Jason's Blog

On Fall and all that’s colorful

by on Oct.06, 2005, under General

Well, it’s that time of year again – the time when the weather changes, and I pull sweaters out of storage. It’s the time of year when leaves start changing colors, when there are hay rides and apple cider. Where you feel Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas coming up. It’s a time for football, home games, friends, walks in the park, and family. With the coming of fall I always end up emotional outpourings and introspection. It’s a time of year when I do lots of contemplation and self-analysis, trying to figure out where my life is and where it’s going. Not necessarily healthy, but definitely part of who I am. Now, to some of my thoughts and what has been going on.

With regards to work, I’ve been massively wrapped up in work, developing application code for a rewrite of one of our major applications. I was able to release a few components via permission from Campus Facilities as open source which hopefully others in the community will be able to make use of. To see the projects I’ve worked on, please take a look at my project page: http://poetshome.com/development/?page_id=15. I’ve been swamped every day, doing massive amounts of code and it wont’ slow down anytime soon. The program will probably take me a good 6+ months to write, and then probably another 6 months of “tweaking” for user support. SO, massive amounts of work every day.

I’ve also been wrapped up the last few month with moving into a new apartment. That has been a chore in and of itself, and a whole new set of experiences. My roommate from last year, James, and I moved into a new apartment with two girls. This is the first time I’ve ever lived in an apartment or house with 4 people – that of course adds dymanics – but the big thing I’m getting used to is living of course with two girls. I grew up in a family of boys with no sisters to speak of and as a result I’ve got very little experience living wtih girls (I don’t exactly count my mom). I’m still trying to figure out how all this will work, and wondering whether it will work next year.

During this same time, I’ve also made a few trips. I flew out to Colorado to help Joan move to St. Louis to be with Christian. That was a fun trip overall, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to help them out. With that, I saw some people I haven’t seen in quite a while such as Dan Poth and Joe Cosas as well seeing the beautiful area in Colorado. Thankfully though, driving back inovled seeing Kansas at night (and thus, seeing the same thing during the day – nothing). Was a good trip overall, although very tiring.

For more recent trips, I went to my grandmothers last weekend and am going again this saturday. I’ve been very productive down there, including things like cutting firewood, cleaning out her flu, and this weekend will be cutting grass and helping clean out the old house my father built there. It’s about 4 hours to drive there and 4 hours back to Columbia, which is a fairly extensive amount of time. But, it’s definitely a good drive too – lots to see and experience.

That’s about it for trips, but there is an interesting side effect to fall closing in and the trip to my grandmothers. Visiting my grandmother tends to bring all kinds of emotions to the surface. I think of trips there as a young kid, playing in the dirt while my father worked on the house. I remember swinging on a big rope, back and forth which was hung on a tree limb. I think of the garden and of other times, traipsing around the countryside. I have memories of seeing the tractor down there, my grandmothers dogs including a beautiful collie. I think of all the other dogs and the bunny rabbits she had. I think of the old houses she’s shown me, where she grew up, and most of all, these memories start me thinking of the past as well as the future.

Time passes so quickly sometimes, and it’s happening so fast that I can’t help but wonder what will happen. When you see a house, a hundred years old collapsing and falling apart (not my grandmothers but an older one I’d seen way out in the country), I can’t help but think of who was in that house, where they are now, and wonder where I’ll be in the years to come… Fall really gets me thinking about this stuff for some reason. Will next year be the year I leave Columbia? Will next year be the year I buy a house? Will I find a job in a new state, or finally find a decent relationship? Will I ever have kids someday? I really have no clue but these questions questions are coming to the foreground. They seem particularly intense this year and I don’t know whether it was this move, the new roommates, or just life in general that has prompted more thinking, but I’ve definitely been in the introspective mood lately. I can’t help but look around and wonder where my life is going, and where I’ll be in the future.

In areas other than work and apartment life and the occasional trip, there isn’t much to tell. The last two months or so has been somewhat different for me in comparison to any other point in my life. I’ve become more or less a recluse, going to work, coming home, and just sitting at home. I haven’t gone out to play pool in almost two months. I don’t really hang out with friends right now, but work and sleep. Oh occasionally I’ll see someone on the weekend or do things like that. But, considering I used to play pool near twice a week, plus make repeated trips to St. Louis or other locations, this has been a massive shift for me, and not all that good of a shift, I think. I should get out more, but that’s also been a challenge, as I’ve no one to go out with, really.

One aspect of this that I’m definitely struggling deals with going to mass. As many know or have guessed, I’ve stopped going to church. I haven’t been to a mass since this last spring when I went to a friends wedding. It’s something I’m struggling with more and more lately. I almost went this last Sunday, but there’s a part of me that wants to go, and a part of me that hates the thought. For me, church is about being a community of faith and believers, but very much a community. However, I haven’t seen much of a community there recently. Further, the “politics” and behaviors of many of the leaders bother me – a great great deal. So, I’m more or less cut off from what was one of the biggest parts of my life. I’m still struggling to figure out whether I’ll go back to that, see if I can integrate that into my life.

But, my problem and one of the reasons I’ve been less active lately, is that I have very few friends to be active with. Going to church isn’t like going to a community right now – it’s going to a place where I feel unwelcome and out of place. Thus the problem I’m faced with right now with a lack of ANY community. There are people I do know, but none that I know well or “hang out with” regularly. Life has been very lonely lately. The problem though is I don’t see an easy way to change it. Going to mass regularly wouldn’t necessarily solve my problems but is an option, but not one that would necessarily work. Leaving Columbia wouldn’t necessariliy work either, as with any new location, making friends is always difficult. I do have a lot of friends in St. Louis, but I doubt that would work any better due to distance issues and the whole actually meeting up with people. I really don’t know what to do, but lately things seem to be more problematic in this regard. Hopefully sometime soon I’ll find an answer….

I guess in the end, Fall is an interesting time for me. It’s a time for a traditional Halloween party, but this year I wonder – who would actually show? Who do I know anymore? Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all of these holidays are a time for community and friends, a time for fires and hayrides, but where is this community for me? Where do I go, and what do I do? I’m lost and struggling to find my way…. in the end, all I’m able to do is hope and pray for a future I’m hesitantly facing. Perhaps more trips or looking up old friends will help….

6 Comments for this entry

  • Kristi

    Thinking of you… let me know when you’re in StL again, k?

  • site admin

    Hiyas Kristi I’ve actually been in St. Louis the last two weekends – was visiting grandmother to do some basic chores down there (clean flu, cut up some dead trees, clean, etc.) SO, not sure if I’ll be in anytime soon.  There’s a chance I might come in this weekend – I’m debating it heavily.  I might come in Friday night for a concert, and leave Saturday morning – well, that’s probably what I’ll do, but not 100% sure yet…

  • Stephen

    I’m sure you’ll sort things out eventually.

    As for the church thing, you probably know how I feel by now. I’m quite happy not attending mass anymore. Every time I do, I hear the same old, out of touch crap that drives me completely insane. It is possible for people to be good hearted, kind individuals without the influence of a major reliegion and its many rules which completely impede rational thought and natural evolution of thought. This is why I don’t go (among many other reasons), but I would never judge negatively anyone who does still go (I’ve been guilty of this in the past). I would say if it causes more frustration than not, its not at all worth it.

  • site admin

    I definitely know and understand how you feel about church, Stephen.  I do know that there are good people in the church.  Father Mike Quinn is a perfect example of that in my view – he has shown more of Christ’s love than many, many other people I’ve ever met – and in doing so followed God’s greatest commandment.

    The trick there – there’s such a thing as faith without religion.  Or more, that believing in Christ and God does not require one to go to church, and follow all the tenets of any particular church.  Lately I’ve come to the conclusion that what really matters is what you personally believe – and that’s something no one can know without searching for themselves.

    As for going to mass – well, I’m still deciding and thinking.  I have no clue what I’m going to do, or where I’m going, but I’ll be doing my best to go someplace

  • Rebecca

    Fall is a natural time for reflection.  For the first part of a person’s life, fall represents a new grade in school, new classes, new faces and a clean slate, so to speak.  And self reflection can be healthy if it leads to personal growth.

    Finding new friends post college is not easy.  The KC Star’s headline article for yesterday’s (Sunday’s) paper was “The Great KC Date Debate”.  The article outlined how hard dating is in KC and the midwest in general b/c 20- and 30-something people gravitate to their high school and college cliques rather than branching out.  I think the problem applies to friendships as well.  It is just harder to make friends when you are not forced to interact with hundreds of people your own age every day.  Work can be a tricky place for friendships with stress and politics; while church would be a good source, if you can actually find anyone within your age group.  Definitely, keep reaching out and dont loose hope.

    Church attendance is a personal choice, but I know how frustrating it can be to not find the community you are seeking, especially if you have found a community before.  Of course, God is the ultimate friend.  Most people only seek a relationship with him when they need help and yet he is always a willing friend whether you seek him or not.

    Hope you are able to find some clarity soon.  Oh and, disregarding the jab at Kansas , you are welcome to make a visit or just drop by while passing through the great wasteland.

  • Jason

    Sorry for the extra post – I’m trying out Captchas

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