That Which Translates to an Understanding of Meaning and Purpose Behind This Book, Serving Both Metaphorically and Literally (double entendre, intended) to Carry the Reader From its First Blank Page to the Beginning of Chapter One
It all started that one day. I can’t tell you exactly when it was, but I know it just had to have been that one day.
I should’ve never let my mind wander and lose track of time, swishing with Listerine for 79 seconds after brushing my teeth instead of the recommended 60.
Or maybe it was obsessing too long over my hair to get it to look just right.
Or spending a week and a half watching all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix.
Or getting a new pair a shoes that obviously will only work with slim straight jeans thus causing my whole wardrobe and style to change.
Maybe it was not getting the job I thought totally made sense for me for the first time in my life.
Or deciding the best option was to go back to school to get my Masters.
Or Determining that the best school to attend was a place that I knew, I just knew I wasn’t going to fit into, but both got in a week before classes started and got in specifically because I didn’t fit the mold.
Or taking a job which does anything but provide a regular, steady schedule which allows me to maintain sanity, keep in contact regularly with friends and family, write, eat healthy, work on hobbies, keep the house tidy, stay hydrated.
Or maybe it was having one too many beers and then a couple more, one too many times.
Or having to deal with the death of someone close…
Or, or, or—the point is, even though it seems so long ago, there just had to be a day, a point, something, that sparked one thing or another; a cause that led to an effect that led to another cause and effect which eventually brought me to this point. At least that’s what I think looking back.
A different place.
A different person.
I wish I could tell you just what it was that did it, but that’s just it, isn’t it? You never really know where you’re going to be, or what you’re going to be doing that moment (maybe those moments) your life changes (or rather—more aptly, life changes you) forever.
And like anything, eventually, it all starts to feel…normal. You adapt, you push through it, you survive and find yourself just surviving; living just to survive until you find yourself pondering ways, daydreaming possibilities that would give your life, give yourself some sort of purpose and meaning.
Maybe I should up and move to San Francisco.
Maybe I should record my music and see if I can really get into playing at bars and such until I’m opening for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or the Black Keys.
Maybe we should have a kid.
Maybe we should get a puppy. (Oh, your friend has a chocolate labrador puppy like I’ve always wanted that they have to find a home for???)
Until one day, sitting down and looking at the world around you, pondering your own life and present existence, you decide to write a book.
I’ve never considered myself a writer—hell, I’ve never considered myself much of anything, but I have felt that at the core of my being, whatever I am to be, whatever I am and have always been, I am a voice. Where that’s worked is in relating to people. It’s worked with examples and subjects of which to provide insight into, discuss, write about. Where it hasn’t worked—at least of late, has been formulating some cohesive, theologically focused whole; comprising of everything that is me in thought and mind and spirit.
until that one day. That one day recently, that I was driving and reminiscing to avoid thinking about the disheartening feeling surrounding being in this place and time in my life. You know that sort of reminiscing where every good that was in your life seems all the better than it actually was; where you long for something good again, something real, and you’re tired of playing make believe and pretending all that is presently terrible really isn’t?
That was the moment where the title “Seminary Washout,” came to me. I smiled to myself and loved the idea of just accepting the truth and considering myself thusly—making mental note that I had to look up the definition for “washout” when I got home, just so I could be sure it was the appropriate term. I loved it so much because it made me think of the musical Grease, specifically the song, “Beauty School Dropout.” And while I had yet to get home and look up “washout,” I had a vague understanding that washout was quite different than the term “dropout,” and that washout was a more appropriate description (in ways I hope to convey at some point during the course of this book) to myself and my circumstances than merely calling it “Seminary Dropout.”
I began writing this very introduction in my head, moving things around, mentally saving things for the epilogue of the book rather than give them away in the introduction, when I realized that I didn’t want this book to merely be about my failed time in Seminary. I realized I could use it as a framework to organize my thoughts into that cohesive, theologically focused whole that had been so elusive to me. I could use the subject of my being a Seminary washout as a means to convey something much more, something much bigger than the mere subject of washing out of Seminary; in short,
Seminary washout could be secondary to something far bigger and better…
Ever since I saw Dr. Strangelove, I’ve always seemed to fancy subtitles—when done right, to the titles themselves. They’re a tool which tends to express clarity or better—demand intrigue to that which may or may not illicit it on its own. I love that feeling a witty subtitle gives (when used appropriately, and done right) in conjunction with the title itself. Because as I said, when done right, it should add both clarity, yet intrigue, a mystery that gives way to curiosity. As such, I end this introduction and begin this book, with the only subtitle I feel captures the spirit and heart of it, whilst still not really giving anything away, thus illicit a desire from you—the reader, to (if you’ve made it to this point) continue on forward.
And so I present:
Beauty Tips From a Seminary Washout, or:
How I Learned What I Didn’t Know I Really Needed to Learn, While Learning What I Didn’t Really Need to.