Wow. I am exhausted. The past two weeks have not been the worst weeks of my life, but they sure have been tiring, especially for an introvert who spends all her waking hours with people she doesn't know very well.
I am also pretty happy. This post consists of negatives and positives to off-set the negatives.
Here's where we start. Honestly, I am feeling extremely lonely. I have been working 8am to 9pm days (not as bad as it seems), the latter half spent with 90 strangers in a strange facility singing silly songs and doing crazy team building activities. Even though I am "getting to know them," I am not really getting to know them and they are not really getting to know me. They don't have any history of my life, they don't know my passions, and even if I were to tell them about my passions, they wouldn't get it unless they got to know me a bit better. I am alone and unknown there.
Fun little thing #1 to celebrate about training tonight, though: Since this was our last night of training, my boss offered a whole ice cream cake to anyone who could name every person in the room. I was the only volunteer, and I got about 80 out of 90 names. Some of these people I hadn't ever even talked to. It's scary how much of a gift being able to remember names is for me. It felt a little weird to get up in front of all those people and display my "talent," but I felt I should own up to it and not feel like I needed to hide it and feel weird about it. Plus, I love ice cream cake, if he was serious about that, of course.
School is a bit better of an environment for me, but still, I've only been with these people since March. I am just now starting to participate in lunch conversations. When I come home, I find myself alone with no one to talk to. Last night I talked my Mom's ear off about a few big things and many many little things and stories. I just need people. I am coming to realize this. I need people who love me to be around me and to support me and listen to me. Whoever I end up marrying will have to have patience and a knack for affirming and active listening.
Fun little thing #2 to smile about from school today: I am in the process of preparing my first and second graders for their Spring Program, and I wanted to share with them a video of all the Ethiopian Project Mercy kiddos singing from my time there two Januarys ago. They loved it. I got to teach one of the first grade classes a few Amharic phrases, and we greeted their teacher in Amharic as well when she came to pick them up. Today, though, two sweet girls were walking by my room in the morning to take down the lunch count, and on their way back they waved and said "Salaam!" to me ("Hello!" in Amharic). I did not expect them to remember that at all, and it was so sweet that they cared enough about something I was passionate about. They wanted to please me, and they surely did. I had a huge smile on my face.
I seriously love kids. If I could just raise a ton of kids for the rest of my life, I would be so fulfilled. I guess that's what teachers do, eh? Teachers and Mommies.
Speaking of Mommies, I would like to be one some day. To have those you love always around you and sharing life with you would be pure joy. To be able to have a huge responsibility of shaping minds and hearts would be such a privilege and a blessing. It's like we get to be Jesus a little bit in their lives, molding them and providing wisdom. It would be exhausting, but in the most rewarding way...kinda like the exhaustion I'm experiencing right now.
Another source of exhaustion in my life right now is finding a job (especially while having no free time to apply) and being able to pay the bills. I am nearing the end of my lease in my apartment, and after July 31st, I have no idea where I am going to be, who will be around me, and what job I will be working. It's really stressful to not know the plan. I have about a month to figure it out/just make a decision. There are so many possibilities, and I wish I could determine what is the wisest or most right thing to choose. There are some things I am passionate about that I could pursue and not make money, but there are some ways I could pursue money or a career that I don't feel would be the most fulfilling. I could live with lots of different people in lots of different places, but where and who should I choose? It's too much to think about, really, especially during this crazy part of my life.
Fun little thing #3 to celebrate about being an adult: Eating whatever I want whenever I want. Chips and salsa, butter pecan and cookie dough milkshakes, dijon apple munster grilled cheese, homemade hummus, etc. I love food.
I wish more people throughout my life would have taught me how to embrace discomfort. As I child, I hated being uncomfortable. I hated taking risks, looking like a fool, or just feeling like a fool. I always was very aware of myself and others. I have a great imagination that stirs up thoughts of what other people MUST be thinking of me, and no one ever taught me how to combat that. I am learning, though, and I am happy despite being uncomfortable. I see the benefits of stepping out, benefits not only for myself but benefits for other people, too.
That's really all. I just needed to process all these things. I appreciate you reading this. It's really hard for me not to have a lot of intimate friendships and relationships in my life, and it is such a relief to get this all out there. I just have this need to share my delight and my experiences, so really, thanks.