Joy is spending a long weekend camping with friends, building a trail in the woods where there wasn’t one before. I love being with my favorite people, doing my favorite things. You feel connected, connected to nature, to others, to the world. When I am out there doing things, there isn’t as much mental smog walling me in. City life can be exhausting. I try to get out as much as I can.
I am an easy guy to talk to. I know a little about a lot of things, and if I don’t, I’m a curious person, so I am able to connect with most people on some level. I learned that from my mom, she is a very empathetic person. Growing up, she would always bring up current events around the world. She wanted us to know we were connected to things bigger than our surroundings. There you are, trying to have a nice meal, and she is telling you about some terrible tragedy. It worked though; I was raised to be respectful of other’s opinions and seek to understand their side of the story even if I don’t agree with them. We moved to The Netherlands for a couple of years when I was nine. It made a huge impact in how my life turned out. During those two years, we traveled every other weekend around Europe. I saw so many ways people lived, and it taught me the thrill of exploring.
People would say I am adventurous, but I am not naturally that way. My default is to stay home, quiet and comfortable, in my own, private corner. But I’ve learned that life is way more fun if I go out and do things. A few years ago, I decided to go to Iceland and hitchhike – alone. The trip was awesome. Not for the reasons people might think. Often the experiences that are paid for aren’t that great, but it’s the free gifts from strangers that make the real adventures. For example, I paid over $200 for a jeep tour to the top of an active volcano. The ride was good, but when I got there it was too foggy to see a thing. The next day I hitchhiked, and the person who picked me up drove me right to the base of the same mountain. This time, the weather was beautiful, and the view was stunning, you could see everything. Then later on in the trip, the former minister of travel & transportation and her friend picked me up. I told them about a plane wreck on a black sand beach I had seen in a film. They knew exactly where it was and drove me to Sólheimasandur. I just need to step out, let go and see where life will take me.
I do hope for a family of my own someday. I think it will be hard but very rewarding. I am waiting, perhaps waiting for a deeper relationship with God. I have doubts, and I second-guess my plans because of it. I pull back from people and from making any big decisions. At times, I feel as if I am wrapped in a blanket. It’s safe, warm and cozy, but I only experience the world through a small tunnel. People have many different perceptions about depression, but you can’t just snap out of it or shut it off. What’s helped me is to see that just because you don’t feel like you can do anything, doesn’t mean that you are incapable. You can go out and serve others. You need to do exactly the opposite of what you want to do. During a very dark time in my life, a good friend of mine challenged me to be faithful, even if everything sucks. I’ve found if you go against your will and follow Jesus’ example, you will experience real joy. I’ve forced myself to do, help, and explore. It’s worth it.