When I Grow Up…

We watched Eat Pray Love last night.

It was a good movie I suppose, unexceptionally predictable and charmingly wistful but generally unfulfilling. For those who haven’t seen it (and if you’ve seen [fill in any romantic comedy over the last 10 years] you’ve seen it), the story was about a woman who traveled the world to find her meditative state and struggled to let others love her because she couldn’t love herself. Whatever.

I was intrigued though by the catalyst for this woman’s adventure. See, she lived a rather normal life, probably similar to you or me or my sister or your brother. She was a writer with lots of friends, living in the U.S. with her husband, drinking wine on the weekend, going to shows on weeknights, a normal life. The thing that drove her to the edge though, to catch a plane to the middle of everywhere that wasn’t here, was the schizophrenia of her husband.

He wasn’t like Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest or anything like that. He was just vocationally ambiguous with a large side helping of “I have no idea what I’m doing with my career.” Probably much like a lot of us. He couldn’t make up his mind about what he wanted to do with his life. So she just…left.

Jen and I struggle back and forth a lot with what I want to do, what I want my career to look like. I like to dream. She likes to be able to pay the rent. I’m irrational. She settles me down. I have a million ideas. She tells me to choose one (or two). I love endless possibilites. She sees the framework within which we must operate.

To her credit, Jen is (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) usually the down-to-earth of us two. I should clarify that I’m only talking in terms of dreams and ambitions and professions and things like that. She’s also the same person who tried to convince me to buy an Airstream for us to live in, possibly permanently, so that should tell you where I’m at with these kinds of things if she’s the “down-to-earth one.”

She reassures me that, yes, it’s OK to have dreams and weave words and make plans. She encourages me to do so. But her heart must not be whipped back and forth in the winds of my indecision. She must know what exactly it is I need encouragement in.

Proverbs 31 is famously the “how to be the awesomest and hottest (always 2 t’s) wife ever” chapter of the Bible. But I think verse 23 is speaking to me:

Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.

The gates weren’t where the Israelite men who were good at playing xbox for dozens of hours at a time because they didn’t know what else to do with their lives hung out. This was where the the leaders hung out. The men who made firm decisions and led with integrity. The men who had vision.

I know there were plenty of leaders in the Bible who were schizophrenic in their decisions (Jonah) and indecisive in their profession (Paul – writer, tentmaker, killer(!), traveler, preacher) but to you my wife, I strive to be more focused with my dreams, more consistent in my work, and less of a burden on your heart of encouragement.

Oh, and happy 6 months 🙂
Today is also my grandparents’ 64th wedding anniversary. We have a long way to go….

If you missed them over the weekend here are two posts you might want to check out:

Holiday music selection
Christmas gift guide and giveaway

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I'm an aspiring freelance writer and blogger (which doesn't make a ton of sense when you think about it). I started a blog called Our Marriage Project and one about OSU called Pistols Firing. I love both of them, and I love my wife. And I love Kevin Durant, Explosions in the Sky, Tim Riggins, Blue Moon ale, Twitter, and the state of Georgia.

5 thoughts on “When I Grow Up…”

  1. I read the first two thirds of the book before I saw the film, then I saw the film and didn't want to read the rest of the book!

    I think she was doubting what she wanted and couldn't experience that or do something new while he kept changing her mind – she's kinda supported her husband through one of his dreams and she needed him to support her and he wasn't there for her (manfail!)

    I always wanted to go on holiday and stay in an Airstream – don't think I could live in one permanently I'm not tidy enough!

  2. I can understand where the author comes from on many levels. But I also recognized just how wordly the book was. It was all about feeling, not necessarily about the other things in life we are to strive to. I think the danger in a book (and movie) like "Eat Pray Love" is that it can create expectations that are not fair. At 25, I can't expect my husband or I to have it all figured out. We are still relatively young and have to go through the constant growing pains of marriage. Biblically you don't just escape a marriage with divorce and traveling the world; you stay in the good times and bad. Without a firm foundation, I think the book and movie make it too easy for people to leave and use the excuse of "I'm just trying to figure out who I am." Traveling doesn't make you figure out who you are. Staying and not running away, however (in my opinion), do. Diamonds don't just exist; they come into being from lots and lots of pressure.

    I think it's the same with dreams and hopes and ambition. You have to work on those things to make them into reality, and sometimes its really difficult.

    1. I'm 24 and I agree you can't have it all figured out but I think the characters are older than that.

      I know that my Dad has kinda got it figured when it comes to his job as he's been working for the same company since he was 21 I think. My Mum on the other hand has changed a few times, SAHM, PTA Head person, Catering Secretary and now she's self employed and I think to a certain degree wouldn't change it (She turns 50 in 2012)

      I think it really depends on the person. The lady wanted something a little more stable and decided so she knew where and what she could achieve.

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