Tag Archives: maturation

| Worst Behavior! |

I am an idea man.

There. I said it.

Some dudes aspire to be movers and shakers. Some dudes aspire to be point men, and they want to have a hand in all of the endeavors that they can manage. Me? I like to think. I like to think, and I like fleshing out ideas. However, I tend to think that ideas are not the sexiest thing in the world (cause I’m an expert on sexy, obviously). If you really think about it though, ideas are what keep things going! Just think, if no one ever thought about being luxuriously comfy/warm all the time, we’d never have such classics as the snuggy! Who wants to think of a world without a snuggy? Is this a fair question to be asked from someone who has never worn a snuggy?

Hi. I’m tired. Whoops, what a way to introduce myself. Actually, my name is Justin *takes bow*. I’m silly, I’m dorky, (sometimes funny) but, I am also an INFP. (What did you just call me?!) There are lots of convoluted definitions as to what this really means, so I’m just going to go with the breakdown as I understand it:

Introvert – This means that I can get away with not wanting to deal with small talk, big group settings, and helps to illustrate my occasional social awkwardness to people. I get my energy from being alone, and I operate well within the confines of one-on-one hanging out. However, this also means that I’m really good with speaking in front of people, because I can disconnect myself from an audience (this can come in handy sometimes).

iNtuitive – This means that I can judge stuff, because that’s how I gain information from it. I also base my actions/ideas on past dealings and experiences. This can keep me safe, it can also keep me unnecessarily guarded in things.

Feeling – I’m just a big sap. There’s no shame to that (right)? I’m a lover, not a fighter, and supposedly, I’m good at picking up what you’re putting down (If you feel me 😉 ).

Perceiving – I’m supposed to be really observant about things (usually, I’m just blankly staring into space, but i’ll take it). It also means that if you invite me to something, you might want to tell me to get there 15-20 minutes before you really want to start. This is the best way to get me to be on time for things. I am not a jerk, I just feel like I have ALL THE TIME for EVERYTHING, EVER (it’s a wonder I’m not more tired than I am).

I often find myself setting rather lofty (or maybe not so lofty) goals in life. At the beginning of the year, I told myself that I would take one photo a day, for the entirety of a year. I also told myself that I would be getting to the gym at least 3 times a week. Now, based on the proximity to New Year’s day, I could understand if you just wrote these things off simply as resolutions for the coming year. However, as the dork that I am, I considered these to be full-time life changes. The fact that I did not make it past 2 months on the gym thing, and 111 days on the photo project should not reinforce your aforementioned judgement on my short term life changes (thank you very much, Mr./Mrs./Ms. Mc Judgerson!). This type of thing is normal for me, really. I get all big and excited about something, and then get distracted by another big, shiny idea in short order.

Now then, onto the reasons that I love the fall. DAMMIT Justin, STAY FOCUSED.

drakeAs I sat and pondered things up to this point, I remembered that there was one thing that I set out to do this year that I was able to follow through on! Thanks to Drake, I had a mantra set for myself for 2014: WORST BEHAVIOR! This was going to be the year that I spent some time really trying to get away from doing things the way that I usually did, up to this point. It was supposed to inspire me to get out in the world and start really just jumping on opportunities and taking chances in ways that I was not used to. I wanted to shake things up, why not? What was holding me back from any of that? The interesting thing is that without even knowing, I was able to do just that (oh, such the cliché).

As corny as this might seem. I totally got started on the road of the idea of Worst Behavior, thanks to an experience that I had around a young lady that I fancied right at the end of the 2013. I said nothing to her about any interest in her, and she up and got a boyfriend (NOT me, of course)! Which was awesome for her, but made me realize that I needed to start making some opportunities for myself, and acting on them. Life throws out some great situations for us, but if we’re too busy chasing after the wrong thing, or hesitating on everything, stuff really just passes you by. I didn’t want to be on the fly-by list anymore.

Right from the beginning of the year, my idea was that I should start saying yes to a lot of things, and stop saying no to a lot of things. I remember that I was meeting up with my accountability group (yup, this post is about to get REAL Christian, Ya’ll!) and they were asking me about when I’d stop saying no to church, and try going to a small group or something. It was high time that I was getting involved again with things. I started pondering what that looked like. Up to that point, I had not regularly been attending church for at least a good year, and the church that i’d left, did not feel like a place that I was totally comfortable with. The people that were there were good folk, and a lot of them were awesome, but I just never really fit in completely (first world church problems). I went a couple of times and thought that it might be time to check out a new place.

I landed at a church called Re:generation. I had been there a couple of times, and remembered that some people that I had known (in what feels now like a past life), had attended. I thought that I would give it a good college try. I checked things out around early April, and decided to stick with things after Easter. Of course, I wasn’t just throwing myself out there yet, but I did end up meeting some cool people, and decided to jump into a home group, to check things out. Of course, I was shy, and didn’t know what to expect, but I found a group of people who were excited about life, and about pursuing Jesus together. I got hooked up with Late Night (Shout Out the the Late Night Crew!).

Also, a college friend, Erin found me after church one time, and mentioned that I should play cajon at church (Just in case you’re interested, a cajon is a wood box that is kinda like an acoustic drum). I found out that there was a monthly Jam Session at church, and decided to jump in one week and see what things were like. This turned into me having a quick convo with a gal by the name of Jane, who just happened to be the worship leader. She thought that it would be a good call for me to start playing with the worship team on some Sundays. Again, this being a “yes year”, I told her that I would jump in. It was pretty awkward at first, but after a couple of Sundays, I felt like I was able to play in front of the congregation with some confidence. It was awesome, as it opened up conversations with people at church that I don’t think I would’ve had if left to my own devices.

One of the most interesting things that I found was that I could be real with people at home group. This was completely different than I had been accustomed to in the past few years. People were struggling with real stuff and they were willing to open up about it and challenge each other on things. This was quite refreshing, and led me to want to invest more deeply with the people in the home group. My roommate Wayne has even began to see people regularly at my house as I decided to open my place up to hosting the home group. It’s kinda awesome, cause it makes me feel like an important part of the group, but also gave me access to having some conversations with people that I would not have had before… Including this really amazing woman that I met through the church… However, that’s a different and awesome story, in itself.

I randomly sat down earlier this evening and thought about how I hadn’t followed through with a bunch of things that I wanted to do this year (I am working hard to still hit my goal of getting 30 books read by the end of the year), and realized that I actually came really far with the simple idea of changing things up, and being open to new possibilities that were showing themselves around me. WORST BEHAVIOR for me, meant me getting out of my head a bit, and out of my comfort zone even more. The year isn’t even quite done, and I have a lot of exciting things on the way… It’s good to be able to recognize that, and I’m grateful for what 2014 has had for me.

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| Nice to meet you… |

I’m going to quote one of my favorite rappers, Mr. Shawn Carter:

“Allow me to reintroduce myself…”

Some of you might think you know me. Some of you might miss me a lot (aww, that’s so kind of you. I miss you too!). Some of you might simply wonder: “Who does this foolio think he is?”. I AM A VER– *ahem*. I am a very important and interesting person, thank you very much.

If I haven’t seen you in quite a while, I apologize. We should really make plans to hang out soon. If you haven’t seen me in a while, I might want to warn you that I’m looking a little different these days. In the last 2 months or so, I have gone ahead and lost a bit of weight (currently 33 lbs. lighter), I have stretched my earlobes, and I have procured a nice tattoo. I was asked today if I’m rebelling against something, with all these modifications and changes.

The best way to explain this, is to say that I’m finally starting to arrive. I am usually fashionably late to the party, however, it’s usually a pretty good turnout.

This is the image that I got tattooed on my arm last saturday. I got it tattooed on the inside of my right arm. Fancy yes?

My original plan was to have a line of text be the tattoo. It was going to be something along the lines of: “Never settle for being a carbon copy of you.” The basic idea is that I feel like, the duration of this year has really helped me grow. I was able to let go of some big baggage, and I think that I’m definitely on the way to really becoming/showing the real Justin that I’ve been growing into. The base of this design is the logo of the city of Oakland. I chose this, because I believe this journey started in Oakland and materialized itself in Oakland. 6 years ago, I was part of an urban mission trip that took place here. I learned a lot about myself here, and I felt the calling to reside here. It took me about 4 years to actually move here.

The group that I was here with, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, was an organization that I wanted to work for. That was the idea before I was done with college, I thought that I would be able to jump into that life and start doing that for a living making a difference in the lives of college students. I decided that I wanted to do this really from the beginning of my time in the fellowship. The actual transition from my idea to the realization of the opportunity to be on staff, it took about 3.5 years. (Noticing a pattern?)

When I finally had the chance to move to Oakland, it was at the hands of my career as a staff worker. Truth be told, I couldn’t really live the life of a staff worker, because I owed too much money to the gov’t. (YAY expensive diplomas). 4 years after the initial desire, I was finally in Oakland, but I wasn’t really there. I was too into working, and I didn’t get any time to really insert myself into the community. It really took me almost 2 years here for me to feel comfortable enough to actually put myself out there.

So the trend is, I get an idea, and I want to do something. However, I’m usually not ready when I want to do it. This past year in Oakland has been an awakening. The tree is a symbol for patience and growth. Here one on hand, it represents where so much happened. On the other hand, it’s a reminder that good things take time. It takes a lifetime for a tree to mature and show itself. It does not have days or weeks to prove itself.

I am finally feeling like it’s ok to put myself out into the world. There is a lot to go, I am far from who I want to end up being, but it’s a lifetime challenge to become that person. I have nothing to prove to anyone, but myself. God planted the seed, and knew what He was growing. I just have to be patient enough to see/allow it to happen.

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