In all honestly, the last fourteen months since coming to Colorado has been a struggle for me. I faced all the usual struggles of moving, like making new friends and getting settled in, but I have not been able to find meaningful work and that has come at the expense of my family’s financial security. I’ve been open about this struggle and I’ve also been open about the blessings in my life such as my family, our adventures, our new friends and our church. There’s been a lot of good that’s come out of our move and I’m incredibly grateful for that.
However, in the alternate universe of social media, I hope I haven’t given anyone the opinion that (1) I live a perfect life or (2) that my life sucks and I’m lying about living a perfect life. My life is awesome, that’s true. Jesus promised us an abundant life, not a perfect one, and that’s the life I live, abundant, but not without problems.
When I post quotes from Marcus Aurelius or from Scripture, it’s not because I’m preaching, it’s because I read that and it spoke to me. I needed to hear it that day and if I needed to hear it, then maybe someone else in my life needed to hear it too. I know that’s true because numerous people have bought Meditations due to my repeated quotations of it. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing a brother or sister strive for that wisdom and try to improve themselves. I’m glad to have played a part, but I think it says something of the caliber of people I choose to surround myself with that they are working hard every day on their own journeys.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. I love celebrating life’s little moments with all of my loved ones, but my pain, vulnerability and despair are saved for those closest to me. I know there’s a lot more people out there that love me and would be there for me, but it’s sometimes tough to let some of those things out. As Brian Fallon wrote in “Handwritten”, “There’s nothing like another soul who’s been cut up the same.” We reach for those who understand what we’re going through, or we reach for those who understand us completely.
As a writer, I sometimes bleed onto the page, whether that is the pure written word or one of the many thousands of songs I’ve written over the last twenty-five years. I give a part of myself away there, or here, but so often it’s cloaked in metaphor or in storytelling so as to not give that pain away directly. I’m currently working on my memoir and I’m opening my jugular and spilling my pain, heartbreak, joy and sadness all directly to the page. It’s not easy to do, in fact, on more than one occasion I had to stop writing because I couldn’t stop crying long enough to type. That’ll get released when it’s done, but I can’t let go of that every day to the world via social media.
So, if you see something I post and think thoughts like, “who the hell does he think he is?”, that’s okay, I don’t blame you. I’m sure it comes off as arrogance or bragging sometimes, but in my heart, I’m just trying to inspire others the way many of you inspire me. I want everyone to live an abundant life, because it really is magical, even if it’s not without its pain and anguish.