rogue white boy takes on chicago, culture, love
I think one of the strangest things for me has been the feeling that things are, for the most part, going well. I’m good with where I’m heading. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m on my way.
So this is what your mid-twenties feels like. I’m going to go eat pie and drink egg nog.
Happy Birthday to me.
‘We Sink’ by CHVRCHES is my new jam.
‘We Sink’ by CHVRCHES is my new jam.
Whether you call them Millennials, Generation Y or the Me Generation, one thing’s for certain: These young people will change the world. But what will be its legacy? This hour, we hear TED speakers searching to define themselves and their generation.
My girlfriend in college had a favorite poet. His name: George Herbert. He’s a Christian poet from the late 1800s and, well, it was fitting since both of us were considering becoming pastors at the time, that he was meaningful for me at that time of life.
So, when I began this tumblr, I began with a poem called “Affliction (4)” by Herbert, a poet who remains a favorite. It ends:
Then shall those powers, which work for grief,
Enter thy pay,
And day by day
Labour thy praise, and my relief:
With care and courage building me,
Till I reach heav’n, and much more, thee.
There’s a way in which the trials of our twenties build us. It’s a hard time. We strike out on our own without structure, no set path, no place we’re going next, no book lists or boxed lunches or gyms a five minute walk from the building in which we live. Our friends get spread out. And we begin to encounter new parts of who we are. We begin to learn how to live in the grey areas of life.
I learned at 22, while adjusting to Chicago and a new job working at an ad agency servicing Fortune 500 companies, that I couldn’t hide my sexuality anymore. I set off to learn to live in the grey area between “Christian” and “gay,” between “corporate worker” and “care for the poor,” between “here” but “not there yet.”
All the while struggling, deeply, with who I was to become.
I used to think that my great affliction was my sexuality: my “same-sex desires.” But now, I see my minority status, my person as inclusive of the labels “homosexual” and, maybe a little bit, “pansy,” among others, things that were once derogatory and hurtful, things that I thought were the source of my pain, as my strength. My ‘mo-ness, my over-analyzing brain, my thick body (which I’ve always wanted to be thin), my penchant for books, my introverted tendencies, my heartfelt desire to know God. All of me. All of it. Strength. And it gives me courage and relief. These things were never really the cause of my pain: instead, it was I who caused the pain, and these things were always free to be used for my joy.
I’m beginning a new phase now. I start classes part time on Monday at UChicago in a quantitative methodologies certificate program. I’m thinking about grad school down the road, writing my sample, re-taking the GRE, where I would want to go, what I want to do. I’m recapturing the dreams of my youth. I’m imagining. Discovering. Digging deeper and deeper and finding my passions and living those out, not the desires of other people.
I’m restarting my tumblr, too, as a place for reflection, occasional poetry, and, maybe if you’re lucky, my thoughts on important things like poverty, politics, and the like. But, then again, those things can be so boring.
‘Trains’ by Newtimers is my new jam.
‘Send Me Down’ by HAIM is my new jam.
‘Pompeii’ by Bastille
How am I gonna be an optimist about this? #lostinallourvices
‘Dreaming’ by Smallpools
On my summer mix!
‘Guns For Hands’ by Twenty One Pilots
Loving Vessels from @twentyonepilots