Saturday, January 2, 2010

the story of this decade...

yesterday i came across this article on forgoing New Year's resolutions in favor of writing the story you want to live out. I love Don Miller and this blog posting specifically captures the writing style, and theology, which make me adore him so.

given that I'm a New Year's baby, my general resolution is to turn a year older, which always happens, and thus I always fulfill my New Year's resolution. Sure, it's cheating, but it makes me feel virtuous, for all of 10 seconds, at least.

but this post got me thinking about what I want my story to be. Although I'm not really the writer of the family, I love a good plotline as much as the next person. How I'm living my life in Chicago is a reaction to the fact that I had some not-so-great subplots in my storylife before...while I've loved being home and seeing family here in PDX, I know I've temporarily given up the storyline I live in Chicago in favor of the old storyline I'd been living here. And, after 4 months away, some parts of it don't fit as well.

Bottom line: I want to write a better story than the one I've been living. I want ALL of us to write a better story - one where people are fed, injustices are addressed, safety nets exist for all of us, and we wake up one day to see that we've built a part of God's kingdom and we rejoice that we'll someday see all of it.

So, without further adieu, here are the stories I'll be writing this decade. I'd love to hear (here or in person) what yours might be.

Storyline #1 - Cat gets arrested: okay, so hear me out on this one. Recently, i've become part of many communities which make up one amazing community of support. These are people I highly respect, who are committed to putting their physical bodies on the line for a cause. I've always been a little too shy about that aspect of things. But when I went to the School of the Americas protest this year, I began to realize how much that fear had kept me from doing lots of things which would truly demonstrate my commitment to causes I believe in. Getting arrested is just the climactic scene - a visible sign that I've used this decade to become a braver, gentler warrior.

Storyline #2 - Cat starts a family: so, this one, of all the storylines i want to write, is the scariest, most embarrassing one. but i feel like i need to write it down, so i can remember (and people who love me best can hold me to) the idea that this decade is the decade i stop using people as a way to work out my own personal issues and i start looking for someone i can build a communal storyline with - one that includes kiddos and a simple life and a common commitment to building the kingdom of God. It will take time and that's okay (probably for the best, really) and I just need to remember the end scene - bringing my kiddos to the SOA, for example, or living in community with singles and families, where my kiddos feel loved and supported by more than just their parents. It's a more radical example of the comfort and safety and love I felt growing up and it's something I feel called to do with my life. But it scares the hell out of me and I have a ways to go (and a lot to be honest with myself about) before I get there. This storyline will probably be the one that causes me the most pain before the decade's through, which is okay, I guess.

Storyline #3 - Cat becomes a restorative justice mediator with juveniles: It is possible that this profession will change, but this is the decade where I finally commit to a vocation. I love wandering and cannot imagine that I will stay at the same place for most of this decade. But I'm pursuing an expensive degree (well, two of them, really) and it's probably time that I really think about how to use them. I've always been pulled towards issues of nonviolence and I've always loved working with teens. Using nonviolence tactics to work with teenagers in a way that directly challenges our current criminal justice system is beyond thrilling to me. To keep this plotline going, I will be researching conflict resolution trainings I can participate in while in Chicago, as well as more fully researching organizations nationally which do this work and scheduling informational interviews with them. I understand that this is probably the least-riveting plotline, but not every story can have explosions of the literal or figurative kind, i suppose...

Thanks for reading (or skipping to the end) of this somewhat self-aggrandizing post. I'd love to hear any feedback folks have on the article linked above, or on New Year's Resolutions in general. I like learning how people celebrate my birthday :)


  1. I love this! First off, I have to confess, I did not read the article you linked to. However, I love what you've done with it and think it a wise and lovely exercise. I also admire your choices and have no difficulty in imagining these seeds you are planting bearing beautiful and abundant good fruit. Many Blessings M'dear!

  2. WOW, Cat! The way you explained it to me in class, did not do this any justice. Well thought out, extremely vulnerable and transparent. I love that you are in fact reaching out to people for healthy comparisons or life assessment and accountability. Sometimes I think we let ourselves off the hook from all of the things that we want to do but are scared to do simply by keeping those things to ourselves. Kudos for expressing your wants and needs in such a fashion.
    Oh, and when does a story explode literally?? I've never read a book and then suddenly it exploded without warning...Just sayin'. =-)