(Let me preface this by saying I wrote it several nights ago onto my flash drive and forgot to post it)
I’m feeling down. It’s not any one particular thing…and I’m definitely not complaining. I know this is where I’m supposed to be and being in God’s will is always a good thing.
Tonight, sitting in my room in Quito, I looked up at the pictures on my wall. One of my favorites is the pictures of all of the girls from my house last year jumping in mid-air. Last year in the Griswold house was so carefree and wonderful. All nine of us girls learned so much from each other, sharing a lot of laughs and tears. It sounds corny but it’s true. I’ll never forget those big home-cooked Sunday lunches, painting all the bedrooms the craziest colors we possibly could, the billions of times we watched pride and prejudice in the living room and fought over who got to sit on the green couch, chatting with Brittany in the kitchen as she baked, decorating the house for Christmas, the bonfires on the back patio, sitting on Cherice’s bed as we moaned about our homework, her about her labs and me about my papers, deep conversations with Sue in the dining room, Kate’s smile that always turned my day around for the better, Bri and Katie’s amazing birthday parties that they threw for absolutely everyone, Kaelie falling asleep in the living room every night with her Spanish book open on her lap, our Thursday night bible studies, hayrides with the restoration house guys, talking with Karah about her wedding plans, Katie’s love of old black and white movies, Brittany’s bible verses that she would post on the bathroom mirrors, walking to the soccer games together, trying to shovel out our cars in February, killing Cherice’s fish over Christmas break and replacing it sneakishly, our ugly sweater party and the embarrassing Union moment that went along with it… I could go on. Looking back, it was such an incredible year that even sharing all of those memories will never help anyone to understand it besides us. And that’s okay, because I think it changed all of us so deeply.
The funny thing is, at the time, I never realized just how good it was. I just lived it. It’s only now, looking back on it, that I realize what a gift last year was. How strange that we go through life looking to the future with little appreciation for the present. Well maybe you’re not like that, but I am. Last year I thought about Ecuador all the time. I would say things this summer, sitting around with my family, “I wish I could just be there now!” when really…I wish I could be back on Kent drive sitting around with my family right about now. I know it’s only been a month… but you’d be surprised how slow a month can go when your life has slowed down as much as mine has here.
And inevitably, maybe about a month after being home, maybe even longer, I will start to completely realize the beauty of this semester in South America. I’ll look back and wonder how I ever had moments when I wanted to be elsewhere. If only I could somehow manage to find contentment in every season of my life. When I was at Messiah, I longed for the summer, so I could be free of homework. During the summer, I longed for the adventure of going away. Now, I wish I could be with everyone I love. But those things may never coexist and I need to learn to be okay with that.
Even nights like tonight when I just sit in the quiet of my room… they are meaningful.