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Jeff Watkins
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Previous Posts

If Only The Days Were As Simple As English 152 I ...
Aces! I really don't know what to write. Spring b...
I just got back a couple of days ago from a five d...
Future Tense Accomplishments
Bury The Dead, Marry The Young It's spring break!...
High School Reunions Old friends come back from t...
Million Dollar Movie Yesterday I went to go se...
Jeremiah 5:7-8, NIV "Why should I forgive you? Y...
The Golden Palace Well, I was going to post about...
Ok, many of you know me, some of you don't. And I...


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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Come On Understanding, Visit Me For Once Today

As I parted ways with the peninsula of the Florida coast yesterday, I was saddened to leave the only state I've ever lived in. If it be God's will that I end up there for the rest of my life, I wouldn't be downtrodden. But yesterday, I was, for whatever reason.

I enjoyed my time with my parents over spring break. I love them, I do. However, I was happy to leave as well. I visited Graceville (RIP: 1999-2005) on the way down and then on the way back. As I was there, something new came over me. I had an emotional experience with that very small town. While driving the streets, I sighed heavily because I missed that place. What? I know, I know. I missed misery.

This is surprising, still, because Graceville exists for the sole purpose of despair. As irrelevant as it may be, the town slogan, "Where the living is easy," is more appropriately finished when the tagline, "And the dying is even easier" is added. For me, Graceville equaled death. Death to youth. Death to truth. Death to all the things I thought were important. Death to friendships. Death to enthusiasm about life. Death. Death. Death.

I do realize that "death" can happen anywhere. I deal with it in New Orleans. I dealt with it in Melbourne. No matter where one goes, one will always have to deal with personal complacency. A brief treatise on stability of life:

Mediocrity (A) is addictive.
So is sin (B).
Sin (B) equals death (C).
So if (A) plus (B) equal (C), than I should be six feet under now.

When you can't live for anything other than yourself anymore, you are stagnant. That sort of motionlessness was present in my life and in a lot of my friend's lives there. Graceville has always represented either youthful bliss or adulthood dilemmas and I'm not sure which one is more frightening. Let me get back to the point.

When I graduated from college and was unemployed for six months, all I did was live. Live by my rules, standards, and morals. Yet, I often didn't practice what I preached. Moreover, I was a hypocrite, a lot. But who am I kidding, I still am. From my start at BCF, to finishing school, to my self-proclaimed 'starving artist' period, to working at Laurel Oaks, I was in a constant state of disarray. I was always looking for something else to make me happy. Possessions, relationships, affection, etc. Now that I'm back doing what I think I'm supposed to, it feels good. I feel right. Now that I'm gone from that large village of three thousand strong, I tend to equate that place with that of an unmotivated lifestyle. I thought Graceville suffocated me; choking the life out of me and my will to know happiness. But it was I. I gave up. I. I. I.

It's hard to believe that I thought a town was doing that to me. Causing me to live for myself. I still look back and thank God I am not there anymore. It's funny though. I still smile when I think about the good times. Not all the times where good. But the stupid stuff--the big problematic situations of the self-possessed, latter adolescent--seems like a cakewalk now. I look back at the good and the bad and feel a reminiscent feeling. It's what came over me yesterday. I didn't miss all the bad stuff, but the memories of the good.

A town cannot make you hate life. Your perspective is the only good or bad. Nothing can make you do anything. You make the decisions and choices. Maybe God does orchestrate more than we give Him credit for, but still, from my perspective, I am doing whatever I will. And that's the problem. I mostly don't concern myself with His will. I know that Graceville was a good time, but it was also a trying time. I would love to move back, but I know I would hate it after a day. I love Melbourne, but don't see the same happening either. I don't know where I am to be, but I hope I'm open to any option because I know that happiness is just around my ego, heart, pride, and good intentions.

I think I am able to move on now.

posted by Jeff Watkins at 10:35 AM

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