Snow That Traps and Beckons

I still remember sitting in that YMCA conference room last March, my third day of training for this new job and just my fourth day living in Asheville. I stared out the giant bay windows, mesmerized by flaky snow drifting downward from a vast gray expanse. This city I’d only ever known for summer camps and tanktops now threw me a new, wintry contrast. Last year’s snowfall only produced a thin dusting, and it wouldn’t snow the rest of the year. Wouldn’t […]

Shackles and Freedom and the Space In-Between

Your bike chain breaks. The rains pour down. But still you soldier forward into the crosswalk and down the sidewalk. Because inside your wallet is a coffee shop punchcard with 16 holes, the magic number, the promised land, and you’re power-walking toward the place wiping raindrops from your brow. You step inside and reveal the punchcard with an irreplaceable smile. You hand it over, and within minutes you’re sipping a free mocha milkshake. It’s the little things. Since surrendering my second car […]

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’ve Never Been More Hopeful and Terrified

Last week I “celebrated” the one-year anniversary of my cross-continental road trip’s conclusion. And by “celebrated,” I mean to say I cried multiple times by day’s end. No dramatic gasping wheezing weeping sessions, but I dabbed my eyes throughout the afternoon and evening as I looked back at some images from the road, including that final one of myself gazing over Charlotte’s sparkly skyline. It was “supposed” to be the end of all my wandering. And by “supposed,” I mean to say that […]

I’m Fucking Afraid of the Dark

Girls. In all my youth involvement over the years, I’ve never worked with young girls. Not exclusively, at least. Not in the classroom and certainly not in the wild. I’ve grown quite accustomed to boys of all ages. Boys who swear and fight and fart. For the second week of my new wilderness therapy job, however, I was working with four teenage girls and it proved enlightening on many levels. For one, I had no idea teenage girls swear and fight and fart, too. Fart openly […]

I’m 27 and Afraid to Take Off My Shirt: GUEST POST on Bedlam Magazine

I haven’t guest-posted somewhere in a while. Time to change that! Today, I have the great honor of being featured over at Bedlam Magazine, an awesome new collaboration of messed up Christians. Check out this teaser of my post on shirtlessness and masculine body image, and read the rest over at Bedlam! As a teenager I was often teased by my family because I avoided the water so much. My Georgia home had a beautiful in-ground swimming pool, but even amid […]

Why I’m Sad and Why I Might Run Away

I don’t often “vent” on this blog. I usually reserve such emotional outpourings for my journal. Or if I’m feeling courageous enough, with a trusted individual or two. To all who have personally suffered amid the snotty sniffling presence of a Tom-meltdown, I vigorously apologize. In these two-plus years of blogging, I’ve often considered the “point” of my blog. Is it to be funny? Am I that quirky writer guy? Or am I here to be super emo? Am I […]

IDENTITY: My “One Word 365” Spring Check-In

My “One Word 365” for 2013 is identity, and it’s time to check in for the spring. Though it’s technically not even spring yet, recent events beckon this post. My one word for the year makes perfect sense given my upcoming little-holds-barred book. Also, the Indian name I received at camp last summer has taken over my blog, my life. My identity. Traveling Golden Trout. Since camp ended in August, I’ve been wearing this blue bracelet etched with my new […]