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Showing posts from 2017

College: A Dream Deferred.

I recently submitted this post as an article to be published, but it was denied. So, I'm posting it here, with a few additions and edits. 
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about mental health, it’s that illnesses are really just lists of symptoms. In the last 7 years, I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Anxiety. Some disorders and diseases overlap in symptoms. It’s not the label that defines you. But the symptoms? Sometimes they do define you, as much as you hate to admit it. This is the story of how my symptoms and several diagnoses slowly—from age 9 to 25—overcame my dream of graduating from college.
I had always dreamed of going to Abilene Christian University, the same school my parents, my brother, all my cousins, and even several of my aunts and uncles attended. It is a small school in West Texas that most people have never heard of, but to me, it was the only school. I grew up attending their Leadership Camps on campus since the summer after 3r…

Sacred Space: Switchfoot on a Tuesday night.

I went to one of my sacred spaces last night. To you, it may sound like an ordinary place, or to some even a dumb place. To me though, this place is utterly sacred. Last night I went to a Switchfoot concert. 
Allow me to explain...
I have been a big fan of Switchfoot since about 5th grade when I heard their first major single. I became a huge super-nerd-fan of Switchfoot when I finally saw them live for the first time on my 16th birthday. 
There was no turning back. 
I saw them again live for my 17th and 18th birthdays...actually, I've seen them almost every time they've come to Texas since my 16th birthday. So, I think I've been to between 8-10 of their concerts; I've literally lost track. It's a familiar place, but I've actually only seen them in the same venue twice. I've taken lots of different friends with me to these concerts, and at one time a friend and I were members of their official fan club, which meant we had special passes to meet them before …

Public Private Letters, Part 7: Dear Evan.

Dear Evan,

You're a Soul Friend. It's kind of like a best friend, except you can have many more than just one. You're one of mine.

As I'm writing this, you're sitting across from me at Starbucks, getting started studying. You just finished telling me how stressed you are about a bunch of things. I'm here to tell you I believe in you! I always I have. I believe you can do it. You always do!

It's been such a joy to see you grow up over the last 6 years or so. From a camper on my first hall at camp to an almost-graduate of college, you've come a long way--and so have I (although it often feels like I'm stuck in the same place!). You've been a constant encouragement to me, even when you probably didn't realize it. I loved being your Big in club, but I honestly felt like you encouraged me more often than I encouraged you!

Here's a few memories I have of you and some ways you have impacted me that you may not be aware of, and I'm fairly c…