Why Write?

I think this is a pretty standard resolution for a lot of us millenials. Write, write more, write better, or start writing. Blog, share with the world. It’s easier than ever to make our opinions and thoughts in our heads known. Truthfully, I only really wanted to start a blog when I made my about.me profile that I tried to use as a little more personal attachment to my resume when I was applying for internships two years ago. I had a Facebook and LinkedIn, but nothing else to reach a little trifecta.

A quick rewind, then fast forward. I was the elementary student that was told I could be a great writer. Having graduated college with a number of friends who became teachers, I know two things. One, that compliment was a dime a dozen. But, two, some of the teaching majors I met were the best at inspiring me, even as a twenty one year old, to reach for more and reminded me I had something to give to the world.

So now I have a blog.

To be sure, I have very low expectations for the readership numbers for this stream of consciousness. I don’t intend on pushing this out to my Facebook friends, tweeting (remember, I only have Facebook and LinkedIn), or telling every stranger on the street. Not there’s anything wrong with that. Rather, RightBackPocket is a little more internal for me, a way that I can better use my time and develop my thoughts.

I consume a lot. Food, yes, but also media. Scrolling through my news feed more often than I’m proud of, searching endlessly for new songs, and opening twenty Yahoo articles at once. I’m thankful that there’s still a part of me that wants to produce – not necessarily with a need to share and publicize, but to pause long enough to contribute, or maybe just interrupt the noise. I realized this updating my news feed while driving. Thankfully I didn’t crash. Still a stupid move.

I also realize, that if by chance you end up reading this. You may not like it. You may not identify with it, it may just not click. And that’s great. There’s a million blogs out there for you to read, and one for you to start as well. Or maybe just a journal. Doesn’t matter what you choose as your medium, whether paper or keyboard, or paint or chalk. Produce something. Give that fleeting thought time enough to develop, there’s an off-chance it might turn into something meaningful to you, and just maybe, for someone else as well. I gotten really enthralled with artisan produced goods lately (wallets, reclaimed wood furniture, etc), not just because they’re really cool, but because their makers know they won’t have widespread appeal, but continue on anyway – producing. There’s a good chance you may not like what I write, or it just won’t click. But, to someone out there, it might. And it might change their day. Or life (ok, maybe getting a little carried away there). At minimum, it’s mine – a few words at a time, taking a break from consuming to produce, to give thoughts in my head more than a few seconds of my time.

So write. Produce. (Trifecta.)

Twenty – Twenty

A procrastination habit and lack of inspiration has delayed this one’s New Year’s resolution for just a few days. Thirty-thousand feet in the air somewhere between Oregon and Minnesota provides the time needed to reflect on the last few days and the last year. I spent the last few days of 2013 and the first few of 2014 with a beautiful woman I’m lucky enough to call my girlfriend. Some quick facts to prove this to any skeptics out there might include: One, her home page is ESPN. Two, she likes shopping no more than I do (which varies based on the day and how decent my hair looks). Three, she loves to bake and is fully aware of my brownie addiction. And four, most importantly – she follows Christ more than she follows me and inspires me to do the same. Those four facts and a host of other nuances and facial expressions make up the woman I was blessed to spend the last few days with, an incredible little stretch that interrupted our long distance dating. In those days she forced (encouraged) me, both actively and passively, to reflect upon this past year, the change, and the opportunities that came and went, and was interruption to life’s motion long enough to reorient my direction just a little bit.

My oversimplified conclusion is this: Twenty – Twenty. Not the score of a football game with two bad kickers, and far, far, (far) from the strength of my eyes, but rather something a little more simple, at least on paper. Twenty minutes, twenty minutes. Over the past few years, I’ve realized I’m a person of momentum. Once I get going on something, the energy and motivation is there to sustain it. But starting things is difficult, and getting off a bad path is even more so. And for me, and maybe for you, those things needing momentum tend to come in pairs (or more, but for the sake of progress, let’s be oblivious for a second). For me, it is faith and fitness.

Since finding Christ two years ago and moving from a baby Christian to a kind of teenage Christian (22 in real life, if you’re wondering), surviving the sort of Christian puberty, that time when you can finally move from realizing God likes (loves) you, and you learn to walk through life in a different way that includes as many stumbles as a middle school slow dance. Even with  surviving the first few hardships and challenges in life that showed me what it would be like when I trusted God to handle things when it all hit the fan, I’ve continued my habit of being a person of momentum. Real life puberty and hitting the gym like many guys do at that age was the same way. Gym four days a week for a month, followed by three months where a push up only happened when I tripped up the steps. For me, these things, faith and fitness tended to run parallel once Christ crashed my world as a sophomore in college. I’m guilty of running on fumes more than anything.

So here’s my challenge to myself. And you can steal it too, if it sounds good. Twenty – Twenty. Twenty minutes of faith and twenty minutes of fitness. Since graduating from college and starting a full time job, I’ve let my schedule become a mess but also haven’t quite figured out what an adult schedule is supposed to look like. I know this – that everyone is “busy.” But twenty minutes of each sound reasonable to me. My twenty minutes of faith will be me opening the Bible, reading it and reflecting on it, not just looking for a good sounding verse that works well to feed my love for motivational clichés. My twenty minutes of fitness will probably vary, but will include push-ups, pull-ups, and probably some jogs. Maybe some stretching (could 2014 be the year I finally can touch my toes? Stay tuned). What the individual activities are that make up the twenty minutes aren’t necessarily as important as ensuring they are focused on the themes above. It could be twenty minutes of reading, watching a sermon, listening to worship music, whatever works best for you. Take what is most comfortable and start there. Aspire to go one step further in February.

If you’re as guilty as running on fumes as me, I invite you to go Twenty – Twenty with me. Faith and fitness. Faith and whatever. Pick the thing in your life that helps you build discipline and character, fitness or otherwise. Go Twenty – Twenty. Twenty in the morning and twenty at night, or twenty at lunch and twenty after work. Whatever it is, write those two things down on a small piece of paper under the caption of “Twenty – Twenty” and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Then do it.

I’m excited to see what will happen. Hope you are too.