I think the big issue to discuss is the great irony in the fact that I ended my last post with “to be continued,” and it’s taken me a full month or more to write again. What can I say? I’m a crappy letter writer. (You wonder why all my friends tend to go crazy?) Actually the great irony is that my mom (who is never wrong) responded to “to be continued” with “yeah, but when?!” And she was right. I was planning to continue my blog in about a week, at most. I guess it seems that, while nothing can separate us from the love of God, a great deal can separate us from the love of blog.
The truth is that my “Part 2” kept changing. Originally, what I was going to write about was my further difficulties in achieving my other dream of owning a Christian bookstore. Do you know that the average cost of starting a small shopping-center bookstore runs around $300,000 (plus one year’s living expenses), because it takes a minimum of a full year before you start running a profit? For a store on the scale of Borders, the price tag goes in excess of a million. In case anyone hadn’t noticed, I don’t have anywhere near $300,000 (or a cool million) at my disposal. I don’t even have enough money to buy a new car. A loan? You want me to get a loan for that kind of money? Mister, in case you didn’t know, I just got turned down for a $250 credit card. That’s right. I figured I’d start working on my credit by getting an ultra-low balance credit card that I’d use to cover my daily expenses, groceries, etc. The response? Insufficient credit history. Crikey! I’ve got more than that in savings! Needless to say, that dream also is on hold.
For a couple of weeks, my idea was to say that I’d put both sets of dreams on hold, and that I was just going to sit back and enjoy life for a while. Well, it was what I was going to say. I really was. Then work got to be unpleasant, and all kinds of political motives among employees started showing up. And so I woke up one morning with the sudden realization that, if I was going to be miserable, I might as well be miserable with a purpose.
I just don’t have it in me to sit around indefinitely and bide my time. I took a year off once before, between ministry school and going back to college. It was fun for maybe three months. Once I got properly rested, I got really really bored. I took a dance class; I took up guitar; I took up babysitting; I read 1500 pages of history textbooks. I don’t remember what all else I did, but none of it was particularly satisfying. I couldn’t make any of it into a lifetime goal. I don’t hobby well. I tend to be on or off. This putz around stuff doesn’t do me to well. As long as it’s carrying me to a goal, I can put up with an almost infinite strand of unpleasantness, but unpleasantness that moves toward no particular goal just doesn’t cut it for me.
So I woke up one morning and it was “pick a dream and go with it.” So I picked, and I didn’t pick business. The most direct path toward owning a bookstore at this point does not involve getting an entry-level job at my local bookstore (I wish people would quit suggesting that). There is nothing about running a business that I could learn from working customer service. In fact, none of the jobs I currently qualify for would teach me anything directly about business. It would all be a vicarious, sidward process that would take years to assimilate. Or I could go to business school and basically start from scratch, because I didn’t even take macro economics 101 in college. They’d stick me in undergrad classes, because an English degree has absolutely nothing to do with a business degree. However, an English degree is practically on the fast track to high scores in seminary. Frankly, what is the difference between interpreting William Blake and interpreting the book of Revelation? Not much, I can assure you (they’re both functionally impossible J).
So I’m going to seminary. I picked Gordon-Conwell. I’ll be enrolling as soon as I can get the darn application done. I’ve got a whole other essay to write about how difficult that has been. It has been unbearably busy for a month now.
I’m sure I have other things to say, but I’m going to be late for work, and I dare not put off posting this thing another day—who knows when that other day may ever be?