I was pretty well humbled recently. It all started with an egosurf. I googled myself, and apparently its called egosurfing (which I discovered after googling “googling yourself” while trying to describe how pathetic it is that I googled myself by seeing how pathetic other people thought it was to google yourself. I ended up discovering that it’s really common to google yourself). Nonetheless, I still feel like a narcissist.

Anyways. Let’s get to what came up on this egosurf of mine.

First and second thing to come up: My Relevant magazine profile. Turns out I put some of these blogs on there. A lot more people read them at that website than at my actual blog. If you haven’t been to, you should probably go there and check it out.

Third and fourth: My facebook profile and a comment I left in a now-defunct facebook group my freshman year of college. Five years ago, when facebook was purely college students, I asked when the Hives new CD was supposed to come out.

Fifth: A website called Sounds pretty creeper to me.

Sixth and seventh: My blog THE ASCENT.  This is followed by a reminder of how bad I was at xc skiing in high school. Maybe that’s why I still have the wax from State (5 years ago) on my skis.

Well now I’m rambling. What I was getting to is something that came up on page 2. Other people’s blogs (Two, to be exact).  These blogs, coincidentally, were featuring my blog from RELEVANT (and also on my actual blog, but, like I said, a lot more people see what I write on RELEVANT). It’s very odd to see what you’ve written in a blog background you’ve never seen before. Something I wrote was staring at me on a blog that wasn’t mine. I was dumfounded. It amazes me (and, honestly, kind of confuses me) that I can write something that someone I’ve never met can relate to in such a strong way as to share it with the world again and reflect on it. I now remember, once again, why I write.

As I grew up imagining my future, I imagined an architect. I imagined a man who, when he egosurfed himself, would see pictures of beautiful buildings and people writing about the beautiful buildings he designed. I imagined a man who created things people could marvel at – things that could create an undying interest and curiosity. Now I have done that. I’ve done it in a completely different way than first imagined, but it has been accomplished with some differences. As architect Joel Helenbolt, I’d have inspired and brought people closer to something that was done purely by me. No one would know or recognize the underlying cause. No one would look at my building and feel it made them a better person or feel it showed them something about themselves or God that they hadn’t yet realized. I’d simply be seen as a man who creates buildings.

I’m glad that’s not what I’ve achieved.

Instead, I’ve been able to show people a bit of themselves. I’ve been able to make people recognize who they are by pointing out who God is. Through writing, I’ve been able to share the me that I don’t unleash too often. The bold me. The passionate me. The me that very few people have ever truly seen. And in showing the real me to, apparently, complete strangers on the internet, I have been able to show the deeper me to more people while living my life outside of a computer keyboard. Being able to write as the real me – unleashing my struggles and questions and the things God has shown me to answer my questions and help with my struggles – has led to the realization that I’m not living this life for anyone who may not like what I write. In fact, I’m not even living this life for me (which is kinda why I don’t want to be an architect anymore). Read my blog, and hopefully you’ll be able to see who it is I’m living for.

So now a word to all the strangers out there who, very rarely, really like what I write (enough to post it again). If I ever actually meet you – like face to face, let’s shake hands, meet you – I hope I’m the person you envisioned when you read what I wrote, except maybe a little funnier.

And to the people I know who read my ramblings, all I can say is thank you. It pretty much always makes my day when someone tells me they read this thing and they like it. You guys are awesome, and I’ll try to give you  stuff to read a little more often.

On that note, I’m out. Sorry this post was so long. I hope it was worth it?