I Love/Hate California

Six months ago, I decided to be reckless. I was out running by a lake near my home in Asheville as that all-too-common feeling of stuckness squelched my every step. I needed a change — what else is new? — something to plan, somewhere to run. As I literally ran in this moment of desperation, my thoughts latched onto the notion of a half-marathon. I’d run my first half four years ago as part of a 25th birthday celebration that also included my baptism […]

The Best Worst Year in the Blue Ridge

I’m the kind of guy who compares anything to everything: my favorite TV show (Survivor) to my least favorite (The Bachelor), the best month (April) to the worst month (November), the greatest year of my life (2012) to the very worst (2006). I can’t help it. I compare. It’s what I do. It’s why I love rankings and ratings and top-10 lists, the best and the worst. I can’t get enough of the comparison game. I especially enjoy comparing all […]

I Watched Gilmore Girls and Now I’m Thinking Too Much

I watched the Gilmore Girls revival over the weekend. There. I said it. Laugh at me. Deride me. Label me with your sharpest effeminate nicknames. It’s not like I have masculine issues or anything. I grew up with a little sister who loved Gilmore Girls, and as such, I saw more than a few episodes. I was the older brother “doing homework” in the living room while Gilmore Girls was on, but truthfully I was watching along with the family as Lorelai […]

You and I Will Be Okay

Earlier this year, I lost my beloved Mitsy to old age and a fuming engine on I-81S. I cried over her (wept, really), I memorialized her, and I spent the next two months of my life walking around Asheville until my sister’s old car became my new car — Des. She’s a 1998 Toyota Corolla, and her full name is Desdemona — a name I wasn’t wild about. Rather than christen her with a new name and inflict her with […]

Why I Do What I Do

A year ago, I knew nothing about recovery. Phrases like “twelve steps” and “Alcoholics Anonymous” may as well have been as foreign to me as “World Champion Chicago Cubs.” But then I started working with teens in recovery, both in the woods and in a beautiful building, and I’ve learned I’m not that different from them. “You’re a flawed individual,” an instructor told one of our students this morning. He didn’t mean it in a derogative way. He also called […]

God is Good, God is Great?

I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll probably say it time and time again: God bless Panera Bread. It’s a microcosm of society. From coast to coast, I’ve seen Christians unite at Panera after church and homeless people sit by the fireplace and little old ladies knitting and playing Scrabble. I’ve also seen students of all ages working with tutors of all ages over coffee and danishes and textbooks, a grouping of which I’ve proudly participated. I’ve also seen […]

The Opposite of Addiction

Back when I worked in wilderness therapy last year, I learned an important lesson: the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. I had to think about it for a while. Absorb it. Reflect on it. Think back on the times I’ve experienced addition — pornography, promiscuity, a poor self-image — and realize that the saying is true. In my most desperate times of overwhelming addiction, the only effective counteracting agent wasn’t mere withdrawal or […]

One Word to Sum Up Our New Future:

One more political-ish post. And then hopefully not another until (at least) the next election. I’m so glad it’s finally over. Give us at least a couple weeks to recover, media. Please. People are feeling stuff today. It started at sunrise as I drove to work and interacted with a coffee barista and fellow coworkers and students and it continues with reactions on Twitter and Facebook and everywhere else I look online. People are stunned. People are disheartened. People are […]