Friday, September 21, 2007

Pops Rocks

Last night, I called my dad to vent about adult responsibilities (read: car maintenance) when we somehow got on the topic of youthful tomfoolery. And he started telling stories.

When my dad was my age, he played in a popular local band with none other than Dennis Haskins of Mr. Belding fame. (It's true. I've seen the pictures of Mr. Belding sporting bellbottoms and hair.)

Their band apparently had quite the cult following and they therefore "had an easy time with the ladies" (I didn't ask for specifics). Since the band members lived together, the party usually moved to their place after the shows ended and the bars closed.

Sometimes they'd legitimately be tired and want the groupie roadwhores to just go home. So instead of being upfront and simply asking the ladies to leave, they came up with hilarious schemes to discourage any more partying. My personal favorites are 1) drooling beer out of their mouths and then pretending to seize, 2) dumping buckets of water into the toilet while making horrible vomiting noises and 3) setting off the fire alarm.

No wonder I've been a troublemaker since day one. It's in my blood.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Balancing Act

The thing I’ve struggled most with in my twenties is faith.

There. It’s been said.

I realize that while religion isn’t exactly the coolest thing to blog about, it’s probably the most controversial. Honestly, I respect whatever your feelings and opinions are on the topic. Maybe you have the fire of the Lord in your soul and want to tell the world. Or maybe you think the Bible is an out-of-date book that fits better in a library than your lifestyle.

I personally fall somewhere in between.

Since as far back as I can remember, I’ve balked at religion. I was the "bad girl" with skinned knees who talked too much and laughed too loud during boring Sunday School lessons. I snuck random things (hair clips, artistic doodles, etc.) into the offering plate and made faces at friends when we were supposed to be praying. I loved asking teachers impossible questions I knew would make them flustered. (How do we know the Bible really is the word of God? And if God really created the world in seven days like it says, why do we have dinosaur bones?)

Truthfully, despite growing older, I haven't gotten a lot better. (See: perfect example.)

In it's simplest form, most religion spouts that in order to achieve an idyllic afterlife, our worldly lives must be lived piously and according to specific guidelines. Yet youth tends to laugh in the face of authority, whether from worldly parents or a heavenly God. When you’re young, life is intoxicating. It fills you up so completely that you can barely fathom a future where excitement isn’t enough. Your life revolves around new experiences and instant gratification. Life isn’t meant to be lived by rules; it’s meant to be explored—boundaries pushed, limits tested, self discoveries made.

Needless to say, I am NOT a religious person...I never have been and probably never will be. But as I've gotten older, my faith has become increasingly important to me. Yet my mid-twenties oftentimes causes my faith to be an elusive thing. Right now, life is wonderful. It's invigorating and exciting and it makes me feel invincible. As a result, my faith sometimes falls to the backburner...yet even when dim, it's always there.

Honestly, young people who are uber religious tend to scare me. (You know the ones. The kids who stay in and do Bible journals on Friday night when the rest of their peer group is playing beer pong.) I'm not saying it's wrong, just...odd.

I think there should be a healthy balance. Your twenties should be raucous and thrilling. You should be a little selfish and make a few mistakes. You should question things, including your religion.

In short, my faith serves as a guide on respecting myself and respecting others. It's always there to buoy my spirit when I stumble and lose myself. But will I still occasionally be found beer in hand, dancing on stage somewhere on Broadway? All signs point to yes.