Hi. My name is Kyle. This is my blog.
But seriously, what else are these introductions supposed to say? Obviously, a little bit of background is required for any new start, but where do you draw the line? Do you give everyone a detailed list of everything you have ever seen/eaten/read as far back as you can remember? Or do you just start fresh?
Let’s start fresh.
Why Samson? Why the hell not!? A Godly mandate, flowing mane, rippling biceps, and more Philistine women than you could shake an ass’ jawbone at. In actuality, it’s just a name. And the hair. But mostly the metaphor (which I will get to. Be patient).
No, this blog isn’t about Samson. It is about me (surprise!). To make a very long story short, I have this thing about sticking with things. Always have, and probably always will. Whether it be learning a new language, recording a regular podcast, becoming a racquetball champion or just brushing my teeth: if it takes longer than a day or two to completely master, you can count me out. The real problem, however, is that this crippling inability to see things through doesn’t just affect my more trivial pursuits. It percolates into every nook and cranny of my existence, hanging me out to dry in a constant, half-conscious state of apathetic vegetation. And don’t even mention the depression. The guilt I feel after every passing day spinning my wheels only seems to compound the problem.
Then I met this girl:
Clara Adele. My first. She is perfect in every single way, and I loved her pretty much as soon as I held her for the first time. Up until this point, it had been just me and Kate. Wonderful, patient Kate, who always loved me despite my weaknesses and insecurities, but who could also potentially pick up and live out of a van with me if necessary. I often rehearsed this worst-case scenario with her while indulging in a bowl of Self-Pity-O’s. But this was different. From the moment I cut the cord, I knew something had to give. It wasn’t just my future I was potentially jeopardizing with my laziness and lack of concern. Her fate was now- at least for the time being- inseparably connected with mine.
I needed to get my shit together.
Everything started to hit me all at once, and I panicked a little bit at first. “Ok, what am I doing with my life right now” kept running from left to right through my head like a stock ticker in a Wall Street brokerage. But once I settled down a little bit, I realized it was going to be ok. I knew, however, that things couldn’t go on like they had been anymore. I had to be better. I had to be more. I had to be a Dad.
I was already in school, but I was reluctant to pick a degree, or even sit down with an advisor to plan my way through. Every time I thought about what I was going to do with my life, I had a nervous breakdown and bought hundreds of dollars worth of Pokemon video games and ice cream. I guess I thought that if I stayed in school long enough and aimlessly took random classes, that one day someone would just hand me a degree, and I would land a job that wouldn’t make me miserable, would be really easy to do, and pay disproportionately well.
I had found the first thing that had to change.
Unfortunately, this process wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, and it took me two months to formally declare my dual major, but I did it. English with a Creative Writing emphasis, and Broadcast Journalism. I figured I love to write and listen to NPR, so I really couldn’t go wrong. And though it was just a small step, it felt really, really good to get something important done.
“That all sounds great but other than hair, muscles, and Philistine women, you haven’t really told us what this has to do with Samson,” you all ask in unison. Like I told you before, it is a metaphor.
Last month I completed a year term as an ordinance worker in the Logan, Utah LDS temple with Kate. It was honestly one of the most amazing and life-changing experiences I have ever had. Before I started working there, I had this dream of having beautiful, long hair and a full beard, but there were some rules for working at the temple and this guy had to put that dream on hold:
Besides, in the past, I had a hard time following through. I would get a few months into the regimen and would decide I would look better with a trimmed beard or just a mustache. But that was old Kyle. Old Kyle couldn’t get even manage to follow through with sending a simple, amended tax return back to the State of Utah to collect the $150 they still owed him. New Kyle could grow a beard. New Kyle could do anything he put his mind to.
That is how Samson got his power. Full dedication and commitment. “Not a single hair” were the explicit instructions, and he managed to do it for his entire pre-Delilah life. No half-measures or taking the easier route. If he wanted the gift of killing lions and entire armies of the uncircumcised with his bare hands, he had to stick with the program and do nothing short of exactly what was required of him. If he could do it for that long, I could at least manage a year. One year. I decided I would do it even if it killed me. This would be the Year of the Beard.
And that brings us to this blog. And my hair. And maybe even some rippling muscles down the road. Commitment. I want to be a writer. I want to work from home one day, blogging, or editing scripts for a sitcom, or a radio program, but the only way I am going to accomplish that is by actually doing it. No half measures, no easy routes.
How is that for an introduction?