My Venus

After driving around three of the towns surrounding Yorkville (Oswego, Plano and Sandwich), searching for a tobacconist that is open after 5pm on a Sunday, listening to some of the most amazing music my iPod has ever shuffled, I suddenly felt very alone. I felt very solitary; not in a depressing, "I'm all alone and nobody loves me" way (though I often feel that, but in a "stranger in a strange land" way. I felt like I was passing through towns that I have never seen before, even though I was raised in this area. I felt like a stranger, alienated and detached from my surroundings. I have nothing in common with this area anymore.

When I got home, I lit up a cigarette, took a deep puff and gazed up at the night sky -- in awe of the heavens. An old hymn came to mind: "This world is not my home / I'm just a passin' through / My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue / The Savior beckons me from Heaven's open door / and I can't feel at home in this world anymore." I sang the lines in a whisper, took another drag of my cigarette and sang them another couple of times.

It was a nice reminder.

Tonight, Venus was brighter than usual in the Southern skies. I gazed at her for a few moments and thought about the Romans who named her. She, of course, was named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. It occurred to me that maybe the reason Venus was given that name was because that celestial body, which remains brighter than even the brightest stars, was the most beautiful object in the night sky -- always. Its brightness is so intense that it can even be seen in the middle of the day. And, so, when the sun sets, it becomes very visible as an evening star, and, when the sun rises, it can still be seen as it becomes the morning star. The Romans were clearly infatuated with its ever present beauty.

And despite my state of euphoria, gazing in awe at this beautiful celestial body, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by the weight of her distance from me. I'll never reach her and she doesn't care. I'm just a speck -- not even a blip -- on the universe's radar; and my insignificance is only magnified by the majesty of the heavens.

Ever since I broke up with Megan, I've been trying to figure out just what it is I want out of life -- what I expect from my life. Life goals and dreams, after all, are the reason we parted ways: she wants to travel all over the world and teach English in countries that I don't even recognize the names of, and I never could see myself living that life, no matter how much I think I want to; I want to settle down in Chicago, start my career and a family and she can't see herself living that life, no matter how much she thinks she wants to. This breakup has been giving me an existential crisis of massive proportions.

Who am I!?

It's no secret that I have very lofty goals that often conflict with each other: I want to travel all over the world as a music missionary and plant churches, but I also want a domestic life; I want to move to Ireland and I want to move to Chicago; I want marriage and children and I want to be like Paul, single for life, so that I have more time to focus on my ministry; I want to start my career and I want to enjoy the waywardness of being a twentysomething. These dreams are not compatible -- not even with themselves, let alone with the dreams of a partner. So what am I supposed to do with them?

And, most confusing of all, despite my breakup with Megan, I know in my heart that I really don't want to be with anyone else. When I met her, I knew she was the one that I would spend my life with and she knew the same of me. She is my Venus. She was and still is the brightest and most beautiful object in my Southern skies. And I still want to reach out into the blackness and grab a hold of her hand, or fly to her, experience her closeness and breathe deep her beauty in person.

But she is my Venus, and I'm no astronaut.


  1. Great blog Drew! You're an amazing writer and soon someone will give you the opportunity you've been longing for.

    The things that are meant to be will, just have faith, despite the circumstances you may now be experiencing.

  2. You can travel all over the world and still have a domestic life. My daughter Beatrice was born in Oxford to an American father and Irish mother, and during the pregnancy, her mother travelled in India, Morocco, France, and Virginia. Yep, even Virginia.

    Travel is a privilege, an adventure. Go teach English around the world. Go to the weirdest country possible. Be glad that you don't entirely want to go. No one ever entirely wants to run ten miles, or go into a cave, or try scuba diving. No one entirely wants to be a good Christian. No one can ever be entirely decided on anything. So act bravely. And wildly. And act as soon as you can! It sounds like you have a great girl that you love and you need to have some adventures to keep her. So have some adventures!