About this blog

There are a few things you should know about this blog before you dive in; why I am writing it and how this blog works.

 

Why I’m Writing This Blog (the long version)


I’ve lived and experienced many things along the way of life that are important to me. I’ve been through many highs and lows of the soul, the heart, and the mind. And I’m not done yet. To be alive is to hike, swim, run, fall, and climb through the wilderness of life experiences. Without a map or a guide, it’s only a matter of time before you are lost, forgetting the direction you came from and where you lost the trail. This blog is my map. It’s a canvas on which I will sketch memories and snapshots of the path I’ve been following and where it seems to be going from here. This God-given life is a line with billions of connected points, each one a unique thought, experience, person. Without considering the connections between them, to trace the connecting thread, life seems like dots on a blank page: unrelated, disconnected, or random. By writing, I am tracing the line, connecting the dots, capturing the meaning of it all along the way. Here is a quick example:

  1. I grew up in a suburb of Massachusetts where a boy named Scott also lived.
  2. Scott played the drums and we became classmates in the fourth grade.
  3. I developed a friendship with Scott, an admiration for his talent, and a desire to play the drums.
  4. I took drum lessons, discovered a passion for music, and went to a music college.
  5. It was at this college that I developed friendships that will last a lifetime.
  6. From out of these friendships, I met and fell in love with a wonderful woman named Noelle.
  7. Our relationship sprouted, we married, and now we hike the same irreversible trail as a family.
Do you see the progression, the connection between these seven dots? Can you begin to see a trail forming in your mind with a starting point and an end? Do you see the contour of its shape? There are no gaps. Of course there is more story to tell than this. There are other things that life contained in and around these events. But to touch on one of these events causes a ripple in the thread connecting the events that came before and those that will follow after, whatever they may be. There is deep, rich, interconnected meaning in all of this and it’s all pointing somewhere. I want to know more about that “somewhere” so that I can take each step along the trail with purpose and get the most out of life that I can.

I am also making this map for you. Not so that you can follow my trail but so that you can discover your own. I can guarantee you that your life is just as full of meaning and potential as mine is. We’re all traversing the same wilderness, but our paths are very different. You may climb more mountains than I; I may cross more rivers than you. But we share experiences that touch us in similar ways. When you hike a trail, sometimes you’ll see stacks of rocks along the way, called cairns. Hikers that have gone before make these essentially to say to those who come after them, “Keep it up! You’re heading in a good direction,” or, basically, “This is a trail. You’re not lost.” Maybe by my charting out “this is where I’ve been and where I’m going,” you’ll start to find some connections, direction, meaning, or encouragement as well. Perhaps not. But it’s worth a shot. And maybe you’re not lost at all and this will just be a collection of stories for you to enjoy. Either way, I’m glad you’re here. Enjoy the ride!

 

Why I’m writing this blog (the short version)

  • Joy: I really enjoy writing and think this blog will be great practice for improving at the craft.
  • Motivation: Having an audience to hold me accountable to writing on a regular basis will provide some built-in motivation to do it.
  • Creativity: This is a creative outlet!
  • Just doin’ it: I’m practicing putting an idea (this blog) into action. Sometimes doing so gives birth to other ideas. I think being practiced in executing an idea will make it easier to take the leap when the wilder, crazier ideas come rolling around.
  • To live with meaning: I also believe being practiced in capturing the meaning of something by writing about it will help me to get better at doing so in real-time.
  • Inspiration: I recently finished reading the book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller and was greatly inspired by what I read there. He mentioned a friend, Bob, who wrote down every memory he could muster. If he remembered dropping an ice-cream cone as a child, he wrote it down. This isn’t the primary purpose of this blog, but it provided some inspiration.

How this blog works

Currently, there are two main categories of posts as follows:
  • Map Lines: This category is the meat-and-potatoes of this blog. This is where you will find stories, memories, thoughts from both past and present (mostly non-fiction with some creative liberties). This is where my map will be drawn (see “Why I’m writing this blog (the long version)” below.
  • Meaningful Media: There are all forms of media that people are inspired by. It could be a poem, a song, a quote, a film, a book, or anything else. This is where I will post meaningful art forms (more often than not, it will be a link to a song) and write a short commentary on what stands out about it.

In summary…

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me-
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me, and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat. 
To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is torture
Of restlessness and vague desire-
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid. 
– By Edgar Lee Masters
Care to lift your sails? Start here.
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