It’s time for an update, and a question

Wow… a lot has happened since last time I sat down to write something. I think most of you know already, but here’s the scoop for those that don’t, and the details for those that already do.

Yesterday I finally moved closer to work. It was a long process finding the right place, but I eventually found a great place in a stellar location. So I’m now officially a resident of Arlington, VA. I’m a mere 12 minutes from work, only 200 yards from a Metro station, and less than 5 miles from the Pentagon. It’s pretty crazy. The downside to all of it is the fact that I had to move away from Nate and Maria. Even though I’ve been working at the church for a couple of months now, Nate and I still got to hang out a lot, even if it was me going into his office and distracting him on my days off. It does indeed suck to move away from one of my greatest friends ever, but we are at least close enough that I can still make the trip up once in a while. It really doesn’t even feel like that long of a drive since I’ve been doing it several times a week for several weeks. But it’s not the same as being neighbors.

Work seems to be going well, and we’re gearing up for the Holiday push. After my crazy work week at the beginning of the month, things have slowed down a little bit and I’ve been able to recover some of that time with a couple of extra days off. I’m actually at the end of a 4-day stretch right now. Last week I did lighting for Charlie Hall, who is one of the big touring worship artists right now. I don’t think he’s quite a household name yet, but his music is becoming increasingly popular, and the best part about it is most of it is very theological and meaningful. I’m also looking forward to the end of this week, because it means a week off for me to come home and see family and friends. I’ll be home for a couple of days, and then I’ll be down to see family at my Uncle Jesse’s down in KY. I haven’t seen a lot of family recently, including Grandma, so it will be really great to see them all. I’m also looking forward to seeing people at IWU. There are several people I really, really miss from there. Great friends.

And in an effort of full disclosure, I also had my first accident of my driving career. I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to talk about it, but it was a fairly minor thing, and God definitely protected me and my truck. I was turning left, and this guy was not turning right as his turn signal indicated. We didn’t hit extremely hard, and thankfully almost the entire impact happened on my front left tire. I had a small panel between the tire and the door dented in, and that was it. He had some front end cosmetic damage–it looked to me like he’ll need a new fender, hood, and grill. There didn’t appear to be any mechanical damage to either car. It definitely sucked for both of us, and I felt bad because the gentleman had just bought his car the day before. Did I mention his car was a Mercedes? Yup, a Mercedes (but not brand new, just new to him).

So on to my question for the week. I’ve been considering life a lot the past six months or so. It’s been interesting for me to actually move away from family and friends and begin to live life as an individual. Getting my first place by myself, starting my first real job, moving away from my family for the first real time. Part of what I’ve been going through is the whole family withdrawal thing that most people go through when they first move to college. Since I never really moved away, now for the first time I’m going through all those feelings. Up until now, I’ve had Nate to hang with, and besides being the only reason I moved out here, he’s also the only reason I maintained my sanity living out here where I know no one else. So now I’m out on my own. Sure, I’m living in a house with other guys who I think will become friends over time, but it’s still going to be hard for a while. So I’ve been asking myself, “Why do we move away from the people we love and out on our own all in the name of a job?”

Obviously we can’t live at home our whole lives, and if I was still in Marion I would be living in my own place. But why is it that it feels so necessary to chase a career first? My friend Josh Cash is a great example. He despises the idea of being away from home. Given his choice, he’d be in Bluffton, IN right now. But he’s in a great position at a church in Atlanta, and already feels like he’ll be there for a long time. I could probably have stayed home and found a livable job in Marion, or even in Indy (this breaks down a little because I originally moved out here because Nate lived out here, but stay with me). And now I’ve got a really great job that is a blessing, and I’ve moved away from everyone and everything I know to work it. Why? During Survivor tonight, one of the “tribes” won a reward challenge and got to experience a feast with an indigenous culture to the Cook Islands (they’re several hundred miles due south of Hawaii). It struck me at how simple these people’s lives were, and yet the things that are most important to them–family, honor, respect, loyalty–are the things that seem to be the first to go in our American culture.

I’m not planning on going back home and living in a hut anytime soon, but it just makes me think. My life is full of technology and advancement. My whole job revolves around those things. Yet at the end of the day, I have to wonder.

On a brighter note, I had the most fantastic experience today while I was out exploring my new hometown. I stumbled upon a little hair salon, and being in need of a haircut, I decided to try it out and see what happened. I ended up meeting Mailynn, a Vietnamese woman who moved to America when she was thirteen, and heard her whole life story during the haircut. I don’t think I can fully recreate the experience that I had today, but it does give me hope that I will enjoy living out here. There’s so much culture and so much diversity, that maybe if I can get past myself, I will learn a lot from a lot of people that I least expect it from.

Okay that’s it for now. Come visit me in the capital! I’ll take you to all the cool places, and give you all the insider tips on hanging out, and it’ll be fun! Yay tourism!