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Archive for April, 2011

My experience of the past two years and my ultimate social and mental defeat (albeit temporary, I have hope)  has led me to reflect on what I have discovered about the nature of  community.  Strangely, for someone who has spent her entire adult life employed by churches (dare we say, “church communities”) I’ve always struggled with finding true community.  A place where the metaphorical masks come off.  It’s not that I don’t have a wonderful family, fantastic friends… but those I am closest to are all members of a very small subculture.  Geek tribe.  Ironically, a place where literal masks sometimes go on.

Now, you may say that I might have to be more specific about my allegiance.  That the real geeks are (choose your personal favorite):  comic geeks, science geeks, cosplay fans, hobby boardgamers,  computer nerds, anime otaku, schoolgirl goths, nerdcore rappers, yaoi readers, SCA reenactors, old-school role-playing gamers, sci-fi fanatics or anyone who owns any sort of t-shirt referring to the above.  It’s a cross-section of geekery like you only see at Comicon.  And… it’s my tribe.  And if you have any idea what I’m referring to above, it’s most likely yours as well.  Yep.

As I’ve struggled the past two years to create lasting friendships in a new community, I’ve realized that ignoring my own geek tendencies only compounds the problem.  I live a double life–pass for vanilla by day and then come home and have fun with my family.  So one of my dreams is that as we travel across the country, as I journey into where and what I want to be, I am able to be authentically… me.  Just me.  The woman who spent much of the past week jailbreaking her iPhone so it looks like a Star Trek TNG Padd.  It’s fantastic.  Regardless of whatever stars the other sneeches have on thars.  Isn’t that part of the human condition, how God created us to be?  And, importantly, I must ask the obvious question:  Can I be myself and still find ministry in my life? 

Tonight I’m having Mommy/Son time with Kinetic.  We are watching favorite movies like the original Indiana Jones and a couple of Harry Potter movies, plus he spent some time playing Oblivion while I watched.  Ice cream is involved.  We’re going to “sleepover” on the couch and watch movies until we fall asleep. 

  We’re able to have this together time because Flash and Entropy are out at one of their favorite   Friday night events–Magic The Gathering league play at the game store.  It is mostly attended by men from their 20s to middle age, but 9 year old Entropy fits right in.  Tonight he wore his Requeza hat.  (That’s a Pokemon, for the uninitiated.)  He’d worn it all day.  Entropy was amazingly well-behaved, asking people’s names, introducing himself, shaking hands.  Then it happened, as he interacted with one of the few kids his own age.

Kid sitting next to Entropy says, “Dude! You have your own Requeza hat!  That’s awesome!”

I want all my life to be like that.  Dude!  You are awesome!

Back to the boxes tomorrow.  The mountain grows behind the couch, and the empty boxes have taken over the entryway as well as much of the living room.  That’s for tomorrow.  For tonight remember: there are only 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

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This is it. That moment before an impending move when it seems like the chaos will overwhelm us. We are drowning in a sea of boxes. Flash brings them home every week from the comic store.

The problem is, we have too much stuff. Mostly books. Games. Graphic novels. Video games and toys. And books. There is not a room in our home which is not abloom with literature.

However, we can only store so much. So most of the books, most of the shelves, are going. Everyone will get Kindles (mine is already two years old) and we will join the digital age. Now, don’t get me wrong, we’ll still have books. Hundreds of books. Enough books to educate a slew of children and ourselves. But fewer. Far fewer.

For now, the boxes loom in the hallway reminding us that time is counting down each day. We now have less than two months to go, and our new life must be ready for her first voyage. It sounds like a lot, but feels overwhelmingly immediate. I start to question my madness…

This morning this was the view from our house. The sun was coming over the mountains in the East, and I knew I would miss some parts of this place, this life. We’ve been in So Cal for 20 years. My entire adult life. Feeling melancholy tonight.

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I wanted to change the world.
But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself. 
–Aldous Huxley
 
I’ve always been the stable one.  The level-headed, reliable, succesful doer.  I kept on going despite the odds, despite grief, despite tragedy, despite a full-time job and two needy kids and a career that demands perfection while paying lip service to forgiveness.  And this past February it all came crashing down on me.  All it took were a few emotional kicks from some angry people, and I dropped to my knees and broke.  Suddenly I couldn’t face the responsibilities of life that I’d been plugging through for the past 20 years.  My shell cracked and inside I found an overwhelming sadness that almost led me to take my life.
 
But I didn’t.  I reached out to my wonderful husband (we’ll call him Flash), and I was quickly in a treatment program, sitting in a room with people who had life stories that were far beyond my experience.  But I listened, and I learned, and it soon became clear that most of my problem was centered in the barrel of “should”s I carried around each day.  I should own a house by now.  I should spend more time with my family; no, more time on my career; no, family! 
 
Three months later, I’m on a new road.  Or soon will be.  I’ve taken a leave of absence from my job, and Flash and I and our two young sons–we’ll call them Entropy and Kinesis–are selling out or packing up everything in our four bedroom house to drive cross-country and focus on relationship with each other and reconnecting with grandparents and others.  And so I chose my blog title:  Ad Meliora.  To better things.  That’s where I hope I’m headed.
 
I’m RevMommy.  After almost 2o years as a pastor I’m changing direction.  It may bring me right back where I started.  But I suspect the journey is going to be interesting.
 

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