Sunday, May 22, 2005

Massaging, and more massaging

Tomorrow I've got my first in-home massage of someone who is not in my immediate family. Its gotten me a little nervous. I think I'm going to mess something up, expose something I'm not supposed too. Things will look to dirty, I won't look professional enough, I won't be adequately prepared. Somehow the "take a deep breath and recognize you can do this" approach seems inadequate. What will that be worth if my sheets are dirty. What will that be worth if I flub up something? I want to be as professional as I can be, but still the nagging question in my brain... "but who am I, and do I belong here." Its a weird thought that pops in and out. I don't doubt my capacity to massage. I doubt my capacity to look, act, feel, and be perceived as professional by someone who knows very well how to be professional. Its messing with my brain, it really is. Some part of me thinks my teeth are too crooked to be seen as professional. My body is shaped wrong, my manner of speech perhaps too informal. It seems that their are things about me I cannot change or do not know how to that must be changed to be truly "professional." Or maybe I've created a mountain out of a mole hill. Maybe being confident that I can give a good massage is all I really need. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Monday, May 09, 2005

My blogging brain

My brain is in strange places these days. I spent a long time talking to my little sister last night, and was left with the overpowering thought of "wow she's so teenager-y." She's 17 and mostly she reminded me of how much I am glad that those days are over. For me anyway they are over. Life is a little slower now, a little calmer, and strangely busier.

I've also been thinking a lot about my church. I have lots of ideas of things I could do there, but many of them do not seem like they are worth doing. They seem like they would take many more hours of my time, most of which would likely be spent on convincing people of the value of doing said activity. My problem is that I just do not get anything out of it anymore. Its turned into a glorified social occasion. I don't get anything intellectually from the sermons. They don't get me thinking, most of the songs leave me annoyed, and half the time I'm frustrated or irritated by the short-sightedness of the sermon.

Still there does not seem to be anyone there that I can explain this to. For most of them the sermons are great, the songs are fine, and there are plenty of people to talk to that understand their universe. For me thats just not the case. When I realized that our ministers were unlikely to ever understand me it was all down hill from there. Not because I had any particular need for them specifically to understand me, but because that lead me to thinking about whether or not there were others there that could.

Church is not just about finding some guidance, but in my mind its a very weak place if I cannot at least find that. I'm not looking for a "Hey go this way instead" kind of guidance, more of a "well maybe you are missing the bigger picture here, or maybe you are overlooking this." You know an outsider to look in occasionally. Someone you can talk to when you are a little confused. But my world is too different from theirs.

I don't even know how much I can do for them in this way. Diverse viewpoints are a good thing, but when you are the extreme minority and no one even realizes how different you are you begin to wonder if perhaps you are in the wrong place.

I find myself when talking to others at church, often adjusting my viewpoint so that I can better relate to them. Giving advice as if I were a perfectly normal person. Kind of a, "well I'm not a heterosexual monagamist that agrees with the mainstream view of the world but if I were here is what my advice would be."

See, clearly the problem is me, but what am I supposed to do about it. Maybe I'm not rising to the challenge as I could and should be. Learn to communicate, learn to be honest about how different I am, learn to reach out a little more, organize my time a little better...

It would be easier if I could just get Sundays off from work. Right now I barely have time to even talk to people after the service. Half the time I do not go because it does not seem worth it to go there just for two hours for a service I am unlikely to even get anything out of.

And I've found myself a lot doubting people's authenticity. Sometimes I feel like "yeah you would be nice to me no matter what kind of person I am, and no matter what kind of bullshit came out of my mouth." "So how do I know you are really a friend?"

Thats the trouble with a church that sees all humans as valuable, and I do to, but people often misunderstand the difference between tolerance and acceptance. I'll tolerate quite a bit, but that doesn't mean I am going to find every view point, and idea acceptable. I run into so many people that go out of their way to "accept me for who I am," but do not have a clue who I am. And how do I have a clue who they are beyond the "everything's acceptable facade?" How do I have a clue who they are when half the time they do not have a clue themself?

I want more than this. The question is do I want more than they can give, perhaps more than I could reasonably give in return, and is it time to move on?