Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I am happy here.

My apologies for neglecting to post on here for too long! I tried to think of a good reason(okay, excuse) as to why I haven't been posting and I cannot think of one other than living in Philly has been totally different than I expected and I'm not quite sure how to put into words the experience I'm having. So let me back up to the last time I blogged and see if I can fill you guys in.

Last you heard I was on a bus with one of the women in the assisted living program that shares a building with the Parish. Not much has changed there, I still say hello to Ms. Elizabeth and I still take the bus each morning and night. If anything I am branching out more and more into the city and all its neighborhoods. If you didn't hear, Philadelphia is the NY Times' #3 city to visit in 2015 (thanks, Dad, for sharing the article with me!) and after living here for 5 months, I can see why! It has taken me a while but I really feel comfortable navigating around the city now. My parents came to visit in November and I think they were impressed by my navigation skills.

Since I've written last I have celebrated my first Thanksgiving away from home (something I was reluctant to agree to) and I have to admit-it wasn't so bad. I successfully cooked a turkey and stuffing and I celebrated with my three roommates by going to the parade in center city. We shared stories and traditions over a turkey dinner and I ended up being grateful for the experience-that being said, Kirkwood's Thanksgiving tradition still has my heart.

Also since you've last read, I have been home! I was blessed with two weeks home for Christmas and New Years-a time which went by WAY too fast but was just what I needed to be energized for this next half of my service year. I didn't quite realize how homesick I was was waiting to de-board the plane. As physically tired as I was after the two weeks of seeing just about everyone as I could, my heart was so happy and full. I actually felt ready to come back to Philly-which I was nervous being home would only make it harder being away longer.

Before going back to work all the volunteers from all the different sites came together for a midyear retreat in Ocean City, NJ-about an hour away from Philadelphia. A bunch of the previous volunteers raved about how great midyear retreat was for them but the entire time I thought 'who wants to go to the beach in January with 20+ people in one house?'-now I know why. It was SO great to see all the other volunteers and to just be present, in that moment, with the people who were serving different communities. I learned a lot about the different sites, how everyone was getting along and that I wasn't alone in some of the hesitations I had both about my current position and what is coming after this year is over.

Speaking of, I just turned in my first of many graduate school applications today! I have decided to apply to different schools for a Master's degree in Social Work. If this year has taught me anything it is that my heart is in social service (that may not come as a surprise to anyone). There's an odd sense of satisfaction when you realize where you're being called but aren't quite able to describe it to anyone. Or even yourself for that matter. I am happy to know I am moving in the right direction. I am happy I have options and I am happy that I have support from my friends and family even if they don't know how to describe what I want to do. Short answer-I want to help people.

My roommates and I are big quote people. Much of our dedicated prayer time is centered around different quotes because that is where we find comfort. One of my favorites lately is "Let yourself be drawn by the pull of what you really love. You'll be happy there. Promise." It was a pinterest find so I'm not sure who said it, but whoever you are, thank you. Thank you for the confirmation. Thank you for the confidence.

I really LOVE helping others, and truth be told, I think I'm damn good at it! So in the year ahead I have decided to have confidence in knowing that doing what I love is enough. While I could go CRAZY with trying to figure out the best option for a career is, I am trying to be calm and go with what I know. What I love.

(I also made a new year's resolution to blog at least once a month-hopefully I can keep to it!)

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