it’s been a hot minute since I actually sat down and took stock and did an “update” in this space, so here we are.
I started August on the beach– running & sunning & trying to be present ahead of spending the last few weeks at home before I made The Big Move™.
And then The Move™ The short version of the story:
I hopped on a plane
to LAX to Denver, CO on the 23rd of August to start a year of service within a program that is similar to the Peace Corps, but instead within the Episcopal Church. After almost a year of deciding, discernment, interviews & placement I decided upon Denver– and will be serving within a partner agency that supports homeless populations in finding work & giving them a hand up where they need it.
But of course, COVID had hit.
The plan was to continue with the year– the previous corps group had their year pulled out from under them, it seemed. But they got through it and urged us to do the same. In order for our program to be successful, we developed painstaking COVID planning, part of which included with us getting to Denver to drop off our living supplies & then all 5 of us quarantining at a lodge in the woods for 2 weeks, to make sure we could operate as a pod (seeing as we would be sharing a house among the 4 of us later.)
And so, with packing and moving and finishing up my summer work position and saying goodbye to the people & places I’ve lived for the biggest, most important chunks of my life thus far… it’s been a ride.
And this summer has just, all in all, felt very in-between.
When nothing is certain, anything is possible and I have no idea what to expect after this and I’m not planted anywhere or with anyone permanently right now and it’s all just sort of….suspended in air.
Exhilaratingly, immensely freeing.
With that said, here are some happenings in those categories I used to do in this space:
read/reading/re-reading // We were shipped a few books to finish ahead of the start of our service year– all great titles in their own right, though there is pLEnTY of room for criticism (esp. when it comes to Daring Greatly, written in like, 2012). But all books, reading them now, in this time, offered some great critical perspective:
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray by Rosalind Rosenberg
An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Another one I’ve been reading is:
From Social Media to Social Ministry by Nona Jones, as well as The Gift of Being Yourself by David Benner
writing // this POST! [<3 finally, it’s been so long!], reflections, and letters home.
learning // to hold and sit with a variety of opinions, experiences, and Truths at one time. And learning when to step away, when conversation is no longer respectful nor constructive. And learning to lead with love & trying to assume the best in people from the outset and if it goes down from there, then let it down gently. Firmly, but gently.
doing / working on //
- getting better at napping
- filing & paying my taxes
- celebrating the artistic work of friends
- photography as a spiritual practice
- editing services (well, I was, for the majority of August, I’m done now.)
- Getting adjusted to this altitude!
- Building a labyrinth! 😀
- Climbing mountains.
eating // the delicious cooking of the chefs of Cathedral Ridge, which has been a wonderful whirlwind of vegetarian & vegan options.
drinking // coffee, LOTS of water (altitude sickness is a thing!!!), & La Croix
listening // to so many new, beautiful things.
being inspired // by this space, and the people who fill it. We’re all from different places, bringing our own lives & experiences to one table and doing our best to show up for each other in this *iNsANe* world we are occupying right now.
laughing // with my newfound community — at bad first date stories, happy-wholesome moments in The World’s Toughest Race, and just at ourselves as we navigate the wilderness.
thinking // about ~so many things~. The pandemic. This experience. This experience within a pandemic. the joy & pleasure of slowing down and not having to work at break-neck speed every day. About my family back home. About my smoller brother starting college.
trying // to take it slow, get used to the altitude, stick to a decent sleep schedule, mentally prepare for the weeks ahead, compile a list of last-minute house things I’ll need from Target, and, as lovingly as I can, interject & interact with the racist things people have been putting on social media. Between the conventions going on right now….The RNC definitely has put a LOT of shit on blast and some of this fear-mongering & hate-provoking rhetoric has to stop. It’s so….dehumanizing at times and I hate that the political arena is so focused on slinging that mud and hate around.
hoping // that this too shall pass, that we innovate with love and consideration, and that we have the courage to collect our siblings and forge a better way, using what we now know and what we have within us.
loving // this time to disconnect & connect in nature, finally being able to see that Colorado blue sky that I’ve merely been hearing about– with some rain, the sky has cleared of smoke and we can finally see a jagged mountain range off in the distance that before I had no idea was there.
praying // for the people affected by fires, for those suffering from flagrant injustice, for those enclosed in drought, for those traveling, for those affected by COVID-19, and for our country, as we navigate hostile & triggering media & political environments.