I have realized that all of my big dreams about walking or working out while my son was at daycare, following six hours of studying Greek, were remaining dreams even up to this final week of Greek class. My belly was looking pretty large, since I’d mostly been napping for an hour before going and getting my son, and then getting up later in the evening to study more Greek and drink a lot more beer. At some point the Greek studying in the evening ceased, but the beer drinking didn’t. The Fitbit had gone untouched with its battery uncharged on the counter for about two or three months.
I recharged it last week and am trying to do 10K steps a day on the weekdays and 15K steps a day on the weekends. So far so good after four days.
Today, Austin was mostly empty of people walking or running or riding their bikes. It felt to me like every other Central Texas summer day–the same old, same old hot, dry 100 degree days that last until the end of September. I think my body just kind of said, whatever, I’m used to this, let’s go walk and run, and so we did.
Unfortunately, I had forgotten that I was in a grocery store on a Sunday morning in Texas, and so the beer didn’t get purchased, and it’s waiting until a more respectable time for me to buy it–like 4 PM. We loaded up on energy drinks, sugary drinks, snacks, beef jerkey, pork rinds etc at the grocery store–the kind of stuff that tastes great when you’ve been driving for about two hours and you still have ten to go, though, on this trip we’ve broken every leg up into about 4-5 hours each so that we can actually do something in every single city we visit instead of rushing to the next town so that we can be in Charlotte for dinner.
I’m sort of looking forward to this vacation, but really, at this point, kind of wish that we hadn’t planned it so that I could get a new job lined up along with a new place to live so that we don’t have two weeks or less to try to do that when we get back. However, I am confident that it will all take care of itself and do whatever it is meant to do.
I’m not really feeling nearly guilty as I should feel about dropping out of school and going back to work. I’m excited at the thought of having my free time outside of work all to myself and having money to spend during that free time, and actually being a contributor to my family again. I am excited about getting more focused on doing a few things well–things that I’ve been doing for the past twenty or so years anyway, but now I’m going to do them without wondering if I’m doing what I was put on earth to do.
I write, read books, drink beer, run and walk, play with my son, take care of the dog, and go to work to talk about work stuff exclusively between the hours of 8 and 12 and 1 and 5 on most weekdays of the year. The rest of the time outside of work, I live my life, I enjoy life, I enjoy being an American instead of constantly beat up on myself about how privileged I am and how I should be constantly apologizing for who I am and reading only books by writers who are not white, hetero and male. I like reading books by Russians, Chinese, Japanese, West African, Chilean, Native American, Indian, Tibetan, Filipino people and people whose voices are marginalized or were marginalized at one time, but I also occasionally like to read books by rich old white guys like this poet Frederick Seidel who seems like a bit of a bastard, but an honest, interesting one. I will never write poetry like he does or like anyone else does. My poems are pretty much my own messy attempts to restructure these more chaotic journal entries into lines that look like some kind of verse.
Anyway, there is one last week of this Greek class that has only gone on for five weeks so far, but feels like it has been happening since the time the kind of Greek we are studying was written down. I couldn’t tell you how to decline much of anything, or what tense, case, voice, etc. any verb is in but I can now read the Bible in Greek and get a vague idea of what they are talking about, which I think was the point after all. I appreciate the Bible more after getting to know how it has come to be. Knowing that it is mostly the work of men (and possibly a few women) who were probably not much more inspired by God than I am makes me more interested in it, than less. I don’t mind that the original Greek we know the New Testament to be written in was still Greek that was copied many times over before the first document was preserved centuries later. I think that my relationship with Christianity has now become realistic and healthy–I am not on a path to become the most pious monk ever, nor am I on a path to have my faith completely thrown out after so many crises of asking if it is all worth having this kind of faith or not. I am not bothered by fundamentalist Christians or Atheists as long as they don’t call for violence. They believe and think the way they do and so do I and we all live in this world together and then we will die and go off to separate places or the same place or no place, and it will probably all be okay in the end, as long as we learn to stop treating fellow human beings who don’t look and talk like us as if they were subhuman.
As for staying in Texas, I’ve more or less resigned myself to it, although if I do land this job and we go back to renting in Austin, I will probably ask us to revisit one last time the possibility of leaving here for some place like Portland or North Carolina, and if we decide that we don’t want to put ourselves through the stress of the completely unfamiliar, then we will live out our lives here, and so be it. I’m resigned to living in a state that is full of people who don’t think or drive like I do.
The other thing that I was hoping to do during my time off was move more of my old journal entries from 1997-2010 onto my primary WordPress instance, but this is a rather slow and laborious process that requires some blocks of dedicated time, because I have to go through and strike out the names of anyone who might be too easily identifiable and get rid of any sex stuff that would probably shame my family if they ever happen to read everything I’ve written, though that is highly unlikely.
In short, I am going to go back to doing what I’d been doing, only now I’ve more or less come to terms with the fact that I’m one of those people who hasn’t been called or chosen to do anything incredibly special–not special in the sense of being sensational and noteworthy for the sake of human history, anyway. I am happy to think that maybe God has called me to just be a dad and a regular human who is still working through all of the crap that prevents me from being a better human–and this is more than enough to occupy someone for an entire lifetime. Trying to be a great pastoral leader or healer or mystic or Bible academic is for the superhuman few who really are truly special and chosen.