119.0: Time stands still and two hearts catch fire.
Well, now that I’ve got your attention with a Mariah Carey song — I am pretty sure that if you were really reading this, your attention would be drawn less to the romanticism of the song and more to the physicality which even I appreciate — here goes.
It’s been a roller coaster ride, not just since I wrote my last never-to-be-sent, but this entire year. Sometimes there are lulls and the weird, ironic thing is that I get bored during those lulls — like, I wonder why life happens so slowly. Yet when it rains, it certainly pours.
If only you knew about all the paperwork and all the e-mails that I exchanged today alone! It was my day off from work but some of that paperwork actually necessitated that I go into the store and talk to my boss for a few minutes. You know life is crazy when you have to duck into work on your day off. I haven’t done anything like that since my salaried days in marketing. Most of the paperwork had to do with school stuff. I did not expect getting together my finances for school to be a breeze but I am still astonished at all the red tape. As for the e-mails, many of the ones that required the most emotional investment came shockingly from church. You will not believe what an intense commitment church leadership is. I do not even consider myself a “leader.” At best, the semantic that I find most suitable is one that I just made up myself: I consider myself more of a “super-volunteer”. Did you ever see that episode of The Golden Girls when Rose had burnout from so many volunteer commitments to various charities and then she ended up having a near-death experience and became kind of a hippie and she had to move out because the girls couldn’t stand… well, I should probably know by now to never ask you a question that starts with ‘Did you ever see that episode of The Golden Girls…’
I used to think that volunteering was, well, quite frankly for old people, do-gooders, and people who want to make their resumes look good. I do like the idea that being so involved with my church is a good way to put me in touch with the larger community; and, of course, I do it for God. But I also must add that I’ve fallen in love with my church, Linc. I have fallen in love with the friendships, the faith, the music, and the food — the pastor’s husband recently whipped up an incredible chicken dish, which I devoured awkwardly flying in the face of my Lenten commitment to give up meat, an endeavor which has been (mostly) successful — however, unlike in the romantic comedies that I like so much, falling in love is actually a messy proposition and just because it is happening between me and my church doesn’t make it any less messy. It seems to me that the way I conduct myself both in church and with church business is destined to be the way I handle my future whenever-that-might-be marriage.
I have fallen into a pattern of reading YA novels. This popular book genre is best illustrated by, you know, the Harry Potter series or The Hunger Games trilogy. But there’s so much more to it than just the blockbuster stuff, Linc. Lately I’ve been checking out stuff by authors like David Levithan, John Green, and Rainbow Rowell. I would like to think this is merely an extension of my 2009 syllabus when baseball inspired me to revisit the likes of Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume but lately I have felt as if I am on a very different life track where baseball has become this distant, far away, background and even trivial thing. Oh no, Linc — isn’t that also part of falling in love? Not just burnout but growing apart. How do people do it, Linc? How do they keep their marriages going for a long time?
Today when I wasn’t dealing with the lofty business of life I was trying to sneak in some reading time. In the past few weeks I have devoured, among others, Eleanor and Park and Marcelo In the Real World and now I am working my way through the 2012 Time Magazine novel of year — novel of the year, Linc. Not just YA, but Time actually named it the best novel — for YA readers, and for old-A (ha ha, I just invented that) readers. Then I went with some church friends to watch Oz the Great and Powerful and it hit me that today has been a good illustration of my life these days: tackling the world and all of its worldly business while still trying to hold onto dreams and dreaming. When I get overwhelmed by checklists, calendar entries, and e-mails I forget that I was once a kid who actually dreamed of becoming the grown-up who might have to deal with checklists, calendar entries, and e-mails. I would like to remember joy.
Oh, Linc — how I do miss our conversations in Our Ballpark. They used to be real enough for me. Time moved as fast or as slow as I wanted it to move. Stars and galaxies floated in a nighttime sky clear of fog. We sat in those nosebleed view reserve seats while a chill blanketed the air even though we could sit there without need for jackets. I even used to imagine that someday the real you would walk in.