Really, it’s a good thing. Really…

It’s been 5 months and 15 days since the accident.  The doctor in the emergency room, my primary care physician, and subsequent specialists all say the same – my shoulder was broken in one of the worst ways possible.  Right now, I’m not even close to being healed and whole physically.  Over the months, I have received a large amount of condolences from friends that are well-meaning.  The truth is, this accident resulted in some amazing things in my life!  Major changes that are all positive, with the only penance required is a bit of pain and a little money lost.  However my family has never been closer, I’ve been able to slow down my life a bit, and a complete refocus of my education into what I’ve always really wanted to do.  So I may not be able to lift any weight or walk at a brisk pace, but I’m in a good spot and thankful for the accident that started the chain of events that brought me to where I am now.

Credit Where Credit is Due…

I’m thankful for an internal change of perspective. Last year was a very difficult year for me on many levels. This year (so far) has been an amazing year! So what’s the change of perspective? Now that things are going well, I know now more than ever that I need God. That’s right: good times=acknowledgement of need.
If you’re good with that, than great! You’re ahead of where I was. If that’s a bit confusing, lemme ‘splain…
The idea here is I believe in a god that loves me and wants me to thrive. Sure, struggles come and things aren’t always easy, but EVERY STINKING TIME I’ve had the choice to learn from those struggles and grow – or not. But primarily I have, which has enabled me to 1) have a positive change in myself and 2) see first hand that not everything that seems bad IS.
Again – last year was rough. There were multiple opportunities for me to grow, to understand what my capabilities and limitations were in order to see where I could improve myself. Unfortunately, I missed that and barreled on with my head down, treading mud (so to speak). God didn’t drop the ball with me – I chose to try and stand on my own.
Now, a couple of months have passed, and my whole world has flipped – in a great way! Personally, I haven’t done anything different to bring these changes around, but I have seen the hand of God in my life as he’s showing me what things can be like.
It’s an awakening for me. I wouldn’t even dream of saying “things are good now so I don’t need help.” On the contrary – things are good now, and I can easily say there’s only reason why – because God is by my side. He’s never left me, but sometimes it helps to stop trying to run away as well.

I Just Want to Clarify…

I feel the need to clarify;

I don’t know how you see me, but I am a child of God, and Jesus Christ is my savior.  I’m not by any means perfect.  I enjoy living life and I make mistakes.  I appear to stand on my own two large feet, but the reality is without God by my side, I can’t keep my balance.  To look at me, one could say “Is that what a Christian is like?”  I fall so often my face hurts– I will never be the poster boy for a church.  But the thing is, I realize my need for salvation.  I could never get through life on my own, falling falling falling and at some point not getting up.  THAT’S what I am; one who believes that my strength comes from God, and my salvation comes from Jesus.  Everything I have comes from God, and only by his grace do I have my family, my gifts, my job, my house, my life.  To believe that any of this was from my own doing is a fallacy yet I don’t often give credit where credit is due.  You may see me on stage or in person behaving in a way that doesn’t represent the faith I profess, and I apologize if that’s hard for you.  I want to tell you that me being a Christian doesn’t mean I do everything right and I have no delusions of perfection – it means I’ve realized that I need help and can’t make it on my own.  Now that I think of it, I AM a pretty darn good example of a Christian.  I realize I’m lost on my own.

It’s Not on Purpose

So it’s recently been brought to my attention that I’m a bit of a cold-shouldered bugger at my shows (before and after), and so I have a desire to let folks into my head (it’s a really scary place – NOT for the faint of heart).

Most folks are fairly understanding if they’re there early, as it’s obvious that I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off nailing down all the details to my normally highly-technical shows.  When I’m on stage, I’m fine, easy going, and talk to people…no problem…but AFTER the show, I’m about as social as a crocodile with a tooth infection.  This is the part that I need to explain, because I don’t want feelings to be hurt just because you don’t realize what’s going on with me…

1st point: I am not a social person by nature.  As animated as I may seem, I don’t really like to talk unless I have something to say – other than that I’m far more of a listener…and I do enjoy listening!  But I’m a fairly introverted person by nature unless I talk to you on a daily basis.  My intrapersonal communication skills are extremely underdeveloped which is difficult for many to understand, because on stage I’m an entirely different person!  Intrapersonal (one-on-one) and interpersonal (one-to-multiple) communications are entirely different.  Most people develop the former but not the latter, causing the widely shared “fear of public speaking”. Me, I feel most comfortable behind a mic.  I saw a play in high school called “Who Am I This Time” which highlighted a character with exaggerated characteristics of the same (incidentally, Steve Martin suffers from this as well, so don’t be offended if he’s not funny when you meet him face to face).  In the play, the main character is one who doesn’t say much, but when given a part completely immerses himself in the character.  What’s interesting to me is how I’ve done so well as a tutor and counsellor as that involves a lot of one-on-one.  Thinking about it, the difference is these situations haven’t relied on dialogue.  What appears to be a single conversation Is actually three parts: listening, analyzing, and instructing.  As mentioned, listening is easy.  Next is all internal – analyzing what the problem is/cause and then what it takes to solve it.  Finally, as I respond, I am teaching (interpersonal), so it’s not actually a dialogue. Once this part of a session is over, I don’t switch to conversation very well and so often appear to be disinterested as just a moment ago I had a ton to say.  Most people don’t understand that there is a difference, and are confused by the presumed switch in attitude.  It’s not the attitude, but the type of communication.  My friend Akeel, my dearly departed grandma Dorothy – they have/had the inverse…can talk and talk and talk (and talk and talk and talk….) but I don’t share that gift of gab – the intrapersonal.

 

The second part that amplifies this is I don’t eat before a show.  Back in the days of the full band, Mark, Johnny, Trent and I would go to a Chinese buffet before every show, we wouldn’t leave until someone was crowned jello king (have to eat their jello with chopsticks).  …we were late to more than one of our shows because of this…  But now that I’ve taken over as the lead singer, I don’t eat past lunch (my songs have too many long notes – you don’t want me burping into the mic!!!) and so after a show, a combination of exhaustion and hypoglycemia sets in, making me super tired and decreasing my already suffering intrapersonal skills.  Trying to talk to me in this state after seeing the lively personality on stage, the impression of my indifference increases exponentially!

 

All this to say…don’t be offended if you’re seeing this.  I love having you at my shows – I couldn’t play if you weren’t there!  But those are my inner-workings, and I want you, my dear fans and friends, to understand so you don’t feel alienated by me.

 

You’re all still the best!

Ryan