Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Beginning of Reflection

As I begin to write this I am sitting in the Calgary airport. I have made it through security with no issues (unlike the trip TO SFO) and am anxiously awaiting returning home and surprising my amazing husband with an arrival two days before he thinks I am supposed to come home.*

I'm sitting here being beyond excited to see JP and also excited that, while sitting at a Gate 19, with barely anyone else around, the delightful folks at Starbucks brought around samples of Caramel Brule Lattes and Brownies. I also see snow when I look out the giant airport windows to the right. We know that the cold, and the snow, aren't necessarily my favourite. But we also know that I enjoy snow when viewing it from a place indoors that is warm and cosy. And although the airport wouldn't really classify as "cosy" to me, the warmth of the Caramel Brule Latte is enough to make it feel like I really am coming home.

Five months and one day ago I was heading to San Francisco to volunteer alongside the Not For Sale staff as part of their Fellowship Program. I remember the day I left so well (If you don't, I posted a blog about it, check it out!)-- So well it feels just like yesterday. Not For Sale kind of swallows you up into this strange place in time. It feels like no time has passed at all, yet the proof is there when I turn my head to the right and see the ground covered in a sparkly while blanket composed of millions of snowflakes.  When Jackson was driving me to the airport this morning we discussed this abnormal feeling with time. Part of it definitely has to do with the weather-- in Half Moon Bay, the weather basically stays the same. It was warmer than normal in early November and has been raining the week before last making everything bright green and spring-like. The other part has to do with the Not For Sale bubble we have been living in. The bubble consists of the same people, day in, day out. The work topic may vary but the tasks are the same. The house conversations may vary but the lead back to Not For Sale often happens and the people are always the same. While this was a delightful constant that really is part of the experience, it is strange to be headed back.

Upon arriving home I'm sure to be asked the at least two of the same things:
1- How was your trip?
2- What are you going to do now?

Yes, the classic two questions. These are questions I have known people will ask but hadn't put much thought into the answer. These same questions coming from my peers at Not For Sale are easier to answer. They've seen me grow. I've been living out a passion with them. We've been connected by a common thread-- justice for those who can't help themselves. Coming home makes answering those same questions so much harder. They weren't there, they didn't live the experience, they aren't pursuing their passions the same way I have just done. It's bold to say but needs to be said-- They just won't get it.

I was discussing this "how was your trip/what will you do next?" question experience we are all guaranteed to experience upon arriving home with a housemate not too long ago. I made reference to my time spent with Live Different where we prepare the 30 second and 3 minute stories. The stories about your time condensed into small segments for you to use after assessing the amount the individual doing the questioning really wants to hear. It's funny to be condensing 5 months into 30 seconds but it is 100% necessary-- unfortunately or fortunately, depending who is asking.

To be thinking of these stories right now is interesting. A select few know I am arriving home in a mater of hours, most have no idea when I return. There is definitely something so wonderful about being "under the radar". I feel mysterious. I like that, right now, a very select awesome few know my whereabouts. It's nice to be able to reflect with no pressure of people asking those two questions.

What are my answers? What are my 30 second and 3 minute story?
My trip was great. I accomplished the goals I set and for that, I feel grateful and blessed. On top of accomplishing those goals, which wasn't a guarantee when they are large life and future questions, I feel truly blessed that I have been able to remove myself from the life I was living with friends, the most amazing husband a lady could ask for, a job, and all those generic standards we so easily judge our lives by, and serve others for five months. Going where needed, volunteering and doing work that helped not only the greater movement of ending human trafficking and modern day slavery, but helping the staff at Not For Sale. To know you have been able to live a life of helping others is possibly the most amazing blessing of all. Just knowing I had served others with my time, one of the most precious things we have, makes me smile from ear to ear.  There is something exciting, yet calming at the same time, about knowing that. A sense of peace. It's delightful.

What am I going to do now? Go home, surprise my husband, see my wonderful friends I have missed, keep in touch with the new ones & enjoy Christmas. I have some long term goals I am working on sorting out. Ideas that I am formulating into short term and long goals to attain that will pursue passions and living a life with love at the centre of it. I love serving others, helping people and baking, being crafty. Let's say, the ideas are running around my head and I am so very excited for the next chapter of life and new adventures to begin. And what makes it all even better is doing this all with JP by my side.

Note: As this is only my first blog doing some reflecting, I'm sure there will be a lot I stumble across to discuss in the future. I'm sure there will be many things I have to say, many discoveries waiting to be found, many insights wishing to be shared. I will do all of these things.

*Blog posted AFTER arriving home. No surprise ruined by social media. ;)