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I was talking to this guy I know a little about religion and faith.

He said that he thinks maybe it’s more important to keep the faith…

yet he’s an atheist.

I made an appointment with a different psychiatrist who I have heard good things about. I’m really happy about that…

My dad gave me copies of this paper tracing some of our family all the way back to the 1600’s. It’s interesting to see what my ancestors did…

My old roommate (and one of my very best friends) was asking me about the music situation. She brought up an interesting thought.. which is that a couple of years ago after I took a trip across the country I was really contemplating dropping out of school to just live and play some music. I didn’t end up doing it… but she mentioned how it’s funny that sort of happened anyway.

Man.. I don’t understand why I’m always so wound up at this time of the day…

Song of the day: At the Hop by Devendra Bahnhart.

“When you’re young… everything that happens is a thing all by itself. It’s a lonely thing. I know, I ‘member… They’s a time of change, an’ when that comes, dyin; is a piece of all dyin’, and bearin’ is a piece of all bearin’, an’ bearin’ an’ dyin’ is two pieces of the same thing. I wisht I could tell you so you’d know, but I can’t.”

-John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath

I know, I know… Steinbeck again? Sorry, but I love him.

I’ve been thinking about this quote. A woman is talking to her daughter. The grandmother just passed away and the daughter is pregnant.

I think there’s such wisdom in this quote. It’s so easy to only see the small picture… unconnected from anything else.

When I was a Christian, I always felt uneasy when people consoled me or others with that whole “God has a plan” spiel or “everything happens for a reason.” I figured that God could make the best of any situation, but to say that something horrible was part of his plan, well, I just couldn’t believe that.

I don’t really think that everything happens for a reason. I do believe, however, that good can come out of any situation… as hard as it may seem at the time. And that good may not directly make up for the bad, but it is what you choose to rest your eyes on- the good or the bad- that will ease or increase your suffering.

I believe that there is beauty in sadness. A friend once told me, “Two things can bring you to your knees: beauty and pain.” There’s wisdom in that.

Where I’m at right now… it’s hard to focus on the good coming out of all of this. I do see a few things already though. I feel really at peace with my family. My heart has really opened up to love. I know that I will come out of this thing much stronger than when I entered it. I’m learning a lot…

But in no way have I pulled through it yet. I still suffer daily from bouts of despair, hopelessness, terror, panic… times when I don’t see the good at all. Other times during the day I just feel like I’m sort of teetering on the edge but not quite there. And yet other times I feel on top of the world. Every day I go through this range of emotions, and it does get quite exhausting. And to make things even more complicated, even when I’m feeling like myself, sometimes I will think about the good part of my life that I left behind and of course I naturally grow very, very sad. I think about the beautiful children I worked with, the amazing organization I worked for, my friends, my consistent passion for life and learning…the path I was on, it was exciting and I was very content with it. I try to tell myself to be happy that I got to experience those things, know those people, and that helps. Sometime in April or May I’m going to go to Milwaukee for the day and visit the kids, get some closure. I think that will help too.

Yeah, it’s pretty hard to see the big picture sometimes. It seems, like the mother from Grapes of Wrath said, that “ever’thing that happens is a thing all by itself.” There is a bigger picture, though, and many different levels at which things are connected. There is peace in that…