Monday, April 27, 2009


I'm struggling to live in a world of pain and suffering and not crumble under its weight. Overwhelmed by child prostitutes, abuse, and poverty, the weight of the world is heavy and too often unnoticed. As I grapple with what I can do, never enough, I stagger at the size of the burden and still wonder, Does anyone see me staggering? What am I doing to show my outrage, my disapproval, my broken heart?

Maybe I need to pick a battle. I can't do it all. I can't save everyone, but where is the line between content laziness and defeated activist, disinterested consumer and unproductive temper tantrum, ignorant, rich snob and bitterly tired missionary? There must be balance here. There must be, because I don't want any of the extremes.

Thoughts, ideas, situations, and decisions overwhelm me often to near paralysis. Like an old, faulty computer pleading mercy to the incoming data, I just can't take much more. There must be balance.

Between classes that confine me to a sad, tired student buried in textbooks, and emails from Cambodia that make me feel guilty for ever leaving them, there is balance.

Between identities as friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend, student, and leader, there is balance.

Between possibilities at camp, at Southern, at Union, in Cambodia, in Africa, in the future, there is balance.

Between making decisions, making music, making do, and making amends, there is balance.

Between perfect, pretty, passive...skinny, skanky, scattered...hungry, hasty, and hell-bent, there is balance.

Between finding God, finding purpose, finding myself, finding peace, finding true joy, and shoes to match, there is balance.

For if there is no balance, then this isn't worth it at all. If there is not middle ground, no happy medium, and no slightly lumpy place to lay my head at the end of the day, then forget it. Let's all move to the Greek isles, drink raspberry lemonade, build sandcastles, sleep all day, and dance all night. I mean if the happy medium, the gray, ceases to exist, then who cares about ethics, trustworthiness, and purpose right? We can just live to extremes since everyone else is anyway.

But there must be balance. I've seen it in a young, married couple seeking change as best they can. I've seen it in wise voices with silvery gray hair. I've seen it in playful children, who at their very core, are everything they're supposed to be, themselves.

Should I go to Southern or Union?

Am I a Christian? Do I believe in this?

What will I do that matters?

Is secondary English education my thing?

Will the title always read, "Heather Bohlender, ED"?

What if I can't pay my bills on time, regularly pluck my eyebrows, understand the check engine light, read every amazing book, find all my library books, eat all my antioxidants, update my blog, avoid skin cancer, recite the Declaration of Human Rights, and learn to crochet socks for children in Yugoslavia?

There must be balance, because if I'm wrong, I'd like to know now, I hear Greece is nice this time of year.


Carley Brown said...

You know, when I was a senior, I had to write a "Philosophy of Life" paper for Senior Bible. I talked alot about 'balance' in that paper and sometimes try to think about all the things I wrote about concerning how to live a balanced life. Life is new everyday, it doesn't always have the same ingredients, you come out with a new recipe all the time and most days there is a little to much of something no matter what. Nobody can balance it all, if we could, the world would be perfect. I do appreciate reading your blogs because of your great depth for people and your care for things beyond yourself. Thats why I keep reading.