I've been feeling like posting this lately, so I felt like now is the time.
Some of you who follow me might be like 'wow... she's really... emotional...' or 'wow.. she really puts herself out there'... 'Wow.. she is really honest all of the time', or "Wow.. she hates everything".
Really, where this comes from is years of pretending I'm constantly the happiest person in the world and I"m always doing 'great' or 'fine', when really I'm just not. I've gotten into being more honest about how I"m feeling. I'm still learning a bit about when I need to keep my mouth shut and when it's okay to express how I'm feeling. But, I'd rather be honest and real than be a fake Susie Cream Cheese(haah I like that saying... its funny).
I dont do this for attention. Mostly. Sometimes I do, but those are the times I regret it. It's a bit interesting, I have to say, when I've posted on facebook that I feel like I'm going crazy or having a terrible time or losing it, and someone comes up to me and says, "How are you?" and I say "I'm good" and they go "are you really? ... I saw your facebook... and it says you're not fine." Or my favorite- my boss saw a post where I compared myself to a hurricane and I warned all in my path to clear out, and he comes into my workplace and says "Oh- it's hurricane Michelle- beware!!" I had to then explain myself to my coworkers... But honestly- it's a good way for people to catch my bluff, which forces me to be honest not only online but in person;) I'm working on that one.
Honestly- most people who ask 'how are you' dont really want to know... The Brits have a thing they say when greeting someone- "Are you okay?"- They say it allll the time. They have told me up front that they do not like it when someone actually starts talking about their day. It's like here in Sierra Leone- they ask "How da bodi?" And the only way to respond is "da bodi fine" Nothing else. So, because of these customs, I have a REALLY hard time answering honestly in person- because 9/10 times no one really cares or wants to know. I do really appreciate it though when someone says, "No... really... How are you doing?? " :)
I know my facebook posts have been at best grim. Honestly- I'm having the time of my life. My downs do get noticed a little more than my highs only because they're so hard to handle here. When you're home, it's hard enough to keep your mood in check or cheer yourself up- but normally you just cuddle up to a movie on your huge couch, or have some ice cream, or grab a coffee from Starbucks(the real one), hang out with your closest friend, or take a nice hot bath. But.. here.. you dont have those options. You're either around people... or you're around people... or even better... you're around people...
I'm a HUGEE extrovert, however, after a while, I really just need to be alone. Despite my extroverted verbal processing tendencies- sometimes... I need QUIET...ALONE...JUST ME.... Here there's not a CHANCE of that. SOMETIMES the library is empty if you're lucky, but normally there's people in and out. There's nowhere to go to just let it all out, cry, scream, pray out loud, sing, etc. All things I'm sure most of you are embarrassed to admit you do, but I"m sure most of you do. Andd I'm sure since you're embarrassed to admit it, you'd never do it in front of someone intentionally... or even accidentally its a HUGE 'oh my gosh that was just plain wrong' moment... I sometimes forget where I am and start singing and go "oh man... crap... ' ahha: )
I truly am happy. I'm in a huge growing stage and I'm getting pushed and pulled in all directions. Growing is hard. Growing pains come, but in the end, it's all worth it. I know the reward will be great, but it's just getting to that point that feels impossible at times. I really am happy, I know God has put me here for this time, and I'm certain this is where I belong. No feelings of uncertainty on that level at all. I am VERY ready for a break-for the comforts of home- the people I love, the things I love, and the culture I miss so much- but I'm pretty certain by the time January 22 comes along, I'll be boarding that plane with a few tears, but mostly totally stoked to get back to my African home. Ready to start a new field service, in a new country, with new patients, new memories to be made, and new friends to be had.
Anyway.. I'll end my tangent with this. I'd rather be real than fake. Recently I watched the movie "Eat, Pray, Love". While I don't agree with all the movie talks about- I have to admit I really loved most of it. I especially love it when she learns the lesson of just doing it and getting over it. For example, if you want to cry, cry. If you're angry, BE ANGRY. If you are having a hard time, have a hard time, but do it then move on... don't dwell in it. Let the moment be what it is, then MOVE ON. Yet another life lesson I'm learning about...We can't dwell in negative emotion, we need to let it happen- because without those moments, happiness would mean nothing at all, but then we need to just move on and be happy.
This field service has been amazing. A great adventure. The biggest rollercoaster ride I've ever been on. So much has happened-tears, sweat, blood, laughing fits, friends, patients, life lessons, stories, experiences, tragedies, triumphs, uncertainties, live have been changed, people have been given a second chance. It's hard to see it all come to an end, but with an end comes a beginning. For me the start of that is going home. It will be a JOYFUL time for me- I know it(As long as I can keep my negative emotions in check;) ) Then back to Africa I go- to Togo- to begin once again.
Here's to Sierra Leone- where I'll leave a piece of my heart forever, the most beautiful place I've ever seen(really- its GORGEOUS!), the most friendly people, the best smiles, and the place it all began for me.
Here's to what's to come. May it be full and rich. May God draw me closer and closer as the days go by. May He captivate my heart more than ever before. And may we make a difference- not for our sake, but in the name of Jesus, who has taken all of us and changed us- taken me from a pitiful hopeless mess into someone full of hope and victory. May we all learn and change and follow his likeness more and more each and every day.
No worries- there'll be more to come from me soon I"m sure, but all of this was on my heart today, and I wanted to share it.
I dont know who all of my readers are. Sometimes I wish I knew who all was out there reading this blog- who has simply stumbled upon it, who reads faithfully, who checks in now and then- who is supporting me. Thank you all for your support. You have no idea how much it means to have people backing me up, when I have friends here with nobody in their lives who supports them being here.
All my love,