XXX: Three Decades Of Life

“I don`t know what to expect in my twenties, my teenage years have been weird enough already… I can`t imagine what my twenties will hold – I feel as though I am at the beginning of a great adventure.”

– journal entry, July 12th 1996

Looking back on July 12th 1996, `tis hard to believe that I have come so far in the last ten years – at the same time, it seems impossible that only ten years have passed between the person I was and the man I am now. Foolish and deceived though I was at the time, those words yet bore themselves out – for much of what has occurred since was indeed rather unexpected.

On July 12th 1996, my mind was in nearly as much flux as my life. Candace and I were dating, and our relationship had taken a rather serious turn – I was between jobs and unsure as to what to do next. A later journal entry that Summer refers to a construction job, but I am sure it was just another link in the chain of my vagabond existence and my existential dilemma.

I remember I was seeking out other musicians (for an as-yet undetermined musical endeavor) without a great deal of success, and spending my evenings either cruising the drag with Candace or meandering around the 9-0-3 with my cronies.

Life seemed to be quite difficult to understand, and I was not entirely sure what to do with myself. The only certainties I really had was that (a) I did not care for the conventional “rites of passage” to which many of my peers were engaged (college, career, marriage, 2.5 kids, etc.) and (b) whatever I was going to do, I wanted to be able to stay as close to Candace as possible.

Before my “twenties” were half-over, I had worked a considerable amount of various jobs and made a couple abortive attempts at continuing my formal education – not to mention that I had read hundreds of books, filled nearly a dozen compositions with my own ramblings (before summarily destroying them), sat many long days-and-nights in coffee houses and bookstores, listened to hours upon hours of music and scammed Columbia House out of a small fortune`s worth of CDs.

Wandering and wandering upon wandering, I would take to my feet night after night through side-streets, back-alleys, and forests – searching for something, anything to give me an answer for the madness which pervaded all of existence. Time held me green and dying, though I sang in my chains like the Sea.

Gradually, there seemed to be some form amidst the chaos and I thought I had found a misty path upon which to tread… Art. Yes, I would labor within the disparate forms of visual and performing arts in carving my own creative/destructive swath through humanity.

In the Summer of `99, Candace was pursuing her own dreams in the Theatre department of OU and I (having just dropped out of Art School) was working as a Carpenter to fund my forthcoming invasion of Austin in the Autumn. I was going to stay with some friends and work in construction (there`s alwaysconstruction in Austin) until I could find my own living arrangements. From the overabundance of slacker-musician types, I would have a veritable pick of the litter with which to launch my visions. Yes, everything was falling into place, until…

…suddenly, everything changed.

In a dizzying whirl, the events of my twenties spun me from the foolhardy imaginings of an extended adolescence into the grim and time-greedy reality of domestic practicalities. In the cause/effect nature of existence, I was soon married with a child on the way – but in a twist of fate that could only be considered cruelly ironic (especially by those who knew me in my raging youth) I became a Christian and was baptized in the late Spring-time of my twenty-fourth year.

My priorities underwent a dramatic shift. Being captured with a zeal for the exhortation of the Gospel message, I misunderstood the universal calling for every believer to go forth and bear witness to the Truth (Matthew 28:16-20 and Mark 16:14-20) with the formal call to the role of Pastor of a church – an error which, thanks to the wise and prudent counsel of trusted advisors, worked itself out with time and patience.

Through several twists of providence and serendipitous opportunity (How close those two often seem to follow one-another!), I learned that I had a talent and ability to teach others. So, with I working two concurrent teaching jobs, as Candace was working one of her own (while attending college part-time), we saved our money and moved up to Oklahoma in the Summer of my twenty-sixth year.

It was a difficult transition (and, to a degree, still is) to uproot and remove ourselves from the familiar surroundings of dear ones – not to mention, a reputation and background of resources within the area. There is a part of me that still yearns to return, but it is only a small part. Even so, a return may yet prove inevitable with time – but that aspect of GOD`s Will remains unknown to me.

Fragments of those days are captured in a few isolated journal entries from June and July of 2002. Much of what has transpired from thence until now has been captured within the voluminous writings contained within here – and I dare not try to summarize it at this point.

Thus, my current state of being and place within the universe has gained considerable metaphysical viscosity in the last couple of years. The fuzzy-headed and laissez-faire meanderings of my novitiate adulthood have faded under the precision of maturing conviction and resolute determination.

Ah me, when I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up my childish ways.

Currently, I am father to two lovely children; children whom I love dearly, whose education and growth remain essential priorities – and yet, my beloved is great with child; another child, whose place in my family must be prepared.

Perhaps more children may yet come; I confess I am not entirely in the way of knowing at this point – though I do have opinions on the matter.

So today is the first day of my thirtieth year… what has passed is but a prologue. My work has now only just begun.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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