Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'll think about that tomorrow"~ Scarlett O Hara

I have found living space. I have a real bed and roof and address!
its 2701 Sparger RD Durham NC 277055

I have started my internship and it will be a learning experience; as always, navigating the channels on interpersonal ego relations, will be the first dance steps to learn. For example DO NOT refer to the Attending as the "real DRs", When trying to decipher between Attendings and Residences. Don't worry, I'm cute,and they seem to have forgiven the faux paux :). I also caught a BIG oversight before it was disasterous that an Attending made and the resident got to take credit for it ( rightly so) , so I think i'm back in thier graces. ( Way to loong and anticlimatic story to tell).

Weekends have been spent scouring thrift stores for furniture that is cheeep and cute and fits in my car, so far I have found a coat rack for a dollar and a very sturdy chair; desk, shelves and the rest to go!

This rest of this blog is the rambling tangent of me who has been living alone in a sunrooom, with a chiwauwa, I feel like a have a squirrel on a leash when I take it for walks- which translates to too much time in my head-

It has all worked out, not perfection but pleasent all the same. I say not perfection, because it's not the ideal and being less than ideal is something I'm always striving to find the balance in.
You see I'm learning how much easier it is to look at what everyone else has and wish, want desire that. I wonder if I should have kept looking for housing (or--- fill in the blank) or been satified with what I have. It applies to so much more than just housing; it's a internal dialouge I constantly have. Is this good enough, although its not "great", am I settling or is there something more "out there"? And then that lovely God element comes in, is this "what He has for me and I therfore I should be satisfied", or do I need to be "faithful" and wait until God provides something that "feels right"? I feel like Im playing a battle ships board game with christianesy catch phrases,- which launched advice bombs will hit the right battle ship answer?

How do I be satisfied with what I have, but be open to somthing better? I cant figure out how to be committed to where I am, if I'm always looking to change it? Again this applies across the board in so many different areas of life, from Job, living, relationships and beyond.

I realize others envy my life, I am the epitomy of free. I have no one relying on me, my ambitions, pursuits, time, choices are my own. Few people ever have the chance to fully experience this. But to be this free, I am alone. Everyone says I'm brave. Why, what other option do they see I have?

And although I have always experienced aloneness, here, in a far off land, without a built in social network, lonliness has a heavier calaminity to it. I am fighting to not fill it with activities, random people, or pity, but am getting to the place where I am trying to just go slow enough to experience it, not fight it but find the good in it, in the solitude. Like being alone, with myself.
It inst natural, nor all together negative.

I'll end on a lighter note-
my room mate is a lovely lady who is an ER nurse and owner of the chiwauwa and house.
I found some amazing "southern veggies" to experiment with at the farmer's margret- such as thick skined HUGE grape like fruit things, miniture round green and white eggplants, Crazy looking tomatoes, and eggs as big as my fist- for real!!!
The people here are ridiulously kind and im learning to talk reeeaalll slooooow and polite like.
I revel in the accents!!

I'm reading and loving Confederates in your attic ( compliments of my father) to enhance my southern experieince. SO facinanting.

May you all feel blessed by what you have and what you live without.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

you all are my web of salvation

I am lonely and in a new place where I only know a few people's people. I definitely spent a good amount of my forever long drive asking myself what possessed me to decide to pick the farthest place away from all that I love, to live for an awkward 9 months and not think about how difficult that would be?!??

So I need to be searching for housing, setting up my life, getting on top of my forever long to do list, or at least updating you on all the fantastic and sordid things that life has held these last couple months.

But I cant because the only thing I can keep mulling over is how profound people connections are. Networks and connection have been my saving grace these last couple of months, they define so much of what I experience. The only difference between me and a homeless person, is who I know. Yes my social, economic, family, race, religion all influence who I know and therefore who I am connected to, but the money I have, or what my religion is isn't what keeps me from being homeless ( or a millionaire) its the people that I associate with because of these parts of my identity.

I see it on so many levels. who I choose as my friends at Smith, although varied and I thought I was open to all, I ended up being with people mostly similar to myself. There is a whole conversation to be had about the reason we gravitate to those that we are like. We are similar on many levels, but diverse on others. I leave that thought line there, so as to get to my point....

My entire trip across the country I relied and was cared for by the hospitality of others. Dear friends, allowed me to show up late at night, sleep in their beds, eat their food, and leave again. I had several friends I didn't get to see because I had options of several different people in the 3 state area I could stay with. Although there is some sense of "we are friends, of course they want me to stay", and " if they are friends with me, they know I am unpredictable, time optimist, who has no concept of when I will be there, or be leaving and love me anyway and want me to stay". But I realize this is alot to ask, and am blown away by how kind and welcoming all are.

Then there are friends of friends. This is a stretch, with more anxiety, need for common graciousness, but still within in the reach of normal asking of I know you, and them, you are both are the type where this is not big deal, great! there were awkward run ins with the roommate, but a free bed and bathroom made it worth all social awkwardness. In reflection, I would do the same, ( offer my home, my space) but how phenomenal of a complete stranger to say to another complete stranger, of course, here is my home, enjoy use what you need, you are welcome here?
IN Ireland a lovely couple i met there emailed their friend's in Durham and that couple although they no longer live in Durham have been a huge resource of information of churches, local info, and offered several housing options.

Then I arrive in Durham. One of my nearest and dearest calls her nearest and dearest and says, I have a friend coming to town can she crash? Of course, comes the response!
But now that stranger is me, and I miss calculate distance and arrive in the middle of the night ( "no problem- we'll leave the door unlocked"), "how many nights would I like to stay?" a couple, I need pick one of the housing choices I have, I say. But before I meet them ( married couple) all my known housing option fall through and I have no where to live and am staying with beloved of beloved, but I have never met them and now neither of us know how long I am welcome to stay or need to stay!

And so yesterday I was faced with letting go of my last housing option because of a ethical delima, so I called my family and asked for prayer, as to give this up means I have only a couple of stranger's air mattress or a few people I could ask if I could stay some time, but really hate being sooo desperate, and helpless.

Instantaneously, a social network webs spun across the continent to form a safety net. An email my dad sends to a Portland friend asking if he knows anyone brings about a man here in Durham who is willing to contact his church family which produces two people who say I can stay with, all within a matter of hours.

my sister- in law jumps on line and finds churches with housing classifieds, as my Internet isn't working, so frantic searching isn't available to ease my mounting stress, and of course when I return home to dinner with my friend's friends they say I can stay as long as I need.

I am pretty sure there are several others contacts from my program that if I was in a bind would offer me a to stay.

As I searched for community of believers to live with ( my ideal for current living, although not what it looks like is going to be what happens) I have been reading Bonhoeffer's book on the topic this morning. It talks about our need for Christ being what creates the community, the common need to have God's truth, and our belief of our need of Christ, our common understanding how helpless we are on our own, spoken to us by others.

How powerfully I experienced the true sense of community of believers. its not just who I live with, but who I am relation with, who confirms that I don't need to make ethical compromises, or those I don't even know who reach out to others to meet a need without hesitation because of their experience of truth and love.

So as I search the Internet and hold back tears of helplessness and frustration, and sleep on air mattresses and get mad at myself that I am having to live off the handouts of others, I experience God.

I have community that is not bound to a house, a town, Continent or world, but to a God who although does not promise to make everything smooth, (Im sure I would have had a worthwhile experience if I ended up being homeless) God would still be good.

I started to say i am thankful that I am not homeless, than realized no I AM homeless. I am thankful I have people who have experienced grace and love and are willing to offer it to me through sending emails, meals and air mattresses, so that in my homelessness I am clean and safe!

Don't panic family, just pray I find a place where I am filled with peace when I think about living there. :)