This is why this site exists. Why I exist.

“Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn questions with a strong, simple, “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose […]

“write about what your everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty–describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is no poverty and no poor, indifferent place[…]

“Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. — And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not.”

— Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


If you’ve come here, welcome! … This is my life. Here are my writings:

Love Defined. (March 2017)

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“Love Defined” is an intermittent series of writings that reflect the way “love” continuously gets redefined in my life over the course of my experiences over time. My goal is to have a record of the way love matures and manifests itself in action as I continually give it and practice it in my life.

Love Defined in March 2017:

Love is not found in the strength of its grip but in the tenderness of its release — of my role as a pursuer, stepping down as the warrior determined to win her love, setting down my weapons of words, setting aside my climbing gear that I’ve used to scale the walls surrounding her heart. It is a submission to respect her desire, her wish.

Love is an offering — of my role as her future partner, a stepping aside, making that position available, trusting that the next person will far surpass the standard I’ve set, exceed expectations, who will deliver an authentic love that resonates from deeply within him that her soul will respond to naturally.

Love is a submission of authorship — the origin story of our relationship made me prideful. I gloated and bragged about how I pursued her, how I asked her out, that while God was clearly in the beginning of the story, in control over its authorship, over time I kept wanting the pen; I wanted to keep writing the words. I wanted to be the director of the story… the re-director. The truth is that God saw the relationship coming to the end, and similar to the tragic outcome of so many great TV shows that suffer from far too many seasons, running too long and becoming more and more irrelevant, I wound up diluting the poignancy and depth of the relationship by adding in too many chapters. Rather than the passionate short story it was supposed to be, it instead became a strung out relationship story of faded, fraying worth.

Love is a transition done well — viewing the relationship ending as a transition, not as one person quitting. The truth is that the relationship was over months before the actual breakup, and recently, as I have taken in and  re-read books and plays that are dear to her, and as more time goes on, the more I’m hearing confirmation of the death of the relationship, rather than a temporary season that will eventually end with us getting back together. Paulo Coelho said, “anyone who’s lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realize that nothing really belongs to them.” I am equally afraid of facing the feelings of rejection and abandonment as I am the feeling of guilt from moving on… but love is letting someone win without you rather than letting them lose with you. Love as a transition means that we are released to become more as individuals than we would ever be as a couple. She is free to transition from a relationship with me into her thriving future as a storyteller; I am released to transition into a man of character and into a person who can experience the greatest season of growth that will become the bedrock of my future. And if, along the way, we encounter our respective lifelong partners, then we have ultimately loved each other well by transitioning well.

Love is not the reward of doing the right thing — I am proud of how I have loved. While it may not have won me the heart of the actual person I was loving, I do believe that it was all worth it, and I got to practice loving someone humanely with patience and quiet strength. I have discovered the way I want to love someone in the eyes of my peers and in the eyes of God. I am not ashamed of the light that surrounded my decisions. I am not less of a man because I honored her “no.” Doing the right thing regardless of the outcome is the essence of love. Acting in love is a scarce resource that is produced so little by the people in this world, and it is a rare force that many fear, especially when it is misunderstood. Love is not a tool that draws attention to a cause… Love must be the cause.

with what could be.

To a fault, and at the detriment to my relationships, I am in love with the idea of something often more than the thing itself.

It’s always been my battle. Up until this last relationship I thought I had fully internalized and worked through this attribute in me.

But the words she used to break up with me really illuminated how much work I still had to do – that I really needed to keep working at loving someone, seeing someone, where they are. That I really need to stop feeling like I have to “fix” everything.

It’s a sobering thought that I was in love only with the potential of what she could be. The truth is that she is a very sweet girl. Deep. Thoughtful. Relatable through mutual suffering. She knew that I get excited about the idea of stuff and I turn that into reality, the problem being it wasn’t a reality she is ready for. She was reluctant to share her heart and inner workings because I continue to take things way farther than where she is comfortable. I have to see that in me and change that in the future. It is why the space we have now is so critical to regroup, separately, and figure out how we will relate with each other in the future, likely just as friends.

It’s important for me to figure myself out. How to recognize my patterns, recognize the pressure, recognize my fears with the present moments, and stop looking so far ahead that I miss the beauty of what is being created. I have to own up to this trait. I never want to put my significant other through this again. I can’t move forward in dating and romantic relationships if I don’t develop a sensitivity to this. I do believe that where we’re at is what is best, as much as it hurts to admit. We need space. We need healing. We need the comfort and joy of others. We need this moment apart.

Space is the greatest gift I can give.

I think of you.

I think of you when I wake up.
It’s been every day so far.
Often it’s from a dream of you.
I feel angry that I woke up from the bliss.
Then sadness overwhelms me.
I fear going back to sleep. I fear dreaming of you again.
I fear waking up.

I think of you when I get dressed for the day.
You picked out my favorite clothes.
I wear the memories on my skin and keep them close.

I think of you on my commute to work.
I wonder if your back still hurts.
If your nightmares still occur.
I pray in case it does. For strength, relief.
I pray that Foster Pants was a good boy, and that he peed on the mat.

I think of you when my day gets busy.
When my hustle was inspired by your hustle.
I stop myself from texting you.
I’m learning to pray for myself when it’s hard.

I think of you when the day winds down.
My mind still daydreams of date ideas.
I now refrain from adding them to a list I never wanted to show you.
It would’ve ruined the surprise.

I think of you on the way home.
I remember the Valentine’s Day instagram.
You couldn’t wait for me to drive you and take you anywhere.
Our Six Flags passes are still good until March. Date #5.

I think of you when I get into my room.
The paperback of your headshot greets me.
The jar of memories turned 180 degrees.
Your 6 month gift facing the wall.
I still have to frame your movie poster.
I don’t want to throw anything away. I’m not ready yet.

I think of you when I go to bed at night.
I imagine my pillow is you.
I pray to it.
I ask for healing. Forgiveness.
I pray for guilt to be removed from you as you move on.
I struggle with thoughts of if I ever mattered.
I give them to God each time. I know I mattered.

I think of you when I want to move on.
I feel guilt for asking for the strength.
Like I have thrown in the towel, given up hope.
I wonder why this prayer will never be answered.
My faith is weak. My prayers need to shift toward trusting in God more than ever.
He is the author.

I think of you, often.
I wish I could tell you.
I pray for you, often.
It is now the only appropriate act of service in love I can give.

I dream one day for reconciliation, friendship.
To be in your corner. To celebrate with you.

I think of you, and wish you the best.

love and growth.

I had a post 7 years ago that described a notion of valentine’s day being an everyday thing rather than be relegated to a single day. I found it here. I was single then, haha. But I’m also single now.

A year ago, I remember her sharing with me that she had difficulty with Valentine’s Days after the fact… I was in Hawaii at the time, and I remember wanting to be there with her so badly on that day. I looked up plane tickets just for a round trip. The fare exceeded my bank account. So I got more creative and just leveraged technology instead.

I wondered that day last year. She was uncharacteristically silent on a day where love was encouraged by culture. It didn’t bother me, it didn’t hurt me, my go-to response was empathy and wonderment.

Today, I can’t talk to her nor encourage her anymore. It would betray the space. So I did the only thing I knew what I could do to support and encourage her without violating that space – I prayed. I prayed that she would find comfort and joy and strength, that she would work through whatever she is going through with strength. But also… this morning I’ve prayed a prayer for her that genuinely surprised me. In praying for her health, happiness, and future, I found myself feeling prompted to pray that she would find someone that would love her and communicate love exactly the way she was designed to feel it. I prayed for the man that would one day treasure her heart for life, that this man would not shy away from the battles and growth that will develop the character needed to sustain her heart. I prayed that they would click together, partner together, fight and make up in a way that strengthened their resolve, their commitments. That he would treasure her scar tissue the same way I did, covering each one with the assurance that he would not leave because of them. I prayed that God would give her someone that would blow me out of the water, and I would have no choice but to look up to him.

And to my surprise and astonishment, I prayed it without tears.

One memory I had recalled when I woke up this morning was a conversation that we had on the phone one day in October. I remember being frustrated with a lot of people and feeling disrespected, and after sharing there was a pause, and she asked me to “please never ever lose patience with her ever.”

Recalling that memory made me sad… I was prepared to never leave her. but I was also able to release that moment to Jesus in forgiveness and exercise gratitude in that moment. it was amazing to think that we even shared a moment so vulnerable and beautiful.

After all, I never thought in 2016 that my year of Patience, my theme for that year, would have been exercised and grown in the context of a relationship. It was so sudden – we met on Christmas Eve and started dating on New Years, and were an official couple by the end of January. When we shared our story with others, it sounded straight out of a movie. It felt blessed, and others celebrated our story. She had even journaled right before we met that she wanted a relationship. I suppose it eventually made me prideful, and my identity got wrapped up in it

Similarly, I never thought that in 2017 that my year of Growth, my current theme for the year, would be in the context of singleness. It’s frustrating how God listens sometimes… He hears us and then proceeds to give us what we want, putting us in the most nutrient-rich soil for the very thing we ask Him for. Last year He knew that the most fertile place for me to learn Patience would be in this relationship. This year He knows that the most fertile place for me to learn Growth would be in my singleness. And throughout this process I get to exercise the belief that God is good.

Frustrating as it may be, however, He can give and take away… but His love and motivations never change. He is always good, no matter what we have, or no longer have.

I’m starting to think that maybe this is the season where my Patience grows even more. I intend to keep my promise to her, I will “never ever lose patience with her ever.” This doesn’t mean I will wait for a romantic relationship to bloom again. In all health that can’t be my motivation; it just means that one day I will be her friend. One day I will get to support her, be in the audience, watch her in movies and plays, and though my role in her life has changed, it doesn’t mean that the job of being a good, constant person in her life goes out the door. I had always promised her a friendship. I had always promised her that I wasn’t going anywhere. And I had promised her patience. I can still be all these things as a friend. They don’t just exist in a romantic sense. I mean, I can still help produce her play if the offer still stands. I can still participate in her dreams and help them become a reality much in the same way I do that for my friends and their dreams.

Ultimately, this is the way that I love to live. I love the process of becoming strong. I love knowing intimately the things that I have been given, and I love treasuring them when I have them. I love choosing gratitude. I love praying. I love others. Now, I am learning to love myself.

More uncomfortably, after I finished praying, I felt a prompting to pray for myself. I prayed for healing. I prayed for wisdom. I prayed for strength. More patience. I prayed that God would keep giving me opportunities to grow. And I prayed (and this is where the tears started coming in) that I would find myself with a lifelong someone where our relationship looked like health, kindness, gratitude, and strength. I prayed that I would be given someone who understood me, supported me, and that there would be an undeniable chemistry. And in turn, I would be given an opportunity to build a life that supported and encouraged her realizing her deepest passions and dreams. I want a relationship that makes God attractive to others through our lifelong creative competition of trying to outdo one another. Through the tears I surrendered to the promise and faith that God does hear me and is preparing me and her to be each other’s best encouragement.

It’s not to say that this Valentine’s Day isn’t tough – because it is. I miss her with an unfathomable deepness. There aren’t words for it. But also, it’s tough because I still has so much love left to give. So many date ideas. A long list she never knew I kept of things I wanted to do together. And I’m becoming more aware that my creativity love tank doesn’t really deplete… frustratingly, I’m still generating tons of ideas and gifts and no longer have a recipient. But it’s okay… this is who I am, who I want to be, who I like being.

okay.

I thought about leaving a tulip in her car door.

I thought about a gift card or an “anonymous” letter from a “secret admirer.”

I thought of leaving her a note that showed value toward her. Maybe a random gas card.

But that means I wouldn’t be respecting her.

Nor would I be respecting myself or the space.

It’s interesting me more and more as I discover myself through this space… my needs. my deal breakers. often there is such a fantasy about what is romance, built up over time, over experience, over stories and books, films. after processing and talking it through with other people and friends, I’m becoming more and more aware of what my needs were this whole time, what wasn’t being met, what I should be looking for later on when I’m fully healed and ready to get back out there.

The timing sucks, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s always better sooner rather than later. I am resting in the fact that I tried my best, I was myself, and that’s all you can really do in a relationship: give your all. relationships are precious because it’s so rare to find someone you’re willing to work your ass off and suffer for, and do it mutually. to partner with life, cheer each other on, and make the best of every situation.

I hope and pray that tomorrow, during Valentine’s Day, people will embrace who they are with, what they have, take a deep breath, and be thankful. it’s a gift to spend a Valentine’s Day with a loved one. We never got to officially experience one. but it’s okay.

I have no regrets. I am so thankful. it was a beautiful relationship. And it’s okay if things don’t work out. Things will be okay.

I will be okay.