if you were to identify a word by defintion how would you define identify?
i·den·ti·fy [ahy-den-tuh-fahy, ih-den-] Show IPA verb, i·den·ti·fied, i·den·ti·fy·ing.
verb (used with object)
1. to recognize or establish as being a particular person or thing; verify the identity of: to identify handwriting; to identify the bearer of a check.
2. to serve as a means of identification for: His gruff voice quickly identified him.
3. to make, represent to be, or regard or treat as the same or identical: They identified Jones with the progress of the company.
4. to associate in name, feeling, interest, action, etc. (usually followed by with ): He preferred not to identify himself with that group.
5. Biology . to determine to what group (a given specimen) belongs.
when one thinks of marriage a few things come to mind. images of happily wedded bliss are some of the thoughts that are running through my mind when trying to describe what marriage is. others might be a lucky man dressed in formal wear perhaps a black suit or even a laid back cream colored casual suite lightly blowing in the wind on a cool crisp summer evening. or maybe marriage is better known by what the glowing bride is wearing, a formal white evening gown decorated by lace the brides face hidden by a fancy veil. or maybe a very anxiously excited beautiful woman wearing a simple yet sensational cream colored summer dress. whatever thoughts or images that stem from hearing the word marriage one thing is common in all, positive thoughts of love that will last forever.
i think when God designed marriage he absolutely had in mind the duration being for a lifetime. i also think he had the idea of a man and a woman going into this sacred ceremony of a marriage as a rare and fortunate opportunity and not something to be taken for granted but like a gift. a gift is something you freely give without strings to someone as a token of appreciation, to show unearned favor as to give honor or advantage to someone during a beneficial occasion. gifts arnt usually given lightly or in a casual manor. typically gifts are given with a clear intent after long consideration. once a gift is given it cant be taken back. under these same circumstances i think God brings men and women together into a marriage as a gift to each other, joined together given by God. marriage should be taken seriously.
and like a gift i think the man and the woman shouldn’t tease or hold things back from each other as if theoretically to hold a carrot in front of them albeit sex, money, or any other form of future promises that would otherwise be freely given to each other within boundaries as their rights as exclusive members inside of a sacred inclusive union. problems arise by countless situations and possibilities like when something is taken out of proportion or taken out of context. when differences conflict with each other or perhaps during disagreements, misconceptions arise due to a lack of communication or when opposing ideas collide.
one thing a marriage should never be is taken for granted. once a husband and wife start working against each other instead of working together towards the same unifying goals and direction like the team they were designed to be in. the once complimenting cooperative team no longer benefiting each other but instead pulls away from itself destroying the very essence and purpose that it once served. nobody desires going through life experiencing relationships with people to only be treated like a used tampon. without the mutual agreement of staying together by staying close through communication accompanied by an on going displayed consideration for the other person, the couple will eventually drift apart and their relationship will end.
several years ago upon discovering MySpace and joining the social network site. by extracting things as many things as i could from TV and film to help advocate my musical preferences, i began designing my page by expressing my personal views on life through everything popculture. not only was i trying to poke fun of the website that i thought was for the jr high crowed at the same time i enjoyed the benefits the network site had to offer. i quickly came to the conclusion that it would be a fantastic idea to type in the names of students from my kindergarten class to see if i could relocate there whereabouts. when starring at a class photo of a bunch of 5 year olds i began to wonder what ever happened to one of the girls i used to know. i couldn’t remember much about her but just by looking at her photo my spacial memory allowed me to age her in my mind to have some idea of what she might look like now. i immediately found myself typing in her first and last name spelled correctly thanks to a list of names from the class photo. after searching several pages of MySpace users with the same name i came across a girl whom lived in the same town which i then vividly remembered her living in so many years ago. since her profile was set to private after seeing the very small default photo of her i immediately had strong suspicions that this person i was looking at was in fact the very same person from my kindergarten class! upon contacting her and receiving positive feedback that she was in fact the very same girl that i attended kindergarten with so many years ago i was ecstatic beyond belief! we immediately became MySpace friends which allowed me access to her page seeing other photos and written information about her. when i started to express into great detail through lengthy paragraphs describing my accomplishments and whereabouts her replies in return were short three-word-answers leaving a strong impression that she was barely regarding my MySpace-e-mails at all. due to the lack of mutual advancement in communication my efforts and attempts to re-establishing a friendship of any kind with this woman was short lived. for reasons unknown to me outside of pure creativity and style i created a photo album on MySpace by randomly pasting a variety of pictures from other peoples vacations from past years in the aloha state of Hawaii. although i bought surfing magazines and dreamed of living near the beach again as i was born and partly raised in California. at the time i wasn’t particularly giving much thought or ambition as i thought it was an impossibility to the idea of ever living in Hawaii. fast forward to march of 2007 with five thousand dollars in my pocket i moved out of my moms house in Colorado packed her car and moved to the sunny state of California. upon moving to California i had great ambitions and aspirations in getting married! i wanted nothing more than to get married. before leaving Colorado for the San Francisco bay area i already had two casual contacts with two different woman through MySpace. one was a nineteen year old girl whom i found through craigslist living in San Francisco and the other was a girl from my kindergarten class.
i can remember moving out of my moms house like it was yesterday. with the trunk, back seat and passenger seat packed full my car was packed to the limit with the as many of the living “essentials” as possible. because i was so excited to be moving out of my moms house & into the real world and because i wanted to get an early head start before the commuting traffic. i woke up the next morning on the early morning of Tuesday March 27, 2007 around 4:30am.
when arriving at my grandpas house at 5:30pm in the afternoon on Wednesday he allowed me to stay at his house until the end of the week which was Friday only two days away. we drove down to the neighborhoods’ yuppie downtown where we picked up a to-go pizza from the local mom & pop pizza parlor. as deadlines were approaching, after eating a quick pizza and beer my grandfather went upstairs to finish up on blueprints he was working on for a San Francisco residential remodel. since he was going to return the rented video my grandpa highly suggested that i watch the movie he had recently enjoyed watching. so i sat down to eating pizza and drinking beer while watching the movie, blood diamond featuring Leonardo DiCaprio. while watching the movie alone i succumbed to a reassuring peace giving me the sense of reassurance and relaxation to not be anxious or nervous about my recent semi-spontaneous, across three states, 1200 mile, California move. another strong yet calming reassurance strongly suggested that i contact my fellow kindergarten classmate and visit her church on the following Sunday. the next plan after this initial reuniting connection on Sunday suggested i go purchase a ring and take her on a date that Friday where i would ask this girl to marry me. during that first night watching blood diamond at my grandpas house while i was inadvertently receiving a strong intuition in shortly purchasing a decent wedding ring of my own. i was first semi-confused to these very strong intuitions due to the fact that this girl would barley talk to me? i knew i left my moms house and moved to California to get married and start a life of my own but i didn’t think a marriage could start this sudden. i also solidly knew that this girl i discovered from my kindergarten class was going to be my future wife. the thing that confused me the most out of this whole thing was that even though i strongly knew i wasn’t ever to move back to live with my mom in Colorado, i didn’t think it would be possible for me to contact this person that i had found from kindergarten since she really hadn’t expressed any interest at all of reuniting or becoming friends again. although i found it strange and exceedingly difficult to find a place to live by Friday. i felt a little pressure now to contact and making plans of going to church with a girl i hadn’t seen since December of 1993! the approving feelings were telling me to relax and that everything was going to be okay. throughout all of this while watching this DiCaprio film about diamonds i couldn’t help but think that this plan would never succeed! i mean who in their right mind asks someone to seriously marry them that they don’t know let alone hardly talk to and the person says YES! i mean who does that?! at the time i had never heard of anyone doing so successfully succeeding! but despite this initial doubtful hesitation i did have a trusting reassurance that God was with me and would make my plans succeed in living on my own in the real world. the next preceding thoughts were to research craigslist and find a place to live! the next day i got up and drove down to a nearby Starbucks for breakfast by a suggestion from somebody working there i picked up free internet WiFi by sitting at a table next to the wall shared with the business next door which was a soul food restaurant. back in those days Starbucks wasn’t offering free WiFi and since i had to look for an internet connection, along with just a little effort researching i made some phone calls responding to rooms for rent on craigslist. when i received my first responding phone call from one of the adds on craigslist, i decided to visit a house in Petaluma that looked nice from the pictures. when arriving to this residence i discovered the house was built only a year and a half ago. while skillfully showing his brand new house to me due to the fact that he was in sales the owner convinced me that this was the place for me to be. the only concern from him was by my current unemployment. from the beginning he was very impressed by the location my grandpa lived and the fact that i had five thousand dollars saved up for the move i was positively welcomed to a newly built house in the newly built development known as “southgate.” during this evening interview i was asked a question which would be asked a thousand times over by almost everyone i would later meet. “why did you move to California?” at this very point i had to make a decision on how i was going to answer this question. because i didn’t want him to think i was a stalker or crazy and because i wanted to move in, i answered this mans question in a similar way i would answer the very same question countless times again. so my response was, “i moved to California to live on my own and to go surfing!” …not exactly or completely true. only partially true.
the first church i decided to visit was the very first church that came up from a Google search of “Petaluma churches.” while driving on my very first Sunday morning living in California en-route to Petaluma Christian church going east bound on east Washington street i found myself having this very strong intuition. in sort of a conversation in my head an authoritative feeling was instructing me to take the next right onto north Petaluma Blvd. my intentions of going to Petaluma Christian church were being interfered with new plans of actually going to my kindergarten buddys’ church. instead of obeying this strong instruction i began to make my case by supporting strong objections. the first thing i mentioned was that i didn’t look up the times her church met so of course i was refusing to go late. in return was a simultaneously soothing and opposing explanation contrasting my thoughts with arriving late to her church would in fact be understood and actually having no backlash whatsoever. the second excuse for not turning right onto Petaluma Blvd north was my very strong impression that she had no desire in seeing or getting to know me. the final objection made was that because i hadn’t looked up her church before hand i had no idea where her church was located other than the nearby town it was in. the given response reassured me with “I’ll get you there.” with the already established impression solidly set in my mind that this woman didn’t want to see me although i had just moved to California. i decided right then and there that i wouldn’t go out of my way to re-establish a friendship with some girl who hadn’t expressed any interest in seeing me who i also hadn’t seen since December of ’93. the response in return was an understanding voice concluding that i would be marrying this woman now or later. so WHY WAIT! so i thought to myself, meet this girl now and start a friendship with her today heading towards marriage or meet her some other time perhaps next Sunday? i decided that maybe i would visit her church the following week.
the first thing i noticed upon arriving to the church that for whatever strong reason i was so determined to visit, was how small the church was. it was a newly established church with an older pastor a gentlemen perhaps in his mid 50s who had recently relocated to Petaluma to start a church. since the church was just starting out they didn’t have a building so they were meeting in the gym of an old jr high that i was acquainted with as it was the school on top of an over looking hill from where my old private elementary school was located. the two schools were virtually neighbors though separated by a rather large field, i can vividly recall countless childhood memories where students from the public jr high school would ditch or leave for the day would cut through the field and walk a path that went through the elementary’s small parking lot that led to adjoining streets leading to neighboring residential streets. i remember being excited that i was there perhaps more excited in visiting the actual jr high then i was in visiting the church. as i looked around the gym occupied by old brown metal fold out chairs i noticed the whole congregation was made up of married 40 somethings with kids? one of the first people to introduce themselves to me was this couple about my age who were apart of the worship team. at the time i thought it was odd but when this couple were introducing themselves to me maybe because they were excited but for whatever reason, they put an emphasis on the fact that they were ENGAGED. not until years later recalling this moment do i piece together this introduction and heavy tone as possibly having any remote kind of prophetic encounter.
by not taking that right hand turn on the first Sunday morning after moving to California i was unknowingly saying no to much more than just a simple turn. i was saying no to meeting someone very special. in fact i was saying no to starting a relationship and sharing my life with the most spectacular person i would ever meet. i was saying no to what would have been my future wife! i was also giving up certain events that would have otherwise taken place. i was giving up on our first date together, getting to know each other and most important i was giving up on our future time together. probably the most significant event that i was looking forward to that i gave up on was lowering to one knee and totally surprising her by presenting a diamond ring to her. how i would have done this was when we went on our first date together on that Friday night i would have suggested and driven by our old elementary school where we had met. we would have walked around the giant playground and field i remember spending recess for half my elementary life. but i didn’t take that right hand turn on that first Sunday morning after moving to California so all of our memories and events of bonding and growing in doing life together into becoming one simultaneous heart beat never happened. Rudolph Emerson comes to mind, “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”
what i didn’t foreknow were the series of consequential events that would take place in the following days weeks months and unfavorably effecting years.
the next day was Monday and i slept in until 9 or 10 in the morning waking up to an empty house. because i had money saved up and since i had just moved to the area i was in no hurry to look for a job. i decided to be lazy by resigning to the TV for most of that day. when evening arrived and my roommates started to come home i decided to leave the house for the first time and make a trip to the nearest target store which was located in rohnert park to pick up a few supplies. when walking towards the target store before i could get to the brightly painted yellow cross walk i noticed someone walking out of the target store holding a rather large newly purchased plastic bin. upon glancing at this person i was quickly starring in disbelief and utter amazement recognizing that i was infact almost one hundred percent certain that i was looking at the girl i made contact with from elementary school through MySpace! i was completely blown away by what i was seeing. throughout all of this i was continuously walking towards the entrance of the store while this girl was simultaneously exiting away to the right of the store approaching the parking lot.
after three months of aimlessly wondering and relentless work through valet jobs for weddings, wineries and private parties in the Sonoma and Napa counties. i was once again strongly advised through an authoritative presence that it was now time to visit my kindergarten classmates church. preparing my visit to her church was made by thoroughly knowing the address, service times and optimistically dressing to impress this woman whom i was extremely nervous to meet. upon arriving to yet another jr high school met church the nerves and tension were running high. when getting out my car and walking from the parking lot towards their auditorium i was so nervous it felt like my vision was strangely out of focus, i was experiencing shortness of breath and i was sweating so profusely from every persperated place imaginable that for a few minutes i thought i was having the beginning symptoms of diarrhea!
from the time i stepped out of the car and walked into the auditorium where my prior classmates church met i was anxiously and nervously looking around in hopes of finding her! when taking my seat near the front of the stage i met a boy who introduced himself to me who in fact turned out to be an old “boyfriend” a bit weird and awkward in meeting him for just arriving at her church in between services. upon shaking his hand i felt the handshake as some sort of weird exchange of the “be good to her” kind of way though the only thing he knew about me was that i had recently moved to the area from Denver and that i was visiting this church upon my kindergarten classmates recommendation by request of “church’s in the area.” upon asking with no avail it seemed that my old friend was nowhere to be found. from a suggestion that she may have been preoccupied by serving in the children nursery. once the church service was concluded i was ready to get out of there! because i was so frighteningly shy i had no interest in sticking around to congregate or socialize with anyone so i made a quick scurry for the car. before i could make it to the parking there was a lengthy pass through an outside corridor. while scrambling for the car when i was approaching my way to the entrance of the parking lot i noticed a woman around my age starring back at me while standing on the outside of a door to an adjacent building. as i was approaching this woman i was also experiencing deja vu as with the other person from the target store three months earlier. an overwhelming strong sense of urgency was laid upon myself with one of the most powerful blessings of certainty and contentment ever felt before in my entire life. although i was wearing womens Giorgio Armani fashion sunglasses at the time to accentuate my inner rock star. i was denning my inner desire to look at the most beautiful and captivating person i had ever laid eyes on. i looked away to ignore this most radiating presence. upon my descent i was yet again fighting this urge within me to approach her yet like that Sunday morning car ride months earlier i was making excuses as to why i couldn’t approach her. upon addressing my case backed by stupid ideas for not introducing myself to this woman and even holding myself back from the current ideas of running towards this woman and throwing these stupid sunglasses off my face! the opposing side who was in favor of encountering this woman was not only revealing intimate details of this persons past and future i was being told in deliberate detailed circumstances in which prolonged time were going to pass before reuniting together. through unworthy feelings of fear and failure coupled with rage and angst of what felt like a prolonged wait for someone to share in the idea of mutual romantic emotions, with all the strength i could muster i denied myself and this inner energy that was pulling me towards this woman. she waited for what felt like several minutes but were in all reality a minute or two from the time i noticed her. once it was determined that i was infact avoiding her, she turned around taking a few steps forward opened and walked through a door that made her disappear. this was the moment that changed everything. what most certainly would have started a friendship that would have indeed ended in marriage almost a year later never happened. with the discovery of uncovered facts and the reality of how things would have happened in hindsight had i obeyed the stiff commands given months earlier. my pride and disillusionment got in the way from the gift of a relationship with this woman that God was actively and graciously trying to give me. i was choosing to miss out on the greatest experience and adventure in life imaginable!!! i went back to her church a few times the following weeks and while i would see my kindergarten classmate. due to the lack of overcoming this overwhelming almost paralyzing fear i was stopped from i never approached her. after a few weeks of unbearable and embarrassing attempts to introducing myself to this unbelievable person i stopped attending her church became very busy with my valet job and started attending a few other churches.
we eventually met but after a short and disappointingly unproductive short lived awkward friendship, she went through with previously made plans of moving to Hawaii. due to severe frustration regarding her attitude and mine in the four short months we were friends. i decided not to continue with any communication or a friendship after she left. when news had surfaced through suggestions from other people that she was interested in continuing a relationship with me. even though i still was very interested in having a relationship with her, with strong feelings of betrayal and abandonment of starting a new life without me. i made a decision that if she wanted to see me again she would have to make all of the effort and arrangements in seeing or reconnecting with me. because there was much unforgiven anger it was impossible for me to even comprehend reconnecting again with her. due to a series of unfortunate events that were all prophetically revealed to me during our first near encounter at her church. our friendship has been severed. throughout years of heavy anguish accompanied by an overwhelming amount of regret due to immaturity and stubborn behavior we’ve gone our separate ways over the years losing contact with each other.
last night i drove part of the route that i would have taken to meet a girl a little over five years ago whom i reconnected with through MySpace. this route takes me north on Petaluma Blvd heading out of town. i drive past Cherry Street where i can visibly see the house i grew up in and continuing out of town leading on Old Redwood Highway ironically driving past my current backyard! Old Redwood Highway ends in Cotati as an on ramp onto US-101 N. responding with the decision in making the right turn would have forever changed my life for the better. from the intersection of Washington Street & Petaluma Blvd North all the way to the location of where her church was located. it would have only taken me 3 turns to get there! the initial right turn another right turn and then a left turn. driving a computer estimated 12.5 miles.
going back to the old elementary school this afternoon to take pictures for this blog post and unbeknownst to me the old baseball field that separated the jr high on the hill and my old elementary school has just been turned into three city baseball fields!!!
“the only constant is change”