When the New Man Looks Like the Old Man

“If anyone needs prayer, I invite you to speak with someone at the back of the room before you leave our service today. We’d love to pray with you.” I do need prayer, I think to myself from the back row. I need prayer very much. I need freedom from passivity. I need courage. I need strength to take initiative and step forward again. But therein lies the problem: I need someone to pray for my impulse to move because I […]

I Don’t Want to Be Your Hero

I saw Boyhood while #RunningTo took me to a coffee shop in High Point, North Carolina. I watched all 166 minutes of it on my laptop. I’m sure the baristas were wondering what in the world was with that bearded wanderer who kept erupting into teary hysterics. I could write a dozen blog posts about the film itself — the simplistic plot, the real-life aging of all the actors, and comparisons to my own boyhood. Maybe someday I’ll write those other blog posts. Today I want to focus on […]

I Don’t Get Transgender People

I struggle with a lot of stuff. You might have heard. Some of my struggles have eased over time, and others remain . . . well, a struggle. I am a critical person. I don’t always show it, but I certainly think and feel it. I’ve been self-critical as long as I can remember. Tom, you’re unattractive and quiet and weird. Tom, you’re not a good writer. Tom, you’re a horrible friend. The cynical list goes on and on, but I’ll halt the brakes on the Self-Deprecating Express. […]

What Makes Me a Horrible Friend

I’m a horrible friend. I only want your friendship for your kind words so that I can feel affirmed. I only want your friendship for your favors so that I can do less work or spend less money. I only want your friendship for those one-sided conversations that make me feel less lonely as I completely neglect your goings-on. I’m a horrible friend. I hate texting you and calling you and otherwise trying to squeeze you into my weekly self-absorbed schedule. […]

I’m Not Growing Anymore

Tonight, I sit alone. It is a night not quite unlike many prior Tuesday nights, secure within my favorite coffee shop on Earth. I am sitting by the window, the only such seat in this confined space, and the view downtown is lovely tonight. Just like every other Tuesday night. Coming to this coffee shop has been a weekly tradition stretching back many months living in this wonderful city. It is a freeing night to catch up on reading blogs […]

Why I Used the F-Word in My First Book

I’ve been wanting to write this pestersome post for almost a year now. But I’ve also really wanted to avoid it. I’ve wanted to pretend like “the issue” didn’t exist or matter and, like, whatever. Avoid, avoid, avoid. Avoidance works for a while. Sometimes, avoidance works for a long while. After a long while, though, avoidance hurts more than action. It distracts, it obsesses, and it cripples. And so, I think it’s finally time to write this pestersome post. I […]

The Real Reason Why I’ve Never Dated

I’m 26, soon to be 27, and I have never dated. This fact used to elicit great shame; at times, it still does. Looking back, however, I don’t believe I’ve ever been “ready.” Somebody in an online group recently posed a question that awakened me as to why: “How do you know you want to be with someone, that you’re willing to have them invade your space and time?” I’d never quite thought of romance this way. Something about the […]

Why I’m Joyful and Why I Might Not Run Away

Last week, I hit the publish button on a messy post I’d written two days prior. Truthfully, I didn’t know whether to post it. This feels a bit too vulnerable, I thought — even for me. Alas, I needed to vomit those long pent emotions from my system. My poor gut couldn’t take it anymore. Upon dispelling my vomit, I was blessed and affirmed by so many. Comments and messages and floods of support from all over. Honestly, I love you guys. […]