Nathanial Garrod

Nothing Exists in Isolation

In college, I would eat lunch with one of my professors, Chip, every week or two. We would talk about life, academic fear, the value of work, philosophy, psychology and science fiction. One day at lunch Chip said “nothing exists in isolation” as we ate sandwiches and fries over lunch. We were talking about Battlestar Galactica, I think. It was finishing its run on television.

We talked about how everything exists in connection to other things, a giant spider-web. This book inspires that idea which pushes this other idea and so on. Everything is connected, a giant web.

Probably I should learn this from my faith, but sometimes I learn better from really in-depth conversations about science fiction. I miss those conversations.

As I watch and re-watch my Facebook year in review video, I am very happy. My Facebook Year-In-Review is really great. Like. I love it a lot. It’s missing a couple things this year that made me really happy, but overall, it is near perfect.

It starts with a picture of L and I, during the first hike we took after we decided to start dating. It flips through to combine a picture of us at Disneyland and our Facebook-Relationship-Update. Then it moves to our engagement. Halloween. Lots of other fun memories.

I am cautious of always presenting the joyful and the happy. There was some mundane and some hard. Some conversations with friends that I knew were going to happen, but still surprised me. Some transitions – a lot of transitions – that have really pushed me.

Nothing exists in isolation.

At this time last year, I felt so broken and lost. So soul-dry and uncertain. After a year of basically only travelling and running, I was tired and wanted to be home. I wanted to not run, to sleep in a bit. But also, I was pushing to prepare to travel. I was tired and restless. I needed a change.

Before that, I felt like I wanted to connect with my community more. Wanting to connect with my community more came from a trip I took a year earlier. Now, when I look back I see that every day I felt alone, every day I was uncertain, every day I was learning was a day that I was building myself for now.

Because the ways I connected with my community, through service and travel, gave me the skills, abilities and connection I had to make the moves I have made this year.

Every year that I have lived in Portland, every year since I have left California, I have struggled to find where my work and passion fits in. Every year I have felt like I am searching and clawing to find something, somewhere. This year, I cannot fathom trying to find that. This year, I want to be the very best that I can be

This year I could look at the last year and how much I have grown, how many skills I have built, how much more organized I am. All of the trips I have taken in years past, all of the days I spent in fear and worry, all of the times I have felt alone – they mean something. They mean something because now I can make sense of all the boring moments, of all the hard moments.

Those moments exist in a context now, where I can look back and see “this moment clearly changed me, this moment brought me to where I am today.”

Nothing exists in isolation.

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This entry was posted on December 9, 2016 by in Faith, Thoughts.