For those of you who were wondering “where on earth did He go?”, “did he die?”, “did he fall off the earth?”, no to all of the above. For those of you who are joining us for the first time: hi, I’m Jared Allen; full-time singer, long-time blogger, and recently published author!
Now, as to what I’ve been up to for the past 4 days of silence. I’ve been at a family reunion with some of the people I love most in this world: my family. That alone is sufficient grounds to take a break from electronic activity and spend time with real life and real people, but that’s not the major reason I’ve been silent. This year the reunion was held at Pennyrile State Park in Kentucky and there was no service. Sometimes people say no service and they mean little to no service or slow connection speeds. No, this geographical location was passed over by the cellular angels and had literally NO service whatsoever.
Thus, whether my motive be pure or no, I really didn’t have much of an option. But, about the reunion. It was a gathering of Dad’s side of the family: Grandma, Dad’s five siblings and their families, and all of us cousins. Altogether there are 39 of us… Uh, I think. Since my family is the traveling bunch, we see different ones of the others once or twice a year as we come into their territory: Canada, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, or Mississippi. However, only once a year, and only for the last 3 years have we all met together for a reunion since the good ol’ days back at Grandma’s house when life was simple. Now we’ve all grown up; some have kids, some have more kids, some have grandchildren, some have drivers licenses, others…have books: that’s me!
Yes, I’ve been building up to this for months through various social media posts and articles here on the blog; though sometimes I wasn’t sure which of my irons in the fire would emerge a sword, I knew a published project was pending. Now it’s finally out!
My first published work, “When You Live In A Bus”, is a collection of stories and answers to many of the questions I’ve collected over my lifetime that people have asked me. If you ever wondered how a family could live in a bus for 20 years, this book is for you.
I’m 20. I’ve been doing this whole traveling thing for 20 years. I invented the #roadlife hashtag. My entire life has been a road trip and I couldn’t let the chance slide to share some of that with you. So, I wrote a book; and with a little grace and a lot of hope, God will use it for great and mighty things for His glory.
I’m growing up, I hate to see my childhood leave, but I look to my left and right and see that my childhood is growing up with me. My family, they are my childhood. They are my best and worst times. My best laughs, my most ridiculous injuries, my greatest encouragements come from the times I spend with those whom I love the most and who love me for who I’m not.
I don’t have to pretend, they love me for the fake me and the real me. They love me for my triumphs and not because of my faults: despite them. I don’t have to be the man I am. I can be better than that, they tell me that just by being there, just by loving the good in me no the bad. They love me for who I’m not, and make me believe I can be better than who I say I am.
I’m too quick to condemn myself and for that reason I often feel self-pity and weakness. When I get together with people who know I’m not worthless, who respect me for the man I am not the one I feel that I am, it makes my opinion of myself change from worthless to valued.
I love my family. I hope all of you Allens, Sewells, Masons, and Lehmanns reading this know that. I love you. Can’t wait to see you again.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist