Spite

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While I generally prefer the pure and positive types of motivations for my tasks, I am finding that 2017 is presenting more than a few strong cases for doing good things purely out of spite.

That website my friend needs but his project partners abandoned him on? Watch me build that out of spite.

Those things I want to do for my own life, but I’ve been on-hold waiting for either time or people to help me with? Watch me excel out of pure spite.

 

I really don’t know how to feel about this, but spite is legit about to produce:

  • health
  • D&D modules
  • an extensive travel budget
  • blog content
  • knowledge in another three programming languages
  • a schedule for purchasing groceries
  • finishing my entire stack of comics so I can trade them in
  • finishing these business and design books
  • finishing online design courses

I wish it didn’t. I wish I could live in a world of doing things for myself and for others with a motivation driven purely by the positive, but no good deed goes unpunished, so I’m going to do these things out of spite instead.

Watch me.

Faith and I: Praise Breaks

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Lately, as part of things I am going to unfold about myself, faith is going to be one of them because it infuses and informs everything I do. Today, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite things in church: praise breaks.

Imagine being so filled with joy that you are overwhelmed by it.

Just imagine for a moment that you’re in a room of people and all of the emotions and thoughts that are normally a maelstrom all become directed toward the most loving person you know. Now imagine that, in the outpouring of everything about everything, you find yourself lost in that communion.

Imagine being so filled with joy that you are then overwhelmed by it. That it uses you as a conduit into the world. You just move. You don’t even think about it or what it looks like. It feels like not just your own joy, but the joy of multitudes.

It’s disruptive. It pulls you in like a riptide and right out of the world for a few briefs moments. You try to resist it, but the call is too strong. Too enticing. You’ve touched something sacred and now you have its full, undivided attention. Sometimes, other people see that opening in time and space and they join you, too.

It’s like being in love, really; anyone who has felt it will know what you mean, every word fails to describe it properly, and some songs bring you back to that moment instantly.

Tuning Out, Turning Off

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I’ve been on vacation for four days (it’s April 24th) and have yet to spend an entire one where I haven’t checked on the team for fear the world may have stopped turning.

However, the hours between checks has gotten longer. I felt more disconnected today and that was good. I stepped into the Mediterranean and let it embrace me for a while. I’ve always felt connected to the water no matter what body it has and this was no different.

I’ve thought about what I’ve had time to think about and be on vacation. It’s weird how serious the transformation is:

  • I want to be outside. Around people. Lots of them.
  • I want to explore things and I linger at the end of every moment.
  • I have the energy and will to create things at the same time.
  • I drink more water and generally eat healthier.
  • I’m online in general a lot less even when I can be.

Today, I took a ton of pictures except inside of a small place of prayer because I wanted to spend time with God more than I wanted a picture of the moment.

I wonder what my fifth day will bring me, but I also wonder when I will stop looking back to the world I left behind while I’m gone.

Surges

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Terror for me, in its purest form, is providing unfiltered information about myself to comment on. In an age of people being able to easily offered unsolicited advice – often without context – I’ve developed a steady habit of writing my thoughts in ways that can’t be read; to maintain my joy in a secret place that no one can touch.

Lately, however, with everything happening, I have to wonder if the increasing lack of sleep and the suppression of crackling energy is worth it. The unwritten pages are turning into blood in my palms and it’s dripping into the bed, onto the bus, into tons of times I am withdrawn but somehow up at 6AM.

So I’m going to do this thing of maybe putting things that are, somehow, closer to me than everything I’ve publicly written and let you read it.

The Turn

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Some days at work are really frustrating and while I’ve written about that, one thing I haven’t necessarily talked about is what happens as I process things, so I’m going to have that moment.

When I am frustrated, I usually just want quiet to allow my thoughts to process and get lost in the flow of my work. My job rarely affords me that chance which increases my frustration by orders of magnitude. Usually, at the height of this, God Himself sees fit to present me with a way to venture out of my own brain by sending me a person with a problem and a challenge to empathize.

Today, that was a client who just could not understand the implications of some changes she made in our software. She’s been at this for weeks and trying to solve some stuff and all kinds of frustrated. Herein begins the challenge to empathize: I have to see her frustrations as equally important to my own.

I start the journey somewhat reluctantly, but get into asking why. Then another why. Then another. Soon, it’s been an hour and I have forgotten about the last few hours of wanting to strike people with lightning bolts. I’m abuzz with thinking about how I can help this person somehow be a little less frustrated somehow and sometimes that is all you need.

Wouldn’t that be nice? If we could just get so lost in helping someone and trying to see where they are coming from that we stopped being about ourselves?

I imagine it would be great.

Joyous Melancholy

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As a matter of temperament, I don’t smile often in normal situations. I’m always kind, pleasant, and such, but if you were to judge how happy I was from my instagram, you’d send me to jail to prevent problems.

However, it’s not that I’m unhappy; most days, I’m fine. However, it takes a lot to make me smile or laugh because that’s overflow for me. When I say overflow, I mean to say that the joy is always there, but it takes something special to bring so much of it to the fore that it gets expressed physically.

Sometimes, it’s a phone call, a letter, a text message, a hug from a friend. Most times? It’s being lost in nature for a few hours without a drop of signal or talking to someone that speaks my language on all levels or listening to the ocean crashing against the shores like an applauding multitude.

I suppose that I’m in awe of the world at large, but the one that I live in day-to-day rarely sparks my interest except in small spurts. I wonder what you call that. I wonder what the word is for that.

Whatever it is, that’s why I’m always on a plane or in a car whenever the word vacation happens. My city is like a 5th-grade t-shirt; I was able to wear mine into my early 20s.

That’s OK. I think that’s the thing for me: even if no one understands my melancholy or my joy, I’m comfortable enough with both to not need additional approval of it. While I sit with them, I imagine places larger and farther away from here where I can write and dance and just be.

When Times Are Hard

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You’re going to walk into the office or desk or just to the front door and feel like everything is too heavy for either yourself or someone else and when that happens, professionally our approach is just to try to patch the wound with some sentiment like “Try to find the positive in this…” before patting someone on the shoulder and getting back to the grind.

However, I want to suggest that, the next time you find yourself or see someone else in this spot, I want to suggest a different tack.

  • Give someone a hug.
  • Talk to them, then listen, then (and only then) act. Always in that order.
  • When the dust clears, find them and do more listening.

There is a difference between caring and appearing as if you care. The people you interact with know the difference, so when it comes to you, be the care people are looking for.