Realness - In the six-month absence from my posting I have denied myself the privilege of putting my thoughts in words and my words in to an idea that I am hoping to communicate both to myself and whomever may come across it. In denying myself this form of expression I have not consistently thought through the new patterns of my life in such a way that I would try and describe it in terms of a tornvertical post. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” This is how I had come to think about life only a year ago, “What is the Lord teaching me in this situation in life? How can I share that thought and this experience with others?” Then at some point in April a lot of things in life were just not making as much sense and were very challenging to me and to this new life that I was only in the very infantile state of creating. I was having a hard time seeing all that God was trying to teach me through the joys and the challenges of life after college. I didn’t know how to process this seemingly foreign world around me in terms of that fit the situation. I was learning to speak the language of a college graduate in a big metropolitan area. I was learning to take me first steps as a young professional. I was starting to be able to handle the solid foods of total independence. It is a whole new world with new rules and expectations and everything that I learned in college, in the classrooms and outside the classrooms, only prepared me for the ability to process everything that was going on around me. I learned how to speak the language of the young professional, meaning I learned how to hide the confusion and overwhelmed feeling of this new chapter in life. I took to walking the walk of a very busy and driven professional. I could come across as busier than you if I wanted to. I could always ‘have something to do’ even if it was nothing at all. While sheer independence means the buck stops here and I am totally dependent on me and me alone, it means that it is all up to me and that stressed me out. It is more comfortable to know that there is always a safety net. All of these new emotions and thoughts and patterns in my life lead me to feel as though I truly had no new ideas that I could post here. I didn’t want to give up my little secret that I don’t have it all together and that nothing was bothering me in any way shape or form. “Hey Andy, how are you doing?” “Fine.” Absolutely, we are all fine. You are fine, I am fine, we are all fine as long as fine is defined by the questions about life that we hide and the confusion we feel about how it all is suppose to turn out. You don’t have it all together and neither do any of your friends. I sure don’t. So here is what it has taken me six months to realize, that since none of us have it all together, let’s all just drop the façade that we do and stop trying to one up our peers and get real with each other. It is comforting to know that you are not the only one having a tough time today, this week, or even this year. I would wager that if you went up to a good friend and you got real with them you would find out that the thing that you thought you were the only one struggling with is actually the same thing that they thought that they were the only one faced with it. We gain so much more by dropping the walls of fake smiles and “I’m Fine” appeasement statements and getting down to the nitty gritty of each other's worlds. It is then and only then that true friendship can grow on the foundations of vulnerability and sincerity and intentionality. I dare you to try it.