10 June 2011

wait ... didn't we just do this?

I mean, I did plan this and knew full well it was coming, but the time's flown faster than I thought possible - once again, it's time for me to pack up and get ready to leave town. I've only been home for a month this time, and when I get back, it'll be a scant day and a half (if that) before I leave yet again.

Great grief.

I'm not complaining, mind. But some days I still have trouble adjusting to the fact that my life is so mobile these days. It's a good thing - I now know much more about packing light, being flexible and not getting attached to my possessions than I ever did before - but also a really challenging thing - every once in awhile, I start to wonder if I spend too much time away, and whether all my friends will just forget about me! Silliness, I know. But I've discovered that my community is really, really important to me, and man do I ever miss it when I don't have one.

Sometimes I wonder, though, if all this travelling I've been doing isn't essentially self-centered, like maybe even despite all the great bits of studying abroad (and they are many), doing this internship, college and other things associated with leaving the nest, so on and so forth, something more essential might be missing. I mean, the main person benefiting from all this is me, isn't it? Which I am hugely thankful for, especially considering all the work and support other people have put into helping me on.
But. You know, there's always a 'but'. I still think I might be missing the point somewhere.

No doubt this has something to do with the fact that three of my siblings are doing three separate missions trips this summer (my 17-year-old sister is going to Peru! my parents must be going soft), and they'll be doing things like feeding babies and building houses, whereas I spent my time abroad touring monuments and seeing plays. And I've been reading people like Keturah Weathers, who is both a beautiful human being and a terrible destructive force for one's complacency. Not to mention that my family switched to a new church in my studying-abroad absence (that's an entire story all by itself, really), one that is both joyful and matter-of-fact in its constant emphasis on outreach, service, and being an active part of the world outside the Suburban Christianity bubble.
So here I sit, with the after-school Real World looming, and my shaky plans for succeeding in it (grad school, job connections, career-building, etc) stacked around me like a lego fortress, and I'm thinking, "Well, shoot. The heck am I doing here?"

(This is not the blog post I sat down to write. Hmm.)

So, what does this have to do with my internship? I'm not sure, to be honest. I'm still excited (and a little scared) about it. I still think it's going to be worth it, and I know I'll learn a lot. But besides the job training, the skills and connections I hope to get, I think that maybe, just maybe, my goals for the rest of this summer have changed a bit.

I stole this quote from Ketura's blog earlier today - despite the obvious cliches about "finding oneself" that could be pulled out if it, I think it does a better job of talking about what I'm trying to, and I don't think she'll mind if I share it with y'all. (Original source is here.)

The term Walkabout comes from the Australian Aboriginal. The idea is that a person can get so caught up in one's work, obligations and duties that the truly important parts of one's self become lost. From there it is a downward spiral as one gets farther and farther from the true self. A crisis situation usually develops that awakens the wayward to the absent true self. It is at this time that one must go on walkabout. All possessions are left behind (except for essential items) and one starts walking. Metaphorically speaking, the journey goes on until you meet yourself. Once you find yourself, you sit down and have a long talk about what one has learned, felt and done in each other's absence. One talks until there is nothing left to say -- the truly important things cannot be said. If one is lucky, after everything has been said and unsaid, one looks up and sees only one person instead of the previous two.
-Source Unknown

Thanks for reading, friends.


  1. I know what you mean about the inconveniances of packing. I love to travel, but hate living out of a suitcase!


  2. hey girl. excited and scared is a good place to be. and there are seasons in your life when you need to do things just for yourself.... as long as your ENTIRE life isn't completely selfish i think you're good :)

    by the way, thanks for the shoutouts. i had no idea that i am "a terrible destructive force for one's complacency" but I LOVE IT!!!

    keep on doing what you're doing :)

  3. Try not to think of this time as selfish or even indulgent but preparation. An investment is being made in YOU and we are already seeing a return.


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