Tuesday, September 13

I'm not dead!

I think I've forgotten how to words to some extent.
I've been moving from place to place, I've been switching gears and hats and mentalities and filling different roles. It's been crazy and overwhelming, but I'd do it all again in a heartbeat, exhausting and terrifying as it was.

Basic summary of my life since January.

In January, I moved to Antigua, Guatemala. My first 3 weeks I spent with FlorecĂ­ta, Brian, and Byron in the Hermano Pedro house on the south east side of the beautiful little town.
Then I moved to the south west corner of Antigua with Cindy and Anderson, where I spent 3.5 months. We were gone quite a few weekends, everywhere from visiting the capital to the ocean to the rainforest.
Then in May, I moved back stateside, where I spent 2.5 weeks or so in Michigan with my family trying to manage some crazy reverse culture shock and re-adjust to speaking English and driving cars.
And then I spent 11 weeks in Indianapolis as an Immigrant Justice Intern at Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, which entailed driving, translating, interpreting, note-taking, phone-call-making, scanning, driving, visiting, listening, question-asking, people-loving and making-it-up-as-I-went.
Return to Michigan for 2 weeks, where I unpacked from a semester of college, Guatemala, Indy, and then repacked everything for a semester. Oh, and worked for a week and a half.
Now it's back at the arbor, where I'm finally settling again.

It's hard to go back to being a student after living abroad and interning out of state. I have literally walked in the places that we're learning about in Latin American civilization (um, Mayan dialects? Ziggurats vs. temples vs. pyramids? corrupt governments? history? walked it, seen it, got the t-shirt) and I've implemented the strategies that all of my social work classes this semester are covering. (Practice with Groups? Practice with Communities and Organizations? Social Welfare Policy? Macro social work, guys. Macro social work. That's kind of what program management looks like. That's kind of what nonprofit life looks like. That's kind of what my summer looked like.)
I'm not saying that I'm somehow superior to other students, because we've all got a lot of learning to do yet, but it's hard to change my mindset back to that of a student.Especially when that student mindset means reading hours a week for each of my classes and sitting at a desk taking notes on lectures.

This last year is going to be a challenging one. I've got 15 credits this semester, one class plus hopefully registration for my honors thesis (a year long, 60+ page project) in January, and then a 10 credit internship, 1 credit internship seminar, 3 credit online class, and 3 credit Spanish class (17 credit hours of crazy, thank you very much).
Basically, the goal is to survive and graduate and in that process figure out what in the crazy world I'm supposed to do with my life after graduation. And that's a massive, already-looming question of applying to graduate schools, sending out job applications, and trying to line things up.
I'm not sure I want to stay in Michigan, but that means that I'm looking at schools in Indianapolis, northern Virginia, and can't for sure rule out anything in between them.

So right now, I'm making it up as it comes to me.
God has been teaching me some amazing things, and I'm thankful that He's doing it so gently and patiently. For the past 9 months, all He has done is carried me and given me just enough clarity to get to the next half step, commit to it, and trust through the whole messy process. So as I start on graduate school applications, pray over my future, and try to remain present in my final two semesters, all I can do is trust that He will continue to do just that.