Thursday, January 24, 2013

20 years old, going in circles

February 3, 2003.

20 Years old.

When I was 20 years old, I was halfway through my sophomore year at Southern Nazarene University. My declared major was Theology. Yup, that's right, Yours truly was in school to become a pastor (of some sorts).

I grew up going to Belle Isle Community Church and in high school they moved its congregation to a new building and renamed it Crossings Community Church. I loved it. I loved the people there (adults and peers) and wanted nothing else to do but remain in the church on a more permanent basis. Theology intrigued me.

I had always been somewhat a fan of history. Learning new stories and how we all got to be the way we are now, was always quite interesting. That's another reason church (and Theology in general) enticed me as much as it did. It was thousands of years of stories, which were all quite easily debated (strange that "facts" can be debated, but spend an hour in a philosophy and you'll see what I mean). It was all fascinating.

All that being said, I was an intern at Crossings in the Middle School Ministries ever since the summer after I graduated from Putnam City North (2001). Coming to a close on my second year of interning, I was beginning to doubt my desire to stay in the church from an employment stance. Working for a church was quite a different experience for me than I expected it to be - I was so used to being in the church from a congregation standpoint...that being on the other side really changed my thoughts. And, that was a pretty hard realization for me. I fought it pretty hard. A lot of my friends were fighting it as well. As more and more of them were leaving Theology for other majors, it made me take a look at my life and I began to really start having self-awareness and self-thought....for the first time ever. I started thinking on my own and questioning a lot more, not necessarily questioning other people or their motives...but for the first time, questioning mine.

I'm sure that's quite common for most at that age. You're 20 years old, away from the house you grew up in, surrounded by new people, paying for bills you didn't expect to be and making decisions you didn't think you were old enough to make.

So, I decided to make some of my own decisions and stand up for myself just a little bit more. I realized that I enjoyed communicating with people, debating ideas, working in groups and being involved, but not necessarily working in a church or even Theology...Theology just happened to be a religious-studies major...and since coming out of high school I wanted to be involved in church it made sense in my 18-yr-old brain to study Theology...oh well.

Now that I look back, I wish someone would have helped me with knowing my options (for instance, I couldn't have told you one thing about Public Relations or even name one person working in a Public Relations field). So, I did the best I could at the time (as most people two years into college do).

In the fall of 2003, I decided to officially quit interning at the church and officially switch my major to Elementary Education. It seemed to fit perfectly. I enjoyed being around youth, coordinating groups and teaching different thoughts and ideas. There really is something special about sitting down and talking with someone and teaching them something new and seeing that "Ah ha!" look on their face.

Anywho, I better stop here. I turn 21 tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Sidebar:  I now realize how much the internet has become the only source for photos. I guess we'll have to wait a couple years/days until 2005 when I actually start having access to photos.

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