First an update. (Please forgive the self-reflection if it seems braggy and redundant as most of you know all of this)
I looked it up and the last time I made a post (one actually by me and not AB pretending to be me) was 14 April 2013. So just shy of 2 years.
[update: so I lied. apparently I posted on 18 July 2014 and didn't see it until after I posted this one. But it hardly counts as a blog post. If there are others I missed....shhhhh]
Wow how things have changed. To think, I was a junior in university, on the pre-med track, had never been out of the country (excluding the few hours I spent in the Bahamas, which I don't count), hadn't been on that cross country roadtrip briefly mentioned in the blog archives, hadn't been skydiving.
Now I've graduated with my degree in Biology and minor in Anthropology. I've worked in a rural health clinic in Kasigua, Kenya. I've been to Canada and England and France. I've crossed the country by car. I've attended Vidcon and witnessed a meteor shower for the first time. I've worked briefly as a stage manager and in retail on Black Friday. I've been on safari and competed in USA Fencing Nationals and driven through Brooklyn construction at 1 in the morning in the pouring rain. And I've no idea what I want to do with my life.
I mean, to say that I really knew what I wanted two years ago wouldn't be very honest. I was mostly doing what I was doing because it was something to be doing and it was something I liked enough. But I decided senior year that med school just wasn't gonna be for me. But then I was left in a funk. There wasn't anything to replace my med school track. There were interests. I've delved into aspects of history and archaeology (Anna Beth can testify to my random Viking 'fun facts'). My love of theatre flourished. I spent time organizing trips and debating whether 'travel agent' was a viable career path. And I don't think there's really been anything where I confidently thought 'yep, gonna pursue that with everything I have until I get it.' I've never really been that way, but I do want to embrace passion in my life a bit more.
I've realized this is now less of an update and is starting to ramble. Let's just back on track.
Anna Beth and I are moving to Ireland.
Of course, you all knew that....now.
I got my good-for-a-year work visa in the mail the other week. We've booked our flights. Got a temporary place to stay until we can find a decent and preferably cheap flat. I've been working at Target since November and have been saving up some cash. And we leave April 13th (with a 2 week pit stop in England to visit some friends of mine and because when we're that close to London we can't not).
But let's finally address the title of this blog post shall we? Really, it's just a phrase that has been stuck in my head since Sunday night and I don't think it actually applies.
Let's unpack this:
Anna Beth and I had a disciple-ship/bible-study/church-camp leader. Basically I did and still do think of her as a mentor. She's super nice and kind of amazing. She's aware of our planned move across the pond, and on Sunday morning she said something to Anna Beth. I was working Sunday morning so I wasn't at church to hear it for myself, but later I get a message from AB:
"So I was at church. And here comes Mrs. Jan. And she's not smiling, so I know something's off. And then she asks if we're still going to Ireland. And something's way off. I can just tell she's about to say something I don't want to hear. And sure enough, she asks if we're really sure that Ireland is what God wants for us. She says she wants to be excited for us, but she can't be excited, because she's not sure we're doing this because we know this is what God wants. And she says she 's not trying to say we shouldn't go to Ireland; she's not trying to talk us out of it.
And I'm like,"Well, we've bought our plane tickets. It's a little late for second thoughts." And then she comes off with this story about how she'd bought her tickets for Europe this one time and then God was telling her not to go, and so she didn't. And she's saying how if we're not doing this because it's God's will, then it's the last thing we should be doing. And you hear "Don't just stand there; do something," but really sometimes "you shouldn't *just* do *something*. Stand there."
A few snippets from my brain include things like
"Stand there?! what do you mean *stand there*? what do you mean *do something*? My life up to now has already been an insane mixture of *stand there* and *do something because it's something*. If you're open to taking the right opportunities no matter where you are in life, what's the difference between *standing there* and *doing something*? Is there one? Is there one really? I've been standing there. You could say I've been standing there for 23 years. I feel like I've stood around waiting to know what to do, to wait and hear what to do, to feel what to do. And I've got nothing. And I'm still listening. I'm not cutting my ears off just because I'm moving to a different country. The past few years I've been doing more and more looking as opposed to standing and I think it's worthwhile. Trial and error is an effective teacher. And what's this about 'if we're not doing this because it's God's will, then it's the last thing we should be doing'? Like, I get where it comes from, but I'm not sure I buy it as a whole. Is every little thing right or wrong? Is it God's will for me to have grapefruit for breakfast instead of toast? Like, I believe there is right and wrong and an ultimate truth, but I don't buy that grey doesn't exist."
And those were the 'better' of my thoughts I think. I'm also a spiteful person, so I also had some...ahem...other ones
"Really? You say this now? How dare you say this after we've paid the application fee, bought non-refundable plane tickets, made plans. How dare you imply that you legitimately care about the paths we take in life. How dare you, someone I genuinely respect the opinion of, who always has the most amazing stories of crazy life experiences and patience and ultimately things to strive for in life, tell me that you aren't sure if we're doing the right thing for the right reason. You know what? I don't care if I'm wrong. I don't care if I'm creating a Jonah story for myself. I'm going to do it anyway.
(Incidentally, this is the part where I realized that once I make a decision, I very much like to stick to it. Aren't there personality tests with this sort of question?)
But yeah, not really thoughts I'm most proud of.
And that's where Jonah comes in. I kind of don't know why I thought of it. It's not really the same story. Jonah was called to go somewhere and didn't want to so ran away. And he didn't want to because he thought he knew better and thought the people of Nineveh weren't good enough, that they didn't deserve God's grace. I don't feel like I'm ignoring a call to go somewhere (not a specific somewhere).
Of course, I innately want to understand all sides of most arguments, so I will acknowledge similarities. What I wrote above is proof of my ability to get angry and throw a bit of a temper tantrum, like Jonah with his shady plant. And it could be that Ms. Jan telling us she wasn't sure if we should go is the thing that I'm ignoring. That's certainly a possibility.
The thing is, I don't know if going to Ireland is a mistake. I don't know if it's the wrong call. I don't feel like it's right and I don't feel like it's wrong. It just is. I don't tend to put a lot of stock in feelings anyway, they can be so fleeting. You can feel like you've made a horrible decision right before you do something only to find out it was a really good call. You can also have your horrible feeling justified with a bad result. I feel like I've matured and learned a lot in the last 2 years, but I don't think I've learned how to use my intuitive senses just yet.
But ultimately, I'm going to Ireland, good call or no. If it's bad, I'll learn something. I'm open to failure. And if it's good, then I'll also learn something.
Moving out of Bowling Green, out of my parents house, away from most of the things I know and am used to, to something new just to experience it, is something I want. And I'm going to go after it.
But please, give me your all's input, I'd love to hear it, good or bad.