So I’ve expounded more than you’d want to know about what is going with me to Belfast but I’ve done little to tell you who will be along for the ride.
First off is Reid. The kid met me in my throes of London fever. Since then we’ve been all over–from the top of Circle Bluff to deep down in the study dungeon of Metrohate, to high up in the frenzy of Times Square and to wryly eyeing each other from opposite ends of the lineup at David’s wedding. We’ve agonizingly mulled over how we’re going to tackle the monster of college debt + volunteerism and turn that raging beast into a sweet pet of joyful simplicity. Foreseeably there will be frustrations, mistakes, ill-budgeted sneak outs to the pub and probably some Farmer’s Market rip offs, but Reid’s not a coward and somewhere between trial and error we’ll get it right. Plus, we’ll always have something to smile about–we get to play with adorable IRISH KIDS!
And then there’s me! Since mostly (only?) family reads my absurd blogs I need little introduction. Most of you know I’ve got chronic wanderlust and few of you are surprised that I’m hopping the pond again. Truthfully, I’ve agonized about what this specific trip means and have questioned my reasoning to the point where I’m a blubbering mess (just ask Reid) and I can’t type a purpose paragraph. I can tell you what’s on my mind right now:
-Community. I’ve felt a tugging to not just learn what this is but to experience it. Since I’ve been blowing about like a tumbleweed for the last few years I’ve really lost the sense of true community. It feels like everyday is a holiday because I’m never anywhere long enough to experience more than a perfunctory minute of the troughs and peaks. I want to meet people, learn their quirks and ingratiate myself into their lives (watch out Belfast!). I want to not feel the need to label my milk because I very much so want to want to share it. Working at camp was my closest taste of this sort of community and I’m famished for more.
–Love. All too often I’ve seen myself being miserly with my emotions. I tend to operate on a quid pro quo status–always testing the relationship with the one toe to see if it’s too deep, too cold or just not my style. If I don’t get what I bargained for then I tend to withdraw. The crux of it all is this: if I wasn’t looking to gain something from the relationship then I’d never be afraid of getting in over my head. I’ve never been one to put it all on the line at any given moment, but I need to get over that. Life is too short for me to worry about how I’m getting on or what I’m getting back, instead I need to use my hands, heart and time to truly love. This one’s a douzie.
-Growth/Direction They tell me I’m 23. Typically, by this age my genre of of people (those of us illustrious B.A. middle classed American kids of the South) know what they want. Everywhere I look I see rings soaring onto fingers, babies (YIKES), and hunkering down into cubicles. It’s all about the future; paying dues now to the man in order to receive the return later. Call me pagan or just downright immature but I’m in no disposition for that presently. Maybe I’ll get there, but for now I’m too intrigued by the possibilities of this great and beautiful earth. Please know that if you’re in a cubicle–I admire your fortitude! I’m free for now there’s no guarantee that any of my gambles will work or ensure that I have a roof over my head and caffeine to keep me sane. For now I’m going to concentrate on learning: reading, absorbing wisdom, and taking in through each sense every bit of anything good that I can. After this next year I want to have a next step. Lord and GRE willing, I’ll get there.
And finally this is where I’m going in a week to try out all of this stuff–Belfast. As far as I can tell from a bit of reading, Belfast is stunningly beautiful but also haunted by social unrest. If you want to learn with me, I recommend reading Belfast Diary by John Conroy (http://www.amazon.com/Belfast-Diary-War-Way-Life/dp/0807002178). I’ve got a lot more to say about what I’ll be doing at the Quaker Cottage but I don’t want my blog to be wholly desultory. If you’ve made it this far THANK YOU and all I can say in the way of an apology is, could you expect anything less from a girl who still believes in faeries and refuses to turn 24?
PS: Paddington is coming too because he is a traveling sort of bear. Additionally, I’d be bereft without him.