I'm just going to come out and be honest (something I haven't been doing a whole lot with myself lately)... this was not a very good week.
It may even have been a bad week.
Instead of allowing myself to be encouraged by my friends, family... heavenly Father, I ignored it (or tried) and hoped my feelings of impatience, confusion, and loneliness would go away. As you would expect, they didn't. I look a lot of walks out to the river behind the Blocks to try and "process," (or not process) and pretty sure I found myself in tears every night this week out of sheer frustration.
Here's the thing - even before I left for Bulgaria and the Peace Corps, I would have told you that my heart is in the U.S.. Right before I received my invitation to Bulgaria from the PC, I almost decided to call and give up my spot. I mean, I was doing a job I loved, had a couple opportunities to STAY doing jobs I loved, in a city I was passionate about, with people who will always have a place in my heart.
But as people keep reminding me, the city WILL be there in two years.
I would give anything to have more time investing in the relationships I was building with people like Danny, Stevie Ray, and Maximus... especially with so much going on with economic stability in the US - http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-21-homeless_N.htm.
My mom sometimes laughs at me (all out of love - I know :)), but I tend to put my heart into every job and experience I find myself in. Even when I thought things couldn't get much worse at Camp last summer, I knew I was where I needed to be and fought hard for those kids. Each job has been something "I could do forever." I often wrestle with where I see myself headed career wise, but I could see myself joining the Police force with friends in Burlington, taking a job with Boys and Girls Clubs or Boys Town, or hitting the streets again in New York. Its never been hard to fight through the struggles and pour my heart and soul into something - its how I'm wired... and my best friend wasn't the first person to tell me the other day that that is one of the things she she loves about me. :)
The Peace Corps has been my dream for a long time.
But what do you do if you are living your dream, and you're not sure its your dream anymore? I expected things to be hard here - I chose PC because I WANTED to be pushed, pulled, pressured... I'm so used to working for things, but I've never felt as disconnected and constantly frustrated as I am here. I miss the passion... Its non existent (for the first time since I can remember), and it scares me.
Yesterday, though, I had the opportunity to be surrounded by fellow Believers for the first time since I left the US.
I got to sit and be a part of a family for the first time in months.
I got to talk to people who in this country fighting for some of the same things I am.
And it felt right.
These next two years are not going to be easy, and two years is already starting to feel a lot longer than I anticipated, but I am reminded again why I left the people I love most in the world, and why I left what I do believe to be my life's calling for 27 months: to see and experience LOVE in a whole new way.