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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Character Interviews » Samuel Erikson

   
Author Topic: Samuel Erikson
legolasgalactica
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Hi, my name is Samuel. I'm kinda shy and somewhat floundering to reestablish a semblance of normal life after 2 years living in Russia as a missionary for my church.

I don't have a job or money, a degree--or plans for one.
I don't have a girlfriend and am pretty apprehensive of trying to re-enter the dating game... not that I ever really dated before.

I came from a very busy and highly structured life of service, responsibility and leadership. There I was needed, I had a purpose, I was helping people. Now that I'm back home in LA, I'm nobody.

So that's me in a nutshell: shy, lost, sentimental, philosophical, fanatically religious and primed for a "beginning" life crises.

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AndrewR
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So, Sam, whachya doing with yourself while you're waiting to "find" yourself? Staring at the walls? Watching the smog form and dispell? Playing solitare on the computer (my choice [Smile] )?

What do your parents think about this lazing around? Are they happy for you? Worried? Don't care? Giving you "space?" How long is that going to last?

Now that you don't have a path, what are you drawn to? What ideas and ideals make you look twice? What snaps you away from the ennui?

What wakes you up, if even for a short time?

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legolasgalactica
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Well, that's just it. I'm not doing anything--reading some, light exercise in the mornings, but that's it. Granted, it's only been two weeks, but yes, my parents are worried about me. I think they're scared I'll freak out and start using drugs or something.

My dad, in particular, doesn't get why I'm not dating girls. It's not that I don't like them; I'm just awkward and uncomfortable around them especially since dating was taboo for the last two years.

I've tried calling up some of my old friends, but they're all so different now. Or maybe I'm the one who's changed... I finally agreed to go on some crazy adventure with some of them to drive around trying to meet with famous people around town. I normally wouldn't agree to such a ridiculous idea, but I guess I figured anything to get me out of the house would be good and perhaps a little crazy could help get me going. And my friend did set me up with a pretty hot date...

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Robert Nowall
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This may be a bit old hat, but...if you don't "fit in" with your old friends, make an effort to find new friends. But don't discard the old ones just yet...
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AndrewR
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All right, let's try a different tack.

What the **** are you scared of?

You're young, full of life and energy. You could climb Mt. Everest, swim the Atlantic, cross the Moby Dessert (or whatever that place is [Smile] ). You could be out partying at night clubs all night. Instead, you sit at home, read, and maybe might go on a road trip with some friends that you don't really connect with.

There are a whole bunch of things you could do. So why are you sitting at home wondering what to do? Why don't you just pick one?

What's holding you back?

What are you scared of?

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legolasgalactica
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Alright Man, Lay off. Look it's only been two weeks. What's the big deal? Anyway, I'm working on it. But I'm more the academic type. I was on the soccer team in high school, but I more like philosophy, science, reading, etc. I am sort of leaning toward business though as a future career path.

P.S.
The answer to most of your questions IS the story.

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tesknota
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During your two years as a missionary in Russia, what habits did you pick up? What parts of the local culture did you like or not like?

Did seeing firsthand the way people lived in Russia alter your views toward the Church? What about toward God? Did your faith strengthen or falter?

What motivated you more during those two years: your drive to spread the word of God, or sense of importance?

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legolasgalactica
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While in Russia, I learned to rely on my faith in God. He and His guidance were an essential part of everything I did. I learned to plan and structure my time to the last detail. I became more outgoing than I was before--but only in preaching the gospel. In personal relationships I am still very reserved and shy.

I loved my time in Russia. It has been the highlight of my life. I loved the people too. Sometimes they seem more cold when you first meet them, but I have learned that it is mostly their direct and honest openness showing through. If they're unhappy (and many are), they show it. If you ask them, they'll tell you. But when I would knock on someone's door, they'd invite me in for tea or dinner or for a stiff drink which I always had to decline.

The two things I didn't like were that no one smiles--even in pictures, and that everything is so filthy and run-down. Picture 1970's America left with no upkeep until now.

There are so many poor people! I wished I could have done more to help them. But I did offer them all that I had and it is the most precious thing I possess: A Faith in God and His Son's Saving Grace.

Seeing God work in the lives of people I barely knew; seeing their lives change completely definitely strengthened my faith. I also saw miracles; people healed, hearts changed, the sad comforted.

What motivated me? Definitely the desire to spread the word of God. I've only recognized the sense of importance now that it's gone.

It's hard now though, because before, every minute of my day was planned and daily goals kept me motivated and busy. Now that I'm not sure what I should do, there's nothing to plan. Should I look for a job right away, or apply for college instead? Should I spend my time looking up girls I used to know, or spend time helping my mother around the house and helping my local church?

I see many ways that I could go, but can't seem to decide which way first, and so I end up trying to straddle three different paths at the same time which is definitely less effective.

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kmsf
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Nice to meet you Samuel. It sounds like you are waiting for the Lord to sort out which of the paths you should take. Have you considered returning to Russia? Seems you had more purpose there.
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