I have to confess something….
This transition stuff, sucks.
That’s right. It sucks. I know your mom told you not to say this word. That perhaps when you used it you might have had to put some money into a bad word jar, but it sucks. It’s not just hard. It’s not just messy. It’s not just anything except sucky.
And I know what you’re saying, ‘don’t you still have some time there?’ To this question, the answer is yes. I don’t leave until January 30th. I do have two and a half months left, but think about it, two and a half months is NOTHING.
Why does it suck then?
The to-do list?
It’s not the to-do list, though it does get longer everyday. Who knew so much went into moving from the country you’ve called home for a year and a half to the country that you’ve called home for your whole life? There are crazy things to do from getting car insurance to getting a cell phone. Not to mention planning out your time at home. Everyone wants to see you, you desperately want to see them, but you also have to visit churches, meetings, and events during your time at home.
So it’s the balancing thing right?
Though I am a little worried about not having enough time to see everyone and do everything I want to do before I head to the next place, I also know that if I don’t I’ll be able to see them a lot easier while in The States vs Ukraine. I mean to go home from where ever I’m going is so much easier logistically and financially, that I’m not too worried about all of that.
Actually, of all the things that need to be done for me to return, itineration has been super easy. I have lots of places to go and am super excited about connecting with my conference again. To share my stories of faith, love, and community from Ukraine. I am so excited to hear other people’s stories about their experiences with mission. It’s going to be a great time.
Then what is it?
It’s just this feeling. I feel like I’m in this really weird limbo place. Sort of like being at a dance and a great song comes on. You want to dance, but you’re waiting to be asked by that boy. You’re overcome with the urge to just go and shake it on your own, but you also want to wait for that guy to step up and ask you to dance.
It’s this feeling like I’m leaving tomorrow and simultaneously never leaving, which is sort of like the difference between acknowledging there’s a place called Siberia and knowing that there is really actually a place called Siberia. I always have this feeling like this might be the last time I ______. Plus living in the tension of really wanting to see my friends, family, and brand spanking new nephew, and really loving Ukraine, is taking a bit of a toll.
What kind of toll? The kind that involves dreams.
I am having all kinds of crazy dreams about coming home. About not being prepared to leave, about what mid-terms will be like, about crying. Yes, there is always crying in these dreams.
The thing is about all of this, is that I love Ukraine. I love the life that I have been able to cultivate here. I have really amazing co-workers, and I get to do work that is meaningful and important in the micro and macro scope of things. I love that there are still things that I’ve never eaten (which is my new thing, I don’t ever buy the same candy or cookies or whatever twice anymore, must eat everything before I leave!), and that I discover new things about the city and culture everyday. This place that I have landed during this time, has been more than I could have ever asked for. It is better and way more awesome than I had ever expected it to be. Truthfully, when I started on this journey such a long time ago, this place was not at all what I expected my time of service to be like, and I have never been happier to be wrong in my life.
In general, transition has never been my friend. I do tend to want to hold on to what I have. Hold on, in many ways to the past. I did, however, think I had somehow overcome this. I mean when I left The States, I did not shed one tear, and I have to admit, I was pretty impressed. I mean I am the girl that cried every time I dropped my sisters at the airport, knowing that I would see them in a few months. I am the girl that cried every time we moved cities as a young girl. When my sister drove me to the airport the day that I left for Ukraine. I gave her a great big hug, told her to be good, and left.
No drawn out goodbye.
Just see ya later.
I was so proud of myself. When I got to Ukraine, there were no big breakdowns. No crying episodes. No serious homesickness. I thought, I’ve got this on lock.
Now look at me. I’m a mess. The thought of leaving makes me want to hug someone and never leave. I have moments when I think about leaving and am just overcome with emotion from out of nowhere. There are times, crazy times, hard times, times where I feel like I am hitting my head against an enormous spiked brick wall where I think, I am so ready to leave. But that next moment. The very next moment. Something happens to remind me why I love it here, why I love my people. I remember that this place is a sacred one, and I am so freaking blessed to be here.
Truthfully, as I write this, having just come home from another great English Club, I’m still not sure how I’m going to be able to pack up this life and go. To once again fit my life inside suitcases and transition to a new and exciting place. Honestly, I never thought that this was going to be the hard part. I thought I would get to this point and be ready. Be ready to see my friends and family back home. Ready for peanut butter and Mexican food, and in many ways I am. I am ready for all of those things, but somehow the future reality of those things don’t somehow overshadow my current desire to stay. They don’t cancel the urge I feel to be here.
I know I still have two and a half months here. I am going to use them to be with friends, and to work my butt off to make sure that I can leave knowing that I did everything I could for this community. I am going to continue to explore, eat new things, and take new adventures. I am really going to try to live in the here and now, so that I don’t miss a minute of it, and so that when the time comes I can leave knowing that I left it all on the table.
And in the meantime?
I will pray for peace. I will try to calm my mind. I will try not to worry about the things that I haven’t any control over until I do have some control. I’ll pray that my next placement is a place that I can grow and can contribute to. I know that God will grant me the peace I need if I allow myself to receive it, and I will be able to sleep without worrying about an event two and a half months from now.
This blog may have sounded like the rantings of a crazy person, and I’m ok with that. These feelings that I’m dealing with, whether appropriate or not, whether in the right time or not, are how I feel. I only hope that writing them down will help free me from them, and for my friends or folks I don’t know that are also going through this, they can say, I totally feel this girl, and know that they are not alone in feeling a bit crazy.