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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Career Hopscotch Of The Millennial Generation...



You read this blog apparently, so you know I have this romanticized idea about life in the nineteen fifties which goes right along with the same romance I have about city dwelling;  meaning I have have my slightly rosy Wayfarers on my face.  Regardless of my stupid metaphors, I have been thinking about what the heck is going on with us in our job market and career sector.

My deceased grandfather was a meat cutter/butcher in a supermarket and my deceased grandmother was your typical officer worker.  They bought their retirement house long before retiring and actually paid it off in full with enough years to enjoy it as they should have.  Also, my two uncles worked in the same concrete block factory for a few decades as hourly, full-time employees and both own their homes, some other property, nice vehicles, and have enough retirement to live more than comfortably for the rest of their years.  What?

I am not sure what is going on exactly because I am no economist so putting my finger on the source of the issue is a bit difficult, but something is off in this day and time.  We went from having generations of comfortable and happy people to whatever this is we are in now.  I am well aware of the fact that my grandparents had a taxing marriage from time to time, both of my uncles have divorced, and all of them had their own financial struggles smattered within their histories.  My grandmother, both uncles, and myself had a pretty hearty fight with alcohol at some point in our lives, so we are not all that different, and if nothing else bleed the same DNA.  As people, we Millennials have the same struggles and temptations as those who came before us, but the difference is just that - something is very different. 

These days we move around more than we take the time to actually dwell and build our lives as those two generations ahead of us did.  This holds true in our jobs, our homes, and our relationships as well.  Being somewhat transient is just fine in some situations, but I feel as if some of us Millennials are taking advantage of the mindset a bit.  Maybe I am showing my ignorance, but I know quite a bit of people who leave good, stable jobs they enjoy to chase another job for the sake of a bigger paycheck and nothing more.  Not that these people hated their career, were ever struggling financially and needed a higher paying position or anything of the sort, nor did they want to move cities, but I know few who will put in a solid three year employment anywhere before chasing the next higher salary of the unknown - just for the dollar.  But I am seeing it start to catch up to them.

The closer I get to my thirties, the more I see people a bit older than me who bounce from one career path to another wondering where the time went.  They also wonder what has happened to their employer-backed retirement plans which have been jumbled into a mess from company to company;  some of which are nearly worthless for that reason.  I am not saying that we should work for the singular goal of retirement, but with as educated as we are in this generation, most of us sure do have a difficult time paying attention to that sort of thing.  I mean, why pay attention to the future when you can invest more time into learning hard stats of professional sports instead of understanding your finances or personal career goals or actually owning something tangible?  How about leaving some sort of legacy behind when you die, because sometime, sooner or later you will?  Right.  Why enrich your life and figure out who you are when you have an iPhone to distract you, expensive vacations to go on, and hungover mornings every weekend to look forward to?  

The thing is, I cannot see many at all around my age being in a financial state as comfortable as so many of those two generations before us - most of whom were blue collar without a college education.  Actually, there are quite a few Millennials who will be paying on student loans the size of a monthly mortgage payment for more than half of their lifetime.  

We were told to do that.  
We were told to go out and chase the dollar before anything else.  
We were told to live our dreams on a whim which lead to going about it all wrong without thinking of potential consequences.
Everyone was given a trophy in little league...

The thing is, we listened because we knew nothing else and believed as we were told.  Thinking on our own terms and having sustained mentally practical growth was an unknown entity to so many of us because we were sheltered.
Is this every Millennial?
No, but I can confidently stake a majority claim on these thoughts.

I just think we lack the structure which once existed in our previous generations.  Yes, times have changed, technology is much different now, and we are more educated as a whole, but maybe stepping back to a different mindset would be good for us.  Maybe we could learn a few things from those geezers who are sitting on their front porches, looking at us and saying:  "What the hell?"

Really, though...
What the hell?

Grace and Peace,
-Drew


 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

"Creative" Is A Noun - Not A Verb...Part 1.


Sometimes you slowly grow into a certain demographic until you have one of those monumental realizations that you should have been following said direction a little more closely in life.  I am talking about "creatives" and they (we) are somewhat set apart and distinct from those who do not have such traits to claim.  

Just to get this out in the air a little more quickly, I will say that there is no form of elitism in being a creative as a whole, but there are just as many cocky and arrogant people which throw a blanket of stereotype over the entire lot.  The thing is, we cannot really help who we are and how we are wired, but a few take the wrong approach.  Some of us came into the creative realization when we were young and some (like me) picked up on the fact much later. 

With that, I will share some discoveries with you which have come to me through my own experience.

Creatives are just fine being alone.
Within this age of video games and social disconnect through technology, it is easy to lump us all into a big grouping of awkwardness.  The truth of the matter is that I am well aware of being alone, and am in that state fairly often.  When I was a teenager, I wanted to have something in the works every weekend and never allow myself to just be by myself.  Since I have a creative psyche, I now wonder what I may have missed out on after spending too little time invested in myself for being distracted with insignificant happenings.  I have a phone full of contacts I could use to have something to do every waking hour when I am not working, but if I were doing so at this point, there would surely be missed opportunity in my writing, expression, or music.  After years of never wanting to be by myself, go to dinner alone, or just sit in silence, it is now something I cherish.  All of my most favorite writings have come from my time spent alone, focusing on myself;  they are also the pieces I am the most proud of.  None of this is saying I would reject an opportunity to do things with others, but saying creatives do not always require social settings and sometimes are just as healthy alone when left to their own thought processes.

Most creatives hate Pinterest.
I have a Pinterest account, but I have never actually logged on and it only exists so someone else does not claim my username.  A fair share of hate may be brought in my direction for saying so, but Pinterest is generally a nightmare for creatives because you get a bunch of people reproducing the original ideas of the people who actually came up with something unique.  Feeding off of ideas is one thing, but claiming creativity for replicating someone else's idea is an entirely different story.  Claiming something as your own after finding it as a post on Pinterest is about as relevant as saying:
"He makes great pot roast in the slow cooker."
Meat, potatoes, onions, carrots, water, bullion, set timer...Anyone with two hands and a crock pot can do that and this is how most creatives feel about Pinterest.  There is nothing wrong with using the site, as long as nobody claims anything plagiarized from it as their own creation. 

Creatives are into details.
Within everything that I have seen in my twenty-seven years, there are just as many unorganized creatives as meticulous, but on either side of the fence, the details are always important.  When I was nineteen, I bought this car:
After driving the car back home that very day, I took out my tools and gutted the interior.  The car was like new, but the stereo was awful.  Being one with a developed musical ear, I could not drive the car for any length of time without first replacing the head unit, speakers, and adding amplifiers and subwoofers to it.  Having clear music in my ears is just as important to me as the joy of driving a muscle car like my Firebird was - I have done this with every car I have owned since then as well.  I pick out details in music and that is a part of my creative mannerisms, so I like to hear it clearly.  The same holds true for anything within the interest of creatives because the idea of "good enough" is never enough concerning creative detail in the things we enjoy.  

Creatives enjoy personal exploration.
I get annoyed when people say they only listen to one type of music or limit themselves to what is played on the radio - there is much better music out there, I promise.  As with anything else fitting in the scope of genres, creatives do not like limiting themselves to what happens to be popular at the time (and no, this doesn't mean "hipster") but would rather take it upon themselves to give a "hit or miss" approach to most things in life.  Before I was intelligent enough to give any real consideration to Electronic Dance Music (EDM), I always thought it was garbage and irrelevant - then I started exploring a little.  After watching a few videos about how EDM is made, my opinion changed and I have grown to appreciate it much more than I did in the past.  
Example (listen to the depth in the music):
Much like anything with a set of rules, creatives would rather explore things on their own.  Part of the reason of why I have not finished restoring my Mustang even though I am not that far away from completing it is because it is so mechanical and mapped out in a certain order and process to me.  That was the first car I ever had, but at this point in time, I would rather break out a welder, some grinders, and an obsolete engine to build a Rat Rod out of some rusted out beater car pulled from a barn.  Building a car like that would allow me to cut it to pieces and construct it in trial and error, just how I want to.  But my Mustang is a number's matching, original car so I could never bring myself to chop it up in such a way - it is meant to be built just like my shop manual tells me to.  My current want is to build a rolling metal sculpture - my Mustang is too pretty for that, so I am letting it sit for a while.  I really want to transplant a 1940's-era Ford Flathead V8 into a late model Ford pickup truck.  Not because it makes sense, but because it makes none at all and would be a challenge to fabricate.  The latter idea is in the same boat with current bands releasing vinyl albums, or the people who make their own clothing - there is no practical reason for any of it, but that makes it even more challenging and fulfilling for them.

Part two will be out soon.  Stay tuned.

Grace and Peace,
-Drew

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
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Friday, November 22, 2013

I Have A Strange Driving History...

When I was a kid, I had an obsession with baseball until about the age of ten.  After years of playing in leagues every Saturday during the season, I lost interest and starting paying attention to cars instead.  All I wanted was to be sixteen years old, with a driver's license because the only thing I wanted to do was drive a car.  However, I have had a bit of a rocky history with being able to drive my cars when considering being pulled over by the police for (often) no reason.
Allow me to share.

From ages sixteen to eighteen, I had both of these cars and did not even get pulled over once:
Sixteen, driving a muscle car and no infractions.  Crazy.

In 2005, I bought this car:
And was pulled over for speeding at 2:00AM.
The ticket was written off after I did a stint of traffic school.
Then some idiot pulled into my lane and killed my pretty Z28 Camaro:


In 2006, I was driving my Firebird Formula with my best friend in the car and was pulled over for speeding again:
This was the only ticket that ever stuck, but it gets better...

In 2007, I was driving this:
-I was pulled over in the parking lot where I worked at 5:00AM.
Because I was...going to work...and it looked suspicious?
-I was also pulled over going to a church event in downtown Atlanta because the cop thought I wasn't wearing a seat belt.  I was wearing a brown polo which matched the color of my seat belt.
No tickets.

I bought and restored this MGB in 2008. 
The same week I bought the car, I was pulled over on my way to the tag office because the previous owner had cancelled the registration, which is exactly what I was headed to do when the cops lit me up.
No Ticket.

Also, in 2008, I started driving this:
In 2008 alone, in this car I was pulled over for:
-Illegal window tint (which the officer tested and came back legal).
A few months later...
-Suspicion of a DUI when a cop saw me drink out of a glass ginger ale bottle.
No tickets.

In 2009, I was riding this:
Pulled over for:
-Weaving.  I was doing a controlled weave, within my own lane to warm up my tires because it was below thirty degrees outside.
No ticket.
A few months later...
-Improper eye protection.  This one was my fault, but the cop wrote the ticket incorrectly as false identification, so the the city wrote it off.

In 2010, in this car AGAIN: 
I was pulled over for:
-Another suspicion of a DUI for drinking water out of a Nalgene bottle (I'm not kidding).
No Ticket.

In 2011, I was pulled over in this:
For a registration issue I didn't know about.  The cop squared it away on the spot.
No ticket.

In 2012, I didn't get pulled over a single time...

However!

This year, 2013, I was pulled over while driving my mother's car for an un-illuminated license plate in May.
 This morning, November 22nd, I was pulled over in this car, again:
For a burned-out tail light.
No tickets.

Let us recap my driving history:
-I have been pulled over a total of thirteen times, but actually received only one ticket.
-I have only been in one collision, and it was not my fault.
-I am the most cautious driver you have ever met, but still get pulled over for suspicion.
-I don't drink at all anymore, but when I did, I did not drive.

I blame nobody for any of this, but just thought I would share.  For a while I was a bit bitter, but now I just brush it all off and laugh at the frequency in which I spend time talking to cops on the side of the road.  This is all normal to me now.
Give life a good laugh and move right along.

Grace and Peace,
-Drew

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
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Thursday, November 21, 2013


Most of us were given the gift of speech.  The moving of our mouths and tongues, passing breath across our lips to make these noises is our most common medium of communication, but also the most dangerous.  Words we speak can bring joy, encouragement, laughter, and comfort.

What about the other side?
What happens when we speak a bit too much?
What happens when we are more comfortable writing certain thoughts instead of actually saying them?

I have taken a very strong notice about our generation and the way we tend to convey how other people perceive us.  Everyone seems to want the perception of happiness to be a trait other people see in us, but the unfortunate reality is how we tend to skew the truth.  What I mean by this is no matter what may be going on in our lives, we often want to broadcast the illusion to the world of our lives being in order or unnaturally good.

With what reason?

I hate to be the person to bring up touchy subjects about personal situations because I do not really enjoy the backlash, but sometimes I feel as if some person out there will be desperate enough to listen.  More often than my comfort allows, I read people expressing how happy they are in their lives, friendships, relationships, or marriages on social media and in person.  There is nothing wrong with being in love and there is nothing wrong with expressing thoughts, moments, or emotions, but I fear something I call "The Line of Truth".

The Line of Truth is that boundary we have as people which lies between our own happiness and the happiness we show to the world around us.  The way I see this line is as a division of our actual state of being and the image we want to convey to everyone else.  

I knew this married couple who would blow up their social media accounts about how great their spouse was.  What I am talking about is not a Facebook post to randomly encourage each other, wish a birthday or anniversary, or congratulate one or the other during a proud moment.  These two would post public statements of how ideal their marriage was and brag on each other daily, or even more frequently.  This continued for a few years, and nearly up to the day I heard they had separated and were filing their divorce proceedings.
What?

Someone I knew when I was much younger and reconnected with did practically the same thing as the couple I mentioned before, but his mistress of flamboyant bragging was money.  Money he did not have.  I can only see so many pictures of expensive watches, new cars, designer clothing, and negligent spending before I stop believing what I am seeing.  Most people who paid any amount of attention would know the four entry-level jobs he had been hired and fired from shortly thereafter within a year's time could not support the lifestyle he claimed to be living.  Then his whole persona was exposed as a complete farce.  At nearly thirty years old, trying to convince the world of his success while being trapped inside his own lie.
Where did that get him?

There are many more examples, but I will stop right there.  I just wonder why we think so much approval is needed by the world that we are willing to live and tailor our entire lives around a lie.  There may be a few ignorant people out there, but I would really like to believe people can see through false stories of greatness as easily as I do.  

Wrapping my brain around having people believe you are anything other than your natural self is very hard for me.  Understanding why we have a need for false acceptance from people who do not matter baffles me to the core of who I am.  

Wait, maybe that is because I actually know who I am.
Maybe it is because I actually know who matters to me.
Maybe it is because I know to whom I matter.

I know the people who love me.
They know who I am.

Do you know who you are?

Grace and Peace,
-Drew

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
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The lyrics in the title of this blog came from this song:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Passive Loyalty Is An Oxymoron...


Have you ever taken a step back in times of stress to explore a little personal evaluation?
What I mean by this is not concerning yourself within your own mind, but those we cling to when we we have these instances of stress, panic, or need for guidance.

There is a trend within our generation of hitting a wall and then trying everything we can to escape the hindrance, but looking for it in the entirely wrong place.  Socially, we are always looking for something new and more appealing in our lives for the most part and I commonly hear it mentioned as "new and interesting", which works fine on the social scale as long as we do keep this social and outside of a well-developed and personal aspect.  

I will explain.

I have spent time lingering at the bottom of not knowing where to go within my life in many instances such as:
A personal faith struggle.
A crumbled career path.
Alcohol abuse.
(To name the big ones.)
Even though I spent so much time researching and writing papers on psychology and knowing that it was not the best for me, I would still have a tendency to stray from those who could help me through my issues the best - I have not a clue why, but this seems to be common.  

I have my close friends and my family, which I have mentioned before as being very small in number, but very big in purpose;  and there are others who are more of acquaintances which serve a more social, less involved purpose.  I had to take a minute to pause myself at one point when I realized just how much my priorities had been slipping in my support system.  The people who could impact me the most and had stuck by me through everything in life were the ones I was treating more passively while trying to lean on the support and ideas of those who were nowhere near as involved or committed to my life.  

Gathering new ideas and thought processes is a great thing, but what I figured out in the long run is that the more common denominators in my life which made all the difference to me were just that - common.  After a while of leaning on the wrong people or jumping outside of my circle for the type of un-involved, "feel-good" support as opposed to those who had my back unconditionally, I realized my fault.  Passive personal investments hold no ground when you have an arsenal of completely personal and fully invested people backing you up in any situation.  Yet, these people are also easily overlooked because they are sort of expected to be around, or to use the word from a few lines up: "common".  

What happens when you look for something you are in need of in the wrong places?
What if you step away from those who have a keen interest in every part of your being and can offer you more than anyone else?

Sometimes they leave.
Sometimes their departure is justified.

I spent a long time trying to rationalize a certain instance of when I ignored the best of what was in front of me and instead went astray to seek help in the passively invested thoughts of others.
The answers were sitting in front of me, but I spent so long expecting the support to always be there, that I took advantage one of the rare people who was patiently waiting to share the frustrations, anger, and fight for me. 
I never asked.
I should have asked.

What I am saying in all of this is that when a struggle arises, before you decide to seek out anyone who is invested in you trivially or passively, open you eyes to what is standing right in front of you.

We could all use a little clarity.

Do not waste an opportunity.
Never be afraid to ask.
Always appreciate those who have had unabridged loyalty to you.

Grace and Peace,
-Drew

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Southern Gentleman Or City Kid?


This takes a bit of a detour from my more common blogs of generational scrutiny, but maybe not as much as I was anticipating when the thoughts were running through my head this morning.  

I grew up in the Metro Atlanta suburbs, but the difference between myself and the vast majority of those around me lies in the fact that I was not an import or transplant, but born here.  My father's family moved to a little "city" called Alpharetta in 1969, which was long before it was considered metropolitan by any stretch.  When my parents were engaged, they began building a house after buying some land from my grandparents which was finished by the time they married in 1978.  My sister was born a few years later, and I came along two years after her.  

The area we lived in was heavily wooded, had dirt roads all over the place, and it was your fairly typical smaller city until the population surge a few years before the 1996 Olympic Games.  Pastures, wooded areas, and older homes were developed into subdivisions, shopping centers sprang up, sidewalks were poured, and schools popped up continually - property values also went through the roof.  Here was my family of my mom, dad, sister, and uncle next door (my grandparents had passed a few years prior) all living on a three acre spread watching a small city become a massive, affluent suburb.  

The thing is, my dad comes from a long heritage of farming and his two brothers were the first men in the family to break that tradition when one became a commercial welder and the other a commercial machinery mechanic - dad followed suit becoming a warehouse manager before ultimately being a carpenter.  Though, when I was a kid, my grandparents still farmed and had multiple, large vegetable gardens on our properties, as well as chickens, and your typical herd of cats running around.  That is how I grew up: seeing my grandparents in their feeble age plowing gardens, picking vegetables, pressing cider, shucking corn, canning, tending to chickens, and drying bed sheets on a clothes line, among many other things.  All of this was normal to me growing up even though everyone else I knew at school lived in a subdivision and had no experience with any of that stuff.  

When I was a kid, my parents did not have a lot of money to spare, so just like my grandparents and uncles, they saved money in the winter by heating their houses with wood heaters and fireplaces.  I grew up carrying in the firewood we had split over the summer so we could burn it on cold nights to keep the furnace from kicking on.  This is not uncommon in neighboring areas, but in Alpharetta?  None of my friends had to do that.  

Fireplaces give off a type of heat that has more of a comforting feeling to me than having a furnace running.  There is something about it you only understand if you grow up with the experience and I really do not know how to explain what I am talking about, so take my word for it.  

Today, for the first time in probably over ten years, I went back to that place.  I had things I could have been doing today for work and such, but my dad and I went over to my uncle's house instead and split firewood for a few hours.  As far as seeing the benefits of this effort are concerned, I will not since I no longer live with my family, but helping with things like that are traits I learned from watching my grandmother and grandfather.  These are the things you do because you care about people, no matter how sweaty, sticky, or dirty those things happen to be, and no matter if you have time for it or not.  
Any of that is irrelevant when you have a job to do.  
I let that all slip away for a few years because I was too focused on what I was doing for a living, where I was living, "friends" who ended up not mattering, going out to places which had no lasting impact on my life, buying a bunch of toys I did not need - it was nice coming back today and remembering the things I did growing up which have shaped me into who I am currently.  

I am the city kid who may have escaped the southern accent, but I never want to forget where I came from no matter where I may end up.


Grace and Peace,
-Drew

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Y R U So Hung Up On Being Smart?

Thus was my Facebook status earlier today.  The question is why I would write something that was pretty harmless, but could be taken the wrong way by certain people.  The answer is because I wanted to write this blog as an offshoot of that very status and train of thought.  I would not call that status a precursor necessarily, but what I said helped my brain start ticking a bit while I was covering fifteen miles of sidewalk and boardwalk on foot.  There you have it.

Nobody wants to be stupid, or at least I hope not.  I have gone on my tangents of opinion about self-education and the importance it holds in our development, so I am not going to repeat myself here, but give a different sort of perspective instead.  I said a few blogs ago (here) that I would not talk about religion or politics and that is still very much intact, even if you may beg to differ (that is your right).  I am going after all "religious" people, which is a demographic I somewhat belong to.  You can pick on your own demographic, right?  Who cares?  I am doing it anyway and if you are "spiritual" you may also fit into what I am about to say, so you are not safe either.  

*This isn't EVERYONE.  It's a thought-provoker and not a judgment, so cool off and if you are going to attack me, turn around now knowing that I am speaking about myself as much as anyone else who identifies.*

I think everyone has an internal want to have somewhat of a leg up on other people intellectually and for me, I find that more prominent when people have some set method of a belief system in their life.  Whatever makes you fulfilled as a person is fine with me, but I see some of us using it as a means to "one-up" other people, which I do believe is defeating the purpose, no matter what you believe.  You may not be entirely sure what I am talking about, but consider the people you see on social media, or even in speaking with them person who make a point of saying many words when few will do.  

A big part of me really wanted to do a screen grab of the following quotes, but for the sake of not making it obvious to people who actually know me, I will have enough respect to keep that refrained.  A few months ago, my friend put up a Facebook status of:
"The leading cause of death is living."
Which is true, funny, and brutally honest.  It was, however ruined by someone commenting this:
"I would go as far as to say living life without God causes death."
Awful verbage aside, reading that immediately made me say to myself:
"He ruined it because he thought he sounded smart."
To somewhat defend what he wrote, I understand that he is obviously a Christian (I am as well) and part of believing that means to spread your beliefs, but what person who does not hold Christian beliefs is going to read that and say:
"It all makes sense now!  He put it so profoundly and in a way I could actually understand!  Get me to a church, now!"?
No.  Just...No.
So, what was the purpose in him posting that?  It surely had nothing to do with spreading a message of faith to the world, but it had everything to do with him wanting to sound intelligent.  If I am wrong, I invite you to tell me and I will let you hold that opinion, though calling out internal motives behind the things people say is something I am very skilled at figuring out.

Those who claim other spiritual beliefs do the same thing and at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with wanting to spread spiritual joy or influence because most people can see right through the motive if they pay enough attention.  Had I wanted to sound like an intellectual and highly-spiritual being, I would have posted my status this morning as something like this:
"Basking in the transcendental beauty of nature and enjoying the rays of the sun peaking over the trees as the crisp, fall air floats delicately over the flowing stream while enjoying the wellness mother earth uses to heal us all."  
(Excuse me for just a moment, I need to puke.)
Now, some people would instantly put a "like" on that if they saw it on Facebook, though it would never fit on Twitter, so that is not an option for a re-tweet.  Some people would sit back and say: 
"Wow, he/she is so deep."
The way I see it though, is that something like the quote I made up above fits more readily into a book, a sonnet, poem, lyrical stanza, or something more formal than social media.  I guess, for me, my rule of thumb seems to be that if I think of a status update which would require as much editing as a chapter of my book in order to make it sound proper, I am trying much too hard.  

I was that person at one point in time, however.  There was a period of God knows how long when I would actually proof read and edit my potential status updates and tweets before posting them for the world to read - not giving it a once over before posting, but actually taking the time to add and move words around as a means of sounding more enlightened.  I learned by reading the ridiculous posts of other people that I was not all that different and probably had other engaged people who were naive enough to think I was smart; or sitting back, thinking I was a pretentious, disconnected moron.  After coming to that realization, I told myself anything I posted from that point forward went straight from my head, maybe checked once for punctuation and then posted.  No more of this editing to sound intelligent or posting anything with the intention of looking so.  I realized being quote-worthy is something that should come off the fly and that nothing I say spiritually or religiously online in such a short form is going to make anyone more or less intrigued by what I have to say whether I added any big words to it or not.  Maybe I have become too literal in my age and experience, but being thought-provoking is natural and unable to be forced, therefore, posting something punctuated and to the point seems to be better received than something which seems as if you are trying too hard.  

"But you shouldn't care what other people think."
If you really had no care for anyone else's approval, posting status updates and tweeting out things would not be an activity you took part in.  Think that over - those things are posted so people read them, specifically.  We can say we are not looking for approval, but that is what so much of our generation thrives on because (in my case) it is what those who pay attention to you ask for.  

All I am saying is that playing the intelligence game in or out of religious context holds a certain level of stupidity unmatched by others and I can see right through it.  If you post something profound and "enlightening" followed by the majority of other posts using words such as "dat", "u", and are unable to capitalize or punctuate even those short sentences, well, just think that one over for a minute.

I am not perfect, and I lived in the "I have to seem intelligent" world for a long time, just as I did with many other things I talk about on this blog.  I made a pact with myself because of that to stop writing anything which is not in line with the way I speak on a daily basis.  Believe it or not, excluding the lack of contractions in my writing (I was taught to not use those in formal text), the way you read this blog or anything I post online is pretty spot-on to my vernacular in everyday life.  

All I am saying is that we should be ourselves whether online or in-person without hiding behind a religious cloak of so-called "intelligence", nor a spiritual one, nor one made to influence our own ego.  

Just be yourself because there is no need to play the role of "the smart one", "the enlightened one", or "the deep one".  The world has enough people trying to be something they are not.  Instead, always push to figure out and expose the real person you are without trying to be anything you are not.

Whatever you do, though, for the love of all things you may find holy, use proper punctuation...
Give me that, at the very least.

Grace and Peace,
-Drew

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