My car was outwardly at rest but inwardly restless, much like its owner. I sat zoned out but contemplative and stared back at my friend, trying to find answers in her face.

I was in the midst of my third meltdown of the month. Just a year out from graduation, I quickly learned that life is hardest on the planners, the dreamers, and the idealists. What we dream and what we do are often ill matched. What our hearts need and what our minds are paid to create are too often worlds apart.

“I just don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore. Who I want to be, what I want to do, how this immense confusion even happened…”

Frustrated by my lack of answers and sensing the exhaustion radiating from my passenger’s seat, I called it a night to put an end to the early morning existentialism. Or so I thought.

On my drive home I hugged each turn and abbreviated each stop sign; reckless enough to feel a rush, responsible enough to feel secure. When I finally calmed my engine after pulling into my parking space, the beauty of the midnight sky overshadowed my desire for a comfortable blanket and a warm bed.

Seven stately oaks line the cul-de-sac I live on and each of them takes quite the beating when autumn starts to show its face. One by one, the leaves drain themselves of their chlorophyll – changing from red to yellow to brown as the season progresses – and start their descent toward the ground. The oaks are bare by the time winter rolls around. Absolutely naked they stand and sway – bending to their limits – seemingly dead. But in their core, life is making its mark. Even in the dead of winter – the climax of their creative depression – they are growing again.

In a way, the oaks feel the manic cycles of birth much like humans do. In this Creation, everything has its season.

My cold body shuddered. I shoved my hands into pockets already weighed down with material possessions.

“Everything was created for One by One,” I muttered. “I will learn something out here. I have to.”

I cleared my lenses, opened my ears, expanded my lungs, and planted my feet.

“I am ready. I am listening.”

I looked up to the belly of a tree. My tree. The oak I grew up with, the oak I spent many summers and seasons with. The oak that lent branches to be the arms on my snowmen, the wands to my Hermione, and the mechanisms by which I transplanted squishy garden bugs to new locations. The oak I never much appreciated, until then.

Have you ever noticed that bare tree limbs look a lot like the bronchioles in the human lung? The way they branch from the trunk, to the limbs, to the branches, and finally to the twigs. Tree branches are the bronchioles of the universe. They sway to and fro, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.

In a way, trees breathe the way humans do. In this Creation, everything is connected.

Back to the sky lit up by a three-quarter full moon. Clouds varied in intensity on the gray scale; coming and going, they changed the ambiance like a dimmer switch. As bright as the moon is, it can disappear entirely if the right shade and density of cloud comes along.

In a way, the moon’s luminosity is dependent on external circumstances, much like a human’s is. In this Creation, everything goes through cycles.

The sky cleared to a deep and silky navy. The stars winked flirtatiously. The moon glowed, backlit by the sun. A gust of wind, pure and crisp, rendered me breathless.

One with the expansive, infinite joy that is Creation, I whispered into the night, “Thank you.”



I was in one of those moods tonight. One of those moods where the birds stop chirping and the sun crawls away slowly, hanging its head in despair in light of its recent rejection. One of those moods when you reflect too much on too little and end up dropping water from your eyes bit by bit, creating a puddle around yourself.

I was in that place tonight. That place you go willingly, but begrudgingly. That place you go whilst shuffling your feet and scratching at anything of substance to help you stay put. But you can’t, you don’t. You keep shuffling your way down to that place that sucks you in and spits you back out confused, hurt, and down further than you were when you were there.

I had that brain tonight. That brain when nothing makes sense and what does doesn’t stick. Not there, not then. That brain where you’re stuck, stuck, shuffling your feet and bumping into walls until someone comes and blasts truth at you through a microphone. Bullhorn. Siren.

I was overcome tonight by that moment. That moment when waves of sound crash over you as you stumble toward this unflattering light that burns your eyes and makes you squirm under the weight of it all. But paradoxically, warms your heart at the same time.

That moment when a truth has wiggled it’s way inside your heart, your mind, and your soul. That moment when the truth has sunk its roots down so deep that half of you can feel them scratching but the other half stares numbly out at this light in disbelief.

That moment when the truth is the biggest, most obvious cliche that somehow you’ve managed to forget temporarily, accidentally or on purpose.

For me? The truth, that is ever so embarrassing to admit that i forgot?

We accept the love we think we deserve.

Aye. That’s quite a heavy burden to acknowledge. Perhaps then, in light of this knowledge, we in fact dig our own holes. Perhaps we bury ourselves. Perhaps much of what takes away our “muchness” could be avoided if we just…focused ourselves elsewhere.

If we happened, instead, to focus our attention on what is good? On the truth. On consistency. On light. On love. On strength. On might.

Perhaps there is no perhaps at all, but rather a definitive indeed. Indeed that is what happens and indeed that is what needs to happen. But now? In light of this and that, let us journey up there instead of down into valleys and holes where we bump and shuffle along to insanity and despair.

Come along now. Come, come.


I’ve thrown happiness away. Happiness is fleeting. It is relational, fickle, and unreliable.

I’m in the pursuit of joy. Joy shakes you down to your core. It is deep, godly, and sound.

For years my happiness had been contingent on something. My relationship status, my grades in school, how harmonious my friendships and family relationships were, how well-received I was, whether or not I nailed that triple turn in the end of the dance number…you get the idea.

But if you place contingencies on happiness, you will never truly reach it.

It is only when you abandon yourself in search of something greater that you truly find what you’re looking for. The human soul hungers for joy and contentment, but mistakes it as a lust for happiness and moments.

Happiness can be thrown to the wayside in the midst of a hectic day. But joy doesn’t budge. Joy comes from a deeper place, a reverent place, regardless of circumstances.

In my own life, my good intentions and search for happiness have been thwarted and thrown off track because of poor reactions to external stressors. But now, I package the outside world up in a box and push it out in breath. I look to my Creator for calm, quiet, and rest to take the place of loud, stressful, and distracted. As He always does, He whispers to my heart, “There will always be silence; it can always get quiet. But it might happen right after a noise overload. Just lean in, and be patient.”

I am in pursuit of contentment and joy. I am running toward it, boldly, leaving all desires for happiness aside. I have my eyes on something greater.


I am a bit of an oddball. I am currently sitting perched upon my bed (I should be outside), wearing half-calf grandpa socks and my glasses as a headband. I have accepted the fact that I will always be eccentric of sorts, that is just who I am I guess. But, that ideation isn’t enough for me. I want a definition, a concrete idea to rest my head upon. I want a digestible phrase or two to sum everything up.

But, the trouble lies in the fact that I am constantly shifting what defines me – my outward appearances and outward perceptions. I am never satisfied with any conclusion; I am always searching.

Even when I believe I have stumbled upon an answer, or two, I keep digging. I keep looking, prying, experimenting, and exploring. I am always searching.

I am not sure that I will ever be content with what I find. Or, that I will ever really find anything at all. While it is true that all of my questions lead to answers, those answers then lead to more questions, and those questions lead to frustrations.

At which point, I throw my hands up in the air discouraged that all my life ever will be is a series of questions.

I am a researcher, a philosopher of sorts. But perhaps a more appropriate way to phrase that would be, a perpetually discontented over-thinker. I am constantly in a state of flux, changing my mind, changing my self. Voicing all of those opinions so firmly and feverishly only to change again the next day, hour or even minute.

There are never answers with me, but I always want them.