Friday, September 14, 2012

Hope Came in the Shape of a Drop of Blood

Previously on the Mind of a Gus, I retold an epiphany I had this summer...
I came to the conclusion, on the steps of a monument, commemorating the life of a man with a 19 foot tall statue, that neither me or that girl will ever become someone people will make a 19 foot statue for. We will never be famous. We will never be unique. How can there be unique when there are almost 7 billion people on the earth right now? 
After my mom read this post (I'm not sure if she is a regular reader or not) her only comment was that I am a cynic when I write. That, I will own up to fully. It is possible that I am a cynic about a lot of things in life. However, hopefully this will make up for a bit of it.

And now, for the rest of the story:

Months after this so called epiphany, I was at a pretty low point in my life. Nothing the average Joe hasn't been through in their own lives, but to me it just seemed like God couldn't throw me a freaking bone.

I was at work, walking from house to house, knocking and ringing doorbells. I had gone through my usual list of affirmations to get myself pumped and positive: I LOVE MY JOB (repeated over and over), I am great at sales, I want a new pair of shoes....But, nobody was answering their doors and I could even hear them inside, "Mom, I think it's someone trying to sell something...shhhh, don't answer it." Erk, that bothered me.

Anyway, I got a call from my dear brother. It was almost one in the afternoon which means that it was before 10 in the morning for him. It kinda freaked me out because 1.) he never calls and 2.) he is never awake that early. Well, he was calling to check up on me. Oh, I love that kid.

I spent the next few minutes venting to him about how rough everything in life was going. I found myself saying feeling I must have been having for awhile and had just never said: "I am so frustrated with Heavenly Father. I did everything to make sure I was doing what he wanted me to do and then He put all these stumbling blocks in my way, so why should I go to Him for help."

Again, I have been stewing on the fact that no one in the world is unique and in that case, why should even God care.

Adam listened to me and then gently replied with a few comments that gave me some hope back. The first being: if you're gonna have a battle come up in your life, of any sort (in my case depression, anxiety, health problems...) you're gonna have to deal with it. If you deal with it alone or with the help of prescriptions then great. But, if you fight it doing everything you can AND have the Lord next to you helping you, you can only be better off.

After that, Adam reminded me of the Atonement of Christ. That He lived, bled, and died for each of us individually. I have had numerous accounts in my life where I knew this was true. That Christ knows me personally and that He knows what I'm going through. But I had forgotten.

Sure, me nor that girl in DC will ever have statues made of us. I will never be the president, or a rock star, or the winner of a nobel peach prize or the pulitzer. But to God and Jesus Christ, I am unique in thousands of ways from anyone else who has ever lived on this earth or who ever will. I believe that when Jesus Christ suffered for our pains, afflictions, and sins, he didn't suffer for them in bulk. He didn't suffer and shed one drop of blood for everyone who will ever experience depression. No, He bled a drop of blood for me, Chelsie Akers and my multiple struggles that were going on during the summer of 2013.

To some of you, this may seem far fetched or even crazy. But in Adams words "wouldn't it be sad" if it wasn't immensely personal.

Friday, September 7, 2012

One in Seven Billion

This summer, as I was out in DC, I had an epiphany. Bare with me on the retelling of my thoughts...

I was walking up the stairs to the Lincoln memorial and there was a class of some sort (I assume a "close up" type experience) coming up the stairs along side me. I slowed down to let them pass and to watch them. Sure, call me a creeper, I like to consider myself a people watcher.

As they pass, a girl with a camera and a notebook, lags behind a little. I watch as she pulls away from the group and slowly looks at the monument while taking a few photos and writing a thing or two. Then she just stops and "ponders" for a bit before she heads back to the group.

As I watched her, there were many things going through my head. First, this girl wants to be different. She is probably known by her peers as the nerd, or the artist, or the deep thinker. Her teacher probably assumes that she will go on to be something amazing. Second, she has probably had so much positive and negative attention from her being "different" that she personally believes that she will grow up to be something amazing as well. Third, all of it is in vain. Her trying to be different, the accolades from her teachers, peers, and even her own hopes and dreams, they are all in vain.

How many famous photographers are out there right now? Well, I googled it. One page lists 50, another 99, and another only 12. Out of the almost 7 billion people on earth right now, there are TWELVE famous photographers. What are her chances of growing up and being one of those twelve. Yup, I did the math these are her chances: 1.7142857e-09. I don't even know what that means besides, that her chances SUCK!

Well, lets cross photographer of her life goal list and go to writer. She doodled a little, maybe she could write something amazing about the Lincoln Memorial that will change peoples lives, move people to recycle more, stop wars, and even convince addicts to stop using. Or, she could stop kidding herself because in all of time, there have only been 14,510 books written by popular female authors. ALL OF TIME. And does she really think she can compete with Anne Frank, Jane Austene, Margaret Mitchell, Stephanie Meyer, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Anne Bronte, Ayn Rand, or Harper Lee? No, I think she better throw in the towel.

For that matter, how many people in the world have said "when I'm rich and famous"? Let's think about it, how many famous people are there really? In comparison to the population of the future, current, and past earth, there weren't that many famous people.

I came to the conclusion, on the steps of a monument, commemorating the life of a man with a 19 foot tall statue, that neither me or that girl will ever become someone people will make a 19 foot statue for. We will never be famous. We will never be unique. How can there be unique when there are almost 7 billion people on the earth right now?

As this thought permeated my mind for months, I think it depressed me. What is this all for? Why am I selling pest control? Well to pay for school, but why am I going to school? Well to get a good job, but why do I care if I have a good job? Well, to have money, but why do I need money? To do amazing things. Why do I need to do amazing things? Won't it all be the same if I try really hard to become someone important and fail (because I only have a 1.7142857e-09 chance of being important) or if I just sit in a movie theater for the rest of my life watching movies and eating popcorn (it would have to be at a harkins theater because they have DDP).

(This is an amazing post on depression) 
With this depressing thought bouncing around in my head for months, I had another experience that paralleled this one, which is a lot less depressing. Actually, it brought hope back to me. That however, will have to be told in the next post.

To be continued...