After being home for almost six months, I continue to find it surprising how difficult it is to readjust to “normal” life. I’ve gone back to work, found a semi temporary place to live, and overall have struggled with picking my life back up in some shape or form.
If you’ve followed this blog, you probably noticed that the only posts I’ve consistently made lately have been food related. That’s largely because I’ve struggled with exactly what I want to be writing about now. I haven’t had much chance to go hiking lately. I’ve been working around 50-60 hours a week, not to mention the chiller temperatures in the Kentucky winter. I’ve got a fiction short story I’ve been working on, but it’s coming in spurts and isn’t quite ready to post yet. I’ve put together a few Bible study guides for my local church, but other than that I just haven’t had too many ideas.
Besides work, I’ve been filling my time mostly with reading. I work third shift now, so scheduling social time hasn’t been terribly convenient. Besides, I honestly just haven’t felt up to it. I enjoy getting on something like social media, where I can have controlled conversations which allow me to think through a response before making it public as well as being able to read someone else’s words multiple times to ensure I have a complete understanding of what they’re saying. In person socialization, on the other hand, is something I find exhausting. This isn’t strictly a post hike experience, in all honesty I’ve always found most social engagements tiring, even with people I like. I simply prefer a more controlled exchange, if I were living 30 years ago, I’d stick to letters, but I find the immediacy of electronic conversation a better compromise.
I am trying to get out of the house more. I’ve been trying to reconsider my area from the point of view of a tourist or a new arrival. I took a long walk through the downtown area, in part so that I could participate in the Women’s March. I was surprised at how much I’d missed of the views of the city from the Ohio River, and the bustling commotion of downtown. I didn’t have time to check out any bookstores or coffee shops, but passed by several I’d like to visit at a later date.
The march itself was a different experience tied in with my general mood. I’ve made no secret of my distaste for the newly elected president, and that feeling has only grown in the last few weeks. I find his stances and even more his rhetorical style completely repugnant. I’ve always been someone interested in following the news, but with the exception of supporting my local library and participating in a few groups regarding police brutality, I’ve been far less politically active in the last few years than I was previously. I had volunteered for the Gary Johnson campaign back in 2012, but at the time I was still agnostic in my faith.(technically, I termed myself as an “antagonistic” at the time, but that’s a separate story) After that I began a return to the church and my Christian beliefs, I found myself pulled in a far more liberal direction. This is interesting because I grew up with very much the impression that being a Christian and being a conservative were largely synonymous. Having left the faith and then returning though, I’ve found myself re-examining my assumptions and discovering a series of disconnects in that idea structure. The teachings of Jesus are almost universally anti wealth, or at least sharply suspicious of it, and creedos to care for the poor and the abandoned serve as the very center of the faith. What’s surprising is that I did not come to these conclusions by attending a liberal church, in fact I’d say the church I attend is fairly politically conservative. But when listening to comments made from the pulpit defending these conservative values I found myself repeatedly struck by the contradictions to scripture I found being stated. I love the people who I met through that church, and I enjoy the fellowship there. I have slowly found though a disquiet in my spirit as I continue to see these contradictions play out. I firmly believe in the God of scripture, but I think we all do a fairly poor job of listening to what that God is actually saying. Politics is simply the least of the areas this is true, but certainly the more obvious.
As it is, I’m working everyday to find my voice and exactly what it is I’m needing to say. The truth is, I am quite capable of having an opinion on everything, because I’ve yet to meet the topic that I don’t think is worth giving some thought to. However, I do think that it’s worthwhile to find a specific set of topics that I can focus on and give serious efforts to. And what kind of writing will I be able to consistently get put to screen? I can continue to simply write down whatever crosses my mind, but the some point I feel like I should be looking for that niche I’m set to fill. In the meantime, I’ll continue my more mirandering thoughts and we’ll see how many of you decide to come along for the ride.