Once again, I’ve had the privilege to attend the Bridge Conference in National Harbor, outside of Washington DC, and it’s been amazing. I absolutely love traveling – especially when I’m not footing the bill. The only sad part is, this year I’m alone. Katie has come with me in the past, but not this year (for reasons you all just don’t care to know). And none of my colleagues come to this conference either, which is a shame because they would love it. Maybe next year.

The change in scenery for me has been a bit more shocking this year than in the past.

And by “change in scenery,” I’m referring to my daily life. Carson is now almost 3 and boy, are we feeling it. He is active, talking, running, climbing, tearing, crying, pooping – you get it. Life is busy at home. And work is a lot of the same – talking, running, crying, pooping – you get it.

This year I was blessed with a balcony. I know that sounds weird, but in year’s past Katie and I have never gotten a room with a balcony. I didn’t request it. God just felt like hooking me up this year. The balcony overlooks the beautiful atrium here at the Gaylord Hotel, which is full of activity and sounds. But in the midst of all that activity, I have found myself spending the last two nights sitting alone in the “quiet” relaxing on the balcony. No one is climbing on me, no one is talking (including me … amazing!); it’s just, quiet.

You know, there’s a lot of thinking to do when you sit in the quiet.

Portrait of Josh at the Gaylord Hotel

And I’m at an age where I’m really starting to do a lot more of that “life thinking.” You know, where you look back and think about all the good people you’ve been blessed to know, but don’t any longer. You wonder how they are or whatever happened to them. Even in this world of social media, there are plenty of people in my past that cross my thoughts. Sometimes with curiosity and a smile, and sometimes with regret and sadness.

I suppose the fact that my birthday is next week has also spawned some of these ‘life’ thoughts. But again, the quiet – it brings it all out. I realize just how amazingly blessed I am to have such a wonderful life. I have the best wife a man could ask for, and Carson – wow, what a kid. I’m so excited to get to know him as he grows up. I’m so blessed.

With all that and as funny as it sounds, I still see myself as a kid. Like a 15 year old sitting at the table while the adults talk.

I look in the mirror and see a kid. One that has so much to learn from others and is still just trying to figure this all out. And for years I keep thinking that someday I’m going to wake up, look in the mirror and see a grown man. But the scary thing I’m starting to think is that I’ll never see myself that way. And I don’t know why that is.

Tonight I had the honor to sit at a dinner with some very gifted fundraisers from all kinds of organizations. And at this conference, and others, I get to learn and share big ideas that are making a real impact in this world.

Side note: for all the digital talk in this place, they are almost ALL still writing everything down. Seriously, I was one of the only people using a laptop to take notes all day today! It’s crazy! But I digress.

As I sit there, I still feel like a 15 year old. And I don’t know why, and I don’t know how to change that. I wonder if my dad still feels that way sometimes … or most of the time. Did my grandpa feel that way? Gosh, I sure hope not.

I remember when I was younger being so naive and thinking “when you become an adult, this world starts to make sense – you figure it out.” One of the most frightening revelations of my life has been the true understanding that no one, no adult, knows what the heck they are doing. It’s a wonder this whole place doesn’t fall completely apart. Thank God that He’s holding it all together – Lord knows, we adults surely aren’t.

So is it just me? Or do other adults feel this way.

I don’t have some romantic solution – some grand revelation to share. Just thoughts from a rambling 15 year old, sitting with the adults.

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