Thursday, January 16, 2014


Standing at a crossroads is really no place to stand. Indeed, you might as well consider yourself a fence straddler and concede to being a centrist, because this is who you are. I've never been much of a centrist, I tend to land squarely on a side somewhere, although it might not be the side you think. But at the moment I am wandering from place to place in my head and I am not sure what's next.

This sounds so innocuous and yet at the same time it seems so vague, but the truth is that I am truly unsure what I want to be when I grow up. No really. I should have figured this out long ago and for a while I guess I thought I had. But times changed, economics played a part and today my heart is in a different place than it was 10 years ago when I had the world right where I wanted it. Part of me wants to go back to that place, ten plus years ago where everything seemed to flow so well and finances were good and my chosen profession seemed so natural. But to go back now would be to deny who I have become and pointing to that truth is the most profound thing I have right now.

There are times when my creative mind would love to jump back into what I enjoyed and simply pick up where I left off, but now my creativity has new outlets to venture into and therefore I am torn. And what tears at me most is something that should not even be in question. For instance, to go back to what I enjoyed would most likely require a complete change in my schedule, which would also put a strain on the time I spend with my wife and kids. However, to continue on in the direction I am moving is probably also going to require some major changes, and maybe that’s what gives me pause.

Ultimately, my opportunity for creativity is at the heart of my dilemma. I miss being a designer but I am enjoying my new outlets for creativity, chiefly that of learning to play the guitar and the chance I get to write for the local paper. My love of music has always been enjoyed through singing. For more than 20 years, I have been part of some form of musical group as a singer. It started early and before I knew it I was singing with the church choir and it just took off from there. And while that has always been a real joy for me, this new venture of learning to play the guitar, which started almost a year ago, is really exciting. It took me a while to get the hang of it and for some time I was absolutely horrible about practicing, but now I practice every day and I actually look forward to it.

On the other hand, writing is something I really picked up in junior high. At first it was journaling and then it was writing music, followed by more journaling which lead to blogging. I started writing online about 15 years ago and it has always been my personal place to release the mess that lives in my head. Some things get out there for public consumption, others die in my computer, never to see the light of day. About 18 months ago there was a notice in the local paper that asked for any interested writers to submit a column for consideration for something that would run about every 6 weeks or so. My submission was accepted and I have been writing for the paper ever since and I absolutely love it.

All of this sounds good and yet the crossroads I stand at is not going anywhere, primarily in regards to my music. Specifically speaking, music has led me to a place of service. The opportunities lie in determining which direction I feel called to move. For now, I’m OK with the challenge of leading worship at church every other Sunday, but I know there is so much more to that. Because of my willingness to buckle down and practice, I am slowly getting better at playing. The change I am making in being able to play better is a confidence booster for sure and drives me to play more often. Part of me wishes I had stuck with piano as a kid or maybe picked up guitar much sooner, but here we are. And while it is very difficult to learn and master something new while in your mid 40’s, it is certainly not impossible. So I plunge ahead, all the while wondering if I should be taking this in a different direction or simply allowing myself to be used for the needs at the moment.

The hard part for me is that I am not the guy that is satisfied with filling the needs at the moment. I like to see the big picture and then work towards that. I like vision and I like to chase after it. If there is a long range plan for playing the guitar, then sign me up; I can only stand at this intersection for so long before someone runs me over.

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