Adventure Time

Cold Water Kickstart (sequel to In the Cave)

So here’s the part where I explain the reason why my recent life has been like the cave at Enchanted Rock. I’m about to start a whine session…

I’ve been having a really hard time getting my life together lately. I graduated from a top-tier university within three years, and eight months later I’m still living with my parents because I can’t seem to find a decent job. I’m working around 25 hours a week to make around $420 dollars a month (that’s freelancing for you…) and my novel has been the only thing that I really feel that I have going for me. And of course, because I recognize that it’s the only thing going for me, I get an insane case of writer’s block. Meanwhile, my friends are hundreds of miles away and I’m too afraid to call them because I feel like every time I do I’m risking a huge emotional breakdown and spending the next hour sobbing to them about why I’m so dissatisfied with life. (In case y’all are reading, just be glad I haven’t put you through this….) Because of this mild rut of depression that I’ve fallen into, I’ve been lazy about my schedule. I get up at 8am, don’t get my ass into work until 10:30, and then I when I get home it’s a struggle to get my butt out the door to do my daily run. I’m basically dying inside from self contempt.

So the obvious response to all this whining is:

It’s only by the grace of God that I have a roof over my head at all, and at least I have the freelancing gig to keep me going and at this point, I’m in a great position to experience the pressures of life and the benefits of God’s unending grace provision. This is a huge point of spiritual growth and development for me, and I shouldn’t waste all my time feeling sorry for myself just because I don’t have a road map to tell me every turn that my life will make.

It’s true, I’ll admit it. But letting go of the wheel is probably my most difficult challenge seeing that I’m a major control freak, and eight months of not having a clue what’s going on in my life is probably one of the worst kinds of torture you could put me through. All my life I’ve known exactly where I was going, what I wanted to do when I got there and how I was going to make that happen. That’s how I graduated with my bachelor’s degree at 20 years old. Suddenly, I’m without a road map, and the only peace I can find is when I separate myself from my very confusing and uncertain life, aka, going on a hiatus from the world at Enchanted Rock.

That being the case, I’ve made a rather unusual decision. I saw a fascinating article on this blog by Joel Runyon that made me realize what I need is a huge kick in the ass. And nobody (except for God) can do that better than myself.

I’m going to take the cold shower therapy challenge. As explained in Runyon’s amazing blog, the idea of the cold shower is to psychologically shock you out of your comfort zone. When you’re in you’re comfort zone, you’re never going to do anything amazing with your life, and you’ll never achieve your goals. The only way to do that is be forcible, self-motivated change. And that’s exactly what I plan to do. Thirty days of starting my day with a run and a cold shower, paired with the revitalization of my job search and my writing.

Run, cold shower, go to work by 9:00 am, apply for one job, write two pages. Every. Day.

I know this method may sound a little odd, but I honestly feel that it’s the only way I’m going to be able shake myself out of the doldrums. I have never been the type of person to just jump face first into something and run with it. I admire those people. I’m a planner. And when I don’t have a plan, I feel lost. So this strange type of therapy is the perfect way to get the queen of planning out of her terribly uncomfortable comfort zone. I need to come to the complete realization that sometimes, the only thing you can do in life is to trust that God’s plan is far greater and far more precise than ours can ever be, and sometimes the best thing that we can do is to trust Him and jump into life. Right now, all that I can count on is that I’m doing ok, and I need to take advantage of this opportunity to get my personal life and my novel up and running, so for the next 30 days, I’m going to cold water kick-start my life.

I haven’t decided whether I’m going to blog about this challenge. I think I should, but it all depends on if I have enough time to do that along with my other self-assigned duties. I invite you to participate in this challenge with me. Kickstart your life!

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Categories: Adventure Time, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Cave.

So I promised a blog update about my trip to Enchanted Rock in March. As you can see it’s taken me quite a while, and it’s probably going to be a two-part treatise. The truth is, I didn’t want to write about it. For some reason that trip, as amazing as it was, seemed like it was rubbing me the wrong way every time I thought about it. I think I’ve finally realized why.

While I was at the park, I had the fantastic experience of going caving for the first time. It was a small cave; it probably only took me and my two guy friends around 20 minutes to go from entrance to exit. I’m going to admit that it was a pretty scary experience for me. We were clambering through the pitch black with nothing but headlamps and a general idea that we probably weren’t going to die. The cave was extremely slippery and on several occasions I hit my head, elbows and knees on rocks (yes, we were unprepared with elbow/knee padding and helmets. I’ll remember that for next time). I managed to keep my cool with the help of my friends Austin, who was very patient with me and Lee, who decided to spontaneously burst into an acapello version of Lil Wayne every time I would start to panic.

Now, I realize I may come across as kind of a wimp. Let me assure you, this cave was rather dangerous. There were plenty of tight spaces to squeeze through and slippery shelves of rock to slide down. The part of this experience that scared me most was that I was never completely sure where to put my feet. There was a lot of blind scrambling to find foot and hand holds and a little bit of unintentional sliding toward dark abysses.

After it was over, Austin said something to me on the drive back home that really made me aware of myself. We were discussing my first caving experience and he told me that every time I get into a situation of fear or uncertainty, I harden up and push through, no matter how scared I am. He was right, and I’ve slowly realized that the past eight months of my life have felt like a dark, slippery cave, and that’s why I’ve been so resistant to talking about Enchanted Rock. The geography around Fredericksburg, Texas is one of the most beautiful landscapes I had ever seen. Contact with the natural world and the experience I had there with my close friends was a powerful force of spiritual and personal revitalization for me.

Those few days were an amazing escape from the mundane. It’s like asking a man who’s spent the last eight months in a cave to talk about the three days he was released to see the sun.

Categories: Adventure Time, Spiritual | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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