once it was in my hands, it lost so much of its grandeur

i believe there are two types of people in this world, those who are unhappy and those who know that they control their happiness and are, therefore, happy.
i had this discussion this summer with one of the truck drivers somewhere between tenn. and colo. theres something about the open road and the dynamic that two guys in a small cab create, that facilitates meaningful dialog very well. this whole idea of happiness came from a discussion on our futures. for a while now people have been telling me that i need to pick a career that will allow me to do what makes me happy, everyday. thats always seemed like a sound argument.
heres where i see the problem, do things make me happy or do i make me happy?
before i get too far in to this i should give a definition of what i am calling happiness. to me its enjoying life, having a smile on you face. what i am not talking about is joy, which i believe can only be found in Jesus Christ.
when i was a kid pogs were cool. my entire class would play before, after, and sometimes during school. the pog companies were constantly putting out new slammers and there was one i wanted bad. i saved up some money and bought it at the Comic, Cards, and More store on my way home from school. i hadnt bought many things with my own money up too that point so it was a big deal to me. one thing i discovered was that once it was in my hands, it lost so much of its grandeur. so i found a new slammer to fantasize about.
this pattern continued through elementary school with nano pets and yo yos, then in high school with guitars. i see the same with friends and their jobs.
this is why i think i am the one who makes me happy.
the same goes for sadness. i think you can follow my logic there.
there are people in my life who are not happy. i want to scream into their pitiful eardrums, "suck it up!"
im working to be happy now. today. because i have no excuse not to be. and neither do you. because 90% of the time unhappiness is weakness. God has given us great things to rejoice in. a joy that should be expressed.


banana gram hangovers

our time at ft lewis college has been packed with more ridiculous situations than a daytime soap... we should make a soap opera episode for our end of the year video...

i think our team has grown a lot during this time.

there are more questions rolling through my mind at this point than at any other moment, of any summer ive been a part of. and theyre rolling faster and faster around each turn of thought, threatening to collide in a mess of broken hopes and redirected ambition. im hoping theyre not all talk.

also, i may have slipped back into a summertime addiction. ive been waking up every morning with a banana gram hangover from the night before, head jumbled with random words, groggy from sleep deprivation, and stomach in turmoil from late night snacks that were slightly less than nutritious.

along those same lines, our team have discovered the texas taco at serious texas bbq here in durango. its youre basic artery clogger. pulled pork, cheesy potatoes, and jalopenos in a flour tortilla and covered with bbq sauce. if youre ever in town, it has my recommendation.

3 camps left. holy crap.


the 4th

so its sunday morning here in durango, co (and most of the rest of the world i suppose). these past few days our team has had some much-needed, much-appreciated, time off. we left louisiana tech university on wednesday and drove directly to arlington, texas. that night some of the team went to a texas rangers game, in which the rangers won over the angels thanks to a thrilling bottom of the ninth, full count, home run score.
the next day most of the team spent the day at six flags.
im realizing now why my last few posts have been much more abstract than this one, im boring myself.
but i do want to be able to read this one day and remember the incredible blessings, in relationships, experiences, and knowledge, that i received this summer...
so yeah, we went to six flags, it was fun.
albuquerque appeared like the mirage of a smoking hott brunet on the horizon at about 8pm the next day (im trying to spice up the details). not too surprisingly, despite all our history, i was excited to be back. we ate deserts at flying star and laughed under the neon lights of historic route 66, as though walking past those tattoo parlors, bars, and quirky coffee shops, in each others company, embraced everything we were searching for in a summer.
yesterday, we spent the afternoon at our final destination. durango knows how to do the 4th right. from parades, a live country western band, to street dancing, all set in the quintessential colorado downtown tourist trap. and to top it all off, we sat shoulder to shoulder (on prop stools from the set truck) in the glow of the firework show against the mountainside backdrop. the girls oo'ed and ahh'ed over each colorful burst and began to plan how they would incorporated fireworks in to their weddings, while the guys sat smiling and shaking their heads.
it was great.


short questions, short answers, and long pauses

im just not the hugging type.

i guess its been my experience that “huggers” are a needy bunch of people.

although, i hugged a guy tonight and it was great.

a few days ago miriam, our resource coordinator, came and found me in the overflow room here at louisiana tech. i had been checking my facebook and writing on this blog and frankly did not want to go see if the crying boy on the stairs needed any help. when i got to the stairs he was sobbing, head between his legs, the occasional tremor, the whole nine yards.

so i sat at the foot of the stairs, with my back to the wall, just a few feet from him. i asked him if he wanted to talk; apparently he did.

the next 45 minutes was littered with short questions, short answers, and long pauses. clayton's story made mine look like a fairy tale a mother would tell her daughter just prior to turning on her princess nightlight and shutting the door. his story was a nightmare that had reached its climax with the news of his best friend's suicide.

i spent most of the time there with him, staring at the gum wad on the carpet below me, not knowing what to say, but listening to every word and sniffle. listening to him tell me of two other suicides he had gone through in his world, and the one of those that left their body for him to find.

and now, tonight, he blamed himself for her death. the one who name appeared in the earth-shattering text message he had just received. they had fought over something silly a week before. he said she had no one else.

i checked on clayton through out the week. he told me he was doing better each time i asked.

tonight he found me after the worship service at front of house, hugged me tight and sobbed.

he had found Christ and couldnt wait to tell me. he was overjoyed and i was so happy to share that with him. he told me he wants to see his friend up there one day. we cried and smiled for a while, prayed and talked.

im praying for you clayton.