Today it is my privilege to announce Patrick Koschak as this month’s guest writer! Known fondly as Mr. K to the students he teaches (as well as to myself) I am excited to present to you a great teacher, a great writer, and a great person. Check out more of his writing at www.dirtheadtheology.blogspot.com. Don’t be too shy to leave a few comments for Patrick and make him welcome! Without further ado, enjoy.
Blogs Are Funny
by Patrick Koschak
Blogs allow their authors a kind of “public anonymity” don’t they? The author can use their real name, or not. They can write things that are true, or not. They allow a person the opportunity to post things that might be musings… or profane… or meaningful… or whatever. They allow a person the chance to re-create themselves into someone thoughtful or clever or noble or brave. Blogs can be read by close friends, complete strangers, or both.
However, what happens when a blog is not just a blog? What if it is yours? What happens when you aren’t pretending? What happens when it is so personal… so confessional… that it is scary to even type it? These blogs call for an honesty and vulnerability that just doesn’t happen much. It is a place few dare to tread, like some kind of electronic, Indian burial ground.
While it does have its’ off-color moments, I think that this hallowed ground is where the Fear List resides. This is why it is such an honor, and a challenge, for me to share something in this place. It beckons me to share in this boldness of spirit and open myself in ways that might well be therapeutic, and most likely, uncomfortable. It is unnerving, and real.
So what am I afraid of?
At risk of being too bold, or too simple, I fear being alone. I need to interact with other people. I need the connection. I feel as though the walls are closing in on me if I have too much time to myself. I try to read… to pray… to take my mind off things… but in the end, I seek out people.
The irony, as you might have guessed, is that simply being around people isn’t enough. It might be the counterfeit that I often settle for, but it isn’t genuine. I have to be “seen.” I have to be known. I have to be accepted for who I am. I fear alienation, not necessarily solitude.
Here is where the snare draws tighter, though, because this requires openness. This kind of acceptance can only be found if I am willing to grant the vulnerability it requires. Tragically, I hold the keys to open these emotional manacles. I know this. I get it.
But then, alienation has a scary twin brother, don’t you know? This would be rejection. While I fear to be truly alone, I fear being rejected just as much. If I was to show people the “real” me… the not-so-nice parts of me… the warts… the worries… the sins… the dark, twisted thoughts that torment me… would I be rejected? Would I be treated like a freak? Would I then be proven to be alone; not just in theory, but in reality?
To paraphrase Lincoln, “Isn’t it better to suspect that you are alone, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt?”
Is there a way out of this cycle?
I suspect that there is… but I have not yet walked this path. I know that I am supposed to offer you some kind of uplifting ending… closure… the victorious resolution… but I’m not there yet. I don’t have it. At least, not really.
I can offer you the Theological answer to the problem (I was a Theology major, after all). I know that there are loved ones who offer their absolute acceptance if I will just give myself leave to speak it. I know that, ultimately, it is in my hands. It is my choice. I get that. It doesn’t help a whole lot, but I do get it.
So, this is me. This is where I am. This is where my post will end. I risk violating the spirit of this place if I were to pretend that I have this one whipped. Sometimes, fear gets the better of us. Sometimes, blogs don’t come with happy endings.
Sometimes, blogs are funny, aren’t they?
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Patrick Koschak, age 33, has been married to his high school sweetheart, Rachael, for 14 years now, and they share three children, ages 11, 9, and 7. Patrick was born in Northern Minnesota, but has called Western Colorado his home for more than 20 years.
Patrick attended college for Biblical studies and Greek. Along the way, he has enjoyed a variety of jobs, from restaurants to retail to the oilfields. While he enjoys many pursuits, teaching and writing are the deepest passions of his heart. Patrick currently works as a sales rep selling industrial supplies, and as a part-time teacher.