Let me start by saying:
I’ve been blessed to have been welcomed into such a beautiful home.
Being apart of this program made me think of all the things I had that I gave up to be here. No, I’m not in a third world country…But I’m taking the steps to “live simply” and go on what I have…even if it’s a little. Now I think that in some of these blogs I’ve mentioned the idea of “living simply” a lot but haven’t realized myself what exactly this really meant.
Giving up things doesn’t necessarily mean your worldly possessions. Giving up friendships and the stability of school to hop onto a plane and be a volunteer was a huge challenge. It didn’t really give me the warm fuzzies inside when I thought about it. It made me uncomfortable and, quite frankly, scared the pants off of me.
“Living simply” has not only meant that I can’t go out and eat every night because I just don’t have the money…I’ve been forced to live in the moment, and to make things in my life more simple. When people say to me “Ohhh, yeah! I just like to live my life day by day..it’s much easier.” I’m sitting there thinking to myself…”well whoopdie doo…aren’t you special?” Mainly because I think i’m just jealous…It’s easy to sit and listen to people talk about these things, but not so easy to do. Especially when I still have this anxious feeling in my stomach that my future is going to hit me like a train.
The other day I found myself being so upset because I’ve been feeling so alone. So, of course, I began to think about all of the things that I was missing at home. My family, my “home”, my friends, and the comfort of my own bed. Even on my worst days in North Carolina, I knew that I had my own bed…my own home I made for myself to turn to.
So I had this defining moment: It was a Sunday morning. I was feeling like I couldn’t even face the day. My adjustment period and homesickness have been hard for me to get over. So, I made myself talk to Ray and Sue (my host parents) about how I was feeling. The gist of what they told me was “Scarlett! Come out of that room once in a while! We want to make you a part of this family.” Wow…These people really want me. In their home, and in their lives. People at home AND at work have been making this huge effort for me, and here I am…feeling selfish and not seeing what’s in front of me.
At first I knew I was coming here to do something bigger, “better”, and to respond to my call to this ministry. They told us at orientation how we wouldn’t make much of a difference in what happens here…but these people would change our lives in some way. I’ve been here almost two months and every day I see myself becoming a different, much stronger person. Letting myself go and letting people in has been so hard for me. I’m used to being alone in a lot of things I do. But little by little I’m feeling my shell cracking and realizing that I truly am meant to be here…with these people.
My pride and my fear what I don’t know has kept me locked in my room, but the term “living simply” defines what is turning me into a brand new person. Forcing me into community and breaking me out of my shell. Now i’m not by any means proud of myself…I’m new. I’m new to the love that I’m allowing myself to give and also in the new love i’m allowing myself to receive. Even from people I barely know. I’m starting to let myself be recharged on life through these new relationships. I’m slowly feeling more at home, more comfortable with myself and my flaws, OK with living simply, and breaking my barriers to let everyone see me and what I have to offer. So, if living simply means that I sit in front of the TV with great people instead of going out….Or go to church on a Saturday to have instant coffee with congregation instead of spending the 25 pounds to visit a friend….Then I’m ok with it. If my best friend here is over the age of 60…i’m ok with it, because these wonderful people have become a new family to me….and are breaking me away from my old ways.
So let me say again:
I’m been BLESSED to have been welcomed into such a beautiful home..AND a beautiful community.
Thinking about all of this reminds me constantly of the prayer/poem we read at orientation called “passover remembered” by Alla Bozarth-Campbell.