Monday, April 30, 2007

I'm Amy The Writer

Okay, let’s do something proactive and fun? Anytime this particular blog entry starts detouring into mopey whining, I shall post pictures of indescribably cute things, so I will forcibly lift myself from the bog o’blah.

So I’m finally now just getting around to reading books that people have lent me. The sad part (bunnies! Cute fluffy bunnies! With twitchy noses!) is that they lent me these books last year, in like, August. I have a really hard time making time to read, because there’s always that nagging feeling of you should be writing! You should be writing!

But I was all excited to read “Epic: The Story God is telling and the role that is yours to play” by John Eldredge, because it started off really good, like this:

You seem stuck. Things fall apart. What does it all mean? Should you have chosen a different major after all ? Were you meant to take that teaching job? Are you going to find someone to spend your life with, and will he or she remain true?...and if crucial moments are about to happen, will you recognize them? Will you miss your cues?

Yes! Yes! I feel just like that! Oh boy, finally, a book that’s gonna reveal everything, or at the very least, point me in the right direction of what to do next.

For most of us, life feels like a movie we’ve arrived at forty-five minutes late. Something important seems to be going on…maybe. I mean, good things do happen, sometimes beautiful things. You meet someone, fall in love. You find that work that is yours alone to fulfill. But tragic things happen too. You fall out of love, or perhaps the other person falls out of love with you. Works begins to feel like a punishment. Everything starts to feel like an endless routine.

Yes! Exactly! Right there with you!

If there is meaning to this life, then why do our days seem so random? What is the drama we’ve been dropped into the middle of? If there is a God, what sort of story is he telling here?

Think about your favorite movies…The films you love are telling you something very important. Something essential about your heart.

Yeah? The films I love are Blade Runner, Memento, Se7en, Aliens, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, what’s that telling me? I’ve got a killer melancholy streak?

Next, I want you to notice that all the great stories pretty much follow the same story line. Things were once good, then something awful happened, and now a great battle must be fought or a journey taken. At just the right moment (which feels like the last possible moment), a hero comes and set things right, and life is found again.

Huh. In the stories I like, things weren’t once good. Things were kinda barely existing, chugging along on status quo and THEN something awful happens. Does that reveal something about my mindset, like an inkblot test? I mean, the movies I like , the characters mostly still come through relatively okay. A ragged hope. There’s no guarantee that things are gonna get better (certainly not in the case of Memento), but we’re gonna try and fumble along anyway, hopefully wiser, because of the journey we’ve just taken through the movie.

Unfortunately (cockapoos! Cockapoos are adorable!), the book veered off from there into telling the origins of Christianity through the classic storytelling elements of Joseph Campbell and his like, explaining the origins of God, the fall of Lucifer, there’s two worlds, a real one and a spiritual one, la la la.

And I’m thinking NO! I wanna know what my role is! ME! Specifically! Give me questions that I can ask these things for myself! Don’t need to see the Adam and Eve story again. I KNOW that story! I KNOW that God is pursuing me! Still can’t feel Him though. I’m trying to figure out what my role is here! HELP ME WITH THAT! HELP ME WITH THAT!

Finally, I get close to the end of this very slim book, and on page 100, it says,

Now, what is YOUR part? What is your role in the Story? In truth, the only one who can tell you that is the Author. To find our lives, we must turn to Jesus. We must yield our all to him and ask him to restore us as his own. We ask his forgiveness for our betrayal of him. We ask him to make us all he intended us to be – to tell us who we are and what we are now to do. We ask him to remove the veil from our eyes and from our hearts. It might be good to pause and do that right now.

Hmm. I’m not asking the question Who am I? I’m Amy The Writer. I always have been. Never wanted to be much else in terms of a profession. Emotionally is a whole other circus. Who am I emotionally? I’m someone who wants to love and be loved in return. I’m someone who wants to be married someday, (and it’s taken me YEARS to not be afraid to put that statement out there, because don’t you instantly get the image of some whiny clingy Please Please Please Don’t LEAVE Me Girl? That’s not me. THAT’S NOT ME. I want to be married someday because I want to love, I want to be loved, and I want to know that person is committed to doing that for the rest of our lives, as opposed to putting in three to five years and then taking off. My buddy Georgina wrote about it in an essay and described it as “diving off a cliff while praying you’re holding the hand of someone who’s not afraid to fly.”) I’m someone who wants to trust, and who continually gets that trust abused. That’s not new, that’s everyone. People let you down, especially people here in flaky Los Angeles. Move on, move on, nothing to mope about here. (puppies in casts are cute. Sad, but cute.)

But the Telling Me What I Am Now To Do. Well, that would sure be swell, and something I ask for every day. What am I supposed to do next? Is there something I’m overlooking? Some job opportunity I haven’t looked in the right place for? Am I really supposed to junk it all and go work in Legal, because at least it’s a paycheck with benefits and crap?

Man, that last section on page 100 just blows (Matthew Fox the actor is QUITE cute.) It’s just icky, smacking of “Accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and all answers will be REVEALED!” What a bait and switch. Where’s the book that says “I asked and asked and asked and I’m still lost.”

But at least I know who I am. Maybe that’s more important than the next step. I suppose, if you had two doors on the game show, and you could pick between This Is Who You Are, and This Is The Next Step You Should Take, most people, hell, I’d probably even take the Next Step door. But it certainly feels like, in a crappy Lesson Learned In The Last Ten Minutes Of A Sitcom, that you should’ve gone for the Who Am I Door.

So I guess I’m ahead of the game. I hope.


Anonymous said...

just thought i'd let you know that i feel your pain, especially today...that part of the book does blow...accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior doesn't solve all your problems. in fact, it makes life a hell of a lot harder.

cheer you up at all?

i read, cried, prayed Psalm 116 calmed my heart, didn't solve my problems, but calmed my heart...who knows if it'll hit you, but just thought i'd pass that on.

prayin for you...

Stephaine - yes, that's spelled right said...

I really want to say something that will be inspirational and stuff. But you know, I'm terrible with words. And you know I'm not into all that religion stuff like you but I do have faith. And I have faith that all your conflict/struggle/confusion will lead to a light at the end of the tunnel.
Keep your chin up. What doesn't kill us make us stronger. You're in my thoughts and prayers. (And yes, it might be hard to believe but I do pray:) )

Kym said...

um you don't know me, but rock on girl. you make me crack up. (i'm friends with carlen - p.s.)

Richard T said...

The pursuit of answers, it seems, gives more real answers than a guy who writes any book called "Hey--Here're Some Damn Answers". Otherwise, what's the point of all that consciousness we're burdened with?

What this means is you're more there than maybe anyone else you know.

Allison said...

I know, it's too bad he's married. But IMDB lists no spouse for Hurley. :)

Aren't you glad when the funniest thing you say all day is in print?!