The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

Rico's with Thomas

There's something really cathartic about sitting in a Rico's booth for two hours with Thomas. We've been friends for the last decade (seriously, though). And, sure, we went to middle school and high school together, so we saw each other every day at school and after school and on weekends and all summer...for six years. Then we went to college, and obviously our friendship had to morph into something much more intentional. But not really. Every time I come to town, he's here. The luck of the draw kept Thomas (and our other dear friend Nick) at UCSD, just a hop, skip, and a few freeway exits away. Every time we're in the same room, it's like we never left it. And how cliché is that? So much so.

For the half of that decade that we've had driver licenses, we've been meeting at Rico's. Senior year of high school we had free first period and met there every Friday for breakfast burritos. That is, until Rico's temporarily changed their hours so they didn't open until 9am -- 20 minutes before we needed to be in 2nd period. But we'd go at lunch, after school, on the weekends, all summer...that booth in the back corner was our sanctuary. And just mine and Tom's. Sure, every time we go to Rico's, it's impossible not to see someone we know. But when we're in that booth, it's just us. It's time for hilarious storytelling, remembrances of high school, and imparting of life lessons.

Until today, I think both Thomas and I would have said that most of the life lessons were imparted by me to Thomas. But I don't know how true that is. It's possible that the reason I am who I am and that Thomas and I are still Thomas and me is because of his attitude. We live in a world gone mad, but Tom still gets up every morning and surfs and/or bikes and goes to class and to work and then does it all again and doesn't let it get to him. He's currently in (I think) a relationship that to be defined as on-again-off-again would be an understatement. It's been going on for about six years now. But does that define Tom's life? No. And, today, I was complaining about some stress in my life and Tom just said something like, "Yeah, well, we're 22. You know? The decision you make today is not going to matter when you're 28. If you were going to get there, you're going to get there."

And something just sort of clicked. We all know I'm micro-management central (thanks for that character trait, mom). But what if I didn't spend every day thinking about what will happen when I graduate? I just got here. And all the planning I do just gets redone or undone as life goes on. Will being nervous about where my relationships will stand three years in the future help me to get to that place? What if I just let it go? What if I just live?

I hate to break it to you, but your pessimist progressivism is conservatism.

Merry first Sunday after Christmas!