Monday, October 19, 2009

Socrates was right...

“An unexamined life is not worth living.” –Socrates

I entered the world Oct 18, 1983 and 26 years have passed. Naked Anniversaries are celebrated in different ways. Some people do not like to celebrate them at all, for them that celebration almost solidifies their aging and time behind them, they mark another year closer to becoming old. I see things a bit different from that view. It would be an accurate statement to call me a thinker or analytical. I use these birthdays to reflect on my life. Yesterday was a good day, full of reflection and expression of progression. My biological father came in town for the weekend, I visited the church I moved up here to help start, I really thought about how much I appreciate my parents, hung out with an old friend, and had some rich conversation and spent time with my girl J.

My mom and dad divorced when I was pretty young and then there was a 15 year gap of no contact with my dad. I hated that man for along time because I didn’t understand a lot of things and allowed bitterness and unforgiveness to dictate my attitude. So after 15 years of never spending any time with him I found myself at 4am sitting in a white castle across from him. I was very nervous about him coming to town. We had been in contact over the email for several months that eventually lead to this trip being planned. Although I didn’t plan for it to be on my birthday weekend, it is no accident or coincident that it did. He came in on a Greyhound Bus and arrived in Indianapolis at 3:20am. I arrived around 4:30am because I overslept though. I searched the bus station for a man I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I could not see anyone close to what I remember him looking like or what I imagined. We had discussed 24 hour food places over the email a couple times, so I walked over to white castle thinking he may have walked over there. I walked in and saw him sitting in the back. My heart raced as I faced a man that I never thought I’d see or spend time with again. After small talk we got back to my apartment, he could not check into his hotel until noon, and chat some more. That chat quickly turns from small talk to deep talk. A lot of old feelings and questions were drug back out of me. I didn’t anticipate having the conversation this weekend, although I knew it would come up, and I didn’t bring him to Indianapolis to attack him or corner him. The conversation heated up and I got a lot off my chest and said things to him that I needed to say. Don’t get the wrong picture though, my speech came form a place of love and peace. I had been working on my forgives issue with him within myself for a couple years before this. After I said what I needed to say and we talked and he answered some questions it seems like the nervousness and tension disappeared. I spent Saturday showing him my life, my city, and re-introducing him to me and who I was now. Sunday was cool because I was able to actually ask about him and get to know him a little bit better. It was a good time and I think something God had been stirring in me for years. It was the pinnacle of forgiveness, reconciliation, and progression for me. As I reflected on all this I just thanked God and smiled as I knew that, as hard as it all has been, I was doing the will of God.

“Did my doctor tell you something I should know?” That’s the message I received from my step dad, Danny early in the afternoon Saturday. After my deep talk with my biological father, Alan, I really reflected and realized how appreciative I was of my mom and Danny as well. I sent them a text message that said something along the lines of, “I love you and appreciate all you’ve done for me.” That was a good place to be in, a place of appreciation and love. I think it was a growing point in my relationship with them as well. I think it is important for parents to be told how much they are loved and appreciated by their adult children in response to reflection.

Yesterday, Sunday, I woke up, went to Julia’s and ate some breakfast and waited for her to get ready. After that we began quite the adventurous day. We went to church at Indy Metro because the church community gathering we attend normally was doing community service and painting a building so I figured it wouldn’t be cool to have a visitor come with us and paint, plus I wanted to show him the church that I helped start. After church we went to lunch and a friend and his lady, Andrew & Chirsten, came with. We went to Taste in Broad Ripple. If you have never been or you are visiting Indy, I’d suggest you go, your life and taste buds will be expanded and enriched! Then we all went to Waterman’s Farm and Fall festival type deal. We took a hey ride, got lost in the corn maze, and picked out own pumpkins. I dropped everyone off at their respectable locations and got in a little quiet time for myself at Starbucks, actually got some reading done in a book I’ve been wanting to finish. I met up with my dad Alan for dinner and then after that went to bed. So that is what was on the itinerary yesterday. But back to Indy Metro. Julia said she felt like she was with the popular kid in school because I knew everyone. I don’t say this to boast, but say it with joy because God used me to impact people and they remember and actually like me. I remember still sitting in living rooms and coffee shops dreaming about what Indy Metro would look like, the early days when 6 of us would just talk about it while trying to manage our own ways around a new city, to us at least, Indianapolis. The building was very full and the crowd was very diverse. It was cool to see something that I was once part of getting started and off the ground flourish.

Julia and I were talking about how much fun Sunday was when she made the statement, “I think Andrew is one of your few true friends.” That statement brings joy to my heart, it’s a good thing for me to think on. I’ve gone through a lot of questioning of “friendships” lately so it is good to hear from my best friend that she sees another friend in my life. That statement alone made me think about all Andrew and I had been through. When I first met Andrew, it was at a Starbucks. Someone had given my name through Indy Metro as a way to get plugged in and connected. He was going through a rough time and for the next several months we spent a lot of time together, eating taco bell, watching football, going to The Living Room, and jumping out of airplanes. It was cool to reflect on where our friendship had been and interesting to see the dynamic of it change. Overall though, it was very cool to reflect on a good friend and our friendship. We even made plans to take them to our favorite restaurant an upcoming weekend!

I can say from a very sober, logical, and seasoned mind that Julia is my best friend. We have such great conversations and she helps me grow in ways she doesn’t even know. Trough out all this reflection, last year, and most recent life transition, the most consistent thing besides God has been Julia. Our relationship has truly become what I would call rich. Just reflecting on all the above made me think of her being in my life so much and being so supportive of me.

Overall it was a great weekend full of reflection. This morning, as I rode to work in complete silence, like I normally do, I just thanked God for all He had done in my life. I have a ton to be thankful for and see these last 26 years as ones that have molded me into who I am today. Socrates was on to something when he made that statement. An unexamined life is not worth living, it is great to reflect, learn, grow, and be thankful.


  1. Hey, give the original coiner of "Naked Anniversary" credit!

    Glad you had a good weekend my love!

  2. Your experience with your Dad really brings me back to many of the emotions I struggled and wrestled with after I started reconnecting with my father a few years after he divorced my Mom. It's not exactly the same, because I was much older (17) and he wasn't out of my life for nearly as long (I only went about two years without speaking to him), but there were still a lot of emotions and a lot of "hate" that had to be dealt with.

  3. Andrew, thatnks for your comments. Reconciliation and forgiveness have literally drug me face first through the mud and is so hard, but very liberating. I'm not sure what a future relationship with my father looks like, but I know I have freedom in knowing I have followed Jesus as close as I could in this whole deal. I'd encourage you to as well.