation starts talking about turtles. Kind of as a code for others to "rescue" them...

Had you been saying that Furry comment to my face, you'd best believe I would've snuck in a factoid about the Carolinian Box Tortoise. Oh yes. :-)

Tilts: Thanks for the encouragement :-)

Tin Man said...

It is nice to hear that I am not the only one who worries about things beyond my control.

You are doing just fine. Keep up the good work!