Thursday, September 15, 2011


Some things are hard to describe. Hard to put on paper. Hard to write, even for a writer like me.

And some things need to be described anyway.

In this case, I felt I needed to put my thoughts into words. And to make things easier, I'm writing it to you, blog followers and friends. There's a reason I've never written a journal; every time I try to write to myself, or a nonspecific audience, it fails. It just doesn't work.

(And be warned, I shall be redundant and wandersome in my thoughts. My head isn't that organized.)

So here it goes.

While the move to Africa is fantastic, a new adventure that I'm excited to embark on, I also look on it with a bit of apprehension. It's not the I'm-nervous-I'm-moving-to-Africa-and-I'll-be-in-a-new-culture-and-probably-just-die-or-something sort of apprehension. It's not what's to come that bothers me the most about moving to Africa.

It's what I'll leave behind.

Sad isn't the right word for this feeling. Depressed isn't either. Vaguely sadly depressed doesn't work. Like I said, it's hard to describe.

There's a word in another language—I can't remember which—that describes this feeling. A strange emptiness, a lingering sad feeling—an ache of the heart—that you can't describe. They call it "toska".

Some part of me feels like I need to be nervous and be poetically depressed that I'm leaving all I know behind. But I'm not feeling that way either. At least, I'm not really feeling "toska" because I'm leaving my house and my church and those I know in real life behind.

In a word, I suppose, it's the goodbyes that will get to me the most. Especially the goodbyes that happen over the internet. Maybe that sounds strange, but read on.

Already I've experienced the first few tastes of what it might be like. We cut our internet earlier this month. Thus, I haven't chatted with friends on email or Facebook; I haven't talked to fellow Elves on the Underground forum; I haven't checked blogs or blogged myself. The toska sets in a little bit more.

It already feels like goodbye, even if I haven't jumped on a one-way-plane to Africa yet.

I have a lot of friends on the internet. I know fellow writers and Christ-followers who wield pens in the service of the King through the internet. They're scattered across the fifty states. Leaving the internet is like leaving them.

I'm having another hard-to-put-into-words-moment... *pauses, and then continues*

And then, I read the farewells people send me. It's actually more like a wow-that's-awesome-that-you're-going-to-Africa sort of thing, but it feels like a farewell nonetheless.

Last Friday (the ninth), I resigned from administration (the admins are called "Sentinels" there) on the Underground forum. I've been on the Sentinel team for almost a year. The posts Elves made were actually farewells this time. They encouraged me and saddened me at the same time.

....And now I feel like I'm making the whole post depressing...

Main thing is, the goodbyes are what are getting to me. I'm "leaving" friends I know really well. In many cases, I know some people over the internet alone better than others I know in real life. I've prayed for them, I've asked for prayer from them, I've debated with them, I've battled with them, I've eaten metaphorical pie with them. And I had hoped (and still hope) to one day eat real pie with them in real life.

The camaraderie that can be found over the internet alone is astounding.

However, I won't end this on a depressing note. Whisper the Spy posted a great quote in this blog post that feels very applicable here. I've been pondering and musing over it ever since I read it. Since I'm writing this without internet, I'll paraphrase it. I don't have the greatest memory, wot.

"For Christians, it's never goodbye. It's always 'see you later'." ~Anonymous

And so, to all of you out there who know me in some way or form; thank you. It's been a fantastic ride. I'm honored to know you, and I really do hope that I don't disappear off the internet entirely, for my sake at least. I might gain my sanity back if I leave. (OO) I shall miss you all.

You are all awesome. You're epic.

See you later.



Noah Arsenault said...

Wow. I still hope to meet you one day...


Squeaks said...

:( I'm going to miss your presence online, Jake, but I hope you have a fantastical adventure in this new land that you'll be entering :D It'll be an awesome quest. Someday, somewhere in the future, be it now or in eternity, we'll get to meet and have that piece of pie :D


Marian said...

I'm going to miss your blog posts, Jake! You've shared so many great insights on writing--I hope you keep working on your books, whenever you have time. :)

Eldra said...

*sniffles* Now you're making ME sad!!!

I, too, am eagerly looking forward to the day we meet up, if not here, then *points up* there. Keep writing for God, and I know he'll take you places. You're too talented not to storm the world.

Yes, pie... That too...

The Director said...

I think toska is my new favorite word... I think I might understand what you mean, Jake, because goodbyes get to me like nothing else, even when they're not even semi-permanent.

That to say, I really appreciated this post, and you shall be missed sorely but I wish you Godspeed on this new adventure- and like everyone else has said, whether here on this spinning mudball or after, we will see you later.

Lord bless, Jake, and thank you for the amazing ride.
I'll try and keep the pie warm while we're all waiting to share it.

Pathfinder said...

Way to make me cry, Jake. Bad form, wot? ;p
But seriously dude, please check the email you have on Teenage Writer. You'll feel better. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

Knew you on The Underground before my life got busy and I stopped visiting. Your post nearly made me cry! I'm thankful to have known you and hope you can find some way to keep up a new blog - of your adventures in Africa!

Endurance and Victory!!