Tuesday, October 29, 2013

5 Simple Steps To Being Uncool At 17

There is always a need as a teenager to feel like you fit in. To belong to a group. To be that "cool" kid. Here are five simple steps to insure that you will be the most uncool kid around.

1. Drive any type of van

There is nothing that says "uncool" like a van. The bigger, older, uglier the colors, the better. For me it was a GMC, 12 passenger, black and yellow van.
       While everyone in my hometown was driving Mustangs, Jeeps, and trucks
 I was stuck driving a 12 passenger van that most churches didn't even own. Don't believe the hype from the Swagger Wagon commercial, it's not true when you are a 17 year old living in a town of 2,500 people.

2. Play the cello

People find out you are a teenager who plays the cello they respond in two ways. Either, "I always wanted to learn to play the cello" or, "the cello has such a beautiful sound". My point is, people  didn't learn to play the cello when they were 17. While you are performing one of the Bach Cello Suites at your recital, imagining yourself looking like a great rock artist
           Most people see you more like what you are, a classical cellist.

3. Dress like a homeschooler

I can spot a homeschool family almost anywhere. I was brought up in one. Most homeschool families have one thing in common, absolutely no sense what so ever about fashion. Our pant to shoe ratio is way off.
             Our Branson shirts scream it's the highlight of our life.
     And while we do our best to try and pull off the cool rocker look that we so desire 
          We end up looking more tragic than the cast of The Big Bang Theory.

4. Learn the J. R. R. Tolkien language of Elvish

At 17 it's all about being up on the latest in culture. Whether in music, literature, movies, fashion, etc. The reality is no one cares how much you know about The Lord Of The Rings though.
The back stories to all the intricate characters of this beloved series matters very little to anyone. Your strong desire to learn a language that know one else knows places you on the bottom of the social ladder. The sword you so want, the one Gandalf wields, places you in only one social group. An obnoxious LOTR fan. Don't dress like Legolas for the premier of The Return Of The King. People will stare. Learn to control your obsession in a moderation and try to understand that people aren't as into it as you are.

5. Have your mom be your wingman

Whether it be by choice or by circumstance, your mom as your wingman, is by far, the most uncool thing out there. You sit at the park in your 12 passenger van, cello in the backseat, the sound track to the LOTR blaring, talking to your latest crush and your mom shows up. "Hi I am Jasper's mom. Aren't you suppose to be in school right now?". Let's face it, that girl is never going to give you the time of day after that. Moms and cute girls don't mix. Whatever game you thought you had is crushed whenever she introduces herself. Game Over Man!

I was uncool at 17. Looking back though I thank my parents for instilling some very real truths into my life. They taught me individuality should be embraced. God given talent should be pursued. My outer image is far less important then my inward attitude. They taught me to pursue great art and learn from innovative thinkers and artist. To be me. God made me unquie for His glory. Embrace it. What we leave behind, as our story, is far more important then how cool we are at 17. Live on purpose with a mission at hand. I am thankful I was uncool at 17. It taught me what really matters in the end.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Scandal Of Life

I am sitting here wondering where to begin. My coffee is now lukewarm at best, and Bob Dylan is playing on the record player. I have always enjoyed his music. I think there use to be part of me that was hoping I would be able to connect to my parents through his music. Now I just listen to it cause I personally enjoy it. His ability to tell a story. His rambling of a harmonica. The slight whine in his voice. Bob and I, well somehow I feel like I understand him. I am rambling now though. The truth is I don't know where to begin.

Life for me is not as simple as, "here's the beginning, this is my story, enjoy the journey". It's complicated. It's messy. It's more gray than black and white. It's more uncomfortable than comforting. It's filled with seemingly more lows than highs. My life, in short, is a scandal. 

And so it begins. My ramblings. My thoughts. My life as it unfolds bit by bit. I choose to begin here. In the middle of it all. Maybe at some point the whole story will be known. Maybe in the future it will all make sense. For now though, let's start here and see where it takes us.