Moving Forward

So often in life we spend way to much time thinking about the past, worrying that things did not turn out the way we thought they would. Life is a mess but a beautiful mess, I have what people call a bad case of mother bird syndrome. I collect broken and sad people who I then try to fix. The hardest part is that you have to realize you can help someone whos does not want help or is not willing to put in the work themselves. I am 100% once you have reached my inter circle will defended you, fight for you,  and love you to the point it ends up hurting me. Moving forward is a hard thing to do. Going blindly into the future not really know whats going to happen next. Yesterday was my 35 birthday and also a day that I have to let go of someone who I have cared about for years to the point of hurting other potential good and healthy relationships that might have come along.   35 has been a very introspective birthday for me, in reality in am close to middle age 70 or so would be my guess as long as I will possibly make it. I often say one of these day I will figure out what I want to do when I grow up, well its time to get going. Moving forward into a future that I dont expect to be easy but an adventure. When I look about at what I think have been the most courageous  moments of my life,  they where moments where I just did what felt right. Coming out be authentic to myself, getting not one but two art degrees, or going to Brasil with 6 people I didn’t know at all for 6 weeks these things just happened not sleep loss or questioning my choices it was just what I did. Now is the time to do and stop talking, stop thinking, and just do. Dream Big or dont dream at all. I just heard of the death of three people I have know for a long time, one lived a long and amazing life, one died to young but still got to see the birth of his grandchildren, the other was born sick and never lived a typical life but was a joyful no matter how he could or could not communicate it.  Life is messy and unpredictable live now for tomorrow might not come.



The last week or so I have spent a lot of time thinking about legacies and what they really mean. As I stand on the edge of the cliff of my 35th year, I really wonder what my legacy will be. My life has been crazy to say the least many many dark moments but a lot of amazing times as well. I often joke that I have a little black rain cloud that follows me around, and the reality is I prolly have the worse luck of just about anyone I know. I have often felt like I was put on earth to make other people feel better about their lives. In reality I have been very blessed in my life to have much more then a lot of people. As I get ready to start a new semester with a new group of freshman I realize how important what they feel is really unimportant like a art class could really change their lives. I have also had the realization that more of less I am at mid life or really close to it. And what is my legacy? What have I really done to leave my mark on this world. I look at all these bright eyed freshman running around and how I wish I could make them understand how great life is right now. But looking back I would not want to go back really, cause its taken along time to be okay with who I am and not make excuses for it.  But this legacy I want is something that I need to make happen, I have plastered my house this the words dream big, the time is now to dream and make things happen we are not promised tomorrow or even the next minute. I so easily let life get way to busy to really live life, Im trying to focus on really living life and not just functioning. Dream big!!!!


Dr. Jackson

This morning I was on campus picking up some stuff and dropping off some stuff, and had this major sense peace. Marshall’s campus has been a place with great memories and place with not so great one but its home. I have spent a lot of time in the last few days things about the past and how events we find unremarkable at the time can change our lives forever. In late august in 1999 I walked onto Marshall’s campus as a very awkward and quiet freshman, that morning I was heading to Smith Hall 621 for my art appreciation class.  In that room I found I about 49 other scared freshman and teacher that to be honest was super scary at the time. But one that would end up changing the course of my life in a direction that I would have never dreamed.

Over the course of years in college I had like 8 classes for her, and learned things that I had no idea I had really stored in my memory. From the first art survey course to the last class I had with her Italian Renaissance she pushed students who she saw something special in to do the very best they could. This would often lead to resubmit-ion after resubmit-ion, and anger and cussing at times.  But if you could not find the information you need give her 20 min worth of library searching and googling and she would have a list of anything you could need.  She always said he trick is finding the right wording to get it to tell what you wanted to know. Because she could see when you turned in something that was not your best you wanted to make it your best before she saw it. As a good college professor does she challenged our thought process making her students question everything from general written history, religion, and just general social constructs. There where times when I had to be pushed back in my seat so I did not get up and walk out others where I agreed so well I wanted to say amen.

As few year after I got to know her I was given the chance to teach that same art 112 class I had her for that first day. Well the reality is I most likely would not have been in grad school at all without her pushing me to do it. Every time I saw her she always asked if I had applied yet. And when teaching that first semester I had never taught anyone older then preschool, and well college freshman and preschoolers I learned have a lot in common but that’s another blog. In my unconfidence  of being able to teach she really went above and beyond to make sure I had the tool I need to be successful for myself and for my students. That class has become one of my passions and something I really look forward to each new semester, prolly dont talk to me about at the end of the semester you might get a different story :P.  As school is starting back we never know how one 9am art class could really change the course of your life in ways you never saw coming.


Mondays are always Mondays

Today has been a really cruddy day to say the least. Mondays always come for the good or bad, but the reality is that its not mondays fault. Its been a rough day and have I have spent much of worrying about things that I can’t really do anything about now. If we spend all of today worrying about tomorrow then what have missed today. We all make mistakes in life some of which a minor others major but once its done there is not much we can do about it other work past it. Yes some things in life we can’t fix others we can but spending time worried about it does not fix anything.

Things in life I believe happen for a reason and sometimes it very clear others time its really muddy. I am currently working a job that does not really match anything in life that I would have ever dreamed I would be doing, and in that I have made a mistake that might be able to fixed and it might not the out come of that mistake is still very unclear but I know I am that I am there for a reason and I hope that my time is not up till I learn that reason. Some places, some things, and some people are hear for season others here for a lifetime. I have grown and changed a lot in the last few years let some people leave my life that no matter how much you care for them they are toxic slowly bringing others back in that slipped away. Some times places bring us great joy other times and those same places can bring sadness, Joy and sadness are often way to connected for my comfort zone. The things in life that we think we want the most might be the thing we need to least. So come what many in time life happens and we just have to do the best with in time that we can.


Can we really agree to disagree?

Can we really agree to disagree?  I would love to think that we can, but I am not so sure honestly. A lot times this process just ended up hurting one or both of the people. Do we need people who disagree with a thought process around because they challenge us to grow and think about ways of thinking. Often people will get so focused on something small they loose the larger picture. We live in a world where if something is on CNN or Facebook it has to be true, when in reality while it might be truthful at times its very much not the whole story. In the political climate we are currently in it has became toxic to try and voice and opinion about about anything, which really does it matter what we think? We need to understand why think and believe the way do but does it matter to the mass of the people on our friends list? Prolly not even a little bit.

I have told in the last weeks that I am a uneducated, no one care about anything I have to say, that I am just some gay man who needs to mind his own business and repent, as well as other things for people I dont know from anyone. These are people that are hiding behind a keyboard saying things that I would almost promise they would never say in person. I have many people mostly from that past that I truly do love that because of the political beliefs that have are really setting me and lot of people I care about up for a very hard life for a few years or longer. So do I vocalize this to them? I most likley won’t I just go back to agree to disagree. But at what point do we have to for own well being and safe say no your just wrong we dont disagree your just wrong?



If’s or Buts

Can love have if’s or buts? We are called to love everyone and even if you are not religious I feel like this a pretty good idea right? If we do our best to love (and sometimes we fail) then we are trying to make the world a better place. Jesus loved just loved, he never said I would love them but or if they change….I would be able to love them. The English language is majorly lacking  in love, we have one word that we use to love coffee and the same word that we love our grandmother. In Greek that was not the case there are different type of love and I am not qualified to be able to give you lesson in that really, but they had a word for romantic love, one for how a parent loves a child, a word for love of friendships which for me kinda blends with that love a child kinda love at times they had words to really say what they meant.

Learning to really love ourselves is the first step in learning to love others. So many people are filled with self hatred and doubt, so of this self inflicted other times it is cultural, and the worse for me is when these ideas come from the church. Authenticity is what people crave you can always tell when someone is being authentic or trying to be something they are not. This weekend I had the privilege to talk to a group of 6 through 12 graders (and some adults as well) my challenge for them was to live authentically and to find people who love them no matter what. If you ever hear the words if or but when someone is talking about someone they say they love or could love my advice is to walk away, love is love not if or but. Micheal W. Smith said in a song that love isnt love till you give it away, giving away that love sometimes hurts cause its taken but handed back, or you love to the point that you have to just let the person live the life they want (we can’t help or change people who don’t want help).

It all boils down to and will always boil down to………