i leave for michigan late tonight, or early tomorrow--whichever way you want to look at it. at the moment my room is filled with packing piles. most of my clothes are in my bag, and the piles are things that i've assembled to take with me: books, personal electronics, letter writing supplies, shoes, suckers. they just need to be assembled into a certain bag. just have to decide which one.

i started packing late last night. got kind of into a frenzy with it, and went till 3am. and even then i had a hard time falling asleep afterwards. my sister does this too sometimes, and i look at her and think it's kind of crazy. the other day she woke up at 4am and thought of all the stuff she had to do, so she just got up and started doing it all. it's a strange realization to see that i do the same thing. i just don't have kids and so much to do so i can sleep in a bit. still, i wonder if i will become occasionally frenetic. the procrastinator in me doesn't help. last night i didn't finish, but i got enough done to know that i would easily be able to finish today.

a couple of weeks ago i had a nightmare. now maybe sometimes those are left behind with childhood, but this one came back out of nowhere. it is a somewhat recurring dream, though i haven't had it for quite some time.

it's opening night of a play that i'm in, and say, just about an hour before going on stage i realize that i don't know any of my lines. i don't have a major part, but one just big enough that not knowing any of my lines would sufficiently ruin the play. i have a pretty good memory so i take to trying to memorize them. i used to rattle through 5 or 6 verses in awana that i just memorized while other kids were reciting. got me all 3 crowns and the plaque in sparks. boo-ya. but now they aren't sticking, and i go on any moment. i will be standing up there in front of everyone and have no idea what to say. and all the action will come to a dead stand-still. you know that in a play, where everything is just halted for a few painful moments. it's as if one person is able to stop time, and everyone around bearing it cries out within for that person to let them continue forward.

this dream is probably rooted in some sort of childhood experience. but as far as i can remember i always knew my lines. i was always prepared. driven by fear maybe, but always prepared. this goes for a lot of my life too. actually, so much of my life and what i do is driven by the desire to be prepared for whatever comes my way. and much of my fear comes from wandering into areas where i feel unprepared.

it's a strange tension with my procrastinating tendencies. did i say tendencies? i meant affliction. but what brings this two together is the night. i will procrastinate, but i will always have it done the day before (or more often i'm up late enough to be the morning). i can't go to sleep and finish the paper in the morning, no way. what if i don't have enough time? as long as there is sleep ahead of me--to be forfeited or not, i know i will be able to get it done in time. i never asked for extensions in college. i never turned a paper in late. i was always prepared.

at the same time there are a lot of things that i don't prepare for. i just do them when they come up, because i feel like i am already prepared in general. i have the skills/tools/experience to just do it on the fly. i like that feeling, that i am good enough to just do it without thinking about it--because i have prepared enough in the past not directly for that specific thing, but for that type of thing. of course most of the time i can do it, just not as well as it should be done. it's a mixture of pride and laziness that leads to second-rate living.

being prepared. it's a strange driving force of life. not that it's the strongest, but it's up there. you see, cause the thing about life is that there is no way to really prepare for all it has to throw at you. even as i type that i think it's not true. maybe you can. maybe if i am close enough with God i will be able to bear with patience and peace any sort of thing that's thrown at me. so then i'm growing closer to God as a preparation rather than out of love. that's not good. or i'm reading a book simply to be able to offer it to someone else if needed, then i miss out on all that it could have done for my heart. i want to read more for the experience of it than for the measurable gains. i want to seek God for who he is and not how it can benefit me.

it's a good thing to be prepared i suppose, but maybe not if it's driven by a fear or pride about how you will come off to others. how do i address this problem in me? oh wait, i guess i better finish packing first.

--sorry for the post all about me. it seems somewhat narcissistic. i wasn't meaning to just write a lot about me. the point was about this issue, not me. hopefully it relates to you much more than just learning about me, because that wasn't what i was going for.

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