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Saturday, June 28, 2014

shit

i don't think i can do this much longer. in the moment it's all exhilaration and a lust for life & fulfillment... but afterward it's confusion, anger, disappointment, frustration, hurt. i don't think i can do it much longer. but i also don't have the will to put an end to it.

i want. this is normal, healthy, and very much me.

i also cannot have. this is right, logical, ethical, and also me. 

something will give. i don't want it to be our friendship. but eventually i have to give up smth. i'm not strong enough. this dance over and over is too much.

:(  help me

Saturday, June 07, 2014

as usual: the importance of relationships

i wrote this on the morning of the tenth of may, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen. i wrote it because it's who i am, and also because i was re-defining myself. this letter proved helpful for that goal. as of now, i don't know if it accomplished anything relationally, but that was indeed my primary goal for it. i pray God Himself blessed my effort.

~     ~     ~

Robert,

my name is isaiah micu. i'm a friend of Reelika's since 29 december 2004, when she called me an idiot for believing in God. good start to a friendship!

i had just typed an entry in my public journal (i guess these are called blogs now) regarding how my spirituality has shaped my life so positively, and Reelika said (among other things) that God had never done anything to make her joyful, so she didn't believe in him. my reaction was relatively calm, considering that in 2004, most people thought of me as contentious and short-tempered. some stranger taking time to insult my beliefs should have sparked a much angrier, less constructive conversation. a heated argument certainly would've been typical for internet conversations at that time.

but, perhaps the anonymity (i.e. impersonal nature) of the internet actually helped us, in this case. we knew nothing about each other: gender, age, race, appearance, intelligence, education... nothing. all i knew was that someone disbelieved in God, had feelings about it, and was willing to talk about it. i was studying Religion at the university at that time, working through a disbelief of my own, so the timing was rather helpful, as well.

since then, there have been weeks, months and even years when we didn't speak at all. but with the advent of Facebook and other arguably wonderful communication technologies, and because of some challenging circumstances in my life recently, we rebuilt our friendship.

i don't know if any of this matters to you. the reason i'm writing you is, i don't like being friends with Reelika, but not friends with you. based on the very little she has told me, you would rather not be aware of my existence.

i cannot hold that against you. many people dislike me, and some have good reason! but even if you are one of those, i would rather know it from you, directly. also, i have specific reasons for wanting to know you. the most important logic behind my writing this letter, is this: you are one of the most important parts of Reelika's life, as she is one of the most important in yours. it seems as natural for me to get to know you (or try, at least) as it does for me to understand her family history, her likes & dislikes, her occupation, et cetera. only, i think you affect her (now and in the future) even more than those other things do. you are at the center of her life... yet, you are the part of her life that i know the least.

i won't expect anything from you. if you decide not to respond, i'll take that as your desire to remain complete strangers, and i won't bother you again. but, i am hoping for more than that. at the very least, i'd like you to know who i am, even if i never get to know who you are. whatever you tell me of yourself, i'll consider it a privilege to know you that much. obviously Reelika thinks very highly of you, and since i think very highly of her, i would be honoured to hear from you.



i'll start. this is who i am. since i know that long-windedness is one of my flaws, i'll do my best to be brief:

i am the oldest of seven children, and i've mostly enjoyed that. i think birth order changes one's personality, just like being an only child vs. having siblings. i grew up taking care of myself first (which i took as an opportunity to develop my stubbornly independent trait), and then my siblings also. my first complete spoken sentence was "i do it!" and that attitude has mostly persisted. that habit of caring for others continued also, and paired well with my religious upbringing.

i believe in the Christian God as much as i ever have, but the church has frustrated me since high-school, and as a result i am quite disillusioned. there is much room for improvement, even by the church's own standards. i've spent a great portion of my time & energies volunteering in various church programs ever since grade school, but starting this month i'll cease my attendance entirely, for the first time in my life. i don't know for how long. i just need time to redefine myself in light of what i'm learning. 

i'm far from optimistic (i'm more a glass-half-empty-plus-it's-leaking kind of guy), but i hope i turn out okay after abandoning something i've been so devoutly committed to for so long.

more specifically, i hope to continue being others-minded, outside the context of vocational ministry. i should rephrase: i hope i can continue caring for others who need it, without depending on the church to help me do that. empathy isn't one of my obvious character traits, and i'm not always good at it, but it is close to the core of my identity, and though i'm exhausted by it lately, i also suspect i can't be entirely myself unless i find meaningful expression for it.

art is almost as important to me as my faith. it's another thing i couldn't live without, and i've considered teaching it because it has shaped me so positively since i was very young. of course i don't mean just enjoying it; i believe that if humanity has any universal responsibilities, one of them is to find ways to create, not just consume. i hope i get to do that forever, especially with music & photography.

of course, as important as art and spirituality are, personal relationships trump them. most of my journaling has to do with specific friends, enemies, family members, and the joys and trials thereof. if i could be good at just one thing, i would choose to be good at friendship. nothing can fulfill me, challenge me, tear me down, or build me up like friendships can. i choose to be vulnerable to people, and i encourage them to be vulnerable to each other as well, because i think this is another fundamental truth of humanity: that we are meant to interact with each other on levels both casual and profound, as catalysts and antagonists and allies and counterparts. i see few exceptions to this, regardless of a person's religion or personality or upbringing: that we (humans in general) are each others' reasons for living.

on a less serious note: my goals for the immediate future have mostly to do with my career and my hobbies. i've worked in the photovoltaic industry since winter 2007, and while the company has treated me favorably, i have known the whole time that it wasn't exactly my destiny. so in 2016 i will probably enroll in a master's degree program here in CA, and come out with a very useful degree in computer science or information technology. my long-term goal is to work remotely, so that while i'm working i can also travel the world taking amazing photographs and expanding my perspective, which i am learning recently is very limited. (i was home-schooled in a conservative Christian household; i have a great deal to learn about almost everything.)

as i work toward these external goals, i hope to grow in character. i'd like it if people could accurately describe me as patient, kind, selfless, loyal, calm, trusting, hopeful, humble, grateful. it's a tall order, and i'm aware that i have many times fallen far below my own standards. fortunately i've been trained to (and have trained myself to) try again after failing.



enough about me for now. please consider replying, even if it's just a friend request on Facebook, instead of a long hand-written letter. it's entirely plausible that you & i could never get along with each other even if we tried our hardest; so, if you've actually read this entire thing, i should be thanking you already, for the privilege of someone listening to me blather, when he has no obligation to do so.

another thing i've already decided, is that even if we never interact, i will hold you in high esteem. Reelika's choice to love you & be loved by you speaks volumes, so although she's said very little about you to me, i still have great respect for who you must be.

if i don't hear from you in days, weeks, months, years... you should know that i am open to conversation anyway. and though i can't imagine you ever needing anything from me, i am at your service if i can be useful in any way. 

one last thing: if i'm completely honest, i really hate meeting people because i can be very awkward socially. so if we do meet in person and i seem a little off, it's only because i'm a dodo. don't take it personally. despite the certainty of awkwardness (my own fault), i still hope we meet.

thanks again for reading my novel. it means a lot to me, especially because of my terrible lettering. my hand started cramping after the first paragraph because i'm so unused to it. 

i