Actively bringing about much needed change in our communities and hope to the broken and disheartened.
For me, being 26 and single causes a lot of anxiety. It’s not the only reason for my anxiety, it’s also because I haven’t started a “career” (well I guess I did start one, but it was a bad experience and I quit).
I think my anxiety is rooted in the truths I’ve learned because I am single and work jobs that aren’t for people with college degrees. The truth is that no matter how much you love someone it’s possible that they won’t love you. And the truth is you can give up everything to chase your dream, but devotion, commitment and hard work guaranty nothing.
I had anxiety before I learned these things, but it used to motivate me. I was anxious to find a wife, and it motivated me to find someone to love. I was anxious to live out a childhood dream and it motivated me give up everything else and pursue it.
Now the truth I have found only magnifies the anxiety and serves as the basis for my cynicism.
I’m sharing this depressed journal excerpt because I wrote it right be for I read about waterskiing. I’m so glad I read about waterskiing.
I’ve been slowly reading my way through What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell. I read a little and digest it for a few days and then read a little more. This morning while I was reading I responded to an urge I have been ignoring lately. I had an urge to stop, in the middle of the chapter and write. The result was excerpt above. It felt good to put some thoughts on paper, even if it was solely for my benefit and no one else would ever read them.
I grabbed the book and picked up where I left off . . . “let’s talk about waterskiing.” Bell started to unpack his aquatic analogy by describing a person who is learning to waterski for the first time. He recounts all of the basic instructions we impart to the poor sap who is about to find themselves in the middle of a full on fight or flight moment; keep the rope between the skies, hold on tight, lean back etc etc. And of course the most important piece of wisdom everyone yells from the boat as it idles away and slack is drawn out of the rope; “Let the boat pull you up!”
This is the most counter intuitive part of waterskiing. It doesn’t make sense until after your upper body has been pulled past the tips of your skies a few times and you have ingested more water through your eye sockets than you normally drink in a day. It becomes more and more apparent with each failed attempt that it is impossible to pull yourself to the top of the water. You must lean back and let the boat do the work.
Bell’s point in all of this echoes a lesson I have been learning and relearning since I moved to Berkeley to work in a coffee shop. The best posture in life isn’t leaning forward, its lean back. My personality lends itself to forcing things. I get an idea in my head and I work very hard to force it into fruition. The coffee shop in Berkeley was Ryan’s brain child. He knew he wanted to start a coffee shop, but didn’t jump right in and start forcing things. He moved to Berkeley and became a part of the community and kept his eyes open for the right opportunities. He wan’t in a rush and he took his time. As a result, Cafe Yesterday is one coolest spots in Berkeley.
I can at times, be overwhelmed by the anxiety that comes with the realization I am not actually in control of very much. Or, I can lean back and watch for the right opportunities, build real relationships with the people around me and trust that at some point I’ll be on top of the water, learning how to jump the wake.