This has been a very odd year for me. A lot has happened yet it seems that the year has just flown by. Back in College my friends and I would have an end of the year get together where we would look at slideshows we put together from pictures of the entire school year. I miss those times I guess now living in the same city as one of my college friends has made me rather nostalgic. I ran into her in Target yesterday. That was really very cool! I haven’t run into someone I knew in a store since college. It made me feel like I was supposed to be here again. It was awesome. Anyway due to that I put together a slide show of my year and all the photos that represent 2008 for me….
When you are constantly having to ask for help you are constantly being humbled. I have had my car stuck in the snow for the majority of the weekend. It stinks. (smells like burned rubber… but really the situation is bad) So i have been having to ask for rides to and from the cabin. Yeah its been nice just sitting around a cabin with nothing to do but watch the snow fall, but after a while it gets old. I find it really hard to ask for help. I think because I have had to do things on my own for so long. It goes all the way back to High School when my mom was working so hard to support my brother and I. She had said to me… “Michael, (she calls me Michael) if you want anything extra you are going to have to get a job and pay for it yourself!” So I did and I worked hard to get the things I had. I remember prom was a major expense. Now i have to pay monthly for major expenses like, rent, electricity, car payment, etc. etc. etc. I guess it gives us all a sense of pride when we begin to do things on our own. Look at this! Look at what I did! All by myself. I am reminded of my 2 year old niece. She loves to help with everything! She also wants to do everything by herself, and if she does not get to, she throws a fit! But some of my fondest memories of the past 4 months that I lived with my sister’s family are of Catalina. Remembering her helping with something or doing a puzzle and looking up at me with a smile and saying “Uncle Michael, I did it! All by myself! Yeah!” What is even more funny is that she would say that even if we did help her out in someway. I think that is the way it is with us sometimes. We do something and God helps us, but we still want to scream out to the heavens ” I did it! All by Myself! Yeah!”
I wish sometimes that i didn’t feel so prideful. I wish that it didn’t hurt me to ask for help. I always feel so vulnerable, and ugly when i do. Like i am taking without any thought to those who I am taking from. In reality they wouldn’t have offered if they didn’t want to help. Yeah I am sure that at sometimes its difficult to help others, but they do it anyway. I am continually blown away by the generosity and hospitality of the families here in Billings. They really want me here. I have never been at a church that bent over backwards for me. This is huge, humbling, and amazing all at the same time. I still fear that I may not live up to their expectations of me. I fear that I might not be the man they think I am. My prayers are that if I am not God would make me into that. I pray that by being around the generosity and hospitality that it would make me more generous and hospitable. This song is running through my head this morning its an old supertones song and this line is my prayer for the day, “Lord, Let my pride fall down… I’m a little man.”
So as I was driving around Billings today to try and see if there were any apartment complexes that do not advertise on the Internet (they really all should!), I was listening to the radio. Now, as you may have guessed, All radio on Christmas eve is jam packed with Christmas music (of course). A song came on the radio and it caught my attention, “have yourself a merry little Christmas”. I started listening to it and I really started to feel sad. I mean this poor person seems lonely and just wanting to have a merry little Christmas. Then more depressing Christmas songs came on… “Last Christmas I gave you my heart, The very next day you gave it away…” “I’ll be home for Christmas, If only in my dreams…” “My grown up Christmas wish” and really not sad but i figured your perspective on it may grant it being a sad song “All I want for Christmas is you.” I started to think about my Christmas’s and how i have spent them the last years. I started to be rather depressed… The last great Christmas I had was back in 2004 which I think was the last time I spent it with my family. In 2005 I was living with my best friends and we sort of celebrated on Christmas eve with gifts for each other and some Old Chicago trivia, Ok that was fun. But the actual day they all went their different ways. I was left at home alone (by the way another great Christmas movie there). 2006 was the year I spent Christmas with Julie. I asked her to stay in Denver with me rather than going back down to spend with her family. I really shouldn’t have done that. I was just lonely and depressed and wanted someone to be there with me. She should have spent it with her family. I should have gone down to spend it with her and her family, but I did make a very extravagant meal that day. It was incredible the best meal i have ever made I would say. 2007 I spent with Sherri… If the wound was not as fresh as it is I am sure I would still view it as a pleasant holiday. We had only been dating for a few days at that point, but we were best friends before that so it was a lot of fun. This year… I am here in Montana. I chose to come up before Christmas because i needed to get back to work. My severance ran out and i just was able to find a part time retail position. I was not able to give what I like to. I really like to just spoil one person every Christmas. Yes I give gifts to everyone, but I spoil one person. Last year I gave a special person an Xbox 360. The year before was a lot of fun gifts to one person. The year before I was poor again so i guess I’m at that point again. I like making someones holiday just that much more incredible by getting them that one thing they really wanted whatever the cost. Anyway, I think that people are just a little selfish when it comes to Christmas. Granted I do like getting nice Christmas presents, but i think i enjoy just making one person’s special. I was going to do that for Sherri this year. I had plans. I had rather grandiose plans that I now realize that would probably not have come to fruition anyway. I do miss her. I don’t know if I miss the relationship so much anymore. I miss her friendship. I miss our talks together. I miss just being with someone who made me feel happy and not so alone. I just started thinking about that today as those depressing songs came on the radio.
I started thinking after that… I have so much potential ahead of me. This next year could be the year that I find the one. This could be the year that I really start to come into my own, as a youth director, as a person, as a giver. I started thinking about what next year may look like, and I was encouraged. I started thinking about what it would be like if I did find that one special someone and got to spend Christmas with her. I started thinking about: celebrating with new friends, inviting old friends to come celebrate with me, Having family come out to see me, playing in the snow, cooking an extravagant Christmas feast including the Christmas beast. I have so much ahead. I have so much to be thankful for. I was overjoyed by those thoughts. So much so that I now wish that those blessings would be visited upon those who spent Christmas with me over the past years. I pray that John, Casey, Jim, and Jessica enjoy their holidays as marrieds, that they create new Christmas traditions and Memories as new families. I pray that Julie may celebrate with her family finally, that she would see that she is loved and cared about more than what one man can show. I pray that Sherri have a wonderful holiday season filled with friends, family, and blessings in the form of maybe a new job and things that she really needs. May you reader also be blessed with wonderful potential and a wonderful year ahead. I pray your Christmas be just the one you need. If not then maybe next year you could be the person I spoil! lol!
It has been a very long time since I have blogged. The last time I had blogged was about a year ago and that blog was then used in a very unkind way against me. I am daring to put my thoughts back out into public once more. Why? I don’t know. Do I think people will read it? Probably not. But I figure it is sort of therapeutic for me to get my thoughts out of my head and onto the page so to speak. The catharsis is definitely something I need. I have been through a lot this year. I will not go into everything so as not to incriminate those may or may not deserve ill will. If you know me, or if you would care to know about what has happened leave a comment or send me a message and i would be happy to discuss those things further. Needless to say this is where I will be putting my thoughts to the page.