Dan Writes: Starting Over

Dan Writes

 

Abe took that picture. I think it’s sweet to see what Daniel looks like from his little perspective. It’s also a picture that I think captures my husband perfectly. This post is the first of many, as Daniel will be sharing with us his thoughts from time to time on life, love, science, God and being a man. 


 

Last week, Megan asked me if I’d guest-post for her. Obviously, I agreed to do it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this. When she presented the idea to me, I figured it would be easy to write a few hundred words about something, but when I started thinking about what to say, I drew a blank. I’ve drawn a blank everyday since she asked. It’s funny because I used to have my own blog on which I would post almost daily. I had a lot to say at that time in my life, and I wanted people (ahem… one person… a girl) to see it. I was an early-20s knucklehead fresh out of a relationship, and I wanted people (one girl) to know how good I was doing at being a grown-up. That was an interesting time in my life. I wanted to be noticed and appreciated. I figured if I could type out the things I wanted to say in a well-articulated and interesting way, and get people to read them, I could feel better about myself. My writings were dripping with arrogance and ignorance. I tried to disguise that fact by packing my posts with, what I believed at the time to be, this insightful wisdom that clearly no one had ever heard or read before. You could say my whole blog was like one giant humble-brag. I was posing as some great theologian of whom no one (that girl) had ever heard. It worked in making me feel important for a while, I guess, and eventually I ended up abandoning it because it had served its purpose. I look back at that time, and I don’t really like who I was. I appreciate that time because I made some valuable friendships and learned a lot of what not to do, but I am definitely not fond of the person that was writing that stuff. I guess a better way of putting it, is that I’m embarrassed by that person. So, when Megan asked me to write something for her, I obliged, but when I started brainstorming on what to write, my mind was flooded with thoughts of those days. Obviously, I don’t want to be young, dumb, early-20s Dan again. I have a lot of things I could talk about, I suppose, but I like personal interactions. I like conversations. Those are things I’ve grown to value deeply. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t share some thoughts with you folks from time to time. It just means that when I do, I’m doing it with a different purpose than I once did.

It’s funny, I used to end all of my posts with “I love you”. In the days of Myspace blog posts, I read something on an acquaintance’s profile one time where he ended a post with that. I liked it, so I started doing it. That was the one thing in those old posts of mine that wasn’t really aimed directly at “the girl”. It was in a sense but not in the sense of me hoping she would read something I wrote, get to the end, see those words, and think “Oh my God, I love you, too. Let’s get back together.” I wanted people to think, “Man, this guy, like, really loves people. Like, he’s genuinely concerned for peoples hearts and souls.” And I wanted “the girl” to think, “Man he’s so awesome at loving people. Why did I ever let him go?” It was completely fueled by a selfish desire to be accepted. I didn’t truly love people. I just wanted them to think I did. I figured it was in my best interest if people thought I was some wise, kind-hearted soul, whether or not I actually was.

Now, things are different. I’m different. And I can say with great confidence that the reason I’ve changed is not simply because my circumstances are different. No, I found out very quickly after I married Megan that young, dumb, early-20s Dan had simply turned into young, dumb, mid-20s Dan. There have been plenty of I-don’t-want-to-do-this-anymore times for both of us in the past 5 years, but God has been patient and gracious with us. The more I’ve grown in submission to the Creator of the universe and surrendered my life more and more to the Gospel, the more I can look back on old Dan and not be as embarrassed. I can see it was just a silly part of my story, and I can be confident in the fact that I’m not writing this for any personal gain. I can honestly say that I’m doing it because my wife asked me to, and I love her… and I love you.