Thursday, November 11, 2010

Okay, so I'm quickly learning how hard it is to actually sit down and update a blog. Good grief.

Anyways, here is the second installment. I figured that I need to get around to it eventually to keep my records straight:

Life is going pretty alright. Today was a really nice day in Sydney, Australia. I suppose it was your stereotypical "Sydney" weather, if I could describe it. Warm and sunny.

The past week since I've updated this have been rather eventful. So eventful in fact, that I really haven't gotten that much sleep. At all. To list everything, I've had: School, church, serving, fieldwork, work, assessments, practice, and everything else involved in my typical day including reading the Bible, laundry, etc, etc.

Let's see... First I'll talk about men's conference. It was pretty sweet. We went out one day to the Hills Campus and heard Dr. A.R. Bernard speak a word to all the guys. It was cool to hear a big deep "Amen" when he asked for it. He preached a great message that really hit home with me. The main point of his message was to live by conviction, not by preference. To break it down for you, when you feel called to do something, don't do it because you want to do it, but do it because you know you're suppose to and it would feel wrong if you didn't. That's the way that you're suppose to live your spiritual life. I'm proud to say that this is how I'm going right now, and I never want to sway from it. I feel that I'm firm in what I believe, and if there's something that I think that I should do, I have a solid reason behind it that I can use to justify my motives. I like the way I've trained myself to be dedicated to something. It's a good feeling. It was also really good to hear a guy talk to the MEN about being MEN. Not going to lie, I think it was what a lot of people needed to hear.

Hate to say this, but I've never met more unreliable people then here at bible school. It sounds totally ridiculous, but it's the sad truth. The message also made me proud to have a hairy chest. Just saying.

School had been going alright. Then of course there's serving at church. I serve in the TV room for 2 services on the weekends, and I'm actually really glad that I got allocated there. I feel like I'm learning a lot. It's cool to be in there, and there are definitely some fun times. During the week I do powerhouse (18-25 year old ministry) doing venue set up and tear down. It's frustrating at times, but it's getting better.

Then there's work.... Let me just say that I got totally blessed with a pretty rad job. It totally kicks my butt at times, but my hourly rate, work amount, and the people I work with are all a huge blessing. Basically, I run food at "Summit Restaurant and Orbit Bar". Google it. It's on level 47 of a building right in the middle of the city. The view is pretty incredible. Especially at night. Another cool part is that the restaurant actually spins around, so while you sit and eat, you get a total 360 degree view of the city. It's a really really swanky place so of course a tie is a part of my usual attire, but I actually don't mind. My co-workers and the managers can all be a bit frustrating at times, but usually they're pretty cool to work with. They really seem to like me there too. I get really enthusiastic greetings from all of the other food runners when I walk into the kitchen, and "hey John" from all of the managers. The cooks actually seem to like me a lot too. While they're swearing at all of the other food runners and telling them to shut their mouths, I'm getting "please" and "thank you" said to me. Of course I return the favor. It's not always like this either, but I'm proud to say that I emit a certain presence that just allows me to relax, and that's definitely something I don't take for granted. Of course the late nights are pretty tough, and it's what deprives me of sleep usually, but getting 20 hours or more at work right now is an insane blessing. I work my butt off though. It's tough at times, but no one ever said life would be easy.....

So yea, I wanted to put a little side note about the URL of my blog and all of the nicknames I've adopted here, because wow, I never new that there could be so many plays on my last name. At work, I'm known by all the food runners (who are all from Nepal) as "Americano" or "Johnny Boy". Flat 189 deemed me "Snyderman", hence the URL of my blog. I felt it fit rather well. Also, a big shout out to Josh, Ed, Aksel, and Roy. You guys rock. Back home, I was "Apple Snyder" or to my teachers, "Mr. Snyder".

ANYWAYS, right now, I'm tired.

At least I talked about work and school a bit, as well as men's conference, which was definitely pretty sweet. I just got back from hanging out at Ed's belated birthday, which was a good time. It's always fun to see everybody, and especially refreshing since I work a lot now. I'm not complaining though.

There's SO much more that I want to talk about, but there's SO much sleep that I need to catch up on.

Until next time.

- John

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Something Different

Well, here we go...

I've been wanting to start blogging for a while now, but I never got around to actually clicking the buttons to make it happen. The reason I wanted to start one was to really have something to go back to a couple months/years after I've written this and see how my life has changed. I'm also guilty of enjoying talking about myself, so this is a place I can do that without actually feeling conceited or self centered.

I also just want a place to put all of my crazy thoughts into words and hopefully have a little fun with, and hopefully entertain a few people. I've come to really enjoy writing, so hopefully I can make someone smile or laugh by them/you having the ability to read about the absurd stuff that happens to me on occasion.

I'll start at the beginning to get you caught up. Please excuse the length.

It's 1:36am an a friday morning. I just got done walking home for 45 minutes in the pouring rain from work. I'm thankful to be sitting down, especially since I've been on my feet for about 7 hours. Despite the rain, and the long walk home, my rather pathetic bank account, diet of mixed nuts and milk, and all the crap that I've endured since I've been here, I'm surprisingly happy. I've seriously made some amazing friends and done some amazing stuff since i've been here, and I'm very thankful for it.

I arrived in Australia on July 5. My main purpose in coming here was to "grow in God" (I suppose that's what I told everybody) and to "just do something different". Wow, did I do something different. I remember getting off the plane and being driven straight to the Hillsong Conference. I had no idea what I was about to get into.

I thought that I would have an easier time laying this all out for you to read, but I'm struggling. Bear with me.

I'll try to sum it up for you. The first 4 months here were probably the most miserable times of my life. Basically everything went wrong, or so I thought. It seems like it was bad for me, but it's probably done more good for me than I'll ever know. I also came here to be "uncomfortable". That's where a person grows the most. When they step outside of their comfort zone. Before I came to Australia, I was so comfortable it was scary. Don't get me wrong, I never took anything for granted, but I was still way to comfortable to be growing in life. I guess you could say that I was living the "teenage dream". In my possession I had a sweet car, a room all to myself, free college, a very flexible and super cool job detailing Cadillacs, I was the lead guitar player on the praise and worship team in the youth group, I had my posse of friends, I was living at home, eating my parents food, and I had plenty of money in the bank. I'm not going to lie, I worked hard for a lot of that, and I was also blessed to have some of the things like free college. I'm super thankful that my Dad took a job there and gave up a lot of his free time so I could go to college for free. Anyways, despite the fact that I was basically living the dream, I wasn't quite happy with the way my life was going. I just didn't feel like I was moving anywhere. I couldn't really decide on a major in college, I definitely wasn't going anywhere with the job I had, and I wasn't really making an effort to go anywhere in life. So, I get a brilliant idea to go to Australia, attend a bible school, live it up for a year, and then move back home with a major decided on and a sweet plan for my future. So, I sell my car, pack my life and my guitar into 2.5 suitcases, purchase a handy dandy passport, hug my mom and dad goodbye, and fly to Sydney, Australia to "do something different".

Basically, the first 4 - 4.5 months here were straight misery. Everything went wrong, and I remember having chest pains from stress that were so bad that I thought my chest was going to explode. To sum it up for you, I basically get put in a flat with 3 guys with the most opposite lifestyles you'll ever see, I ran out of money, had no job, couldn't sleep at night, got my longboard snapped in half, had to pay for EVERYTHING, hated where I had to serve in church, couldn't be or act like myself, didn't really have any close friends, headphones broke, college wasn't what I expected, BLEW my auditions, schedule gets all messed up the first day of school, I have no dress clothes for interviews, I could go on and on and on, but you basically get the idea. Humor did not exist at all during that time in my life. I know it might not seem that bad, once it happens to you all at once, it's pretty flipping miserable.

Those times were some serious struggles, and there were a few times when I found myself checking plane ticket prices to go home. At times, that was my only comfort was the fact that I could fly home. It was and still is tough at times, but I feel like i've come a long way. Not that I was ever super weak or lazy, I just really feel like my ethics, motives, and life morals were tested to the max. I can remember walking for hours in the rain handing out resumes and finally arriving back to my flat with sore feet. It was a pretty crazy time, but eventually God provided me with a job. Christianity is definitely a two lane road, and I'm glad that I've realized that. God would never have provided me with this job if I didn't go out and seek it first. I've seen the fruits of my labor, and I'm glad that I've stuck it out.

If there's one thing that I've come to realize over here, half way across the world, it's that God won't make things easier, but he'll make you stronger. And wow, have I felt like he's done that for me. I'm so grateful he's done that. I feel so much more prepared for things in life than I did before I got here. I feel like when I finally get back to Ohio, I'll be able to conquer the world.

Not really, but, you know....

Anyways, that's a brief summary of the first couple of months here. I have so much more to write, but it's now 2:19 am, I have to wake up in 3.5 hours, and I have an exam tomorrow which I definitely probably maybe kinda haven't really studied for. So... we'll save the rest for another day, shall we? I'll work on getting a regular blogging schedule up, but right now, this is being done on a whim.

So, thanks for reading this, if you've made it this far. I plan to write a lot more about the people I've met, school, work, life in general, but that's for another day.

- John