I have not died. I don't even know if anyone checks up on this thing anymore... but JUST IN CASE... here's an update on my life and the things that are happening with it:
1) Last Wednesday I went in for my road test to obtain my Illinois CDL... and passed! I started earning my big kid school bus driver salary at the end of this past week. So far I am enjoying my route and the kids on it. My midday kindergarteners all like to sing to me and show me their art projects. My junior high kids are mostly Hispanic and live in one of the less "well-to-do" areas, but they are good kids. I've shadowed many bus drivers with kids in that particular area who are complete monsters... so I am quite lucky. I've heard even worse stories about the kids in gangs riding the bus. I am quite lucky that I do not have that route. My elementary school kids are kind of bratty... but I chalk it up to their youth and just say prayers to Momma Mary for patience. You know, I was never one for praying to Mary... but I must say that she's been helping me a lot with these little kids. I'm not saying I'm going to be one of those crazy people who go and consecrate themselves to her or anything. But it's nice knowing she cares.
2) I'm thinking about taking youth ministry off the table for potential careers. I just don't think it's the right fit for me anymore. I am completely confused about the direction in which my life is going... but right now, in this moment, I feel like I am where I am supposed to be. And right now, I am working 30ish hours a week driving the bus and 10 hours a week working in the front office at my church. I am working every day, but the work is enjoyable so far (for the most part), and I think I should have enough to get by. I don't think this is going to be the case for the rest of my life... but right now, I'm supposed to be home with my parents driving a school bus and answering phones in the front office.
Aside from just feeling right with my current place... I realized that youth ministry simply does not get me excited anymore. This worries me a bit because it used to be something I was quite passionate about... and lately I've been feeling a bit lackluster in general... but maybe it's just time to move on. I'm not even excited about being a catechist. I want to drop out. If I want to be completely honest with myself... I hated being a theology major. I never did any of my homework and I slacked at every paper I was assigned. The only parts of theology I was interested in were pneumatology (even then... I don't think I cracked open any books for it... it was mostly the class discussion I enjoyed and the fact that I never thought about the Holy Spirit before in such detail), spiritual companioning, and family church and society. I enjoyed some of the Scripture-based classes as well... but only when I was doing my personal research project, rather than learning anything else, and my personal research projects pertained to one of those three areas I mentioned earlier. B. Sutts ("Butts," as a friend and I used to call her) made me feel completely inadequate in ministry, but regardless of her stupid class, I still just don't think I would be a very good youth minister. I clearly can't get hired as one around these parts, so that should be a pretty good sign to start looking elsewhere, eh? It sucks because it makes me feel like I wasted 4 years of my life... but at the same time... those 4 years weren't a complete waste. I made some great friends and learned a lot along the way. They weren't easy, but they were good.
So anyway, what do I want to do? I haven't a clue. Maybe write. Maybe teach. Maybe do social work. Maybe run away and live in a redwood tree. Sometimes it's hard to remind myself that I have a place in the world somewhere.
3) I've been enjoying my young adult group, but I'm growing increasingly frustrated at how left out I really am. These guys in my group are mostly in their late 20s early 30s... with one or two exceptions. Whenever I try going to a "young adult" event... I simply do not run into anyone my age, or anyone not married or in a serious relationship. I don't have any 22-year-old friends around here. And I only connect so well with people that much older than me, you know? Even the late 20s guys. They don't exactly invite me out with them on the weekend.
4) I've been sick and miserable all week. I'm feeling a little better today... I can finally breathe through my nose and I don't have a horrible sore throat anymore, though I do have a little cough, but nothing major. Is it sad that I enjoyed being sick this week because the Nyquil gave me some really vivid dreams? The only problem with Nyquil is that I never wanted to wake up... the dreams always seemed so much more exciting.
5) I went back up to St. John's a couple weekends ago. Got to hang out with some old friends. I felt like I did not belong on campus anymore... I didn't even feel really welcomed, you know? I just kind of felt like it was time to move on and forget about it already. The people who I continue to keep in contact with are the ones who matter. The rest... well... as Fr. Rene would say in metaphysics... they drifted onto my stage and left, as is the case with most people in life.
6) I really love being home with my parents. However, I've been really lonely lately, because I never have anywhere to go on the weekends aside from staying up in my room watching movies on demand. As much as I love my parents... I'm not going to make new friends, or find someone to fall in love with, by staying in all the time. But at the same time, I don't have anyone to go out with either, so I'm stuck.
Well I think that's most of it. At least some of it. I should try and go to bed now. We are having a youth rally at church tomorrow (and it's *required*... so... yay... nothing says "get excited about Jesus!" like a required youth rally). I can't say I'm excited to give up my entire Sunday for it, but I am looking forward to seeing Jesse Manibusan, because I know he's a lot of fun. At least he was when I was in high school. Hopefully he isn't one of those things that stopped getting exciting for me because I got old and tired.