Thursday, October 27, 2011

Def I ne

I'm in an awesome mood today, so I don't want this blog post to make it seem like I'm having some sort of crisis, far from it.

Well, that's not entirely true... I'm three quarters through "A Storm of Swords"... and those of you who have read the book can probably guess what chapters I just read... and that ruined my day yesterday.  Mini crisis in my own little mind there. 
Actually, on the note of the book, I'm so pumped to be genuinely enjoying reading a book.  Never before have I been so immersed in a book before that when something happens in it I end up dwelling and stewing on the happenings in between readings.  In fact, I'll probably go back to reading it as soon as this post is written.

But, I figured I'd write something, get it picked up a bit again.

I was reading a book a few months ago, "The Reason for God" by Timothy Keller.  I was really enjoying it, but put it down for some reason, I still have a couple chapters left that I haven't read, I don't know why.  Maybe I'll zip through those sometime in the next week... but I digress.
One of the last chapters that I had read came back to me the other day.. or at least I think it was from that book... regardless, it was about "identity" and more specifically where we get it from.  Now, as I'm sure you can assume, a book with a title like that is obviously theologically based, but it had a really good question that it posed regarding what defines you.  The book was encouraging the reader that having your "faith" as something that defines you would be something unchanging, which I guess makes sense seeing as broad and abstract as faith can be sometimes, but this isn't a theological post, this was just the introduction...

It got me to thinking lately though about what "defines" me.  Clearly, (as I've said time and time again on this blog), being a "student" used to define me.  It was a nice, all encompassing term.  "I'm a student at the University" = ah, this person is hard working, probably busy, going somewhere, has a plan, has a goal, has a social setting, etc.   But of course, that ended, and now that all encompassing term doesn't apply to me or a few of my friends who are in the same boat now with the same question "wow, what do I do now?".   I find this really interesting... do we "define" ourselves by our current jobs now?  Perhaps... but we likely don't want to do that.  "Lifeguard", "Gym employee", "Nanny" are all fine terms I guess... but none of them are quite as all encompassing as "student".  Which is interesting to me. 

Of course, these labels of definition aren't permanent either.  I won't be a "lifeguard" forever, and when that's gone what will be my definition?  It mine placed purely in what job I'm working in at the moment?  Is what defines us based on our current "projects"?  What happens when those end

"No, Jon, it's not!  What defines you is your personality, it's how you treat others!"

Hmm... maybe.  But then who is that definition for?  Probably the people who know you already... I think I'm referring to a more "first impression" level of definition.  "Hi, I'm Jon...."  and where do we go from here?

"Alright, it's based on your hobbies, so you could say 'triathlons', or 'acting'"

"Well those are alright as well, but what if I was rendered incapable of triathlons?  Does that change 'me'? or just rid me of a pasttime?  What if I loved... cars?  But couldn't dedicate as much time to cars as I used to... did what makes me "ME" just get lost somewhere?"

Pretty people will lose their looks, party animals will lose their youth, athletic people will get weak, energetic people will get old, rich people might lose their money, friendly people might lose their friends, experts might become outdated,  specialists might become obsolete.  Is anything that people place their self-worth in permanent?

I'm beginning to see why the book was pushing for "man of faith and discipline" to be the preferable defining characteristic.  These things can't really be affected by outside change of scenery.  But then again... what if I lose my discipline?  Is something that was characteristically "me" gone in that moment? 

This blog doesn't have answers, it doesn't even have properly formulated questions.  But, as I'm sure my lack of writing style has exemplified, I literally type out what is in my internal dialogue with myself haha.  I'm not having a crisis, I'm not searching for my identity (I don't think...), but I do think it's curious to observe both myself and my friends as what used to be such a great "defining characteristic", in fact THE defining characteristic

Truly the ramblings of a mad man.

I'm a mad man with a blog.

Definitely the --->  SONG OF THE WEEK!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A shocked otter

I'm nominating my own blog for "Worst kept of 2011".  I'd appreciate your support by continuing to become annoyed by checking it and not seeing any updates.


Jonathan Arkle BA.   I know that I posted on that in the past, but it still holds true.  It's a weird feeling... not sure I like it.  I haven't jumped into full time work yet, still doing the life guarding thing at the moment pending near future travel plans, but with 5 courses per "semester" and Gorman Bros. all taken out of the equation, I've got wayyy to much free time.  On the bright side,  I'm reading more (which is ironic), but I'm anxious to figure out a way to keep myself constantly on the go.

Oh well.

But my musings are boring, for the most part.  People like stories.  I don't have any particularly exciting ones off the top of my head, but I'll work on that.  The lack of steady stream of strangers that UBC provided leaves me feeling alienated.  I need an excuse to be in crowded places again.  But no good "stories" doesn't mean no good news.
(You'd think most people would be happy not to have to deal with the strangest individuals that society has to offer... but when I'm not constantly able to provide stories of them, I start to worry that others are providing said stories about ME).

A picture tells a thousand words, these are the latest things whilst I've been living life!

Laura's Wedding!

My friends Scott and Daniel passed away in a tragic hiking accident.  I will always remember them.  It's a funny feeling, losing someone you are that close with in such a tragic way... there is definitely that "gap" now that won't ever be filled.  I love you and miss you bud.

As if I wasn't nerdy enough... Doctor Who has become one of my new favorite television shows.  If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend beginning with Season 5, it's a good starting off point.
I doubtlessly have the best group of friends I could ask for.  A.. "best damn crew" of my own if you will (Hi Jordan, thanks for reading, missed you).
Best friends and my gorgeous girlfriend in red. (I say this so she'll hate the fact she checked my blog)

A shocked otter.  No relevance.

 Well how's that?  Something.

As I mentioned above... I'm making travel plans at the moment, and this blog is going to be utilized in a very major way during said travels, so it is not dead.. it just took a hiatus.   This won't be the first blog that I've loaded with pictures and promises to "keep updating", but at least it's something!

Also!  Let's bring this back.

The weather is getting colder which always brings the metal back into my playlist.  I am definitely not complaining.

"Winter is coming".