God, please get me out of Texas. Please don’t leave me here to die. Lord, you know how unhappy I have been. I get that I have to go do what you want me to do, but this has become so wearying. Yes, Austin will be better than Waco, but I already know that Austin is just a thin veil of normalcy covering many macho assholes. It’s still part of Texas, no matter how much its most Peter Pan residents don’t want to believe it. Please tell me, God, that Jesus had no intention for the majority of his followers to be like these ridiculous dicks with the giant pickup trucks, Confederate flags and their love of killing helpless things with high-powered rifles.
Why can’t you open a door for me to live in Manhattan, some place nice like the Upper West Side, while I work at or near Columbia, and stroll down through Central Park to various art museums and shows on the weekends? Why do I always have to see other people living my dreams, and have to quietly and meekly pocket my dreams for the sake of being content with good enough?
I recognize that the past is dead. There is no going back to the old life. The attempt to recapture something of the sense of magic that came with most of my future in front of me is now gone. I squandered my life on living a pretend life. I pretended I was going places instead of taking the initiative to go out and go places.
The heartache comes from an overwhelming sense of knowing that in all likelihood I will land at some suburb parish outside of Dallas, Houston or Austin after seminary, and find myself there for the rest of my life. This isn’t a bad way, and it is a much better way than working myself to death inside the tech companies that are designed for young people to flourish. Perhaps the world will hold together for a little longer, and we’ll have money saved in ten years, and travel will again become a viable option.
A life that is simply good enough just doesn’t always seem good enough. Part of my problems include the fact that I can’t be bothered to take enough time to stop and simply allow myself to be fixed on the inside by the angels who would knit me back together. I think that I can think, read or write my way out of my malaise, as I am attempting to do now.
How is it that all of the places I’ve visited that have given me such great joy have never ended up being the kinds of places I lived? No mountains, no beaches, no big cities, no old world cities. Even my travels have mostly ended up being spent on obligatory visits to family or trips within the state of Texas. Texas might feel like a giant, protective set of parents to those who love it, but it has always felt more like a hopeless, smothering vortex to me. I lived for years just wanting to leave the state for a few days, and I couldn’t, because I was hopelessly in debt and stuck in low-paying dead-end jobs. Surely, much of it was my fault–my desire to go out and eat and drink all the time instead of save money, and my ever-increasing fear of leaving my comfort zone. But, it also seemed as if some force outside of me and my control was busy oppressing me and keeping me in Texas the way the fellow in the song Hotel California was trapped for eternity.
God, if only I can live out the last decade of my life and die outside of Texas. Even Missouri looks good to me so many days of the week, now, and that is positively scary.